How to Download YouTube Videos


There are billions of hours of video on YouTube. Literally. And this is hardly ever the most amazing statistic about the site, which has been the go-to vacation spot for importing and gazing video due to the fact 2005. That said, sometimes, you virtually choose or want to have one of these movies on your very own laptop or phone. But when the theme of downloading YouTube movies comes up, there is a aspect concern that ought to be broached: Is it legal?

On the copyright front, as lengthy as you are downloading a video for your very own non-public offline use, you are probable okay. It’s greater black and white when you reflect on consideration on Google’s phrases of provider for YouTube, which reads: “You are now not allowed to…access, reproduce, download, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, alter, regulate or in any other case use any section of the Service or any Content except: (a) as expressly approved via the Service; or (b) with prior written permission from YouTube and, if applicable, the respective rights holders.”

More on watching Youtube offline

Watching YouTube movies offline through unofficial channels takes cash from Google and video creators. There’s a purpose YouTube runs ads: humans make a dwelling this way.

So, obviously, stealing video from YouTube is a large no-no. If you favor to share a video, YouTube and most different video websites make it easy, from embedding to emailing to sharing with the aid of social networks. You actually do no longer want to down load a video most of the time.

However, you have your reasons. If you ought to down load a YouTube video—absolutely want to, simply for yourself, and now not for dissemination, and now not to be a complete douche-nozzle—here’s how.

Note: This story is up to date often as the equipment worried exchange regularly. Some of these modifications are no longer constantly pleasant, such as software program so full of “extras” it receives flagged as malware with the aid of antivirus tools. The identical goes for the helper websites—a trade in a site’s advert community can additionally create troubles with malware.

What the services must include?

To stop this from turning into a laundry listing of packages and websites that can down load YouTube videos, we got here up with a few policies for inclusion. Services must:

  • Support 4K downloads even in the free version.
  • Work with pinnacle three video sites: YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo.
  • Download complete playlists or channels in a batch (on YouTube), at least with a paid version.
  • Output to MP3 for audio (or provide accomplice software program that does so).
  • Have an interface that would not suck.
  • Not gather your private statistics past your e-mail address.
  • Not include malware. If there may be even a whiff of it in the air, even a PUP, it is out.

The programs, services, and web sites in this story are all free of spam/virus/problems as of this writing, however caveat emptor. Big time. Especially if you are now not virtually emptor-ing.

Desktop Software

Third-party software program is the place you will get the excellent manage over downloading on line videos. Typically, you paste the URL for the YouTube video you prefer into the program, and it downloads the absolute best high-quality model it can find. For movies in 1080p High Definition (HD) format, this is normally an MP4 file. For some thing greater in quality—4K and even 8K videos—the file layout is usually MKV.

In the past, YouTube movies had been Flash-based, so your down load used to be an FLV file, however these have a tendency to be tougher to play back. MP4, brief for MPEG-4 Part 14 multimedia format, performs everywhere

Note that the MKV file, additionally known as a Matroska, is a container—the file ought to comprise video making use of any variety of codecs inside. The fool-proof way to play them all is to use the VLC Media Player for Windows, which performs everything. (Read greater about it below.) As for the downloaders, right here are the high-quality options.

VLC Media Player

I’ve noted the VLC Media Player above due to the fact it is a brilliant device for Windows customers that performs returned simply about any media ever created. It turns out, it additionally has the capacity to down load YouTube videos, albeit in a convoluted way. (If you run into any troubles with it, you might also want to do a full re-install of VLC and clear your cache to make this work.)

Copy a URL from a YouTube video, then open up VLC. From the Media menu pick out Open Network Stream (Ctrl+N) and paste in the URL. Click Play. When the video is playing, go to Tools > Codec Information. There is a container at the backside referred to as “Source”—copy the URL you discover in that box.

VLC Save

Go again to your browser and paste the URL—it’s a brief internet tackle and will expire eventually—in the tackle bar and begin enjoying the video. When you are viewing the video in the browser, you may see an choice to down load the file to hold locally.

VLC Save 2

However, it seems that VLC is solely going to retailer your file as 1080p and no longer any higher, even if the authentic YouTube move was once accessible in 1440p or 2160p (aka 4K). It additionally might not convert video to different formats. To get these options, you want the computing device software program below.

4K Video Downloader

Multi-lingual 4K Video Downloader (4KVD) is regularly up to date and facets clear down load hyperlinks on the program’s website; no advert traps here. The software program does what it advertises in a easy interface: grabs movies up to 8K in best and downloads to masses of formats. Just replica a YouTube URL and click on the Paste Link button to get started. 4KVD will even take hold of subtitles, whole playlists, and all the movies in a channel to which you subscribe. The websites supported are confined to the massive names like YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and a few others, however covers most of what you need. It does show a massive banner commercial at the backside to preserve the lights on.

