YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million people 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 may download YouTube videos into formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need music, 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 most recent ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please noteI may receive affiliate compensation 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 to 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.
Whilst 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. 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 consent of YouTube or the various licensors of the Content.”
In other words, 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 is up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something you should be doing.
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.
Using a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos.
Pick 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 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 over 50 languages.
Give 4K Download a try and find a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are some other programs out there and while there are some good 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 control 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 in different languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is vital whilst playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those special 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 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 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, which makes it an important feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try any Video Converter (AVC) that includes 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.
Suppose you are using an internet video downloading tool. In this case, you need to head to 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 display a text box for you to enter the URL.
Here’s a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply need to paste the URL in the text box above and click on the’Start’ option. Some sites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Glue URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer first. 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 that you might have 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 need to check into alternative YouTube programs 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 options to select from.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of alternatives. For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and the file size.
Some of the 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 looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all the downloaded videos. You may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually highlight on your IP address within the video URL you input. So if you are a VPN user, you may want to change the location for appropriate downloads.
Once 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 pretty simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube in 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 computer.
Proceed to the Download Site
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’ll 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 the’Download’ button.
You also get to select the format and the quality of the video. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you’ll have your video in 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 may not need to use any third party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is simply the solution you need.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
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 some 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 colour. Moreover, make certain 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.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video you need to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll see an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-on, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you’ll have the video set up on your system.
You will not get the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with a variety of choices to save the video. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your tastes.
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 you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie starts playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download videos 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 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 site, scroll down to Pick the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can go ahead.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is only a matter of seconds before 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 pc, 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 open the video you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this video.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
When you start the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Needless to say, this is true when you are using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, 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 that you want to download.
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.
You want to copy the information of the video in the location text box in the bottom of the page. This step is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
However, if you’re a Mac user, you need to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
Copy/Paste the URL.
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 movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and choose the’Save video as’ option.
The movie will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Although the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it’s 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 on your computer or phone helps you never lose out on the movies you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use?