YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos every single day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you need to learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos into formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need audio, 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 most recent methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please note, I may get 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 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 stage.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the 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 private use, it can be considered legal.
YouTube states,”You shall 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 respective licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
Nevertheless, 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 are not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward procedure.
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 quickest way to download YouTube videos. Let’s look at it step by step:
Choose a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, select the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my view, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
You may also 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 some other tools out there and even though 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 must have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to manipulate the quality of the video. It may 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 that are 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 along with the subtitles. 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 File Format Compatibility — You might choose 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 flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a specific song in the midst of a video. Or you may want to edit out a specific portion 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 any Video Converter (AVC) that includes 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’re using an internet 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.
You can open the application in a new tab on the same window. When it opens, it will show a text box for you to 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 websites 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 first. Once 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 need 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 have to look into alternative YouTube programs 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 other options to choose from.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of choices. As an example, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you wish to download, video quality, and the file size.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address within the movie URL you input. So if you are a VPN user, you may want to change the place for proper 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 rather simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Proceed 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 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 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 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 may not need to use any third party tool to download the videos.
In this instance, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you need.
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 for 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.
The approach is simple in Opera. And it is 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 colour. Moreover, be certain you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you are using. They won’t work otherwise.
After 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 that you want to download. Once you’re there, you will 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’ll have the video set up on your system.
You won’t receive 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 movie. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with 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 need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie starts playing.
Now the process is 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 this out:
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you would like to download.
Select the Video Format and Quality.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to choose 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 with a VLC Player?
If you don’t have the VLC media player in your computer system, then you can download it. VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and start the video that you want to download. Then copy the URL of the movie.
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 advantage.
Needless to say, this is true when you are using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, 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 that you want to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins playing on VLC.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
The window looks something like this:
You need to copy the information of the video from the location text box in the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
But 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 on your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this stage, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
The movie will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Even though the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy when you do it yourself.
There you have it — some of the best ways to download YouTube videos.
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 saving them on your computer or phone helps you never lose out on the movies you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos?