YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.
In fact, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos every single day on YouTube.
If you want to save videos to watch later, you need to understand how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos to formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need music, you can convert YouTube videos to MP3 files.
With so many ways to download and get videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest ways to download YouTube videos this year.
Disclaimer: Please noteI may get affiliate reimbursement for some of the links below at no charge to you. Nonetheless, these are the best tools I’ve 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 stage.
Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of the 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. Plus, 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 only 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 prohibit users for exploiting them — you can still watch YouTube videos when you’re 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.
Downloading videos from YouTube is an easy and straightforward process.
The first way to download YouTube videos would be to use a video converter.
Download YouTube Videos Using 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:
Choose a Downloading Tool/Converter.
First, pick the best possible YouTube downloading tool.
In my view, 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 may 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 tools 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 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 such as 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
Subtitles — We all like videos in various languages. In such situations, the use of subtitles is vital whilst playing with it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos along with the subtitles.
Batch Downloading — You can download the files individually or in bulk based on playlists from YouTube channels.
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 may want to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to choose from, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more flexible.
Built-In Video Editor — you might want to view a specific song in the midst of a video. Or you may choose to edit out a specific 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) that includes a built-in editor.
Speed — The tool should be able to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in net 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 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 exact same window. When it opens, it will display a text box for you to input the URL.
Here is a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply must paste the URL in the text box above and click on the’Start’ option. Some websites may also have buttons saying’Go’ or’Download.’
Glue URL y2mate
In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you want to download and install it on your computer . 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 might need 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 need to look into alternative YouTube apps that work in 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 choices to select from.
Choose the File Format & Video Quality.
As soon as you glue the YouTube video URL into the search box, you will get a host of alternatives. For instance, y2mate lets you decide on the video format you wish to download, video quality, and 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 store all the videos that are downloaded. You might face some confusion if you are using a VPN because tools usually highlight in your IP address over the video URL you enter. So if you are a VPN user, you might want to change the location for appropriate downloads.
Once the movie 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 rather simple to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.
Head to The Video.
Open YouTube on your browser and head into the movie you want to download.
Add’ss’ In The URL.
Next, you want to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. 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 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. The moment 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 have to copy and paste any connection. Your video is also prepared to get downloaded — all you 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 Can 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 want to use any third-party tool to download the movies.
In this case, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you need.
There is an add-on for practically everything you could need.
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 is an example of a similar add-on called’YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.
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 colour. Moreover, be sure you download the right add-on concerning the browser you’re 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.
Head to YouTube.
Next, head to the YouTube video that you need to download. Once 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 choices:
Next, click on the”quick download” option, and you will have the video installed in your system.
You won’t get the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use unless you use an add-on.
Pick Your File Format.
Most add-ons supply you with a variety of options to save the movie. Alternatives range between multiple formats, in addition to various video qualities. Ordinarily, a pop-up floats up during the download option, asking for your tastes.
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.
Head to The YouTube Video.
First, visit the YouTube platform and type the title of the video you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the’Enter’ button, the movie starts playing.
Insert”vd” To The URL.
Now the practice is very similar to when you directly download movies by adding’ss’ to the URL. In cases like this, you need to edit the video address and insert the words’vd’ before’youtube’ and after’www.’ .
Check this out:
After the edit, press the ‘Enter’ button.
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 Pick the quality and the arrangement of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, 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 using a VLC Player? VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.
Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.
Head to YouTube and open the video you want to download. Next, copy the URL of this movie.
Ideally, you should not wait for this step to start the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your advantage.
New Network Stream.
When you start the VLC media player, head over to the’Media’ option, and click on it.
Of course, 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.
Hit The ‘Play’ Option.
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.
You want to copy the information of the video in the location text box at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty straightforward for Windows users.
But 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 are on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it on your web browser and click on’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.
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.
In my view, go with 4K Download — it’s 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 on your computer or phone can help you never miss out on the videos you like.
Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use?