YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
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 learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you only need audio, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may receive 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 into 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 platform.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
Whilst 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 right 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.”
Quite simply, you can watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
However, third-party programs will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos. It’s tough to enforce or ban 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.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward process.
The first method 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:
Choose a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, select the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my view, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
You can 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 tools out there and while 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 converted file must have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to manipulate 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 such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos that are in different 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 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 may want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You might choose to download and save videos in multiple formats in your file manager. Having various options to choose from, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more flexible.
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 particular part 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) which includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should be able to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally should not 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 visit YouTube and open the movie that 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 exact same window. When it opens, it will display a text box that you enter 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 on the’Start’ option.
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. As soon as you run it, it will supply you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you may need to download also. Avoid 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 have to look 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 options to choose from.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will 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.
Finally, pick the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
Some of these 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 videos that are downloaded. You may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually highlight on your IP address over the video URL you input. So if you are a VPN user, you may want to change the place for proper downloads.
When the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather 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.
Next, you need to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube.
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty 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 will see that the text editor already has the video URL, so you don’t have to copy and paste any connection. 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. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you will have your video in a few 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 need to use any third-party tool to download the movies.
In this instance, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you want.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
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.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
The process is easy 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 color. Moreover, make certain you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you are 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 PC.
Next, head into 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-in, you get some options:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.
You will not 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 supply you with many different choices to save the video. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download choice, asking for your preferences.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Using 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 you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video starts playing.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download movies 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 this out:
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 format of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it’s only a matter of seconds until 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 start the movie that you want to download. Then copy the URL of the video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
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 are 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 are using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video that you want to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
There, you will find an option called’codec info.’ You can also reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
The window looks something like this:
You need 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’re a Mac user, you need to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
If you’re on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
At this point, the video should be playing on 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.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Although the process might seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty simple once you do it yourself.
In my opinion, 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 saving them on your computer or telephone helps you never miss out on the videos you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use?