YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos every single day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you will need to understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need music, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With all these 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.
Disclaimer: Please note, I may receive affiliate compensation 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 to 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 consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal action, 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’re 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 approval of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
However, third-party apps will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos. It’s tough to enforce or ban 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 is 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. Let us look at it step by step:
Pick a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, select the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my view, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
You can 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 some other programs out there and while there are some good free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.
Characteristics 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, moderate, or high. It’s even better if you are able to choose specific video resolution like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos that are in different languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is vital while playing with 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 specific 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 choose 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 flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a specific song in the middle of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a particular part of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, making 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 download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by changes in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you need to head to YouTube and open 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 tool in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will show a text box for you to enter 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 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 will provide you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you might need to download as well. Avoid 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 programs that work in the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find 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 alternatives. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you wish to download, video quality, and the file size.
Finally, select the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
Some of these 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 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 might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize in your IP address within the video URL you input. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the location for proper downloads.
Once the video 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 easy to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t have to download or install. As soon as 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 connection. 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 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 want to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
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 desire.
The fantastic thing 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 called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
The process is simple 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 colour. Moreover, make certain you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t function otherwise.
Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video 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”quick download” option, and you will 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 movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple 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 name of the video you need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video begins playing.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you need 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 website for the video you would like 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 proceed.
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 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 video that you want to download. Then copy the URL of this movie.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
New Network Stream.
When you open the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Needless to say, this is the case when you are using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this phase, 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 you need to download.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you will find an option called’codec information.’ You can also reach the’codec information’ 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 at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty simple for Windows users.
However, if you’re a Mac user, you need to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
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.
At this point, the movie should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
The movie will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Even though the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple when 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’s 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 storing them on your computer or phone can help you never miss out on the videos you like.
Can you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.