YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
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 will need to understand how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos into formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only 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 ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please be aware , I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you. Nonetheless, these are the best tools I have tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos to MP3 files.
Is Downloading YouTube Videos Legal?
YouTube has a pretty straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can’t do on the stage.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is technically 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. Additionally, if you are just using the video for private use, it can be considered lawful.
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.”
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 difficult to enforce or ban 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 personal 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 fastest way to download YouTube videos. Let’s 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 even 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 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 regular 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 can choose specific video resolution like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in different languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is vital whilst 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 might want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You might want 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 may want to view a particular song in the middle of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a particular 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 out Any Video Converter (AVC) which includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool 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 are using an internet video downloading tool. In this case, you need to head to YouTube and start the video that you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can start 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 need to paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option. Some sites 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 is going to provide you with the very same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you might need to download as well. Steer clear of those whenever possible. Some good alternatives are Keepvid, which can help you download video files with Apple MacOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
You may also need to look into alternative YouTube apps that work from the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of different choices to choose from.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of alternatives. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on 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 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 of the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight on your IP address over the video URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you might want to change the location for appropriate downloads.
Once 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 pretty easy to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the movie 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.
Next, you get redirected to a free download website.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t have to install or download. As soon as you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its site.
You’ll see that the text editor currently has the video URL, so you don’t have to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also prepared to receive downloaded — all you 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 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 need 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’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic news is that there are an assortment of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited to Firefox and Chrome, while some 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 approach is easy in Opera. And it is 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 are using. They won’t work otherwise.
Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t 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 notice an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-on, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you will have the video set up on your system.
You will not get 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 supply you with a variety of options to save the video. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download choice, asking for your preferences.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Using 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, visit the YouTube platform and type the title of the video you want to see and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video starts playing.
Add”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 insert 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 wish to download.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to Pick the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is only 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.
Head to YouTube and start the movie you want to download. Then copy the URL of this video.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
When you open 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’re using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this phase, 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 that you want to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.
There, you will 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.
The window looks something like this:
You need to copy the information of the video in the location text box at 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’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
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 movie will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Even though the process might seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple 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’s 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 phone can help you never lose out on the videos you like.
Can you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.