YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform on earth.
In actuality, 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 understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos into formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need music, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please noteI 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 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 punish 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 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.”
Quite simply, it is possible to watch Youtube videos, but just 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 are not signed in.
Ultimately, it is 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 process.
The first method to download YouTube videos is to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos Using 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 opinion, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
You may even extract YouTube subtitles and save them in over 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 good free tools, the paid versions offer 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 control the quality of the video. It may range between low, medium, or high. It’s even better if you can 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 with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those special videos together with the subtitles.
Batch Downloading — You can download the files individually or in bulk based on playlists from YouTube channels.
If you like a particular 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 pick from, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more elastic.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a specific song in the middle of a video. Or you might choose 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 includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should be able to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally should not be highly affected by fluctuations in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an internet video downloading tool. In cases like this, you will 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 application in a new tab on the exact same window. When it opens, it will display a text box that you input 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 the’Start’ option. Some sites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer . As soon as you run it, it is going to provide you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you may have to download also. Steer clear of 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 need 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, there are a host of other options to choose from.
Once you glue 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 wish to download, video quality, and also the file size.
If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all the downloaded videos. You may 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’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 Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You do not always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
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’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 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 need to copy and paste any connection. 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. Lastly, click on the”download” option, and you’ll have your video within a few 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 want to use any third party tool to download the videos.
In this instance, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you want.
There’s an add-on for practically everything you could desire.
The good 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 some 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 approach is easy in Opera. And it is 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’re using. They won’t work otherwise.
Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in does not work after installation, then restart your PC.
Next, head into the YouTube video you need to download. Once 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 choices:
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 no matter what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Choose Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with a variety of choices 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 Can You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.
Here is how you can do it.
First, take a look at the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie starts playing.
Add”vd” To The URL.
Now the process is similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you want to edit the video address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
Next, you get redirected to the Django site for the video you would like to download.
Choose the Video Format and Quality.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to choose the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can proceed.
Download the YouTube Video.
Once you click on the”download” option, it is only a matter of seconds before it gets installed on your computer system.
How Can 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 secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and start the movie that you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this movie.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You need to keep it open on the taskbar to your advantage.
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’re 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 are using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video that 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.
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 step is pretty simple for Windows users.
However, 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 on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
At this point, the movie should be playing your browser online. Right-click on the movie and choose the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The movie will now begin downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be’videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other movies.
Although the process may seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple once you do it yourself.
There you have it — some of the best ways to download YouTube videos.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it is the best 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 on your computer or phone can help you never lose out on the videos you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.