YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In actuality, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you want 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 more. Or if you only need audio, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With so many 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 note, I may receive affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no charge to you. However, 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 stage.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is a criminal action, 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 are just using the video for private use, it can be considered legal.
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 consent 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 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 are not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide 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 is to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Using 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.
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 various other tools 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 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 can choose specific video resolution such as 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 it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos together with the subtitles.
Batch Downloading — You can download the files individually or in bulk based on playlists from YouTube channels.
If you like a particular 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 may want 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 elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a particular song in the middle of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a specific part of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, which makes it an essential 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 download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by changes in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an internet video downloading tool. In cases like this, you need to head to YouTube and start the video that you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can start the tool in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will show a text box that you input the URL.
Here’s a screenshot from y2mate where you are able to download the video. You simply need to paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option.
Glue URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it will supply you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you might need to download as well. Avoid those whenever possible. Some good options 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 apps that work in the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of different choices to choose from.
Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of choices. As an example, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all of the downloaded videos. You may face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight on your IP address within the video URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the location for appropriate downloads.
When the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the video 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.
Go to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t have to install or download. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You’ll see that the text editor currently has the video URL, so you don’t need to copy and paste any link. 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. Finally, 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 case, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you need.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic thing 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.
The approach is easy in Opera. And it’s more or less the exact 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, make sure you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t function otherwise.
After the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.
Next, head into the YouTube video you need to download. Once you’re there, you will see an icon on the top right-hand (for Opera users).
When you install this add-on, you get some options:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you will have the video installed in 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 a variety of choices to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple 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 need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then 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 cases like this, you want to edit the movie address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
Next, you get redirected to the Django site for the video you would like to download.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to choose 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’s only a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a VLC Player? VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head to YouTube and start the video that you want to download. Then copy the URL of the movie.
Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
Needless to say, this is true 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’re 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 starts playing on VLC.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you will 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 need 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.
But if you’re 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 on your web browser and click on’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this point, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and choose the’Save video as’ option.
The video 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.
Although the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
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 telephone can help you never miss out on the movies you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.