Download YouTube videos is surprisingly easy, and there are many reasons to try it out. for example. It allows you to watch them without an internet connection, which is ideal for entertaining yourself on planes, trains and travel to places without reliable mobile Internet access.
If you have a mobile plan with limited data allowance, downloading YouTube videos is also great. You can download them to your phone using your home Wi-Fi, and watch them without risking going to your data allocation.
Best of all, you can do it for free. YouTube itself offers some free tools for jobs on desktops (both mobile and desktop), and there are third-party free YouTube downloaders that you can use as well. Read on to find out how.
If you just want to save videos from music, or strip audio to convert to podcasts, check out our guide to the best YouTube to MP3 converters and the best free video editor for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Mobile device access? The best video editor for iPhone can be more your thing.
Is it legal to Download YouTube videos?
Using a third-party application to download YouTube videos is against YouTube’s Terms of Service – which states that you are only able to stream videos directly from its servers. Downloading YouTube videos allows you to open up to potential copyright infringement, unless you have the permission of the copyright holder, it is in the public domain, or you own the video.
That said, YouTube offers some ways to download videos through its web service and its own app. In this guide we will explain how to do this, and will take you through the other options available for iPhone, Android, Mac and PC.
Get 4K video downloader
To download YouTube videos to a Windows PC, start by downloading and installing 4K Video Downloader. This versatile software is completely free, and can download entire playlists, as well as 360-degree and 3D videos. When it’s done, check the box marked ‘Launch’ and click ‘Finish’.
Copy and paste the video URL
Open your web browser, find the video you want to download from YouTube and copy its URL from the address bar. Then return to the 4K video downloader and click the green ‘Paste Link’ button at the top left.
The software will receive information about the video and give you a choice of quality options. These will vary depending on the quality of the original video, but YouTube can download videos in 4K when software is available.
Choose quality and format
The 4K video downloader will allow you to download entire YouTube videos, or just rip audio. Select your preferred selection using the drop-down menu on the left, then choose a format using the menu on the right. We like MP4 for our videos, as it gives a good balance of quality and file size – and will run on basically every device.
Then, choose your quality. To play back video on your TV or PC, we recommend choosing the highest resolution, but keep in mind that it will take longer and take up more space. Luckily, you can check the approximate file size on the left to see how much space it will take up.
You can also choose where the downloaded video should be saved using the ‘Browse’ button below. Once happy, click ‘Download’.
Download YouTube videos
The YouTube video will now be downloaded for you. If there are other videos in the manufacturer’s channel, the 4K video downloader will ask if you want to download them as well. It can download up to 24 videos at a time.
Once the video is downloaded, you can find it in the destination folder, or right-click it in the 4K video downloader and choose ‘Play’. Until you adjust the settings, the video will remain in this list until you choose to remove it – even if you shut down and restart the software.
Try smart mode
If you often download videos in the same format, watch Smart Mode. It saves your download preferences and loads them automatically. Click on the lightbulb icon in the top right and the next time you paste a URL into the 4K video downloader, it will download immediately with the final settings you use.
Download YOUTUBE videos in ANDROID device
TubeMate is one of the most popular tools for downloading YouTube videos on Android smartphones, and with good reason: it’s really easy to use and has the features you need without any bells and whistles.
TubeMate Video Downloader is not available on the Google Play Store (Google is not too keen on YouTube downloaders), so first you need to allow your Android device to install and run applications downloaded from other locations. Be alert when you turn on this setting, because you want to make sure that you only download apps that you know are safe.
Open ‘Settings’ and go to ‘Security’. Scroll down and where it says ‘unknown source’, tap the toggle to turn on this setting. Now, go to the TubeMate Download YouTube Videos website on your Android device and select one of the verified sites to download it.
Choose a video to download
You may see a warning message about downloading APK files, so click ‘OK’ to allow it. Once TubeMate is downloaded, run the file and tap ‘Install’, then tap ‘Open’. You will then be notified which permissions the video downloader needs to play. If you are happy with the move, then let it go ahead and the app will launch.
TubeMate looks like the official YouTube Android app with a black background. Find a video and start playing it, then tap on the red ‘Download’ button that appears in the bottom right.
Download Youtube videos
The next thing you will see is a list of formats. You will see video and audio formats and different quality and resolution options for each. If you have a high-end device, by all means download the highest possible quality version, but remember that the larger the resolution the larger the file: if your phone or tablet doesn’t have a lot of free space, YouTube videos soon Will only fill it. UP
When you’re happy, tap the red ‘Download’ button again. The video will download in the background, so you can use your phone normally – although downloading the video takes a lot of juice and this can cause your batter to fall down fast.
You can also add YouTube videos to a queue for later download. This works if you are currently using 4G and want to wait until Wi-Fi before downloading any large file.
Download videos with YouTube Premium
If you have a YouTube Premium membership, you will enjoy various perks, including the ability to download videos for offline viewing without third-party software. You can do this using YouTube, YouTube music and YouTube gaming apps. Keep in mind that you can only watch downloaded videos using the app – you cannot transfer the video file to another device, or watch it with another player.
Start watching the video, then tap the ‘Download’ button (a gray arrow) under the player and choose a quality setting. Once the video is successfully downloaded from YouTube, you can find it in your Library or Account tab.
You must be signed into your account to watch downloaded videos, and when you watch them offline, you cannot reply to videos with comments or likes.
In which formats can I download YouTube videos?
Video downloading apps usually give you a choice of file formats. The most common are MP4, 3GP, AVI and MOV; The choice of format and quality settings will affect what you can watch your video, and how good the video will be.
If you are not very much about video quality, then 3GP is the file format for you. This is perfect for small screen mobile phones and is terrible on anything else, but the files are small – which matters on older mobiles, as they typically have too much on-board storage or no memory expansion capability.
For other devices, MOV is Apple’s video format and works on every Mac, AVI was developed by Microsoft and works happily on PCs, and MP4 is the equivalent of MP3 video and much more. is. For maximum compatibility we would suggest sticking with MP4.
How about video quality?
The next decision you have to make is video quality. If you are downloading through a service like Clipcorter – the process described on the previous page of this article, you will be given the option of video sources. This is because YouTube is present in many properties for older mobiles, from 3GP to 1080p high definition large HD displays.
3GP aside, you have four options here for your computer, smartphone or tablet: 360p, 480p, 720p and 1080p. The higher the quality of the file, so the trick is to balance the quality and size: as long as you’re not looking at a really big screen, you can probably manage without 1080p quality unless you need extra Storage oodles are not available (although 360p video will not look good on HD displays).
Unless you have unlimited storage capacity, the trade-off usually means finding the lowest video quality that you can tolerate the performance you will be watching the video.
If the video you’re downloading has music, it doesn’t matter what video quality you choose – the soundtrack has the same bitrate whether you go for 480p video or 1080p. This is because YouTube’s audio and video streams are two different things, so adjusting the quality of the video makes no difference to the soundtrack quality.