YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In fact, over 30 million visitors 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 efficiently. You can download YouTube videos into formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you only 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 ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please be aware , I may receive affiliate compensation 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 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 their terms of service.
While 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 right licenses are legal to download. Additionally, if you are just using the video for private use, it can be considered lawful.
YouTube states,”You shall 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, you can watch Youtube videos, but only 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’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something that 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 With a Video Downloading Tool.
Working with 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 opinion, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
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 some other programs out there and even though 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 converted file must have standard 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 that are 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 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 might want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File 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 might want to view a specific song in the middle of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a specific portion of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, making 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 shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you are using an online video downloading tool. In this case, you need to head to YouTube and open the video that you want to download.
You can simply 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 show a text box for you to input 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 on the’Start’ option.
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer . Once you run it, it is going to supply you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you may have 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 check 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 other choices to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
As soon as you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of alternatives. As an example, y2mate lets you choose the video format you wish to download, video quality, and the file size.
If you’re searching 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 on your IP address within the video URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the location 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 easy to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Here are the steps:
Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘youtube.com.’
After you’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Go to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to install or download. As soon as 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 get downloaded — all you will need to do is click on 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 may not need to use any third-party tool to download the movies.
In this instance, using add-ons on your browser is simply the solution you need.
Choose An Add-on.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The fantastic thing is that there are an assortment 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 called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
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 color. Moreover, be 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 doesn’t work after installation, then restart your PC.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video that 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-on, you get some choices:
Next, click on the”fast 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 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 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 is how you can do it.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you need to view and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the movie starts playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need to edit the video 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.
As soon as you click on the”download” option, it is simply a matter of seconds before it gets installed on your computer system.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos using 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 Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and start the movie you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the movie.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this measure to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
Of course, this is the case 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.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you’ll find an option called’codec info.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
The window looks something like this:
You need to copy the information of the movie 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’re on a Windows system, you copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, the movie should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the movie and choose the’Save video as’ option.
The movie will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default name would be’videoplayback.’ When 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’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 saving them onto your computer or phone helps you never miss out on the videos you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos?