YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In fact, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you would like to save videos to watch later, you need to learn how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you just 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 most recent ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please note, 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 into 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 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 movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you’re just using the video for private use, it can be considered lawful.
YouTube says,”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 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 ban 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 is to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the quickest way to download YouTube videos. Let us look at it step by step:
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 provides great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. 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 while there are some good free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.
Characteristics to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The transformed file should have standard 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 like 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’ll prefer to download those particular videos along with the subtitles. 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 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 flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a specific song in the midst of a video. Or you might want to edit out a specific part 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 application should be able to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by changes in net 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 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 same window. Once it opens, it will display a text box that you input the URL.
Here’s a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply need to paste the URL in the text box above and click on the’Start’ option. Some websites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it is going to supply you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you might have to download also. Avoid those whenever possible. Some good options 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 programs that work from the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of other options to select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and the file size.
Finally, select the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
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 might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address over the movie URL you input. So if you are a VPN user, you may want to change the place for proper downloads.
Once the video 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 rather easy to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ From 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 computer.
Next, you get redirected to a free download website.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty 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 site.
You will 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 ready to receive downloaded — all you will need to do is click the’Download’ button.
You also get to select the format and the quality of the video. Finally, 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 need to use any third party tool to download the movies.
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 news is that there are a variety of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while some are standalone tools.
Here is an example of a similar add-on called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
The process is simple 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, be sure you download the right add-on concerning the browser you are using. They won’t function otherwise.
Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in does not work after installation, then restart your computer.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you will notice an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-in, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”quick 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 supply you with a variety of options to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download option, 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’s how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you need to view and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video starts playing.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download movies 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:
After the edit, press the ‘Enter’ button.
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you would like to download.
Choose 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 requirements, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it’s 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 computer system, then you can download it. VLC Media player is protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head to YouTube and start the movie you want to download. Then copy the URL of the video.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
New Network Stream.
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.
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 you want to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec information,’ a new window opens up.
The window looks something like this:
You want 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.
However, if you’re a Mac user, you want to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
Copy/Paste the URL.
If you are on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this stage, the movie should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the video 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.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Although the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple when you do it yourself.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it’s the best 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 storing them on your computer or telephone helps you never lose out on the videos you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos?