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 want to save videos to watch later, you need to learn how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you only need music, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest ways 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. Nonetheless, these are the best tools I’ve 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 permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is 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 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 approval of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”
Quite simply, 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 determine 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 Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos.
Pick a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, select the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my opinion, 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 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 while there are some decent 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 regular video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to manipulate the quality of the video. It might range between low, moderate, 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 vital while playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those special 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 film 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 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 middle of a video. Or you may want 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 may try out Any Video Converter (AVC) which comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should have the ability to convert and download videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t 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 cases like this, you need to head to YouTube and open the movie you want to download.
You can just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the application in a new tab on the exact 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 need to paste the URL in the text box above and click on the’Start’ option.
Glue URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer . As soon as you run it, it is going to supply you with the very same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you might need to download as well. Avoid 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, there are a host of different choices to select from.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll find a host of alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and 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 more.
If you’re looking 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 highlight in your IP address over the movie URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the place for proper downloads.
Once the video 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 pretty easy to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Open YouTube in your browser and head into the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From 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 have to download or install. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its site.
You will see that the text editor already has the video URL, so you don’t have to copy and paste any link. Your video is also prepared 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. 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 might not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you may not want to use any third party tool to download the videos.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is just the solution you want.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic news 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 known as’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
The approach 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 color. Moreover, be certain you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you are 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 to the YouTube video that you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you will see an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).
When you install this add-on, 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 no matter 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, in addition to 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?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here is 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 video begins playing.
Now the process is very similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you want 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.
On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to choose 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 only a matter of seconds before it gets installed on your computer system.
How Do 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.
Head to YouTube and open the video that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the video.
Ideally, you should not wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
New Network Stream.
When you start the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Needless to say, 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 are using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video that you want to download.
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.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
The window looks something like this:
You want to copy the information of the movie from the location text box at the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward 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.
Copy/Paste the URL.
If you’re on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this point, the movie should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the movie and select the’Save video as’ option.
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.
Although the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
There you have it — some of the best ways to download YouTube videos.
In my opinion, go with 4K Download — it is 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 phone can help you never lose out on the movies you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.