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 would like to save videos to watch later, you will need to learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need music, 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 most recent methods 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. However, these are the best tools I have tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos to MP3 files.
YouTube has a fairly straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not do on the stage.
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 are just using the video for personal 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 consent of YouTube or the various licensors of the Content.”
In other words, you can watch Youtube videos, but only from Google applications.
However, third-party apps will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos. It’s difficult 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 decide if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something you should be doing.
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward procedure.
The first way 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 fastest 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 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 may 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 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 must have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to manipulate 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 essential whilst playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those particular videos along with the subtitles.
Batch Downloading — You can download the files individually or in bulk based on playlists from YouTube channels.
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 Document Format Compatibility — You may choose 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 flexible.
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 appear 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 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.
Suppose you are using an internet video downloading tool. In cases like this, 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.
You can start the tool in a new tab on the same window. When it opens, it will show 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. Some websites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
In case 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 need to download as well. Steer clear of those whenever possible. Some good alternatives are Keepvid, which can 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 different smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of different choices to select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you choose 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 more.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all the downloaded videos. You may face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address within the video URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you might want to change the location for proper downloads.
When the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
How Do 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 straight from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the movie that you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
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 website.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to download or install. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its site.
You will 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 on 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 Do You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?
You might 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 movies.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you want.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic thing is that there are an assortment of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while some are standalone tools.
Here is an example of a similar add-on called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
The process is easy 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 colour. Moreover, be sure 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 doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head to the YouTube video that you need to download. As soon as you’re there, you will notice an icon on the top right-hand (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 regardless of what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with many different choices to save the movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the title of the video that you need to see and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video starts playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you need to edit the movie address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check out this:
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 needs, you can go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
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? VLC Media player is protected and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head to YouTube and open the movie that you want to download. Then copy the URL of this video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
New Network Stream.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
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 will 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 need to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins 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 data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
You need to copy the information of the video in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward 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’re on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this point, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and choose the’Save video as’ option.
The video 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.
Even though the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy when you do it yourself.
There you have it — some of the best ways to download YouTube videos.
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 onto your computer or phone helps you never miss out on the movies you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use?