YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you need to learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos into formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need music, 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 latest ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may get affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no charge to you. Nonetheless, these are the best tools I have 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 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 right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you are 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 consent of YouTube or the respective 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 tough to enforce or prohibit users for exploiting them — you can still watch YouTube videos when you’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for personal 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 procedure.
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 fastest way to download YouTube videos.
Pick 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 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 find a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are some other programs 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 converted file should have regular video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to manipulate the quality of the video. It might range between low, moderate, or high. It’s even better if you can choose specific video resolution such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in different languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is essential while playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those special videos together with the subtitles. If you like a particular band, you might want to download their entire discography. And if you like a movie director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You may want to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to choose from, such as 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 may 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) which includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should be able to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by changes in net 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 head to YouTube and open the video that you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the application in a new tab on the exact same window. When it opens, it will show a text box that you input the URL.
Here’s 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 case you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it is going to provide you with the very same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you might need to download also. Avoid those whenever possible. Some good alternatives 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 from the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of other choices to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you glue 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 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 more.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all of the downloaded videos. You might 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 might want to change the location for proper downloads.
Once the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
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.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ In 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 keyboard.
Next, you get redirected to a free download website.
Go to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t have 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 already has the video URL, so you don’t have to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also prepared 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 in a few seconds.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You may 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 case, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you need.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good news is that there are an assortment of options 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.
Download The Add-on.
The approach is easy in Opera. And it’s 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’re using. They won’t work otherwise.
After the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.
Next, head to the YouTube video you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll see an icon on the top right-hand (for Opera users).
When you install this add-in, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you’ll 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.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with many different choices to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you need to see and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie starts playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you want to edit the movie address and add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
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 site, scroll down to Pick the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can go ahead.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is simply a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player? VLC Media player is protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and open the video that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.
New Network Stream.
Of course, this is the case when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you’re 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 that you want to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
There, you will find an option called’codec information.’ 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 in 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 want 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 onto your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The video will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Although 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 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 onto your computer or telephone can help you never miss out on the videos you like.
Can you download YouTube videos?