Knowing how to download YouTube videos is important when using Youtube on a daily basis. YouTube is one of the biggest and most well-known video streaming platforms on the internet. Almost 70% of all internet users say they have a YouTube account.
You can find videos of almost all categories that you can think of. Whether you are looking to hear some music, watch sports, learn some new skills, or just plain entertainment, you will surely find relevant videos on the topic.
For many. YouTube serves as a second teacher with millions of educational videos of all sorts and categories available on the platform.
On average, about 300 hours of video content is posted on YouTube every single minute. With such an extensive range of content on the platform, you are guaranteed to find videos that are worth sharing with your community.
One way to share YouTube videos is through the traditional way of copying the video link and share it forward. However, a more convenient way would be to download the video and later send it to any of your associates. This way, you can save the video or be able to watch it if your internet connection goes down.
The “download” button on YouTube only lets you download videos that can then be viewed even without the internet. However, you still have to watch the video on YouTube or its App.
What if you want to download a video that you can watch on different devices and transfer or share from one device to another? For that, you will need other ways to download YouTube videos that can be watched without visiting any of the YouTube platforms entirely.
If you are someone looking to download videos from YouTube, then this article can help you do just that. Here is a complete guide to everything you need to know about how to download YouTube videos.
Why should you download YouTube videos?
This often comes to people’s minds that are looking to download YouTube videos. Well, the simple answer is convenience and ease of access.
It is true that videos are played online and are available at any time of the day, but everyone may not have access to the internet at all times.
This is especially the case for students who watch educational content on the platform when traveling back and forward to school. We all know that subways are not really known to provide good access to the internet all the time.
Downloading videos saves you from the hassle of buffering or loading video every time you want to replay it. This way, you will save your mobile roaming internet data.
You will also be able to forward it at any point without any loading at all and play your videos without an internet connection as you keep the videos saved on your device.
Many videos on YouTube can be removed by the YouTube uploader at any time. If you have them saved on your device, you won’t have to worry about losing videos at all.
Is it legal to download videos from YouTube?
An important element to consider before downloading YouTube videos is to make sure that you are not doing anything illegal.
The online platform has a no re-use policy as part of their terms and conditions that don’t allow the content uploaded by someone to be used for profits or resell by someone else.
This means that any royalty video cannot be re-used without permission from YouTube. However, the company, despite knowing about people downloading YouTube videos, seem to have decided not to pursue the downloads.
It can also be considered legal if you use a video for personal use and not redistributing, copyrighting, or selling the content. For this reason, it is okay and pretty normal to download YouTube videos, especially if you’re not going against their terms and conditions.
7 ways how to download YouTube videos
There are many different ways to download YouTube videos, while some are more complicated, others are easier and convenient.
Whether you are downloading a video on your cell phone or computer, you can determine which methods you can use. All the methods mentioned below are proven to be working. I would recommend you to select any of them, based on your preference.
1. Direct downloading
The first and easiest way to download YouTube videos is to do it directly from the application itself.
This method is suitable for people downloading videos from the browser, especially computers or laptops. However, it also works for mobile users, but they need to open YouTube on their phone’s browser and not the application.
To download videos directly, simply open the YouTube website and search for the video you would like to save. After opening the desired video, go to the URL bar on top.
Once you’ve edited the video’s URL, add ‘ss’ before youtube.com and click enter. You can also add ‘magic’ between ‘you’ and ‘tube’ instead of ‘ss’ and click go.
After the page has opened, select one of the options regarding the video’s quality and format. If you would like to download a video’s audio only, you can choose the mp3 option. For the entire video, select mp4 and move forward.
The aforementioned will let you successfully download the video in its entirety for your offline viewing. Your video will automatically start downloading after you choose the format and will be available to view on your device once it finishes.
2. Download managers
An alternate method for computer users to download YouTube videos is through the use of download managers.
When you are installing a download manager, make sure that it supports YouTube videos, and you have the option turned on during the installation process.
Once you’ve finished installing the software, it will be able to detect your videos when you are on YouTube automatically. It will pop a small option on any video that you play.
This option is usually labeled as ‘download this video’ and allows you to save the video that is being played. You can select the quality and format of the video that you want on your device.
After you start the download, you will see a small window for your download manager that will show you the download status. Downloaded videos will be saved on your computer and can be viewed offline after it finishes.
3. Browser extensions
As the name suggests, browser extensions on computers can also allow you to download YouTube videos.
Mostly used on computers, this method requires you to install or add a small extension to your browser. You can look up suitable extensions on your browser’s App Store or Google Play and add a downloading tool to your browser.
