YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
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 need to learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos into formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and 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 reimbursement for some of the links below at no cost to you. Nonetheless, these are the best tools I have tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos to MP3 files.
YouTube has a fairly straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is a criminal act, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading videos. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Additionally, 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.”
In other words, 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 are not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something you should be doing.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward procedure.
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’s look at it step by step:
Pick a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, select 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 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 good free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Characteristics to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted file should have regular video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control the quality of the video. It might range between low, moderate, or high. It’s even better if you are able to choose specific video resolution such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos that are in various languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is vital while playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos along with the subtitles. If you like a particular band, you may want to download their entire discography. And if you like a movie director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You may choose to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to pick from, such as MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a particular song in the midst of a video. Or you might choose to edit out a particular portion of a film. Video editing needs can appear 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 comes with 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 net 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 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 open the tool in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will show 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. Some sites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. As soon as you run it, it will supply you with the very same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you may need to download also. Steer clear of 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 need to look into alternative YouTube apps that work in the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different choices to choose from.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you choose the video format you wish to download, video quality, and 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 much more.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all of the videos that are downloaded. You may face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address within the video URL you input. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the location 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 do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Next, you want 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.
Go to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty 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 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 prepared to get downloaded — all you 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 within a few seconds.
How Can 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 need to use any third party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is simply the solution you need.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic news is that there are an assortment of choices 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 called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
The process 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, be sure you download the right 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 to the YouTube video you need 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-on, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in 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.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with a variety of options to save the movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your tastes.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you want to view and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video begins playing.
Now the process is very similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need 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 site for the video you would like to download.
Choose the Video Format and Quality.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to Pick the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it is only a matter of seconds until it gets installed in your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a VLC Player? VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and start the movie that 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 should keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Of course, this is the case when you are using a Windows OS.
When you are 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 that you need to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
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 information.’ You can also reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec information,’ a new window opens up.
You need to copy the information of the video from the location text box in the bottom of the page. This step is pretty simple for Windows users.
But if you are 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 on your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this point, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and choose the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The video will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Even though the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty simple 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 enables you to access your favorite YouTube videos anytime, even without an Internet connection. Downloading videos and saving them onto your computer or phone helps you never miss out on the movies you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.