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 understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos into formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need music, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no charge to you. Nonetheless, these are the best tools I’ve 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 a criminal action, 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. 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 approval of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”
In other words, 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 private 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.
Working with a YouTube downloader is the quickest way to download YouTube videos. Let us look at it step by step:
Pick a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, select 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 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.
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 manipulate the quality of the video. It might range between low, medium, or high. It’s even better if you can 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 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 specific band, you may 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 may 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 might want to edit out a specific portion of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, making it an important feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try out Any Video Converter (AVC) that comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should have the ability to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by fluctuations in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an internet video downloading tool. In cases like this, you need to visit YouTube and open the video you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the tool in a new tab on the same window. When it opens, it will show a text box that you enter the URL.
Here is 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 the’Start’ option.
Glue URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it will supply you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software that you might have to download as well. Avoid 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 check into alternative YouTube programs 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 other options to choose from.
Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you want 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 store all the videos that are downloaded. You may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address within the video URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you might 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 don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Next, you want to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube.
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. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You’ll see that the text editor currently has the video URL, so you don’t have to copy and paste any link. Your video is also ready 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 will have your video within 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 may not need to use any third-party tool to download the movies.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you want.
There is 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 simple in Opera. And it’s more or less the same for other browsers too.
In Opera, you can just go ahead and click on the’Add to Opera’ option displayed in green color. Moreover, be sure you download the right 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 doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head to the YouTube video that you need 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 choices:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.
You won’t get the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with a variety of options to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download choice, asking for your tastes.
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.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video starts playing.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need to edit the movie address and add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
After the edit, press the ‘Enter’ button.
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you would like 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 needs, you can proceed.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is only a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player? VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and open the video you want to download. Then copy the URL of this video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Of course, this is true when you’re 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 starts playing on VLC.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
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 video in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
But 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 are on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it onto 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 movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
The movie 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.
Although the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy when you do it yourself.
In my view, 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 on your computer or telephone can help you never miss out on the movies you like.
Can you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.