There are many YouTube Video Downloader browser extensions. here a list of some recommended options you can choose from.
You can check if the extension is installed correctly by seeing the icon in the top right or the extensions list.
After you’ve installed the extension on your browser, you will be able to download YouTube videos. This tool will make downloading more manageable, and you can save any video from the YouTube platform to your personal device.
Just click on the extension icon that will pop up when watching a video and select the quality you need to download. It will then automatically start downloading, thereafter, you can find your desired video in your download folder.
4. In-App downloading
This is one of the best features YouTube has added to its mobile application. It is an easy and straightforward way to download YouTube videos on your mobile phone. If your mobile app is updated, you can download it with just a single tap of your finger.
All you need to do is open the YouTube application on your mobile phone and open the video you wish to download. There, you will see a small download button right beside the share option. Click on it, and your video will automatically start downloading. However, this method is only applicable to certain royalty-free videos or premium users.
This feature may not save the video on your device as other methods do, as the downloaded content can only be viewed from within the YouTube application itself. But the downloaded videos will be available to watch without the internet as well.
With this method, the quality of the download will be fixed for every video. If you want to change this, you will have to navigate into the application setting and select the quality of the downloaded videos you want.
5. Online downloads from external websites
Another excellent method to download any video from a famous platform is through online websites. There are many websites that offer to download YouTube videos for free. Here a couple of recommended external websites you can use to download your Youtube videos.
- Clip Converter
- VideoSolo Online Downloader
All you need to do is search for such an online downloader website of your choice. With this method, you will need to open the downloading website and YouTube simultaneously.
On YouTube, search and open the video you would like to download. Once the video starts playing, you have to go to the URL bar at the top and click it once to edit the URL.
Copy the URL in all its entirety and go to the downloader website that you had opened. On that website, you will see an option to paste the YouTube URL or link.
Paste the copied address over there and click on download. Select the quality and format you want your downloaded video to be in. After this, your video will start downloading and will be saved on your device for offline viewing.
6. Media players
Downloading different types of content through media players on your computer is not a very common way to save videos. This is due to the complicated process of downloading videos with this method.
However, it does work for any video on the internet, including YouTube videos. With certain media players such as Real Player, you will get the option to download videos from YouTube, just like a download manager. This is because some media players have a download feature integrated within them.
For other media players like VLC, you can download your videos via the streaming option. To do this, you will need to open your video on YouTube and copy the URL from the top.
After you have the URL copied, open your media player. For VLC, the option to stream a video is under the ‘Media’ bar. You can also click Ctrl+S to get to the streaming option directly.
Click on ‘Network’ and paste the copied URL before tapping on Next. After that, enter the file name in the destination window and start streaming. You will be able to download your video simultaneously with the stream, and it will be watchable once the download finishes.
7. Designated mobile and computer applications
There are several applications for mobile phones and computers explicitly designed for downloading YouTube videos. You can download YouTube videos through these applications in a similar manner to downloading from online websites.
After installing a downloader on your device, you will need to go to the video you want to save and copy the URL.
Once you’ve done that, open the application and paste the copied URL there. You can select the quality of your file before the download can begin. The application or software will start your download, and your file will be saved on your device.
Where do the saved videos go?
Your computer or laptop saves most of the downloaded files in the designated download folder. You can change the selected location if you want. Similarly, you can download videos on your mobile phones and save them in the same folder.
You can access these videos through the gallery or file manager applications. However, if you download videos from the YouTube application itself, you can only access them by opening the YouTube application and navigating to the library.
If you download the videos through the YouTube application, you will not be able to transfer them to other folders or any other devices.
Before you start your download, make sure there is enough space on your device or the designated folder for the full video.
Quality and formats you can download in
While there are no restrictions on the quality of videos you can download, it does depend on the speed and storage space. Higher quality videos are generally much more extensive and take longer to download.
Videos on YouTube range from 144p to 8k, allowing you to download in any preferable quality. You should consider the length of the video since it affects the size of the downloaded file.
If you are trying to download a lengthy video, I recommend you lower the quality as the download time will increase and the video will take up too much space.
You can also download YouTube videos in different formats such as mp4 or mp3. The mp3 file will only download the audio part of the video and save it on your device.
Sometimes, it can be tricky to download YouTube videos as the process can get complicated. You should check that your internet connection is working fine, so it does not disrupt the downloading at any point.
I would also recommend checking your device’s storage capacity before starting a download, especially for lengthy videos of high quality such as 4K videos.
You can go for any of the ways mentioned above to download YouTube videos and save them on your device. Your desired videos will be available at all times without any buffering, and you can watch them offline too.