YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In actuality, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos every single day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you need to understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please be aware , I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no charge to you. Nonetheless, 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 fairly straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is a criminal action, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you are just using the video for personal use, it can be considered lawful.
YouTube says,”You will 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 prohibit users for exploiting them — you can still watch YouTube videos when you are not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide 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 process.
The first method to download YouTube videos is to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos With a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos.
Pick 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 may even extract YouTube subtitles and save them in more than 50 languages.
Give 4K Download a try and find a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are various other tools out there and even though there are some decent 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 control the quality of the video. It might 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 cases, the use of subtitles is vital while playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those special videos together with the subtitles. If you like a specific band, you may want to download their entire discography. And if you like a movie director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You may want to download and save videos in multiple formats in your file manager. Having various options to pick from, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a specific song in the midst of a video. Or you might want to edit out a particular part of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, making it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try any Video Converter (AVC) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should be able to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you are using an online video downloading tool. In this case, you need to visit YouTube and open the movie that you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the tool in a new tab on the exact same window. Once it opens, it will show a text box that you input the URL.
Here’s a screenshot from y2mate where you are able to download the video. You simply must paste the URL in the text box above and click on the’Start’ option. Some websites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Glue URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it is going to supply you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you may need to download as well. Steer clear of those whenever possible. Some good alternatives are Keepvid, which can help you download video files with Apple MacOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
You may also have to look into alternative YouTube apps that work in 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 options to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of choices. As an example, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Some of the 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 of the downloaded videos. You may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address within the movie URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you might want to change the place for appropriate downloads.
When the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
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 on your browser and head to the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Next, you want to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to download or install. The moment 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 have to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also prepared to receive downloaded — all you need to do is click on the’Download’ button.
You also get to choose the format and the quality of the video. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you’ll have your video in a few seconds.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You might not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you might not need to use any third party tool to download the movies.
In this instance, using add-ons in your browser is just the solution you need.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic news is that there are an assortment of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited to Firefox and Chrome, while some are standalone tools.
Here is an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
The process is simple in Opera. And it’s more or less the same for other browsers too.
In Opera, you can just go ahead and click on the’Add to Opera’ option displayed in green color. Moreover, be sure you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you are using. They won’t work otherwise.
Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in does not work after installation, then restart your PC.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head to the YouTube video that you need to download. Once you’re there, you’ll see an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-in, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you will have the video installed in your system.
You won’t receive the direct download option from YouTube regardless of what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with a variety of choices to save the video. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video starts playing.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download videos 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 wish to download.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to choose the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can go ahead.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is only a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a VLC Player? VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and start the video that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the movie.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Of course, this is the case when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, you’ll see a page with a text editor, no matter what OS you are using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video you want to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you will find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec info,’ a new window opens up.
You need to copy the information of the movie from the location text box in the bottom of the page. This step is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
But if you are a Mac user, you need 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 point, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and select 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 right now, it’s pretty simple when you do it yourself.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it’s the ideal tool for video quality and MP3 conversions.
This tool enables you to access your favorite YouTube videos anytime, even without an Internet connection. Downloading videos and saving them onto your computer or telephone can help you never miss out on the movies you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos?