YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In actuality, 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 learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you just need music, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost 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 pretty straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can’t do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior consent, 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 penalize users for downloading videos. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Additionally, if you’re just using the video for personal use, it can be considered legal.
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 consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”
In other words, you can 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 decide if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something you should be doing.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward process.
The first way to download YouTube videos would be to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Working with a YouTube downloader is the quickest way to download YouTube videos. Let us look at it step by step:
Pick a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, select the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my opinion, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
4K Video Downloader
4K Download works with Windows, Mac, and Linux and offers 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 get 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 offer way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted file must have regular video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to manipulate the quality of the video. It might 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 different languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is vital whilst playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll 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 particular band, you may want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You may want to download and save videos in multiple formats within 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 particular song in the middle of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a specific portion of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, which makes 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 have the ability to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you are using an internet video downloading tool. In this case, you will need to visit YouTube and start the movie that you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to open the application in a new tab on the same window. When it opens, it will show a text box for you to input the URL.
Here’s a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply need to paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option.
Glue URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer first. As soon as you run it, it will provide you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you might 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 programs that work from the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different choices to select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you wish to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Finally, pick the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
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 store all the videos that are downloaded. You may face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize in your IP address within the video URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the place for appropriate downloads.
Once the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Next, you want to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube.
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Next, you get redirected to a free download website.
Go to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are loads 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 website.
You will see that the text editor currently has the video URL, so you don’t need to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also ready 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 within a couple of 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 videos.
In this instance, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you want.
Choose An Add-on.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The good thing 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’s an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Download The Add-on.
The process is easy in Opera. And it’s more or less the exact same for other browsers too.
In Opera, you can simply go ahead and click on the’Add to Opera’ option displayed in green colour. Moreover, be sure you download the right add-on concerning the browser you are using. They won’t function 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 into the YouTube video you need to download. As soon as you’re there, you will notice an icon on the top right-hand (for Opera users).
When you install this add-on, you get some options:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you will have the video set up on your system.
You will not get the direct download option from YouTube no matter 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 movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you need to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video starts playing.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you want to edit the movie address and add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check out this:
After the edit, press the ‘Enter’ button.
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you would like to download.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to choose the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it is simply a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a VLC Player? VLC Media player is protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and open the video you want to download. Then copy the URL of the movie.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this measure to start the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
Needless to say, this is true when you are using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, 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.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins playing on VLC.
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.
The window looks something like this:
You need to copy the information of the movie in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
However, if you’re 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 on your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this stage, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and choose the’Save video as’ option.
The video will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Although the process might seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty simple when you do it yourself.
There you have it — some of the best ways to download YouTube videos.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it is the best 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 phone helps you never lose out on the movies you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.