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 need to learn how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just 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 latest ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may get affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you. However, these are the best tools I’ve 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’t do on the platform.
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 act, YouTube has made no desire to penalize users for downloading movies. 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 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 various licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, you can watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
Nevertheless, 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 determine if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something that you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward procedure.
The first way to download YouTube videos is to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos With a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the quickest way to download YouTube videos.
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 may 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 various 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 transformed file should have regular 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 are able to choose specific video resolution such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in various languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is vital whilst playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll 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 might 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 might want to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to pick from, such as 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 middle of a video. Or you may want to edit out a specific 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) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should have the ability to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by changes in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you’re using an internet video downloading tool. In this case, you will need to head to YouTube and start the movie you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to open the tool in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will display a text box for you to input 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. Some sites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it is going to supply you with the very same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software that you might need 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 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.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and the file size.
Finally, select the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
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 might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address over the video URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the location for appropriate downloads.
When the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the movie that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Proceed to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t have to install or download. The moment 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 receive downloaded — all you will need to do is click 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 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 in your browser is simply the solution you need.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic thing is that there are a variety of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while some are standalone tools.
Here’s an example of a similar add-on called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
The approach is simple in Opera. And it is 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, make certain you download the correct 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 computer.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head to the YouTube video that you need to download. Once you’re there, you’ll see an icon on the top right-hand (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 set up on 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. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie begins playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need to edit the video address and insert 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 wish 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.
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 Can You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player? VLC Media player is protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head to YouTube and open the movie you want to download. Then copy the URL of the movie.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.
When you open the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Needless to say, this is the case when you are using a Windows OS.
When you are 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 begins playing on VLC.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec info.’ You can also reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
You want to copy the information of the movie in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This step 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.
Copy/Paste the URL.
If you are on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this point, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and choose the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The video will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
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 is the best 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 saving them onto your computer or telephone helps you never miss out on the videos you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use?