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 will need to learn 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 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 ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please noteI 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.
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 permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal action, 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 lawful.
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 consent of YouTube or the various licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, you can watch Youtube videos, but just 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 is up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for personal 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 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 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 can 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 good free tools, the paid versions provide 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, 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 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 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 particular band, you may want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You may choose 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 elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a specific song in the midst of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a particular part of a film. Video editing needs can appear 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 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 fluctuations in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you are using an internet video downloading tool. In cases like this, you will need to visit YouTube and start the movie 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 display a text box that you enter the URL.
Here is 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 the’Start’ option.
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 is going to supply you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you may need to download as well. Avoid those whenever possible. Some good options are Keepvid, which can 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 different smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different options to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once 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.
Finally, pick the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all the videos that are downloaded. You may face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address over the video URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the location for proper downloads.
Once the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the movie that you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Next, you get redirected to a free download site.
Proceed 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’ll see that the text editor already has the video URL, so you don’t have 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 choose the format and the quality of the video. Lastly, click on the”download” option, and you will have your video within 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 movies.
In this instance, 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 need.
The fantastic news is that there are an assortment of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while some are standalone tools.
Here is an example of a similar add-on called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
The process is easy 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 colour. 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 PC.
Next, head into the YouTube video you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you will see 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”fast download” option, and you’ll have the video set up on 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 provide you with a variety of choices to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your tastes.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
First, take a look at 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, the movie begins playing.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you want to edit the video address and add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check out this:
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you wish to download.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to Pick 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 is simply a matter of seconds until it gets installed on your computer system.
How Can 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.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and start the movie that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the movie.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this measure to start the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
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 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.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
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.
When you click on the’codec info,’ 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 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 onto your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and choose the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The video will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Although the process might 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 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.