YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million people watch 5 billion videos each and every day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you will need to learn how to download YouTube videos efficiently. You can download YouTube videos into formats such as MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much 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 latest ways 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 into MP3 files.
Is Downloading YouTube Videos Legal?
YouTube has a pretty 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 their terms of service.
While downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal act, YouTube has made no desire to punish users for downloading videos. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the right licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you are just using the video for personal 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.”
In other words, it is possible to 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 decide if downloading videos from YouTube for private use is something that you should be doing.
What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?
Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward process.
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 more than 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 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 might range between low, moderate, 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 in various languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is essential whilst playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those special 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 might want to download their entire filmography.
Multiple File Format Compatibility — You may 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 might want to view a specific song in the midst 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 may try any Video Converter (AVC) that comes with a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool 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.
Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.
Suppose you’re using an internet video downloading tool. In this case, you will need to visit YouTube and start the movie that you want to download.
You can just 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. When it opens, it will show a text box for you to enter the URL.
Here’s a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply need to 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 need to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it will supply you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be careful about unnecessary software that you may have to download as well. 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 have to look into alternative YouTube apps that work from the Google Play Store or with unique smartphones. And if you are downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different options to select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of choices. As an example, y2mate lets you choose the video format you wish to download, video quality, and also the file size.
Finally, select 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 store all of the downloaded videos. You may face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually emphasize in your IP address within the video URL you input. So if you are a VPN user, you may want to change the location for proper downloads.
When the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you need.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather simple to download YouTube videos straight 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’ve entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Next, you get redirected to a free download website.
Proceed to the Download Site
Once redirected, there are plenty 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 website.
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 ready 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. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you will 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 videos.
In this case, using add-ons in your browser is simply the solution you need.
Choose An Add-on.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
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 others are standalone tools.
Here’s an example of a similar add-on known as’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 simply 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 work otherwise.
After the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your PC.
Next, head into the YouTube video that you want to download. As soon as you’re there, you’ll notice 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 will have the video set up on your system.
You will not 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 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 Can 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.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video you need to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the video starts playing.
Now the practice is similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you want to edit the video address and insert 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 website for the video you wish to download.
On the VDYouTube website, 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 is 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 pc, 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 Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and open the movie you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this movie.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
Of course, this is true when you are 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 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 info.’ It is also possible to reach the’codec data’ option by using the’CTRL + J’ command.
When you click on the’codec information,’ a new window opens up.
You need to copy the information of the movie from the location text box in the bottom of the page. This measure is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
But if you are 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 already copied the URL. Paste it on 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 movie and select 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 videos.
Even though the process might 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 opinion, go with 4K Download — it is 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 can help you never lose out on the movies you prefer.
Can you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.