In tests, I had to make a change from MP4 to MKV structure to get my take a look at video to down load in 4K. 4KVD snagged the 3-minute duration, 229.7 Megabyte (MB) file for the film trailer in about 1 minute and 20 seconds. 4KVD defaults lower back to 1080p HD, so I made the identical change when downloading an Ultra High Definition (8K) playlist. If you enable the Smart Mode and its pre-sets, 4K Video Downloader can function one-click downloads to your preferred format. If you choose to down load extra than 25 movies at a time or subscribe to YouTube channels to right away down load the latest, that requires the paid version. Playback of the ensuing MKV documents by way of VLC Media Player was once flawless.

The software itself has an alternative to extract audio to MP3 format, so you do not even want the 4K YouTube to MP3 associate software.


Digiarty’s multi-lingual WinX claims to enable downloads from 300+ web sites with user-generated content—including person sites. Perhaps the largest promoting factor of all is the declare that “There is no malware, adware, adware or virus. a hundred percent clean.” It has a easy interface, however there are commercials for WinX’s top class carrier throughout install.

Copy a YouTube URL (even for a playlist) and launch the WinX software. The “analyzer” exams all the options. This device tried to default to the 1,920-by-1,080 model in MP4; I picked the 4K model (3,840 by means of 2,160 pixels) in WebM format, a subset of the MKV format—you can rename a .WEBM file to a .MKV and it’s going to work fine. In settings there are picks to default to WebM at the absolute best resolution. You can set up a variety of movies to again up earlier than you even click on the down load button. The 4K 226.9MB file took two minutes and 19 seconds to download.

There are no choices for downloading closed captions. That’s some other strike. But WinX makes up for it by using assisting so many down load web sites and having a fee equal to nothing.


5KPlayer is a lot extra than a downloader—but it is acquired an built-in downloader. Promising no viruses, ads, or plug-in necessities is a correct start. It is, sadly, one of the few I examined that asks for a registration of your title and email—you have to do that to get the full down load feature throughout 300+ sites. However, you nonetheless nab 4K vids from YouTube except registering.

When downloading, the software does strive to cover some things. Paste in the URL for a YouTube video and the evaluation engine runs and suggests solely a few down load options. Click the Gear icon, then the Show All button and scroll to see more—like a a 4K 3,840-by-2,160 file in WebM format. The 227MB WebM check down load took a painful quantity of time, about 6.5 minutes. Grabbing playlists used to be possible, however you should regulate down load settings one video at a time. The perplexing interface makes it tough to go again to the different movies in the playlist.

5K Player additionally aspects DLNA server playback so movies you grasp can be watched on any gadgets that guide DLNA; and it helps AirPlay for rapid playback to supported devices. Pick a video in the library for a speedy conversion to MP4, MP3, or even ACC (the audio layout favored with the aid of iOS devices). The participant did not like taking part in lower back the overly massive 4K file, though, and skilled buffering troubles (VLC did not have any trouble with the identical file). But ultimately, there is a lot to like about 5K Player, from the rate to the features, in particular if you appear at them as extras on a downloader. But interface and playback problems might also have you searching elsewhere.


YouTubeByClick captures video from over forty sites. Before you even do the first download, you can use the “dials” on the interface to set up a desired down load structure (MP4 video or MP3 audio) and a default down load pleasant as excessive as 8K, even on the free version. Downloading a 229.6MB MKV file in 4K solely took 2.5 minutes—not horrific thinking about the free version’s 2Mbps velocity limit. You additionally want the top class model to down load playlists and channels, do conversions, keep away from ads, and get closed captions.

One factor you can do on YouTubeByClick it’s special is set it up so any time you replica a URL from YouTube, the software will auto realize it and ask if you desire to begin the download. Enter your account credentials for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and a couple of different overseas websites to get on the spot non-public downloads.

Helper Websites

Do you favor to keep away from putting in software? Video down load helper web sites do the down load work for you, offering conversion and then a down load link—you do not have to set up some thing on your PC. It can take a lot longer, relying on the measurement and pleasant of the video you want, however you can not beat the convenience.

There are heaps of these kinds of websites out there—it appears anybody with a modicum of coding potential has set one up. Such web sites without problems go from beneficial to suspicious, specially if they get famous and the proprietor sells out to make money off your visits. If your browser (or your instincts) throws up warnings, keep away from and go to the next.

All of them do one fundamental thing: you provide them a YouTube URL (or different video site, if supported), they parse it, provide you a preference of what dimension down load you want, and grant a hyperlink to stated download. All are free except stated and work throughout all platforms. However, notice that considering our ultimate update, I’ve deleted at least three helper websites we used to feature—one for including some sexually specific ads; one for no longer working; and one for going out of commercial enterprise to keep away from getting sued out of existence.

