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 want to save videos to watch later, you need to understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and access 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 charge to you. However, these are the best tools I’ve tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos to 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 consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal act, YouTube has made no desire to penalize users for downloading videos. 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 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 consent of YouTube or the various licensors of the Content.”
In other words, you can watch Youtube videos, but only from Google applications.
However, third-party programs 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 determine if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something that you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward process.
The first method to download YouTube videos would be to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos. Let us look at it step by step:
Pick a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, pick 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 provides great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. 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 various other programs out there and while there are some good free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Features 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 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 such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in different languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is essential whilst playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those special 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 may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You might 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 middle of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a specific part 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 any Video Converter (AVC) which includes 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 fluctuations 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 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 tool in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will display a text box for you to 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 on 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. As soon as you run it, it is going to supply you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you might need to download also. Avoid 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 are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of other 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 alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all the videos that are downloaded. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight on your IP address over 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 need.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty easy to download YouTube videos directly 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’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Go to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t have to install or download. As soon as you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You’ll 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 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’ll have your video in 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 movies.
In this instance, using add-ons on your browser is simply the solution you need.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic thing is that there are an assortment of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while others are standalone tools.
Here is an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Download The Add-on.
The approach is easy in Opera. And it’s more or less the same for other browsers too.
In Opera, you can simply go ahead and click on the’Add to Opera’ option displayed in green color. Moreover, be 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 computer.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video that you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll notice 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 won’t receive 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 provide you with many different options to save the video. Choices 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 Can You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you want to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie starts playing.
Now the process 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 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 website for the video you wish 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 requirements, 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? VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and open the video you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
When you open 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’re 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 you need to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
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 want to copy the information of the video in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty simple 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 are on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click on’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 movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The video will now begin 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 may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it is 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 saving them on your computer or phone can help you never lose out on the movies you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.