YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In actuality, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you need to understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos into formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please note, I may receive affiliate reimbursement 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 to MP3 files.
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 consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal action, YouTube has made no desire to penalize users for downloading videos. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you’re just using the video for private use, it can be considered legal.
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 respective licensors of the Content.”
In other words, you can 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 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.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward procedure.
The first method to download YouTube videos would be 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:
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 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 get a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are some other tools out there and while there are some decent free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Characteristics 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 control 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 vital while playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those special 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 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 Document Format Compatibility — You might want to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to pick from, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — You may 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 arise at any point in time, which makes it an important feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try out Any Video Converter (AVC) which comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should have the ability to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In this case, you will need to visit YouTube and open the video that you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to start the tool in a new tab on the same window. When it opens, it will show 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 case you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer . Once 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 might have to download also. 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 have to look into alternative YouTube apps that work in 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 select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will find a host of choices. As an example, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you want to download, video quality, and the file size.
Finally, pick the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
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 more.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all the videos that are downloaded. You may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize in your IP address over the movie URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you might 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 don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Go to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t have to download or install. As soon as you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You’ll 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 prepared to get downloaded — all you will need to do is click on 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 might not want to use any third party tool to download the movies.
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 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’s an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
The process is simple in Opera. And it’s more or less the exact 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 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 PC.
Next, head to the YouTube video that you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll notice an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-on, you get some options:
Next, click on the”quick 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.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with a variety of choices to save the video. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up pops 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 is how you can do it.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the title of the video you need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie begins playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the process 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.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to Pick the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is simply a matter of seconds until 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.
Head to YouTube and start the video that you want to download. Then copy the URL of this movie.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
New Network Stream.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Needless to say, this is the case when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you’re 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’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 info.’ You can also reach the’codec data’ 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 video in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This step is pretty simple 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.
Copy/Paste the URL.
If you are on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this stage, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
The movie 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 at the moment, it’s pretty simple once you do it yourself.
In my view, 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 onto your computer or telephone can help you never lose out on the videos you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.