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 need to understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and 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 most recent methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please note, 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.
YouTube has a pretty straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior permission, 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 penalize 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 private 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 various licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, you can 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 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 an easy and straightforward process.
The first method to download YouTube videos would be 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’s look at it step by step:
Choose a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, pick the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my view, 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 can 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 various other programs out there and while there are some decent 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 regular video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to manipulate the quality of the video. It might range between low, moderate, 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 situations, the use of subtitles is vital while playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those special videos along with the subtitles. If you like a particular band, you might 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 might choose 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 particular song in the middle of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a specific 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) that comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should have the ability to convert and download 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 this case, you will need to visit YouTube and start the movie that you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the application in a new tab on the exact 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. Some sites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer . As soon as you run it, it is going to supply you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you may 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 check into alternative YouTube apps that work in the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of other options to select from.
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 also the file size.
Some of these 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 store all the videos that are downloaded. 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 might want to change the place for proper downloads.
Once the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty easy to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video 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 keyboard.
Next, you get redirected to a free download website.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to download or install. As soon as you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its site.
You will see that the text editor already 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 select 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 movies.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is simply the solution you want.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good thing is that there are an assortment of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while others are standalone tools.
Here’s an example of a similar add-on called’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 simply go ahead and click on the’Add to Opera’ option displayed in green colour. Moreover, be 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 does not work after installation, then restart your computer.
Next, head to the YouTube video that you need to download. Once you’re there, you’ll 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”fast download” option, and you will have the video set up on your system.
You won’t get the direct download option from YouTube regardless of 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 option, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
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, the video begins playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you need to edit the movie address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check out this:
After the edit, press the ‘Enter’ button.
Next, you get redirected to the Django site for the video you wish to download.
Choose 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 go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it is only a matter of seconds until it gets installed in 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 open the movie you want to download. Then copy the URL of the video.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Needless to say, this is true when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this phase, you’ll 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.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
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 info.’ You can also reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
The window looks something like this:
You need to copy the information of the video in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
However, if you are a Mac user, you want to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
Copy/Paste the URL.
If you are 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 on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
The movie 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 might seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple when 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 on your computer or telephone helps you never miss out on the videos you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.