YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you would like 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 music, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please be aware , I may get affiliate reimbursement 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 fairly 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 the 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’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 approval of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”
In other words, you can 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 prohibit 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 personal use is something that you should be doing.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
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 With a Video Downloading Tool.
Working with a YouTube downloader is the quickest way to download YouTube videos.
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 even extract YouTube subtitles and save them in more than 50 languages.
Give 4K Download a try and find 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 offer way higher quality.
Characteristics to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The transformed file should have regular 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 like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in various languages. In such cases, 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 particular band, you might want to download their entire discography. And if you like a movie director, you might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple Document Format Compatibility — You might choose to download and save videos in multiple formats in your file manager. Having various options to pick from, such as MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a specific song in the middle of a video. Or you might want to edit out a particular part of a film. Video editing needs can appear at any point in time, making it an important feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can 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.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you need to head to YouTube and start 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. Once it opens, it will show a text box that you input 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 the’Start’ option.
Paste 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 will provide you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you may need to download as well. 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 apps that work from the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of different choices to choose from.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will find a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Finally, select the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
Some of these 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 much more.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save 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 enter. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the place for appropriate downloads.
Once the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty easy 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.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Go to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are loads 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’ll 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 get 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. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you will 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 instance, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you want.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good thing is that there are a variety of options 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.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
Download The Add-on.
The approach is easy in Opera. And it’s more or less the 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, make certain you download the correct 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 doesn’t work after installation, then restart your PC.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video you need to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll see an icon on the top right-hand side (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 set up on your system.
You won’t receive the direct download option from YouTube regardless of what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with many different 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 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.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you want to view and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video starts playing.
Add”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 want to edit the video 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 wish to download.
On the VDYouTube website, 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 is only a matter of seconds before it gets installed in 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 secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and start the video you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the movie.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
New Network Stream.
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 will see a page with a text editor, no matter what OS you’re using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video you want to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins playing on VLC.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec information.’ You can also reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec info,’ a new window opens up.
You need to copy the information of the video in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
But if you are 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 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 stage, the movie should be playing 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.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Although the process might seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty simple once you do it yourself.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it is 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 saving them onto your computer or telephone can help you never lose out on the videos you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.