YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos every single day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you 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 to MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and get 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 receive affiliate compensation 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.
YouTube has a fairly straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not do on the stage.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is a criminal action, 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 are 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 approval of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”
In other words, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but only 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 ban users for exploiting them you can still watch YouTube videos when you are not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something that you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward procedure.
The first way to download YouTube videos would be to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos With a Video Downloading Tool.
Working with a YouTube downloader is the quickest 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 opinion, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
You may also extract YouTube subtitles and save them in more than 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 offer way higher quality.
Characteristics to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The transformed file must have regular video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control the quality of the video. It might range between low, medium, or high. It’s even better if you can choose specific video resolution such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos that are in different languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is vital whilst playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those particular videos together with the subtitles. If you like a particular band, you may want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You may choose to download and save videos in multiple formats in 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 choose to edit out a specific 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 can try out Any Video Converter (AVC) which includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should have the ability to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by fluctuations in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you are using an internet video downloading tool. In this case, you need to head to 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 start the application in a new tab on the exact same window. Once it opens, it will display a text box that you 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.
Paste URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you want 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 alternatives are Keepvid, which may help you download video files with Apple MacOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
You may also have to check 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 different choices to select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will find a host of choices. For instance, 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.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize in your IP address within the movie URL you enter. So if you’re 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 want.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather easy to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the movie that you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Next, you need to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Next, you get redirected to a free download website.
Proceed to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t have to download or install. 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 need to copy and paste any link. 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. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you’ll have your video within 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 might not want to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
In this instance, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you want.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic thing is that there are a variety of options 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 called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Download The Add-on.
The process is easy 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 colour. Moreover, make sure you download the right 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 PC.
Next, head into the YouTube video that you need to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll 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 will have the video installed in your system.
You will not get the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Pick 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 preferences.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Using 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 that you need to see and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video begins playing.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you want to edit the movie address and add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
Next, you get redirected to the Django site for the video you would like to download.
Select the Video Format and Quality.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to Pick the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s only a matter of seconds until it gets installed in your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player? VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and open the movie you want to download. Then copy the URL of the movie.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
When you open the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Needless to say, this is true when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the stream 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 that you need 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.’ 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 in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This step is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
But if you are a Mac user, you need to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
If you’re on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click’Enter.’ The step 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 video 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 videos.
Although the process may seem lengthy right now, 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 is 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.
Can you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.