YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In actuality, 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 may download YouTube videos into formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you only need music, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please be aware , I may get affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you. Nonetheless, 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 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 correct licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you’re just using the video for personal use, it can be considered legal.
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.”
Quite simply, 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 difficult 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 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 way to download YouTube videos would be to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos With a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the quickest way to download YouTube videos. Let us look at it step by step:
Choose 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 offers great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. You can 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 tools out there and while there are some decent free tools, the paid versions provide 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 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 such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in different languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is essential while playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those particular videos together with the subtitles.
Batch Downloading — You can download the files individually or in bulk based on playlists from YouTube channels.
If you like a particular band, you might 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 choose 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 flexible.
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 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) that 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.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you need to head to YouTube and start the movie you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can start the tool in a new tab on the exact same window. When it opens, it will show a text box that you 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 the’Start’ option.
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 will provide you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you may need to download as well. 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 look into alternative YouTube apps 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 different choices to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you paste 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 want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Some of the tools also allow you to download YouTube videos in formats such as 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 store all the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight on your IP address within the video URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you may want to change the location for appropriate downloads.
Once the movie 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 pretty easy to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Next, you want to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Next, you get redirected to a free download website.
Go to the Download Site
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 website.
You will see that the text editor already has the video URL, so you don’t need to copy and paste any link. Your video is also prepared 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 couple of seconds.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You may not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you may 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.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic thing is that there are a variety of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited to Firefox and Chrome, while others are standalone tools.
Here’s an example of a similar add-on called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
Download The Add-on.
The approach is easy in Opera. And it’s more or less the exact 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 certain 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.
Next, head to the YouTube video that you need to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll see 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’ll have the video installed in your system.
You won’t receive the direct download option from YouTube regardless of what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with many different choices to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie begins playing.
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 movie address and add 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.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to Pick the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is simply a matter of seconds before it gets installed on your computer system.
How Do 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 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 start the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.
New Network Stream.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Needless to say, this is true when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, you’ll see a page with a text editor, no matter what OS you are using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video you need to download.
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.
When you click on the’codec information,’ a new window opens up.
You want to copy the information of the movie in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This measure 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’re on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this point, the movie should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the video 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 videos.
Even though the process might seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy when you do it yourself.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it’s the ideal 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 on your computer or phone can help 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.