YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In fact, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos every single day on YouTube.
If you would like to save videos to watch later, you need to learn 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 so many ways to download and get 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 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.
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.
While downloading YouTube videos is a criminal action, 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. Additionally, 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.”
Quite simply, it is possible to 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 ban users for exploiting them you can still watch YouTube videos when you’re 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 a simple and straightforward procedure.
The first method 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. Let us look at it step by step:
Choose 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 may also 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 various other programs out there and even though there are some decent free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Features 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 manipulate the quality of the video. It may range between low, medium, 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 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 might 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 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 may want to view a specific song in the midst of a video. Or you might choose to edit out a particular portion of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, which makes it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You may try any Video Converter (AVC) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should have the ability to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by changes in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you are using an internet video downloading tool. In cases like this, you will need to head to YouTube and open the movie that you want to download.
You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the application in a new tab on the same window. When it opens, it will show a text box that you 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 the’Start’ option.
Paste URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer first. As soon as you run it, it is going to provide you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software you may have 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 have to look 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 different options to choose from.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on 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 may face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize 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.
Once the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Next, you want to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Proceed to the Download Site
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 need to copy and paste any link. Your video is also ready to get downloaded — all you will need to do is click the’Download’ button.
You also get to select the format and the quality of the video. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you’ll have your video in a couple of 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 instance, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you want.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic news is that there are a variety of options available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while others 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 process is simple in Opera. And it’s 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, make sure you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you are using. They won’t function otherwise.
After the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in does not work after installation, then restart your PC.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll 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”fast download” option, and you will have the video set up on your system.
You will not get 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 supply you with many different options to save the video. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up pops during the download option, asking for your preferences.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, take a look at 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, the movie starts playing.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, 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 would like to download.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to Pick the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your requirements, you can go ahead.
Download the YouTube Video.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it’s simply a matter of seconds until 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 computer system, 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 video you want to download. Then copy the URL of the video.
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 benefit.
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 flow 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 want to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
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 information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
The window looks something like this:
You need 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.
But if you’re 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’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, the movie should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the video and choose the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The video will now start 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.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it’s 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 storing them on your computer or telephone can help you never lose out on the movies you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.