YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos each and every 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 to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and 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 latest methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Is Downloading YouTube Videos Legal?
YouTube has a pretty straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is a criminal act, 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’re 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 various licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but only from Google applications.
Nevertheless, third-party programs will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos. It’s difficult to enforce or prohibit 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.
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.
Using a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos. Let us look at it step by step:
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 can even 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 various other programs out there and while there are some good free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted file should have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control the quality of the video. It might 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 while playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those special videos along with the subtitles. If you like a specific 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 want to download and save videos in multiple formats in 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 might 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 essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try out Any Video Converter (AVC) which includes 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 internet 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 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. Once it opens, it will show a text box for you to enter the URL.
Here’s a screenshot from y2mate where you are able to download the video. You simply need to paste the URL in the text box above and click on the’Start’ option.
Paste 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 provide you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software that you may need to download as well. Avoid those whenever possible. Some good options 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 different smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of different choices to select from.
As soon as you paste 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.
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 more.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all of the videos that are downloaded. 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’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 want.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty easy to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube in your browser and head to the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Go to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to install or download. The moment 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 need to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also prepared to get downloaded — all you need to do is click on the’Download’ button.
You also get to choose the format and the quality of the video. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you’ll have your video within a couple of seconds.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You might 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 case, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you want.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good news 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.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
The approach is easy in Opera. And it’s more or less the exact 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, be 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 PC.
Next, head into the YouTube video that you need to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll notice an icon on the top right-hand (for Opera users).
When you install this add-in, you get some options:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you’ll have the video set up on your system.
You won’t get 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 provide you with a variety of options 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 preferences.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you need to see and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie begins playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need 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 wish to download.
Choose 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.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it is simply a matter of seconds before 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 open the video that you want to download. Then copy the URL of the video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you should not 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.
When you start the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Of course, this is the case when you are using a Windows OS.
When you’re 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 that you want to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
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.
The window looks something like this:
You need to copy the information of the movie in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
However, if you are a Mac user, you need to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
If you’re on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this point, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie 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.’ 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.
In my view, 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 onto your computer or telephone helps you never miss out on the movies you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.