YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In actuality, 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 into formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please noteI may receive affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no charge to you. However, these are the best tools I have tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos into MP3 files.
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 stage.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal act, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Additionally, if you’re just using the video for private use, it can be considered legal.
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 approval of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, it is possible to 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 prohibit users for exploiting them you can still watch YouTube videos when you are not signed in.
Ultimately, it is up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something you should be doing.
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 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 opinion, 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 find a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are various other programs out there and while there are some decent free tools, the paid versions offer 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, medium, or high. It’s even better if you are able to choose specific video resolution like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos that are in different languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is essential whilst playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those special videos along 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 might choose 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 specific song in the midst of a video. Or you may want 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 may try any Video Converter (AVC) which includes 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 internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an internet video downloading tool. In this case, you need to head to YouTube and open the movie you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to open the application in a new tab on the exact same window. When it opens, it will display a text box that you input the URL.
Here is a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply must paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option.
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 may have to download also. 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 in the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of other choices to choose from.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and the file size.
Some of the 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 looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address over the movie URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the place for appropriate downloads.
When 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 straight from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
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. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its site.
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 get downloaded — all you will need to do is click the’Download’ button.
You also get to select the format and the quality of the video. Lastly, 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 may 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 videos.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is just the solution you need.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic thing is that there are an assortment of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while others are standalone tools.
Here is 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 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, make certain you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you are using. They won’t function 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 to the YouTube video that you want to download. As soon as 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 options:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you will have the video set up on your system.
You won’t get 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 supply you with a variety of options to save the video. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your preferences.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the name of the video you need to see and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video begins playing.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you need 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 would like to download.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to choose the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
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 pc, then you can download it. VLC Media player is protected 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.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.
New Network Stream.
When you start 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 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 that you need to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec info.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
The window looks something like this:
You want to copy the information of the movie from the location text box at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty simple 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.
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.
At this stage, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The movie will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name 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 simple once 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 lets you 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 miss out on the videos you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.