YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In fact, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos each and every 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 into formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you just 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 ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please note, I may get 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’t do on the stage.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is a criminal act, 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’re just using the video for personal use, it can be considered lawful.
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.”
Quite simply, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
Nevertheless, 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’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something you should be doing.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward procedure.
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’s look at it step by step:
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.
You may even 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 tools 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 should have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control 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 such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in different languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is vital whilst playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos along with the subtitles. If you like a specific band, you may want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You might want to download and save videos in multiple formats within 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 middle of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a particular part of a film. Video editing needs can appear 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 application should be able to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by fluctuations in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you are using an online video downloading tool. In this case, you will need to visit YouTube and start the video you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can 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 can download the video. You simply must paste the URL in the text box above and click on the’Start’ option.
Paste URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer first. 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 need to download as well. Avoid those whenever possible. Some good options are Keepvid, which can 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 from 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 different options to select from.
Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get a host of alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you want 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 much more.
If you’re searching 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 are using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address over the movie URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you might want to change the place 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 simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your keyboard.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t need to download or install. 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 need to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also prepared to receive 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’ll have your video within a few 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 want to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you want.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The good news is that there are a variety 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 known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Download The Add-on.
The process is simple in Opera. And it’s more or less the 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 correct 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 PC.
Next, head into the YouTube video you want to download. Once you’re there, you will see 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 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 choices to save the video. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video you want to view and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie starts playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need to edit the movie address and add 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.
Choose the Video Format and Quality.
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.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s only a matter of seconds until it gets installed in your computer system.
How Can 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 secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and open the movie you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this video.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You should 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’re using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, 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 you want to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec info,’ 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 straightforward 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 already copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click’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 choose the’Save video as’ option.
The video will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title 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 view, go with 4K Download — it is 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 onto your computer or phone can help you never miss out on the movies you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.