YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos every single day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you will need to understand how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may get affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you. However, these are the best tools I have tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos into MP3 files.
Is Downloading YouTube Videos Legal?
YouTube has a pretty straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is a criminal action, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading videos. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you’re just using the video for personal use, it can be considered legal.
YouTube states,”You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written approval of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”
In other words, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
Nevertheless, third-party apps will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos. It’s difficult to enforce or ban users for exploiting them — you can still watch YouTube videos when you’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something that you should be doing.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward procedure.
The first method to download YouTube videos is to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Working with a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos. Let’s look at it step by step:
Choose a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, select the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my view, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
4K Video Downloader
4K Download works with Windows, Mac, and Linux and provides great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. You can also extract YouTube subtitles and save them in over 50 languages.
Give 4K Download a try and find a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are various other tools out there and while there are some good free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted file must have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to manipulate the quality of the video. It may range between low, moderate, or high. It’s even better if you can choose specific video resolution like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos that are in different languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is vital while playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those particular videos along with the subtitles. If you like a specific band, you may want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You might want to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to choose from, such as MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a particular song in the middle of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a specific part of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, which makes it an important feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try out Any Video Converter (AVC) that comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should have the ability to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by changes in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you are using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you need to visit YouTube and start the video you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to open the application in a new tab on the exact same window. Once it opens, it will display a text box for you to input the URL.
Here is a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply must paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option. Some websites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer . As soon as you run it, it will provide you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you may have to download also. Steer clear of those whenever possible. Some good options are Keepvid, which may help you download video files with Apple MacOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
You may also have to check into alternative YouTube apps that work from the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of other choices to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get a host of alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Finally, pick the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
Some of these tools also allow you to download YouTube videos in formats such as WMV, MPG, AVI, ASF, M2TS, 3GP, 3G2, FLV, MKV, SWF, WEBM, HTML5 WEBM, HTML5 OGG, HTML5, and much more.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all the videos that are downloaded. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address within the video URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the place for proper downloads.
Once the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube in your browser and head to the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Next, you get redirected to a free download website.
Go to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t have to install or download. As soon as you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its site.
You’ll see that the text editor already has the video URL, so you don’t need to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also prepared to receive downloaded — all you need to do is click the’Download’ button.
You also get to choose the format and the quality of the video. Lastly, click on the”download” option, and you will have your video in a couple of seconds.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You may not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you might not want to use any third party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you need.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic news is that there are a variety of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while some are standalone tools.
Here’s an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
Download The Add-on.
The approach is easy in Opera. And it is more or less the exact same for other browsers too.
In Opera, you can just go ahead and click on the’Add to Opera’ option displayed in green colour. Moreover, be sure you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t function otherwise.
After the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.
Next, head into the YouTube video you need to download. Once you’re there, you’ll notice an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-on, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.
You will not get the direct download option from YouTube regardless of what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with a variety of choices to save the movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up pops during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the title of the video you need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video begins playing.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need to edit the movie address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you would like to download.
Select the Video Format and Quality.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to Pick the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it’s simply a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a VLC Player?
If you don’t have the VLC media player in your computer system, then you can download it. VLC Media player is protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and open the movie that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the movie.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.
New Network Stream.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Of course, this is true when you are using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this phase, you’ll see a page with a text editor, no matter what OS you’re using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video you want to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec information.’ You can also reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec information,’ a new window opens up.
The window looks something like this:
You need to copy the information of the video in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty simple for Windows users.
However, if you are a Mac user, you want to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
If you’re on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and choose the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The video will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Even though the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
There you have it — some of the best ways to download YouTube videos.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it is the best tool for video quality and MP3 conversions.
This tool lets you access your favorite YouTube videos anytime, even without an Internet connection. Downloading videos and saving them on your computer or telephone helps you never miss out on the videos you like.
Can you download YouTube videos?