On YouTube, there are trillions of hours of video. Literally. And that’s not even the site’s most astonishing fact; since 2005, it has been the top place to upload and view videos online. Having said that, there are occasions when you truly need or want to have one of those videos on your phone or computer. But there’s a side issue that needs to be brought up when the matter of downloading YouTube videos is brought up: Is it lawful?

Regarding copyright, you should be fine as long as you’re downloading a video for your own private offline usage. Consider Google’s terms of service for YouTube (Opens in a new window) , which stated that you were not permitted to “access, reproduce, download, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, alter, modify or otherwise use any part of the Service or any Content except: (a) as expressly authorized by the Service; or (b) with prior written permission from YouTube and, if applicable, the respective rights holders.” This makes things more clear-cut.

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How to Download Videos from YouTube Off-line access to YouTube videos via unauthorized channels costs Google and the video producers money. YouTube has advertisements because it’s how some people make a living.

Stealing YouTube videos is obviously prohibited. When it comes to sharing videos, YouTube and the majority of other video-sharing websites make it simple, allowing for social network sharing, emailing, and embedding. Most of the time, you simply don’t need to download a video.

But you have your explanations. Here’s how you download a YouTube video if you absolutely must, just for yourself, not for sharing, and not to be a complete douche-nozzle.

NOTE: Due to the continuous changes in the tools used, this tale is updated frequently. Some of those developments are not necessarily pleasant, such as software that has so many “extras” that antivirus programs label it as malware. The same is true of the helper websites; changes to a site’s ad network might lead to malware problems.

We developed a few guidelines for inclusion in order to keep this from becoming into a comprehensive list of websites and apps that can download YouTube videos. Offerings must:

Work with the big three video sharing websites, Vimeo, Facebook, and YouTube.
On YouTube, you may download full playlists or channels in one go, at least with the paid version.
audio output to MP3 (or offer companion software that does so).
Have a user interface that works well.
not to gather any information about you besides your email address.
not have malware in it. It’s out if there is even the slightest whiff of it in the air, not even a PUP.

As of this writing, all of the websites, services, and programs mentioned in this article are free of spam, viruses, and other issues, but buyer beware. Really big. in particular if you aren’t actually emptor-ing.

DOWNLOADS FROM PREMIUM YOUTUBE Video downloads are now accessible to YouTube Premium customers, who pay a monthly fee to watch videos ad-free. Sort of. One restriction applies to quality: All of the videos you download are only available in 1080p or lesser resolution. No 4K.

Downloads (Opens in a new window) from the YouTube hamburger menu to browse the list of what you’ve downloaded, you can access the download. Downloads are still accessible as long as your device has an active internet connection at least once every 30 days, according to the page. Read on for tools that do since this probably isn’t exactly what you’re looking for in a download.

MPEG-4 Part 14 multimedia format (Opens in a new window) ) is played.

Keep in mind that the MKV file, also known as a Matroska file, is a container that may store video using a variety of codecs. Use the VLC Media Player for Windows, which plays anything, to play them all without a hitch. (Read on for more information.) Here are the top downloaders, in terms of choices.

Free VLC Media Player; Mac, Windows, and Linux

VLC Media Player (Opens in a new window) is a terrific utility for Windows, Mac, and Linux users that plays back virtually every media ever created, as we mentioned before. It can also download YouTube videos, albeit in a cumbersome manner. (If you experience any issues, try a complete VLC re-install and clearing your cache to fix it.)

Open VLC, then copy a URL from a YouTube video. Copy the URL and choose Open Network Stream (Ctrl N) from the Media menu. Press “Play.” Go to Tools > Codec Information while the video is playing. Copy the URL and paste it in the “Source” box, which is located at the bottom.

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(Credit: PCMag) Despite the fact that the original YouTube stream was accessible in 1440p or 2160p, it appears that VLC will only save your file in 1080p and not any higher resolution (aka 4K). Additionally, it won’t change video’s format. You require the desktop software listed below to access those options.

Media Player VLC (Opens in a new window)

Video downloader in 4K Free, $10 for a year’s worth of use, or $15 for a lifetime license on three machines; Ubuntu Linux, Windows, macOS, and Android

4K Video Downloader (Opens in a new window) (4KVD) on the program’s website. The software has an easy-to-use interface and delivers on its promises. It downloads footage in a variety of formats and can capture 8K-quality content. To begin, just copy a YouTube URL and press the Paste Link button. Even subtitles, complete playlists, and all of the videos in a subscribed channel will be grabbed by 4KVD. The only websites that are supported are a few popular ones like YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and a few others, but it should be enough for the majority of your needs. To keep the lights on, the free edition, which has a daily download cap of 30, does display a sizable banner ad.

In order for my test movie to download in 4K, I had to change the format from MP4 to MKV. A 3-minute, 229.7MB movie trailer was downloaded by 4KVD in just under 1 minute and 20 seconds. The identical change was made when I downloaded an Ultra High Definition (8K) playlist (Opens in a new window) .

