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 would like to save videos to watch later, you need to understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may receive 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 to 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 consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal act, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Additionally, 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 various licensors of the Content.”
In other words, you can watch Youtube videos, but only from Google applications.
Nevertheless, third-party programs 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 are not signed in.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide 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 a simple and straightforward process.
The first method to download YouTube videos would be to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos With a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos. Let’s look at it step by step:
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 may even 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 some other programs out there and while there are some decent 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 must have regular video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to manipulate 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 like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in different languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is essential while playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos together with the subtitles. 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 may want 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 elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a specific song in the midst of a video. Or you may want to edit out a particular portion of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, making it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try out Any Video Converter (AVC) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should be able to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you are using an internet video downloading tool. In cases like this, 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.
It is possible to start the tool in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will show a text box that you enter 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.’
Glue URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer . As soon as you run it, it will supply you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you may have 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 look into alternative YouTube programs that work in the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different options to select from.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you want to download, video quality, and the file size.
If you’re looking 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 enter. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the place for appropriate 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 in your browser and head to the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Next, you get redirected to a free download website.
Proceed to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t need to download or install. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You’ll see that the text editor currently has the video URL, so you don’t need to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also prepared to get downloaded — all you will 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 within a few seconds.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You may not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you may not need to use any third party tool to download the movies.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you want.
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 others are standalone tools.
Here’s an example of a similar add-on called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
The process is easy 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 color. Moreover, be sure you download the right add-on concerning the browser you are using. They won’t work 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 you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you will see an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-on, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you will have the video set up on your system.
You won’t receive 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, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops 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 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 you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video begins playing.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you want to edit the movie 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.
Select the Video Format and Quality.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to Pick 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 before it gets installed on your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a VLC Player?
If you don’t have the VLC media player in your pc, then you can download it. 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 movie that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the movie.
Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to start the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
Of course, this is true 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 are using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video you need to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you will find an option called’codec information.’ You can also reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
The window looks something like this:
You want to copy the information of the movie from 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 copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this point, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
The movie will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Even though the process might seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple when you do it yourself.
In my view, 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.
Can you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.