How to Download Videos From YouTube
With the ever increasing popularity of watching videos online, there is a lot of great content that’s freely available on YouTube; if you want this content at your fingertips, even when offline, then you need to download the videos to your devices. There is a growing need of apps on your phone, tablet or computer, which will allow you to download these videos, but luckily, there are also a lot of options available.
Please note that YouTube’s terms of services say, “You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content.” So if you see the download button, you can legally download this video easily without the need of a third-party app.
The terms further add, “You shall not copy, reproduce, make available online or electronically transmit, publish, adapt, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.” So if the video does not have a download button, be sure to get that consent before you proceed.
We tried different methods of downloading a YouTube video across different platforms, but this is not an exhaustive list, just the ones we liked the most. These are our favourite choices to download YouTube videos for offline use, on each platform.
One thing you’ll have to do in almost all these methods is decide what quality and format of video you want to download. If you are looking for something small that will play on most mobile devices, you should choose one of the 3GP options — 144p will be smaller and might have artifacts, while a 720p MP4 is really overkill if you just want to look at it on a small phone. A 360p MP4 looks fine on most mobile screens, without eating up too much of your data plan either.
Keepvid is one of the simplest ways to download videos from the web, and all you need is the URL — the address of the web page that shows up in the bar where you type in a site’s name — to download files.
To use Keepvid, you need to follow these steps:
1. Open the video you want to save in YouTube. Click on the address bar, then select the full address and copy it.
2. Next, go to the Keepvid website.
3. On the website, you see a form where you can enter the link of the video you want to download. Paste the URL you copied earlier in this bar, and then click the Download button on the right. You’ll immediately get a list of links, mentioning different formats and sizes.
4. Choose the file you want from the list of formats and sizes, and then right click on that particular link. To save the file, select Save link as… and you will be asked where you want to save the file on your computer.
In case you don’t want to go through the hassle of copy pasting the details every time, browser extensions are a great shortcut. Our favourite one is SaveFrom.net, which works with Opera, Firefox and Chrome. To use this, first you need to install the extension.
Once you’ve installed the extension, a button appears in the top right corner of your browser.
1. Go to the video page, and then click on the extension button.
2. A drop down menu appears comprising a number of options. Click on the Download from current page option.
3. Doing so takes you to the SaveFrom.net official page, where the url of the video is already processing.
4. You will see general information about the video like title (name of the video), duration and source. You can choose to download the video in any of the formats like (FLV 240p, MP4 720p, 3GP 240p) which appear below the download links.
5. Right click on the format you want, and select Save link as… to download the file.
Internet Explorer does not support SaveFrom.net addon, so we decided to go with FastestTube which is as good as any other extension. Here are the steps:
1. Visit the page to download the extension.
2. Click on the Internet Explorer icon.
3. FastestTube setup gets downloaded. Follow the download steps to install the extension.
4. Open the YouTube video you want to download.
5. A Download button appears below the video.
6. Click on the Download button and a drop down menu comes showing various formats in which the video can be downloaded.
7. You the video format and the download will start.
Windows/ OS X
If you don’t want to use a website or a browser extension but a standalone program on your computer, YouTubeDownloader (YTD) has you covered.
1. Go to YTD video converter page.
2. Click on the Free Download button.
3. YouTube downloader gets downloaded in the default download folder on your system.
4. Double click on the setup file to install the YTD Video Downloader.
5. Once the download is complete, open YouTube and copy the url of the video you want to download.
6. Open YTD and click on Paste URL button.
7. You can select the video quality by clicking on the Download quality dropdown and selecting any one of the options which appear in the drop down menu.
8. Now just click on the Download button at the bottom right corner.
9. You can pause or stop the download by clicking on the video and selecting the pause or the stop button above it.
10. To view the downloaded video click on the folder icon right above the video box and it will open the location where the video has been downloaded.
There are plenty of apps to download YouTube videos available on the Windows Store, some are paid while the others are free. We have selected Tube Pro, because it is extremely simple to use, with not too many options before downloading the video — simply search and download.
To download, videos first download the app. Launch the app, and you will see the Menu screen with various options like Hot videos, Favorites, Offline playlist, My playlist and My download. There is a Top Rated menu also comprising most popular music, sports and movie videos.
Then follow these steps:
1. Tap on the Search icon at the bottom and enter the name of the video you want to download. Right below the search bar there is HD check box which you can select if you want the search to return only HD videos.
2. Tap on the video you want from the results, choose the quality setting from LQ, HQ and HD boxes — stands for Low, High and HD quality respectively — then tap the Download button to start downloading.
3. After you’ve downloaded a video, you can play it from the app itself, by going to the My Download section.
Our favourite Android app in this category is TubeMate. The free app is not available on Google Play though, and you need to install the Amazon Appstore for Android to get it.
Installing Appstore for Android
1. On your phone, first open Settings and then go to Applications and find the Unknown Sources option. In case it isn’t there (this varies across devices), then, in Settings, go to Security. Tick the Unknown Sources box, and tap OK on the confirmation popup.
2. Next, visit the Appstore link and download the APK file.
3. In the file explorer, find AmazonApps-release.apk and tap it. Tap Install and once the installation is done, tap Open to launch the app.
Next, you can install TubeMate and download videos.
1. Search for TubeMate YouTube Downloader and tap the Install button.
2. Once the installation finishes, tap on the app icon to launch the app.
3. In the app, tap on the search icon and type the name of the video.
4. Wait till all the videos are loaded and then tap on the one you want to download.
5. Tap on the green coloured arrow at the top right corner which is the download icon, to download the YouTube video which is being currently played.
6. You can download multiple videos and it also lets you play only the audio from the video.
7. A pop up window appears saying Parsing video information. This basically means that the video information is being processed.
8. Right after that, a list of various video formats will appear and you can select any one out of them.
9. Just tap on the download button at the bottom to download the YouTube video on your Android phone.
10. If you want to check where the video is downloaded just tap the semi-circle icon and you will enter the download section which shows downloads in progress.
11. If by any chance you have to pause the video then the TubeMate app lets you resume the download from the same point where you had left it.
On the iPhone, we found Video Download & Player, which lets you download YouTube videos to your device. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Install the Video Download & Player app from the App Store.
2. Launch the app, and click on the search bar.
3. Search the video you want to download.
4. Select the video and click on Cache Video to Memory. Your video starts downloading.
5. You can check the downloaded files in the Videos section at the bottom.
6. The app also lets you watch the videos offline.