YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million visitors 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 effectively. You can download YouTube videos into formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos to 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.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please note, I may get affiliate compensation 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 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 the terms of service.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal action, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading videos. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Additionally, if you are just using the video for private use, it can be considered legal.
YouTube states,”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.”
In other words, you can watch Youtube videos, but just from Google applications.
However, third-party apps will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos. It’s tough 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 you should be doing.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward process.
The first way 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 quickest 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 provides great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. 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 good free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.
Characteristics 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 control the quality of the video. It might range between low, moderate, 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 that are in various languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is essential while playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos along with the subtitles. If you like a particular band, you may want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You might choose to download and save videos in multiple formats in 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 might want to view a particular song in the middle of a video. Or you might choose 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) that 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 changes 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 visit YouTube and start the video that you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
It is possible to start the tool in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will display a text box for you to enter the URL.
Here’s a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply must paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option. Some sites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it will provide you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software that you might have to download also. Avoid those whenever possible. Some good options 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 programs 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 other choices to select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get a host of alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you choose the video format you wish to download, video quality, and also 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 store all the videos that are downloaded. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address over the movie URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the place for appropriate downloads.
When 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 pretty simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the movie that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Next, you want 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 Site
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t have to install or download. 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. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you will have your video within a couple of seconds.
How Can 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 want to use any third-party tool to download the movies.
In this instance, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you want.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic news is that there are an assortment of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited to Firefox and Chrome, while some are standalone tools.
Here is an example of a similar add-on known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
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 colour. Moreover, make certain 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 need to download. Once you’re there, you will see an icon on the top right-hand (for Opera users).
When you install this add-in, you get some options:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.
You will not 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 provide you with a variety of options to save the video. Choices range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with 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 name of the video you need to see and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie starts playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download videos 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 this out:
Next, you get redirected to the Django site for the video you wish to download.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to Pick the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
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 using a VLC Player?
If you don’t have the VLC media player in your pc, then you can download it. VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and open the movie you want to download. Then copy the URL of this video.
Open VLC Media Player.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
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 are using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, you’ll 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.
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 info.’ You can also reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec information,’ a new window opens up.
The window looks something like this:
You want to copy the information of the movie from the location text box in the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty simple for Windows users.
However, 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 point, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video 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 videos.
Even though the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it’s 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 can help you never lose out on the videos you like.
Do you download YouTube videos?