YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million people 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 effectively. You can download YouTube videos into formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you only 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 methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please be aware , I may receive affiliate reimbursement 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’t do on the stage.
Downloading videos without prior permission, 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 movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you are just using the video for private use, it can be considered lawful.
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.”
Quite simply, you can watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
However, third-party apps will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos. It’s tough 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 personal 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 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 quickest way to download YouTube videos. Let us look at it step by step:
Choose a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, pick 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 provides great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. You can 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 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 should 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 in various languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is vital while playing with 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 may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You might choose 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 midst of a video. Or you may want to edit out a particular portion of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, making it an important feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try out Any Video Converter (AVC) which comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should be able to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by changes in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you are using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you will need to head to YouTube and open the video that you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the application in a new tab on the same window. Once 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 must paste the URL in the text box above and click on the’Start’ option.
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 will supply you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you may have to download also. Avoid 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 look into alternative YouTube apps that work in the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of other choices to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will find a host of alternatives. For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you wish to download, video quality, and 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 like 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 downloaded videos. You may face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize in your IP address over the video URL you input. 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 Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather easy to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube in your browser and head to the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
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 site.
You will see that the text editor currently has the video URL, so you don’t have to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also ready to receive downloaded — all you will 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 will have your video in a few seconds.
How Do 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.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good thing is that there are a variety of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for 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.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
The approach is easy in Opera. And it’s 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 color. Moreover, make certain you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t work otherwise.
After the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your PC.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video you want to download. Once you’re there, you will see 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”fast download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.
You won’t get the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide 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 floats up during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy 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 title of the video that you need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie begins playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you need to edit the video address and insert 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 site 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.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it’s simply a matter of seconds before 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.
Head to YouTube and open the movie that you want to download. Then copy the URL of this video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
New Network Stream.
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’re 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 are using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video that you want to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.
There, you’ll 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 video from the location text box at 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.
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.
At this stage, the video should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the video and choose the’Save video as’ option.
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 videos.
Although the process might seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy once 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 storing them onto your computer or phone can help you never miss out on the movies you like.
Can you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.