YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In actuality, 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 understand how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please note, I may receive affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no cost 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 fairly straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not do on the platform.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal act, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you’re just using the video for private 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 approval of YouTube or the various licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, you can watch Youtube videos, but only 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’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine 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 is 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. Let us look at it step by step:
Choose a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, pick the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my opinion, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
You can even 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 programs out there and while there are some decent free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Characteristics to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The transformed 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, medium, or high. It’s even better if you can choose specific video resolution such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in different languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is essential while playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will 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 film director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You might want 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 elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a specific song in the middle of a video. Or you might choose to edit out a specific part of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, making it an important feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try any Video Converter (AVC) which comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool 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’re using an online video downloading tool. In this case, you need to head to YouTube and start the video that 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. When it opens, it will display 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 must paste the URL in the text box above and click on the’Start’ option. Some websites 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 . Once you run it, it will supply you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software that you may need to download also. Steer clear of those whenever possible. Some good options 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 unique smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are 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 wish to download, video quality, and the file size.
Finally, pick the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all of the videos that are downloaded. You might 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 location for proper downloads.
Once the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Do 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 directly from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you’ve 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 need to download or install. As soon as you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You will 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 ready to get downloaded — all you need to do is click the’Download’ button.
You also get to choose the format and the quality of the video. Lastly, click on the”download” option, and you’ll have your video in 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 might not need to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you want.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic news is that there are an assortment of options 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 known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Download The Add-on.
The approach is simple in Opera. And it is more or less the exact 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, be certain you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t work otherwise.
After the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in does not work after installation, then restart your computer.
Next, head into the YouTube video that 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 options:
Next, click on the”fast 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 unless you use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with many different choices to save the movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you need to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video begins playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the process is very similar to when you directly download videos 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 website for the video you would like to download.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to choose the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is simply a matter of seconds until it gets installed in your computer system.
How Do 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 Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and open the movie that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the movie.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.
When you open the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Of course, this is the case when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you are 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 are using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video you need to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins playing on VLC.
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.
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.
However, 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 are on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, 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 start 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.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it’s 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 storing them onto your computer or telephone can help you never lose out on the movies you like.
Can you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.