YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In fact, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos every single day on YouTube.
If you would like to save videos to watch later, you will 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 only need audio, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please noteI may receive affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no charge to you. Nonetheless, these are the best tools I’ve 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’t do on the stage.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal action, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you are just using the video for private 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 approval of YouTube or the various licensors of the Content.”
In other words, you can watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
Nevertheless, 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 that you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward procedure.
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, pick the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my opinion, 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 get a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are some other programs 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 must have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control the quality of the video. It may range between low, moderate, or high. It’s even better if you are able to 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 whilst playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos along 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 movie director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You might want to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to choose from, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a particular song in the middle of a video. Or you may want to edit out a particular portion of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, making it an important feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try out Any Video Converter (AVC) which comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should be able to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you are using an online video downloading tool. In this case, you will need to head to YouTube and open the video you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can start the application in a new tab on the same window. When it opens, it will display a text box for you to enter the URL.
Here is 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 on the’Start’ option.
Paste URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer . Once you run it, it is going to supply you with the very same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you might have to download as well. Steer clear of those whenever possible. Some good options 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 different smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different choices 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 alternatives. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you wish to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Finally, select the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
Some of these tools also allow you to download YouTube videos in formats like WMV, MPG, AVI, ASF, M2TS, 3GP, 3G2, FLV, MKV, SWF, WEBM, HTML5 WEBM, HTML5 OGG, HTML5, and more.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all of the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address over the video URL you input. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the place for proper downloads.
When the video 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 pretty easy to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Go to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to install or download. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You will 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 get downloaded — all you need to do is click on the’Download’ button.
You also get to select 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 want to use any third-party tool to download the movies.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you need.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic news is that there are a variety 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 approach is simple in Opera. And it is 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, make sure you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t function otherwise.
Once 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 into the YouTube video that you need to download. Once you’re there, you will see an icon on the top right-hand (for Opera users).
When you install this add-in, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you’ll have the video set up on 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 provide you with many different choices to save the video. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the name of the video you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video starts playing.
Now the process is very similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, 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.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to choose the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s simply a matter of seconds until it gets installed on your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using 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 start the movie you want to download. Then copy the URL of this movie.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
When you start the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Of course, this is the case when you are 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.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins playing on VLC.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you will find an option called’codec info.’ 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 step 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’re on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it onto 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 your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The movie will now start 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 might seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy when 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’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 saving them onto your computer or phone can help you never miss out on the videos you like.
Do you download YouTube videos?