YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos every single 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 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.
Disclaimer: Please note, 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 not do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
Whilst 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. Plus, if you’re just using the video for personal 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.”
In other words, 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 difficult to enforce or prohibit users for exploiting them you can still watch YouTube videos when you are not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine 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 a simple 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.
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 provides 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 programs out there and even though there are some decent free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The transformed file must have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to control the quality of the video. It may range between low, medium, 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 cases, the use of subtitles is essential 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 movie 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 pick from, such as 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 might want to edit out a particular portion of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, which makes 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 tool should have the ability to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t 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 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.
It is possible to open the application in a new tab on the same window. When it opens, it will show a text box for you to enter the URL.
Here is a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply need to paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option. Some sites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Glue 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 will provide you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software that you may have to download as well. 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 check into alternative YouTube programs that work from 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 other choices to choose from.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of alternatives. For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
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 are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize in your IP address over the movie URL you enter. 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 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 directly from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube in your browser and head to the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you’ve 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 loads of free services to use that you don’t need to install or download. As soon as you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its site.
You’ll see that the text editor currently has the video URL, so you don’t have to copy and paste any link. Your video is also prepared to receive 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. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you will have your video within a couple of 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 might not want 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.
Choose An Add-on.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic news is that there are an assortment of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited to 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 easy in Opera. And it is 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, be 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 PC.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head to the YouTube video that 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-in, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.
You won’t receive the direct download option from YouTube regardless of what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with many different options to save the movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Do 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.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you want to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video begins playing.
Now the process is very similar to when you directly download videos 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 out this:
Next, you get redirected to the Django site for the video you wish to download.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to Pick the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
As soon as 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 protected 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. Then copy the URL of the video.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
When you open the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Of course, this is true when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you are using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, 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.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins playing on VLC.
There, you will 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 information,’ a new window opens up.
You want to copy the information of the video 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 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 step is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The video will now start 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 might seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy once 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 telephone helps you never lose out on the movies you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.