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 would like to save videos to watch later, you need to understand how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You may download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need music, 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 be aware , I may get affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you. However, 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.
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. Additionally, if you’re just using the video for private use, it can be considered legal.
YouTube states,”You will 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 various licensors of the Content.”
In other words, you can watch Youtube videos, but only from Google applications.
Nevertheless, 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 is up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for private 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 Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Working with 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 offers 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 programs out there and even though there are some good free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Characteristics to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The transformed file must 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 that are 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.
Batch Downloading — You can download the files individually or in bulk based on playlists from YouTube channels.
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 File Format Compatibility — You might want 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 flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — you might 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, which makes it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try out Any Video Converter (AVC) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should be able to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by fluctuations in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you’re using an internet video downloading tool. In cases like this, you need to head to YouTube and start the video that you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the application in a new tab on the exact 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 need to paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option.
Glue URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it will supply you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software 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 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 options to select from.
Once you paste 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.
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 more.
If you’re searching 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 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 proper downloads.
When the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t 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 on your browser and head to the movie that you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Next, you get redirected to a free download site.
Proceed to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t have 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 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. Lastly, click on the”download” option, and you’ll have your video in a few seconds.
How Do 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 need to use any third party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you want.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The good 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.
The process is easy in Opera. And it is 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 certain you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t work 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 to 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-on, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you will have the video set up on your system.
You will not 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 supply you with a variety of options to save the video. Alternatives range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up pops during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s 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 you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie starts playing.
Now the practice 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.
Select the Video Format and Quality.
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.
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?
If you don’t have the VLC media player in your pc, 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 open the video that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this movie.
Open VLC Media Player.
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 flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, you will 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.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec info.’ You can also 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 simple for Windows users.
However, if you’re a Mac user, you need 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 copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The step 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.
The movie will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Even though the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple once 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’s the best 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 onto your computer or phone can help you never lose out on the videos you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.