YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you would like 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 to MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may get affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no cost to you. However, these are the best tools I’ve tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos to 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 their terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal act, YouTube has made no desire to penalize users for downloading videos. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Additionally, if you’re just using the video for private use, it can be considered lawful.
YouTube says,”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 various licensors of the Content.”
In other words, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
However, third-party programs 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’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward process.
The first way to download YouTube videos would be 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. Let’s look at it step by step:
Choose a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, pick the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my view, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
You may even 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 some other tools out there and even though there are some decent free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.
Characteristics to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted file should have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control the quality of the video. It may range between low, medium, or high. It’s even better if you can choose specific video resolution like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in various languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is essential whilst playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those special videos together with the subtitles.
Batch Downloading — You can download the files individually or in bulk based on playlists from YouTube channels.
If you like a specific band, you might want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You might want to download and save videos in multiple formats in your file manager. Having various options to pick from, such as MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a specific song in the midst of a video. Or you might want to edit out a specific portion of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, making it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try any Video Converter (AVC) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should be able to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by changes in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In this case, you will need to visit YouTube and open the video that you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the tool in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will show a text box for you to enter the URL.
Here’s a screenshot from y2mate where you are able to download the video. You simply need to paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option. Some sites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer . As soon as you run it, it is going to provide you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software that you might need to download as well. 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 need 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 different options to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of alternatives. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all the videos that are downloaded. You might face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address within the movie URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you might want to change the location for proper downloads.
Once the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube in your browser and head to the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Proceed to the Download Site
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 website.
You’ll see that the text editor currently has the video URL, so you don’t have to copy and paste any link. Your video is also ready 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. Lastly, 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 may not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you may not want to use any third party tool to download the movies.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is just the solution you want.
Choose An Add-on.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic thing is that there are an assortment of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while others are standalone tools.
Here is an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
The approach 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’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.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head to the YouTube video you want to download. Once you’re there, you will notice an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-in, you get some options:
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 no matter what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with a variety of choices to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple 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 see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie starts playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you want to edit the video address and add 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 Pick the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it is only a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player? VLC Media player is protected 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 you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
When you start the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Of course, this is true when you are using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this phase, you will see a page with a text editor, no matter what OS you are using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video you need to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
The window looks something like this:
You need to copy the information of the movie from the location text box in the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
But if you are a Mac user, you want to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
Copy/Paste the URL.
If you are on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
At this point, the video should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
The movie will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Even though the process might seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it’s the ideal 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 storing them on your computer or telephone can help you never lose out on the videos you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.