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 efficiently. You may download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please noteI may get 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 fairly straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not 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. Additionally, if you’re just using the video for private use, it can be considered legal.
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, it is possible to 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 difficult to enforce or prohibit users for exploiting them you can still watch YouTube videos when you are not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide 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 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 fastest way to download YouTube videos.
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 may 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 some 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 transformed file should have regular video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control the quality of the video. It might 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 in various languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is essential while playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will 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 particular band, you may 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 in your file manager. Having various options to choose 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 middle of a video. Or you might want to edit out a specific 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 any Video Converter (AVC) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should have the ability to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by changes in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an internet video downloading tool. In cases like this, you 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 tool 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’s a screenshot from y2mate where you can 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 first. As soon as 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 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 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 options to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get a host of choices. As an example, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Finally, pick the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
Some of the 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 save all of the downloaded videos. You may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize in your IP address over the movie URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the location for appropriate downloads.
Once the video 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 in your browser and head into the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Next, you need to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. 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 website.
Go 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 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 movies.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is simply the solution you need.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good news is that there are a variety of choices 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 approach is simple in Opera. And it’s 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 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 computer.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video that you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll 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”quick download” option, and you’ll have the video set up on your system.
You won’t receive 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 provide 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 floats up during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Do 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 title of the video you need to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video begins playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you want to edit the movie address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check out this:
Next, you get redirected to the Django site for the video you would like to download.
Select 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 needs, you can go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s simply a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Do 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 protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head to YouTube and start the movie that you want to download. Then copy the URL of the movie.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.
New Network Stream.
When you start the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Needless to say, this is the case when you are using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the flow 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.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec info.’ You can also reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
The window looks something like this:
You need 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.
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 are 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.
Save the Video.
At this point, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and choose the’Save video as’ option.
The video 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 movies.
Even though the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple when you do it yourself.
In my view, 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 prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.