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YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.

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 efficiently. You may download YouTube videos into formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need audio, 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 methods 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 cost to you. However, these are the best tools I have tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos into MP3 files. You can read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

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 permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.

Whilst 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’re just using the video for personal 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 respective licensors of the Content.”

In other words, you can 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 difficult to enforce or prohibit users for exploiting them — you can still watch YouTube videos when you are not signed in.

Ultimately, it is 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 process.

The first method to download YouTube videos is 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.
Pick 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 offers great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. You may even extract YouTube subtitles and save them in more than 50 languages.

Give 4K Download a try and get a 14-day money-back guarantee.

There are various 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 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 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 it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those special 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 might 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 want to download and save videos in multiple formats in your file manager. Having various options to pick from, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a specific song in the middle of a video. Or you might want to edit out a specific part 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 can try out Any Video Converter (AVC) which comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should have the ability to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by fluctuations in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an internet video downloading tool. In cases like this, 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 tool in a new tab on the exact same window. When it opens, it will display a text box for you to input 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.

Paste URL y2mate
In case 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 options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.

Be careful about unnecessary software that you might have to download also. Avoid 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, you will find a host of other choices to choose from.

As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of choices. 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 store all of the downloaded videos. You may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address within the movie URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you may 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 simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.

Here are the steps:

Open YouTube in your browser and head to the video that you want to download.

2.
Add’ss’ From The URL.

but before ‘youtube.com.’

After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.

3.
Proceed to the Download Website

Once redirected, there are loads 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 website.

You’ll see that the text editor currently has the video URL, so you don’t need to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also prepared to get 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 will 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 want to use any third-party tool to download the videos.

In this case, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you want.

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 to 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 simple 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, make sure you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you are 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 computer.

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 options:

Fast download
Download panel
Conversion tool
Settings
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you’ll have the video set up on your system.

You won’t receive the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.

4.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with many different options to save the video. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to 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?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.

Here’s how you can do it.

 

1.

First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you need to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video starts playing.

2.
Add”vd” To The URL.

Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you want to edit the video address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .

Check this out:

After the edit, press the ‘Enter’ button.
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you would like to download.

VDYouTube
3.
Select the Video Format and Quality.

On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to choose the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can go ahead.

4.

As soon as you click on the”download” option, it’s only a matter of seconds until it gets installed on your computer system.

How Can 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.

 

 

Here is how:

1.
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.

Head to YouTube and open the movie that you want to download. Then copy the URL of this video.

2.
Open VLC Media Player.

Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.

3.
New Network Stream.

When you start 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 the case when you’re using a Windows OS.

When you’re using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.

4.
Open Media.

In this stage, you’ll 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.

Codec Information.

There, you’ll find an option called’codec info.’ You can also reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.

Location.

The window looks something like this:

You need to copy the information of the video in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty straightforward for Windows users.

But if you’re a Mac user, you want to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.

8.

If you are on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.

At this point, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and select the’Save video as’ option.

Download The Video.

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.

Although the process might seem lengthy at the moment, 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 is 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 saving them onto your computer or telephone helps you never lose out on the movies you like.

Do you download YouTube videos?