The Smart Mode and its presets enable 4KVD to carry out one-click downloads to your preferred format. You need the paid version if you want to subscribe to YouTube channels to instantly download (Opens in a new window) the latest or download more than 30 videos daily. The generated MKV files played back flawlessly on VLC Media Player.

You don’t even need the 4K YouTube to MP3 (Opens in a new window) companion software because the program itself offers an option to extract audio to MP3 format. But if you’re into it, it costs the same as 4KVD.

Video downloader in 4K
In a new window, click here
YouTube to MP3 in 4K
YouTube Converter Windows, macOS; $25.95 for 1 year/3 PCs; $39.95 for life; $57.95 for family on 3-5 PCs.

this converter (Opens in a new window) , which also offers editing and effects. Of course, it also handles a lot of downloading. It promises some speed with Google’s terms of service for YouTube (Opens in a new window) 0. Thankfully, it routinely offers price reductions; in fact, the one-year license is currently only Google’s terms of service for YouTube (Opens in a new window) 1 $25.95.

Allow the software to detect your hardware to determine what will aid in acceleration before using it (if anything). To add as many URLs as you want to a batch, click the Add video button on the Downloader button, then click Download Now. Or you can download a whole YouTube playlist or live broadcast.

It took roughly 2 minutes and 15 seconds to convert our Google’s terms of service for YouTube (Opens in a new window) 2 file to WEBM format, which isn’t awful. Downloads don’t seem to be restricted in the VideoProc Converter trial version, which has a 5-minute converting time limit.

YouTube Converter (Opens in a new window)
Windows; FLIXGRAB Free (donation-ware);

Google’s terms of service for YouTube (Opens in a new window) 3 offers a number of different programs, many of which have features that are shared with other programs. For instance, although it supports Windows 10 and 11 computers, FlixGrabMS on the Google’s terms of service for YouTube (Opens in a new window) 4 wouldn’t allow me download YouTube videos. YouTube and a number of other websites worked with the FlixGrab application when it was downloaded directly from the flixgrabapp.com website. Additionally, it provides an Google’s terms of service for YouTube (Opens in a new window) 5 that is tailored to YouTube but has a similar user-friendly design.

The subscription costs for an upgrade have vanished, which is the biggest change since our previous update. “For present, our applications are completely free,” the website states on its contribution page. However, the developers would appreciate it if you could make a small donation using PayPal or a credit card.


Free 5KPlayer for Windows and Mac

Google’s terms of service for YouTube (Opens in a new window) 6 is much more than a downloader, yet it has a great downloader built right in. A smart place to start is by promising no viruses, advertisements, or plug-in needs. Unfortunately, it is one of the few tests that requires you to register your name and email in order to access the full download function for Google’s terms of service for YouTube (Opens in a new window) 7. You may still download 4K videos from YouTube even if you don’t sign up.

The download manager does make some attempts to conceal information. When you enter a YouTube video’s URL, the analysis engine launches and only displays a limited number of download possibilities. To view something that looks more like a 4K 3,840 by 2,160 WebM file, click the gear icon, then the Show All button, then scroll. It took a painful 6.5 minutes to download the 227MB WebM test file. It was possible to grab playlists, but you had to change the download options one video at a time. It’s challenging to return to the playlist’s other videos due to the baffling design.

Additionally, 5K Player includes DLNA server playback so that videos you download can be viewed on any DLNA-compatible devices. It also supports AirPlay for rapid playing to Apple devices. Choose a video from the collection to quickly convert to MP4, MP3, or even ACC (the audio format preferred by iOS). However, the player didn’t enjoy playing back the excessively big 4K video and had buffering problems (VLC didn’t have any issues with the same file).

In the end, 5K Player has a lot going for it, from the pricing to the features, especially if you consider them to be add-ons for a downloader. But you could start exploring elsewhere because of the poor UI, slow download rates, and playback troubles.

ASSISTANT WEBSITES (HEED ANY S) Do you wish to forego program installation? Websites that assist with video downloads are designed to handle the downloading for you. All of them perform the same fundamental task: You submit a YouTube URL (or the URL of another video site, if supported), they parse it, offer you the option of choosing the size of the download, and then provide a link to the desired download. They operate across all platforms, occasionally even on mobile ones. Nothing has to be installed on your computer. Depending on the size and quality of the video you want, it can take much longer, but the convenience is unbeatable.


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The issue is that you can’t always rely on them. There are hundreds of these sites online—it seems like anyone with even a basic understanding of coding can create one. Such websites can quickly turn from helpful to suspect, especially if they become well-known and the owner sells out to profit from your visits.

All of the helper websites we suggested have been taken down since this article was first published for reasons such as adding pornographic advertisements, ceasing to function, pivoting to exclusively promoting its download utility, and one quitting business willingly to avoid legal action.

