YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
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 need to learn how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos into formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please be aware I may get affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no cost to you. However, these are the best tools I’ve tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos to MP3 files.
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 consent, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is a criminal act, 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 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 approval of YouTube or the respective 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 tough 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 decide if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something you should be doing.
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 With a Video Downloading Tool.
Working with 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 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 more than 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 provide way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted 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 like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos 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 special videos along with the subtitles. If you like a particular band, you may 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 might want to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to pick from, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a specific song in the middle of a video. Or you might choose to edit out a specific 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) which includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should be able to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations 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 head to YouTube and start the movie 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 for you to enter the URL.
Here is 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 on the’Start’ option.
Glue URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. As soon as 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 need to download also. 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 apps that work from 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.
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 the tools also allow you to download YouTube videos in formats like 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 save all the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address within the video URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you might want to change the place for proper downloads.
Once the movie 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.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube in your browser and head to the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Next, you need to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t have to download or install. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You will see that the text editor already has the video URL, so you don’t have to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also ready 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 Do 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 want to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
In this instance, using add-ons on your browser is simply the solution you need.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good thing is that there are an assortment of options 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 simple 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 certain 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 doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head to the YouTube video that you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you will see an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-in, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you’ll have the video set up on your system.
You will not get 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 provide you with many different choices 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 tastes.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you want to view and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie starts playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the process is very similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you need to edit the video 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.
Choose the Video Format and Quality.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to Pick the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can go ahead.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it’s simply a matter of seconds until it gets installed on your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a VLC Player? VLC Media player is protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and open the movie you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this movie.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this measure to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
New Network Stream.
When you open the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Of course, this is true when you are 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 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’ll find an option called’codec information.’ You can also reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
You need 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.
But 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 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 select the’Save video as’ option.
The video will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Even though the process may 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 opinion, go with 4K Download — it is 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 saving them onto your computer or telephone can help you never lose out on the videos you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.