YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
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 need to learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much 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 most recent ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please be aware , I may receive affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no cost 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 stage.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the 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. Additionally, if you are just using the video for private use, it can be considered legal.
YouTube says,”You shall 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.”
Quite simply, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but only from Google applications.
Nevertheless, 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 determine 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 process.
The first way 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 quickest way to download YouTube videos.
Choose 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 offers great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. You may 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 provide way higher quality.
Features 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 may 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 in different languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is vital while playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those special videos together with the subtitles.
Batch Downloading — You can download the files individually or in bulk based on playlists from YouTube channels.
If you like a specific 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 choose to download and save videos in multiple formats in your file manager. Having various options to pick from, such as 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 middle of a video. Or you may want to edit out a specific portion of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, making it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try out 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 shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you are using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you will need to visit YouTube and start the video that you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to open the application in a new tab on the 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 are able to download the video. You simply need to paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option.
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer . Once you run it, it is going to supply you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software that you might have to download also. Steer clear of 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 look into alternative YouTube apps that work in the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different choices to choose from.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will find a host of alternatives. For instance, 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 the downloaded videos. You may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address over the movie URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you might 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 do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
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 keyboard.
Proceed to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t have to download or install. 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 need to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also ready to get 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 in a couple of seconds.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You might not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you may not need to use any third party tool to download the movies.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is just the solution you want.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good thing is that there are an assortment of options 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 called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
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 just 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.
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 to the YouTube video you need to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll notice 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”fast download” option, and you will have the video installed in your system.
You will not receive 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 pops 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 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 that you want to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video starts playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the process is very similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need 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 wish 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 only a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with 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 protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and open the video you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the video.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
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’re using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this phase, you will 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.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec info.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
You want to copy the information of the movie in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
However, if you’re a Mac user, you want 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 video should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
The video will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Although the process might seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it’s the best 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 lose out on the videos you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use?