Because of this, we are not currently recommending any helper websites. If you locate one, try it out, but if your antivirus, browser, or gut tells you something is off, stay away from it and go on.

WEBSITE EXTENSIONS A browser add-on can help you skip a step. However, if Chrome is your default browser, you can experience some difficulties while trying to download videos from YouTube.

Alphabet/Google, the owner of YouTube, controls the Google’s terms of service for YouTube (Opens in a new window) 8 where you may obtain Chrome browser extensions. YouTube direct downloads won’t be possible, not even with an extension apparently made for this purpose due to Chrome Store limitations. In general, downloading any RTMP protocol video (restricted videos) or streaming video is impossible using Chrome extensions. Naturally, you can use them on other websites that include video. Not YouTube though.

Want to circumvent it? Purchase an extension from a source other than the Google Web Store. Some of the applications and reference pages have an extension component that allows them to spell out Google’s terms of service for YouTube (Opens in a new window) 9 without the customary support from the Chrome Web Store. These are a few.

FREE YOUTUBE VIDEO DOWNLOADER; Vivaldi, Brave, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge

Downloads (Opens in a new window) 0 is included in many browsers, however Downloads (Opens in a new window) 1 allows the usage of user scripts or third-party extensions, such as Downloads (Opens in a new window) 2 (which enables the use of Firefox extensions on Chrome/Edge). It adds a button to the bottom of every YouTube video you’re playing or an embedded YouTube video to make it simple to grab. Up to 8K video resolution is supported. You can also turn the video’s audio into an MP3 file. You can use it to capture screenshots of videos.

VIDEO DOWNLOADER FOR YOUTUBE (Opens in a new window)
Free Video Download Assistant; Firefox, Chrome, and Edge

Even adult-oriented websites are supported by Downloads (Opens in a new window) 3. When the icon for the extension begins to animate while you are on the website, you will know a video is available for download. In order to be listed in the Chrome Web Store, Video DownloadHelper for Chrome has stopped functioning with YouTube. Use the Video DownloadHelper extension on Firefox or Edge to get around it.

VIDEO DOWNLOAD ASSISTANT (Opens in a new window)

APPS THAT DOWNLOAD MOBILE VIDEOS Given that Google controls the website it owns (even if it never seems to scan for viruses) and offers the premium YouTube Premium service noted above to facilitate offline watching, downloading from YouTube using an Android app from the Google Play Store is difficult.

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0 (Source: PCMag) However, installing apps on an Android device is feasible without using Google. On instance, InsTube is the only place to find Downloads (Opens in a new window) 4 for Android. To sideload an Android program on a device, download the APK (Android application package) file. Locate it in the downloads section of your device and click Downloads (Opens in a new window) 5. (You might need to enable “Unknown sources” in your security settings.)


on YouTube

Since Apple and Google aren’t exactly great friends, you’d assume there wouldn’t be a restriction on iPhones and iPads (or Downloads (Opens in a new window) 6 ). But on the iOS apps I’ve tried, not only would they not download from YouTube, but they would also frequently disappear quickly. The terms of service for YouTube restrict downloading, according to the description of one of those programs. Apple is ensuring that app developers follow all applicable laws, including Google’s.

Any iOS app that can download YouTube videos is likely to be “fixed” or removed as soon as it is discovered. Jailbreaking your iPhone and using sideloaded apps that download what you want are your only real options.

There are alternatives. One option is to sign up for YouTube Premium, which works similarly to Netflix and Hulu in allowing you to download videos to your iPhone or iPad for later viewing. To modify a clip, however, is not truly given to you.

A free iOS file manager software like Downloads (Opens in a new window) 7 is another option. Visit a YouTube video using the Safari browser, and under Share, select Copy Link. Then return to Documents and navigate to a video download assistance site using the app’s built-in browser (you know, the kind we don’t advocate). Embedding the link in the form (hold your finger down on it until you get the “Paste” menu to pop up). You can download the file to Documents using the links provided on the website. Drag the file to the Photos folder by holding and dragging it up until you’re back on the home screen. For the first time, you must grant Documents access before it can access Photos. The video is then accessible in the Photos app like any other video taken on a phone or tablet.

PUBLICATIONS BY READDLE (Opens in a new window)

Another solution: Return to the desktop and check out Downloads (Opens in a new window) 8, a desktop file organizer for iOS devices with an integrated downloader supporting 900 sites including YouTube and Facebook ($39.99 for a single computer for a year, Windows or macOS; $59.99 lifetime subscription). It will use a USB cord to transfer the videos for you to your iPhone. The download option is still available and is always free, even if you choose not to purchase AnyTrans.



SCRIBE TO YT Want to “download” a video in a genuinely uncommon way? You can get the transcription from Downloads (Opens in a new window) 9 and read the documents instead. It automatically paragraphizes, punctuates, and transcribes the text. Of course, the “article” will be better the better the subtitles. The best part is that it is absolutely free.

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