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 learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only 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 receive affiliate reimbursement 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 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 the terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is technically 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. Additionally, if you are just using the video for personal 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 respective licensors of the Content.”
In other words, 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’s up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something that you should be doing.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward process.
The first method to download YouTube videos is to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Working with 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 provides 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 get a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are some other programs out there and even though 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 transformed file must have regular 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 are able to 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 with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos along with the subtitles. If you like a particular 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 might choose to download and save videos in multiple formats in your file manager. Having various options to pick from, such as MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a specific song in the midst of a video. Or you might want to edit out a specific part of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, which makes it an important feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try out Any Video Converter (AVC) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should be able to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you will need to visit YouTube and start the movie that you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can start the tool in a new tab on the exact same window. When it opens, it will show a text box that you 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.
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer . Once you run it, it is going to provide you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you might have to download as well. 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 check 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, there are a host of different options to select from.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get a host of alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you choose the video format you wish to download, video quality, and the file size.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all of the downloaded videos. You may 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 are a VPN user, you may want to change the place for proper downloads.
When the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
How Can 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:
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Go to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to install or download. The moment 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 ready 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 need to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
In this instance, using add-ons on your browser is simply the solution you want.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good thing is that there are an assortment of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited to 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.
The approach is simple in Opera. And it is more or less the exact 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, make sure you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t work otherwise.
After 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 into the YouTube video that you want to download. Once you’re there, you will notice an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-on, you get some options:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.
You will not get the direct download option from YouTube no matter 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 movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up floats up during the download choice, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with 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 that you want to see 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 videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need to edit the video 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.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to choose the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can proceed.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it is simply a matter of seconds until it gets installed in your computer system.
How Do 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 Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and open the video that you want to download. Then copy the URL of the video.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
New Network Stream.
When you start the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Of course, this is the case when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, 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.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins playing on VLC.
There, you will find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec information,’ a new window opens up.
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.
However, if you are a Mac user, you want 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 onto your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this point, the movie should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
The video will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Even though the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy when you do it yourself.
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 phone helps you never miss out on the movies you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.