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 would like to save videos to watch later, you will need to understand how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos into formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into 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.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may get affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no cost to you. Nonetheless, these are the best tools I have 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 platform.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their 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 right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you are just using the video for personal 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 respective licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, you can watch Youtube videos, but only 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’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something that you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward process.
The first way to download YouTube videos would be to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos With a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos.
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.
4K Video Downloader
4K Download works with Windows, Mac, and Linux and provides 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 some other tools out there and while there are some decent free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted 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, 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 vital while playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos together with the subtitles. If you like a specific 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 may choose to download and save videos in multiple formats in your file manager. Having various options to choose from, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a particular song in the middle of a video. Or you might want to edit out a particular portion of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, making it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try any Video Converter (AVC) that comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should be able 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 are using an internet video downloading tool. In this case, you will need to visit YouTube and open the movie that you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to start the application in a new tab on the exact same window. Once it opens, it will show a text box for you to input the URL.
Here is 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 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 will supply you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you may need to download as well. 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 have 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, you will find a host of other options to select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will find a host of alternatives. As an example, 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 such as 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 may face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address within the movie URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you may want to change the place for appropriate downloads.
Once the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the movie that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Next, you want to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. 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 install or download. 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 ready to receive 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. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you’ll have your video in 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 need to use any third-party tool to download the movies.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you want.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good news is that there are a variety of options 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 known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Download The Add-on.
The approach 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 color. Moreover, make sure you download the right add-on concerning the browser you are using. They won’t function otherwise.
Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in does not work after installation, then restart your computer.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head to the YouTube video you need to download. Once 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”quick 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 if you don’t use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with many different choices to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your preferences.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy 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 title of the video that you need to see and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video begins playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, 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 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 go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is simply 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 pc, 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 Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and start the movie you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this movie.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.
Needless to say, this is the case when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the stream 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 that you want to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
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 data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec info,’ a new window opens up.
You need to copy the information of the video in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty simple for Windows users.
But if you are a Mac user, you want 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 on’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
At this point, the video 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 title would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Even though the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it is the ideal 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 telephone can help you never miss out on the videos you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.