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 want to save videos to watch later, you need to understand how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need music, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you. Nonetheless, 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 the terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is a criminal act, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading videos. 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 states,”You shall 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 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 difficult to enforce or ban 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 private use is something you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward process.
The first way to download YouTube videos is to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos With a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the quickest way to download YouTube videos. Let’s 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 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 some other programs out there and while 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 converted file should have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control the quality of the video. It might range between low, medium, or high. It’s even better if you can choose specific video resolution like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos that are 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.
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 film 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 may want to view a specific song in the middle 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 essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try out Any Video Converter (AVC) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should have the ability to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by fluctuations in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In this case, you need to head to YouTube and start the movie you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to start the tool in a new tab on the same window. When 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 must paste the URL in the text box above and click on the’Start’ option.
Glue URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer . As soon as you run it, it is going to supply you with the same options 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 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 different smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different choices to choose from.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and the file size.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address over the movie URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you may want to change the place for appropriate downloads.
When 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 rather simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the movie that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you have 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. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
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 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 Can You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You might 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 movies.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is just the solution you need.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The good news is that there are an assortment of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for 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
The process 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, make certain you download the right add-on concerning the browser you are 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 that you want to download. Once you’re there, you’ll notice an icon on the top right-hand (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 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.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with a variety of options to save the movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with 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, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you want to view and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie begins playing.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download movies 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 this out:
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you wish to download.
Select the Video Format and Quality.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to choose the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it’s only a matter of seconds until it gets installed on your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player? VLC Media player is protected 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 measure to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
New Network Stream.
When you start the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Of course, this is true when you are using a Windows OS.
When you’re 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’re using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video you want to download.
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’ll find an option called’codec information.’ You can also reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
You want to copy the information of the video in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty simple for Windows users.
But 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 copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this point, the video should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the video and choose the’Save video as’ option.
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.
Even though the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it is the best 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 can help you never miss out on the videos you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.