YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In fact, 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 learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos into formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much 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 be aware I 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 into MP3 files.
Is Downloading YouTube Videos Legal?
YouTube has a pretty straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not do on the stage.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.
Whilst 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. Additionally, if you’re just using the video for private use, it can be considered lawful.
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, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but just 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’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something that you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward procedure.
The first method to download YouTube videos would be 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, 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 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 more than 50 languages.
Give 4K Download a try and get a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There are some other tools out there and even though there are some good 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 manipulate the quality of the video. It might range between low, medium, or high. It’s even better if you are able to choose specific video resolution such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in different languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is vital whilst playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those special 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 might want to download their entire discography. And if you like a movie director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You might want to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to choose from, like 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 midst of a video. Or you might want to edit out a specific part 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 may try any Video Converter (AVC) which includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should be able to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by fluctuations in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you need to head to 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 exact same window. Once it opens, it will show a text box for you to input 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 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 want to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it is going to provide you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you may 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 have to look into alternative YouTube programs that work from the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of different choices to select from.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get 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 searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store 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 movie URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the place for appropriate downloads.
When 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 pretty easy to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Next, you need to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Next, you get redirected to a free download site.
Go 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 website.
You’ll see that the text editor already 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 will need to do is click the’Download’ button.
You also get to choose 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 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 might not want to use any third party tool to download the movies.
In this instance, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you want.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good 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’s an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
The process is easy in Opera. And it is more or less the same for other browsers too.
In Opera, you can simply go ahead and click on the’Add to Opera’ option displayed in green color. Moreover, be certain you download the right add-on concerning the browser you are using. They won’t work otherwise.
Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in does not work after installation, then restart your computer.
Next, head to the YouTube video that you want to download. Once you’re there, you will notice 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”quick download” option, and you will have the video installed in your system.
You won’t receive the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with a variety of choices to save the video. Alternatives range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your preferences.
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.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the title of the video you need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video begins playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you want to edit the movie address and add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check out this:
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you would like to download.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to Pick 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.
Here is how:
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and start the movie you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the video.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You need to 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.
Needless to say, this is the case 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 need to download.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec info,’ a new window opens up.
The window looks something like this:
You want to copy the information of the video from the location text box at the bottom of the page. This measure 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’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.
At this stage, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
The video will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Even though the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple 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 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 storing them on your computer or telephone helps you never lose out on the videos you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.