YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million visitors 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 to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need music, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may get 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.
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 platform.
Downloading videos without prior permission, 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 penalize users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Additionally, if you’re just using the video for private 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 approval of YouTube or the various licensors of the Content.”
In other words, you can watch Youtube videos, but only from Google applications.
Nevertheless, 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’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for private 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 fastest way to download YouTube videos.
Choose 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 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.
Features 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 manipulate the quality of the video. It may 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 situations, the use of subtitles is essential whilst playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular 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 movie director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You may want to download and save videos in multiple formats within 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 may want to view a specific song in the middle of a video. Or you might want to edit out a particular portion 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 any Video Converter (AVC) that comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should have the ability to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by fluctuations in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you are using an online video downloading tool. In this case, you will need to visit YouTube and start the video you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to open the tool in a new tab on the exact same window. Once 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 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 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 careful about unnecessary software you may have to download as well. Steer clear of those whenever possible. Some good options are Keepvid, which may help you download video files with Apple MacOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
You may also need to check into alternative YouTube apps 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 different options to choose from.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of choices. As an example, y2mate lets you choose the video format you wish to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Some of these 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 more.
If you’re looking 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 are using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address within the video 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 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 directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ In 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.
Go to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to install or download. As soon as you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You will 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 ready to get downloaded — all you will 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 in a few seconds.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You might 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 need.
The good thing is that there are an assortment of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for 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
The approach is simple in Opera. And it is 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 color. Moreover, be certain 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 PC.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video you want 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-on, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.
You will not get the direct download option from YouTube no matter 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 video. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, 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 easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video you want to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video begins playing.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need to edit the movie address and add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check out this:
Next, you get redirected to the Django site for the video you wish to download.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to choose the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s 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 open the video that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the video.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.
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 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 need to download.
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 will find an option called’codec information.’ You can also reach the’codec information’ 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 movie in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This step is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
However, if you are a Mac user, you need to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
If you are on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this point, the video 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 title would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Although the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty simple once you do it yourself.
There you have it — some of the best ways to download YouTube videos.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it is 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 storing them on your computer or phone can help you never lose out on the movies you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.