VidPaw Free Online Video Converter

VidPaw affords up the typical features, and supposedly works with 1,000+ different sites. It does not provide video/audio combo downloads large than 720p MP4s; you can get the video by myself as a 2160p WebM layout if you desire. Add “paw” to the give up of “youtube” in a URL (“”) to immediately get VidPaw jogging whilst you are on YouTube.

This website receives a excessive ranking on Google itself when you search for “download youtube video.” It’s obtained a easy interface for pasting in a YouTube URL. It additionally supports round 1,000+ sites. Top nice for a video is solely 1080p. It states up the front it might not take care of playlists or bulk downloads, however its $18.90 computing device customer alternative known as Vidus does and it can manage up to 8K.


A browser extension can retailer you a step. However, you are going to run into some problems with downloading video from YouTube, mainly if you are the usage of Chrome as your major browser.
The Chrome Web Store—where you get Chrome browser extensions—is managed by means of YouTube’s proprietor Alphabet/Google. Even an extension ostensibly for this cause is not going to permit YouTube direct downloads, due to the fact of Chrome Store restrictions. In general, with Chrome extensions, the down load of any RTMP protocol video (protected videos) or streaming video isn’t always possible. You can use them on different websites with video, of course. Just no longer YouTube.

Want to get round it? Get an extension that does no longer come from the Google Web Store. Some of the applications and helper websites provide an extension thing and will spell out how to do the set up barring the help the Chrome Web Store commonly provides. Here are a few.


FastestTube is on all browser platforms, with an installer for Chrome that skips the Chrome Web Store. It places a “download this video” menu proper on any YouTube web page you load, with all the structure selections on display.

YouTube Video Downloader

YouTube Video Downloader from Addoncrop is additionally on more than one browsers however with exquisite side-load competencies to keep away from the watchdogs in the stores. It places a button beneath some thing video you are enjoying on YouTube, making it convenient to grasp as a video up to 4K or as an audio-only MP3.

Video DownloadHelper

Video DownloadHelper helps a massive variety of sites—even these for adults. You’ll understand a video is downloadable when the icon for the extension animates when you are on the webpage. Video DownloadHelper for Chrome has stopped working with YouTube—so it ought to get placement in the Chrome Web Store. You can get round that through the usage of the Video DownloadHelper extension for Firefox. The developer has a Kiva initiative page, the place it prefers you donate cash to these in need, which has raised over $160,575.

Threelly A.I. Bookmarks For YouTube

This is a Chrome extension that definitely works from the Web Store—because it would not let you down load YouTube videos. Instead, Threelly lets you mark the instances you favor human beings to see, and they are then saved and effortlessly shared; the viewer goes again to YouTube and sees what you specify. It’s now not like saving a video for offline use whatsoever, however should be beneficial in sure circumstances.


Remember that trouble of the usage of Chrome extensions from the Google Web Store? You’re going to have an even higher trouble when you favor to down load from YouTube the usage of an Android app from the Google Play store, the place Google has an even tighter grip (and a paid YouTube Premium carrier that helps offline viewing).


That said, with Android it is feasible to installation apps barring going thru Google. For example, InsTube – Free Video and Music Downloader for Android can solely be determined at InsTube’s site. Download the APK (Android software package) file to sideload on an Android device. Find it in your device’s downloads and click on to install. (You can also have to go into your protection settings and allow “Unknown sources.”)

On iPhones and iPads, you would assume there would be no such limit because Apple and Google are not precisely the first-rate of pals. But on the apps I have tried, no longer solely would not they down load from YouTube, they’re now not even accessible for long. One of these apps stated in its description, “downloading from YouTube is prohibited due to its Terms of Service.” Apple is making sure that app makers play by means of the rules—even Google’s rules.

Chances are, the minute you discover an iOS app that can down load YouTube videos, it will get “fixed” or banned. The solely actual alternative is to jailbreak your iPhone and use sideloaded apps that down load what you want.

There are workarounds. One is the usage of a free iOS file supervisor app like Documents by way of Readdle. Use the Safari browser to go to a YouTube video, and use the Share alternative to locate Copy Link.


Want a clearly special way to “download” a video? Developer Anton Gera created the YouPost extension for the Google Chrome browser to flip a YouTube video into an “article”. It grabs all the subtitles, in something language you prefer. Then locate them into a browser web page with pick out display grabs from the movies as illustration. If the video does not have subtitles, it is no longer going to work. The higher the subtitles, the higher the article, of course; auto-generated subtitles come in like run-on-sentences with the aid of any person who would not genuinely communicate the language.

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