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 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 just need music, 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 noteI may get affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no charge to you. However, 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 pretty 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 the terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is a criminal action, YouTube has made no desire to penalize users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Additionally, if you’re just using the video for private use, it can be considered lawful.
YouTube states,”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.”
Quite simply, you can watch Youtube videos, but only from Google applications.
Nevertheless, third-party apps 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 are not signed in.
Ultimately, it is up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something that you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward procedure.
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. Let’s look at it step by step:
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 even extract YouTube subtitles and save them in over 50 languages.
Give 4K Download a try and find a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are some other programs out there and even though there are some good 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 should have standard 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 like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in various languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is essential whilst playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those particular videos together 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 Document Format Compatibility — You might choose to download and save videos in multiple formats in your file manager. Having various options to pick from, like 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 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 essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try any Video Converter (AVC) which comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The application 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.
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 movie that you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to start the application in a new tab on the same window. When it opens, it will show 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.
Glue URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. As soon as you run it, it is going to supply you with the very same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you might have to download as well. Avoid 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 check into alternative YouTube programs that work in 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 alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you choose 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.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all the downloaded videos. You may face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address within the movie URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you may want to change the location for proper downloads.
Once the movie 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 directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube in your browser and head to the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Next, you want to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube.
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Next, you get redirected to a free download site.
Go to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to download or install. 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 link. Your video is also prepared to get downloaded — all you will need to do is click on the’Download’ button.
You also get to select the format and the quality of the video. Lastly, click on the”download” option, and you will have your video in 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 might not need to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons on 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 choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited to Firefox and Chrome, while some are standalone tools.
Here’s 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, be sure you download the right 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 you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you will see an icon on the top right-hand (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 won’t get the direct download option from YouTube regardless of 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 video. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you need to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie starts playing.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you want to edit the video 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 site for the video you wish to download.
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.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it is only a matter of seconds until it gets installed on your computer system.
How Can 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 movie you want to download. Then copy the URL of this movie.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Needless to say, this is the case when you are using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, you’ll 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.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins playing on VLC.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you will find an option called’codec info.’ You can also reach the’codec data’ 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 at the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty simple for Windows users.
But if you’re a Mac user, you need to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
If you are 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.
At this point, the movie should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the video and choose the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The movie 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 easy once you do it yourself.
There you have it — some of the best ways to download YouTube videos.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it is 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 on your computer or telephone helps you never lose out on the videos you like.
Can you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.