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 would like to save videos to watch later, you need to understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need music, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please note, I may receive affiliate reimbursement 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 to MP3 files.
Is Downloading YouTube Videos Legal?
YouTube has a pretty 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 act, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading movies. 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 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 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’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something that you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward process.
The first method to download YouTube videos would be 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. Let us look at it step by step:
Pick 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 get a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are various other programs out there and while there are some good free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted 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 such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos that are 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 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, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a specific song in the middle of a video. Or you may want to edit out a particular 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 may try any Video Converter (AVC) that comes with 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 fluctuations in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an internet 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 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 the’Start’ option. Some websites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
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 provide you with the very same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you may need to download also. Steer clear of those whenever possible. Some good options are Keepvid, which can help you download video files with Apple MacOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.
You may also need 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, you will find a host of other choices to select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Some of the tools also allow you to download YouTube videos in formats such as WMV, MPG, AVI, ASF, M2TS, 3GP, 3G2, FLV, MKV, SWF, WEBM, HTML5 WEBM, HTML5 OGG, HTML5, and more.
If you’re searching 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’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address within the video URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the place for proper downloads.
Once the video 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 pretty easy to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Go to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t need to install or download. As soon as 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 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 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 may 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 in your browser is simply the solution you want.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic thing is that there are an assortment of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for 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.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
The process is simple 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, make sure you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re 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.
Next, head into the YouTube video you want to download. Once you’re there, you’ll see 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 set up on your system.
You will not receive the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with a variety of options to save the video. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up pops during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie starts playing.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, 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 website for the video you would like to download.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to Pick the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can go ahead.
Once 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? VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head to YouTube and start the video you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this movie.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
New Network Stream.
Needless to say, this is the case when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, 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 that you need to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec info,’ a new window opens up.
You want to copy the information of the video from the location text box at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty simple 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’re on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this stage, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and choose the’Save video as’ option.
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 videos.
Although the process may seem lengthy at the moment, 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 onto your computer or phone helps you never miss out on the movies you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.