YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In fact, over 30 million people 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 efficiently. You may download YouTube videos into formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need music, 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 receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no charge 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 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 technically 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 lawful.
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 various licensors of the Content.”
In other words, 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 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 procedure.
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 quickest way to download YouTube videos.
Choose a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, select the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my opinion, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
You can even extract YouTube subtitles and save them in more than 50 languages.
Give 4K Download a try and get a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are various other programs out there and even though there are some good free tools, the paid versions offer 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 may range between low, moderate, 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 that are in various languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is essential whilst playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those special 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 might want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You might choose 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 midst of a video. Or you might choose to edit out a specific portion of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, which makes it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try any Video Converter (AVC) which comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should have the ability to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by changes in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you are using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you will need to head to YouTube and open the movie that 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 for you to input the URL.
Here is a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply need to paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option. Some websites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it will provide you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you might have to download as well. Steer clear of 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 need to look into alternative YouTube apps that work in the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of other 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 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 such as WMV, MPG, AVI, ASF, M2TS, 3GP, 3G2, FLV, MKV, SWF, WEBM, HTML5 WEBM, HTML5 OGG, HTML5, and more.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually highlight on your IP address within the video URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the location for proper downloads.
Once the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From 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.
Go to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t need to install or download. 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 need to copy and paste any link. Your video is also ready to get downloaded — all you 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 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 videos.
In this instance, using add-ons in your browser is just the solution you want.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic thing is that there are a variety of choices 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.
The approach is simple in Opera. And it is more or less the same for other browsers too.
In Opera, you can simply go ahead and click on the’Add to Opera’ option displayed in green colour. Moreover, be 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 computer.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video you need to download. Once you’re there, you will see 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 will 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.
Choose 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 Can 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, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you need to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video begins playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you want 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 site for the video you would like to download.
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 Can You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player?
If you don’t have the VLC media player in your pc, then you can download it. VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and start the movie you want to download. Then copy the URL of this movie.
Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
Needless to say, this is the case when you are using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the flow 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 you want to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins playing on VLC.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
You want to copy the information of the movie in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty simple 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’re on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, the video should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the movie and choose the’Save video as’ option.
The video will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Even though the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it is 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 on your computer or telephone helps you never lose out on the videos you like.
Can you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use?