YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In actuality, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you will need to understand how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You may download YouTube videos to formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need music, 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 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 to MP3 files.
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.
Whilst downloading YouTube videos is a criminal action, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading movies. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you are just using the video for private use, it can be considered legal.
YouTube says,”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 respective licensors of the Content.”
In other words, 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 tough to enforce or ban users for exploiting them — you can still watch YouTube videos when you are not signed in.
Ultimately, it’s 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 method 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. Let’s look at it step by step:
Choose 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 offers great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. You can also 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 various 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 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 can choose specific video resolution such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos that are in various languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is essential whilst 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 specific band, you may 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 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 particular song in the midst of a video. Or you may want to edit out a particular part of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, making it an important feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try any Video Converter (AVC) which 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 this case, you will need to head to YouTube and start 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 same window. When it opens, it will show a text box that you enter the URL.
Here is a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply need to paste the URL in the text box above and click the’Start’ option. Some sites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Glue 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 is going to provide you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software that you may have to download also. Avoid 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 are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, you will find a host of different choices to select from.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you want to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Finally, pick the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all the videos that are downloaded. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize in your IP address over the movie URL you input. So if you’re a VPN user, you might want to change the location 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 don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty simple to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the video you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
Next, you need 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 keyboard.
Proceed to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t have to install or download. The moment you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its site.
You’ll 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 prepared to get downloaded — all you 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 will have your video within 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 want to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
In this instance, using add-ons on 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 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’s an example of a similar add-on called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Download The Add-on.
The process is easy in Opera. And it is 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 color. Moreover, be certain you download the right add-on concerning the browser you are using. They won’t work otherwise.
After the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.
Next, head to the YouTube video that you want 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-on, you get some options:
Next, click on the”fast download” option, and you will have the video set up on your system.
You won’t get the direct download option from YouTube regardless of what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with many different choices to save the video. Alternatives range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Ordinarily, 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 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. Once 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 cases like this, you need to edit the movie address and add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check out this:
After the edit, press the ‘Enter’ button.
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 format 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 before it gets installed in your computer system.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a VLC Player? 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 open the video that you want to download. Then copy the URL of this 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.
When you start the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Needless to say, this is true when you’re using a Windows OS.
When you’re using Mac, the stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this phase, 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 you need to download.
Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner.
There, you will find an option called’codec information.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec information’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec info,’ a new window opens up.
You want to copy the information of the video from the location text box in the bottom of the page. This step is pretty simple for Windows users.
However, 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 copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click’Enter.’ The measure is redundant for Mac users.
At this stage, the video should be playing 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 title would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Although the process might seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty easy once you do it yourself.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it is 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 saving them onto your computer or phone helps you never lose out on the movies you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos?