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 want 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 much more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent methods to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: Please noteI may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no charge to you. Nonetheless, 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 the terms of service.
Whilst 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 correct licenses are legal to download. Additionally, if you’re just using the video for personal use, it can be considered legal.
YouTube states,”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.
Nevertheless, third-party apps will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos. It’s tough to enforce or prohibit users for exploiting them you can still watch YouTube videos when you’re not signed in.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something that you should be doing.
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.
Working with a YouTube downloader is the quickest way to download YouTube videos. Let’s look at it step by step:
Pick a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, pick the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my view, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.
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 some other tools out there and even though there are some decent free tools, the paid versions offer way higher quality.
Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The converted file should have regular video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to manipulate the quality of the video. It may range between low, moderate, or high. It’s even better if you can choose specific video resolution like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in different languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is essential while playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you will prefer to download those particular videos together with the subtitles. If you like a particular 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 Document Format Compatibility — You might want 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 may want to view a particular song in the midst of a video. Or you may want to edit out a specific part of a film. Video editing needs can arise 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 includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The application should have the ability to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by changes in net and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In cases like this, you will need to head to YouTube and start the video 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 exact same window. When it opens, it will show a text box that you input 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 the’Start’ option. Some websites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Paste URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer . As soon as you run it, it will supply you with the same choices to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software you might have to download as well. Steer clear of those whenever possible. Some good options are Keepvid, which may 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 unique smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of different options to choose from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get a host of alternatives. For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you wish to download, video quality, and the file size.
Finally, select the option you want and click on the”Download” option.
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 are using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address over the movie URL you input. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the place for appropriate downloads.
When the movie gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos Directly?
You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s rather easy to download YouTube videos straight from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on 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 keyboard.
Proceed to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t have 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 already has the video URL, so you don’t have to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also prepared to get downloaded — all you will need to do is click the’Download’ button.
You also get to choose the format and the quality of the video. Finally, click on the”download” option, and you will have your video in 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 may not need 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.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
The fantastic news is that there are a variety 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 called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader
The approach is simple in Opera. And it is 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 colour. Moreover, make 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 computer.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head into the YouTube video you need to download. As soon as 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 options:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you will have the video installed in your system.
You will not get the direct download option from YouTube regardless of what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with a variety of choices to save the video. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up pops during the download choice, asking for your preferences.
How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Working with a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another simple way to download YouTube videos.
Here’s how you can do it.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video that you need to see and download. As soon as you do this and press the’Enter’ button, then the video starts playing.
Now the process is very similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In this case, you need to edit the video address and add the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
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.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s simply a matter of seconds until it gets installed on your computer system.
How Can 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 secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and start the video that you want to download. Then copy the URL of the video.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar to your benefit.
Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option.
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 stage, you will see a page with a text editor, no matter what OS you’re using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video you need to download.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.
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 info,’ a new window opens up.
The window looks something like this:
You need to copy the information of the video in 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 need 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 on your web browser and click’Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.
Save the Video.
At this stage, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the’Save video as’ option.
Download The Video.
The video 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 movies.
Although the process might seem lengthy at the moment, it’s pretty simple once you do it yourself.
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 onto your computer or telephone can help you never miss out on the videos you like.
Can you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.