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 will need to learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos into formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you only need music, you can convert YouTube videos into 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 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 not do on the stage.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is a criminal action, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading videos. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you are just using the video for personal use, it can be considered lawful.
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 various licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, it is possible to 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 difficult to enforce or ban users for exploiting them you can still watch YouTube videos when you’re 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 a simple and straightforward process.
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 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.
You can 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 tools out there and even though 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, moderate, or high. It’s even better if you are able to choose specific video resolution like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos that are in various languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is essential whilst playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will 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 movie director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You might want to download and save videos in multiple formats in your file manager. Having various options to choose from, like 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 may want to edit out a particular part 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 may try out Any Video Converter (AVC) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should be able to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally should not 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 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.
You can 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 is a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply must paste the URL in the text box above and click on the’Start’ option.
Glue URL y2mate
In case 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 provide you with the very same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you may have 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 need to look into alternative YouTube programs that work in the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different choices to select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of alternatives. For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and the file size.
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 more.
If you’re looking 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 may want to change the place for proper downloads.
When the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather easy to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Go to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t have to install or download. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its site.
You will see that the text editor already 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 the’Download’ button.
You also get to choose the format and the quality of the video. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you will have your video in 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 movies.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you need.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good thing is that there are a variety of choices 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 is 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 colour. Moreover, be sure you download the correct 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 doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video you need 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-on, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you will have the video installed in your system.
You won’t get the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with many different choices to save the video. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with 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, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the name of the video you want to see and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie begins playing.
Now the process is 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 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 website, scroll down to Pick the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is 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 pc, then you can download it. VLC Media player is protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and start the video you want to download. Then copy the URL of this video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
Of course, this is true when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this phase, you will see a page with a text editor, no matter what OS you are using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video you want to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec info.’ You can also reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec info,’ a new window opens up.
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 measure is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
But if you’re 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 on’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
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.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Even though the process might seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty simple when you do it yourself.
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 storing them onto your computer or phone helps you never lose out on the videos you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.