YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
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 will need to understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you only need audio, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
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 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 correct licenses are legal to download. Additionally, if you are just using the video for personal 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, you can 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 are not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for personal 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 quickest 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.
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 can also 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 various other tools out there and even though there are some decent free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The transformed file must have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to manipulate the quality of the video. It may range between low, medium, 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 it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those special videos along 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 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 particular song in the midst of a video. Or you may want to edit out a particular portion 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 out Any Video Converter (AVC) which includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool 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.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you are using an internet video downloading tool. In this case, you need to head to YouTube and start the video you want to download.
You can just 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. Once it opens, it will display 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 sites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Glue 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 is going to provide you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you might need to download as well. Steer clear of 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 have to look into alternative YouTube apps that work in the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of other 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 find a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you wish to download, video quality, and the file size.
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 more.
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 may face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address within the video URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the location for appropriate downloads.
When 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 easy to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the video 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 keyboard.
Go to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t need to install or download. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its site.
You will 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 prepared to get downloaded — all you need to do is click on the’Download’ button.
You also get to choose the format and the quality of the video. Lastly, click on the”download” option, and you will 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 may not want to use any third-party tool to download the movies.
In this instance, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you need.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic 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 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
Download The Add-on.
The process is simple in Opera. And it is more or less the exact same for other browsers too.
In Opera, you can just go ahead and click on the’Add to Opera’ option displayed in green color. Moreover, make sure you download the right 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 doesn’t work after installation, then restart your PC.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video that you want to download. Once you’re there, you will 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 provide you with many different options to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your preferences.
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.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video begins playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you want to edit the video address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
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 site, scroll down to choose 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’s only a matter of seconds before it gets installed on your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player?
If you don’t have the VLC media player in your computer system, then you can download it. VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and start the movie you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
Of course, this is true when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the stream 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 that you need to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.
There, you will find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec information,’ a new window opens up.
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 measure 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’re on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click on’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 start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Even though the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
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 phone helps you never miss out on the videos you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use?