YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
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 understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos to formats like 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 get videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please note, I may get affiliate reimbursement 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’t do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
While 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 correct licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you are just using the video for private use, it can be considered lawful.
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 respective licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, you can watch Youtube videos, but only 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 prohibit 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 personal use is something you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward process.
The first way to download YouTube videos is 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 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 various other tools out there and while there are some good free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.
Features 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 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 various languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is vital while 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 specific band, you might want to download their entire discography. And if you like a movie director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You might 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 specific song in the midst of a video. Or you might choose to edit out a specific part 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) which comes with 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 net and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you are using an internet video downloading tool. In cases like this, you need to visit YouTube and open the movie you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the application in a new tab on the exact same window. Once it opens, it will show a text box that you input 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. Some websites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer . Once you run it, it is going to supply you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you might need to download as well. Steer clear of 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 in 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 choices to select from.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you wish to download, video quality, and also the file size.
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 emphasize in your IP address within the movie URL you input. So if you are a VPN user, you may want to change the location for appropriate downloads.
Once the movie 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.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
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 have to download or install. As soon as 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 have to copy and paste any link. Your video is also prepared to receive downloaded — all you need to do is click 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 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 might not want to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is simply the solution you want.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic news is that there are a variety 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 easy 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 colour. Moreover, make sure 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 doesn’t work after installation, then restart your PC.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video you need to download. As soon as you’re there, you will notice an icon on the top right-hand (for Opera users).
When you install this add-in, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.
You won’t receive the direct download option from YouTube regardless of 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. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up floats up during the download choice, asking for your tastes.
How Can 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, 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, then the video starts playing.
Insert”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 want to edit the video 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 website for the video you wish to download.
Choose the Video Format and Quality.
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.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is simply a matter of seconds until it gets installed in 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 protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and start the video you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this 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 open 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 true when you are using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this phase, 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 you need to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec info.’ You can also 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 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 want to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
If you are on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, the video should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
The movie will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Although the process may seem lengthy right now, 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 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 on your computer or phone helps 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.