YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In actuality, 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 effectively. You can download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need music, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest 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 stage.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their 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 right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you are just using the video for personal use, it can be considered legal.
YouTube says,”You shall 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 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 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.
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.
Working with a YouTube downloader is the quickest 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 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 even though there are some decent free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted file must have standard 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 can choose specific video resolution such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in various languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is vital while 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 particular band, you may want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you may 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 choose from, such as 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 may choose to edit out a particular part of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, making it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try out 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 should not be highly affected by changes in net 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 movie that you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to start the application in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will show a text box that you enter the URL.
Here’s 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. Some sites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Glue URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer . As soon as you run it, it will provide you with the very same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you may 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 look into alternative YouTube programs that work from the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of other choices to select from.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will find a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you wish to download, video quality, and the file size.
Finally, select the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
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 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 may face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize in your IP address over the video URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the place for proper downloads.
When the movie 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 rather simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Open YouTube on 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.
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty 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’ll 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 ready to receive 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. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you will have your video in a couple of 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 instance, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you need.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic thing is that there are a variety of choices 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
Download The Add-on.
The process is easy 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 certain you download the right add-on concerning the browser you’re 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. Once you’re there, you’ll see 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”fast download” option, and you will have the video installed in your system.
You will not receive the direct download option from YouTube regardless of what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with many different options to save the movie. 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?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple 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 title of the video you need to see and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie begins playing.
Insert”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 insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check out this:
Next, you get redirected to the Django site 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 arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can go ahead.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it is only a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player? VLC Media player is protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head to YouTube and open the video you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this movie.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
New Network Stream.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Needless to say, this is true when you are using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this phase, you will see a page with a text editor, no matter what OS you’re 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 will find an option called’codec information.’ You can also reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
You want to copy the information of the movie from the location text box at the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
However, if you’re 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 onto your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
The video will now start 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 may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy when 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 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 saving them on your computer or phone can help you never lose out on the videos you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.