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 would like to save videos to watch later, you will need to learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You may download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and much more. Or if you only need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.
With all these ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the most recent ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Let’s get started.
Is Downloading YouTube Videos Legal?
YouTube has a fairly straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can not 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 technically a criminal action, YouTube has made no desire to penalize users for downloading videos. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you’re just using the video for personal use, it can be considered legal.
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 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 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 determine 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 a simple and straightforward procedure.
The first way to download YouTube videos would be to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos Using a Video Downloading Tool.
Using a YouTube downloader is the quickest 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 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 find 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 offer way higher quality.
Characteristics to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.
Quality of The Video — The transformed file should 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 are able to 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 vital 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 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 within your file manager. Having various options to pick from, such as MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — You may want to view a specific song in the middle of a video. Or you may want to edit out a specific 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) that comes with 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 internet and wi-fi connectivity.
Suppose you are using an online 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 just copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.
You can open the tool in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will display a text box for you to 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.
Paste URL y2mate
in the event you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it will supply you with the very same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.
Be cautious about unnecessary software that you might 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 check into alternative YouTube programs 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.
Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of alternatives. For instance, 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.
Some of the tools also allow you to download YouTube videos in formats such as WMV, MPG, AVI, ASF, M2TS, 3GP, 3G2, FLV, MKV, SWF, WEBM, HTML5 WEBM, HTML5 OGG, HTML5, and much more.
If you’re searching for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to store all the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight on your IP address within the movie URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you might want to change the location for proper downloads.
When the video 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 directly from YouTube.
Open YouTube in your browser and head to the video that you want to download.
Add’ss’ From The URL.
After you have entered it, simply press the’Enter’ button on your computer.
Next, you get redirected to a free download site.
Go to the Download Website
Once redirected, there are loads of free services to use that you don’t need to download or install. As soon as you press the’Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.
You will see that the text editor currently has the video URL, so you don’t need to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also ready to receive downloaded — all you need to do is click on the’Download’ button.
You also get to choose the format and the quality of the video. Lastly, click on the”download” option, and you will have your video within a couple of 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 may not want to use any third-party tool to download the videos.
In this instance, using add-ons in 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 an assortment of choices available to download YouTube videos.
Some of them are best suited to Firefox and Chrome, while some 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 simple in Opera. And it’s 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, make sure 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 does not work after installation, then restart your computer.
Next, head to the YouTube video you want 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-in, you get some options:
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 regardless of what browser you use if you don’t use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons provide you with many different choices to save the movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your tastes.
How Can You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?
Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy 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 want to see 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 similar to when you directly download videos by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need to edit the video 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 website for the video you would like to download.
Select the Video Format and Quality.
On the VDYouTube site, scroll down to choose the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can proceed.
Once you click on the”download” option, it’s only a matter of seconds until 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 secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Here is how:
Head to YouTube and open the video that you want to download. Then copy the URL of the video.
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step 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 stream is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.
In this stage, you’ll see a page with a text editor, no matter what OS you’re using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video that you need to download.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
When you click on the’play’ option, the video begins playing on VLC.
There, you will find an option called’codec info.’ You can also 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 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 on 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 title would be’videoplayback.’ When it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.
Although the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty easy when you do it yourself.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it’s 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 onto your computer or telephone can help you never lose out on the videos you prefer.
Do you download YouTube videos? Let me know in the comments below.