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 need to learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos into formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into 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 receive affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no cost to you. Nonetheless, 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 permission, 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 movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Plus, 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 approval of YouTube or the various licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, 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 are not signed in.
Ultimately, it is 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 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 fastest 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 offers great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. You may 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 some other programs out there and even though 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 converted file must have regular 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 that are in various languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is vital while playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those special videos together 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 may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You might choose 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 may want to view a particular song in the middle of a video. Or you might choose to edit out a specific portion of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, making it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try any Video Converter (AVC) that comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should be able to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by changes in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you are using an online video downloading tool. In this case, 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.
You can start the tool in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will display a text box for you to input 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 on the’Start’ option.
Paste URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer . Once you run it, it is going to supply you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you may have 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 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 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 might face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address within the movie URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you might want to change the place for proper downloads.
When the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the movie that you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Next, you need to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. but before ‘youtube.com.’
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 plenty 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 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. Lastly, click on the”download” option, and you’ll have your video within a few 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 want to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you need.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic thing is that there are an assortment of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while some are standalone tools.
Here’s an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Download The Add-on.
The process is simple 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 color. Moreover, make sure you download the right add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t function otherwise.
Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in does not work after installation, then restart your PC.
Next, head into the YouTube video you want to download. Once 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 installed in your system.
You won’t receive the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with a variety of options to save the movie. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download choice, asking for your tastes.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy 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 that you want to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie begins 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 movie address and add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you would like to download.
Select the Video Format and Quality.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to Pick the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can proceed.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s only a matter of seconds before it gets installed on your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with 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 and open the movie that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this movie.
Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
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’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.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you will find an option called’codec information.’ You can also reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
The window looks something like this:
You want to copy the information of the movie in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty simple for Windows users.
But if you’re a Mac user, you need to right-click on the field and click on the’Open URL’ option.
If you are 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.
Save the Video.
At this point, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and choose the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The movie will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Although the process might seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy when you do it yourself.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it is the ideal 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 phone helps you never miss out on the videos you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use?