YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In actuality, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you would like 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 audio, 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.
Is Downloading YouTube Videos Legal?
YouTube has a pretty 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 act, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading videos. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Additionally, if you are just using the video for personal use, it can be considered lawful.
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 respective licensors of the Content.”
In other words, 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 are not signed in.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something 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 Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Working with a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos.
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.
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 also extract YouTube subtitles and save them in over 50 languages.
Give 4K Download a try and get a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are various other tools out there and even though there are some decent free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Characteristics to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted file must have regular video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control the quality of the video. It might 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 situations, the use of subtitles is vital while playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those particular videos along with the subtitles. 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 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 might want to view a specific song in the midst 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 can try any Video Converter (AVC) that comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The application 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.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you need to head to 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 show a text box for you to 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 the’Start’ option. Some websites 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 . Once you run it, it will supply you with the very same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you may have to download also. Avoid those whenever possible. Some good alternatives 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 apps that work in the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of other choices to choose from.
Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you wish to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Finally, pick the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all of the videos that are downloaded. You may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize in your IP address over the movie URL you input. So if you’re 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 want.
How Can 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 directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Next, you get redirected to a free download site.
Go to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are loads 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 site.
You will see that the text editor already 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 will 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 may 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 videos.
In this instance, using add-ons in your browser is just the solution you want.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The good news is that there are a variety of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited to 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.
Download The Add-on.
The approach 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 colour. 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 does not work after installation, then restart your PC.
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”fast download” option, and you will have the video installed in your system.
You will not get 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 many different choices to save the video. Alternatives range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your tastes.
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.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie begins playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you want to edit the video address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check out this:
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you wish to download.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to choose the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can go ahead.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s simply a matter of seconds until it gets installed in your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using 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.
Head to YouTube and open the video that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this video.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to start 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.
Of course, this is true when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the stream 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 that you want to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec info.’ 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.
You want to copy the information of the movie in the location text box in 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.
If you’re 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.
Save the Video.
At this stage, the video should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
The video will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Even though the process might seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty simple when you do it yourself.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it is the ideal 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 saving them on 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.