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Download Youtube Video
On YouTube, there are billions of hours of content. Quite literally. That’s not even the most amazing fact about the site, which has been the go-to spot for posting and streaming content since 2005. However, there are moments that you just want or need one of those videos on your computer or phone. When it comes to downloading YouTube videos, however, there is a side issue that must be addressed: Is it legal?
In terms of copyright, as long as you’re downloading a video for your own personal offline use, you should be fine. When you consider Google’s YouTube terms of service, it becomes clearer: “You are not authorized 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 right .”
You, on the other hand, have your reasons. If you really must download a YouTube video—just for yourself, not for distribution, and not be a total douche. here’s how you can do that.
Note: This story is updated daily as the methods used change. Any of these updates aren’t always good, such as software that has so many “extras” that antivirus software flags it as malware. The same is true for helper websites: a shift in a site’s ad network will lead to malware issues.
We came up with a few rules for inclusion to save this from being a laundry list of services and sites that can stream YouTube videos. Services must have the following:
- Even in the free version, 4K downloads are allowed.
- Collaborate with the big three content platforms: YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo.
- Download whole playlists or channels in bulk (at least for a paid version of YouTube).
- Audio output to MP3 (or offer companion software that does so).
- Get a user experience that isn’t a hassle.
- Don’t gather any personal information about you other than your email address.
- It does not contain any malware. It’s gone if there’s even a hint of it in the air, even a PUP.
As of this writing, all of the programs, services, and websites listed in this story are free of spam/virus/problems, but caveat emptor. In a big way. Especially if you aren’t really emptor-ing.
You’ll have the most power over downloading online videos if you use third-party apps. Typically, you paste the YouTube video’s URL into the app, and it downloads the highest-quality version it can locate. An MP4 file is usually used for videos in 1080p High Resolution (HD) format. MKV is the file format of choice for images in higher resolutions, such as 4K and even 8K.
It’s important to remember that the MKV format, also known as a Matroska, is a container—it could contain video encoded with any number of codecs. The VLC Media Player for Windows, which plays all, is the foolproof way to play them all. (For more information, see the section below.) Here are some of the best downloaders available.
We discussed the VLC Media Player earlier because it’s a great tool for Windows users that can play almost any kind of media. It turns out that it can even download YouTube files, albeit in a complicated manner. (If you have any issues, you will need to reinstall VLC and clear your cache to get it to work.)
Open VLC and paste the URL from a YouTube file. Select Open Network Stream (Ctrl+N) from the Media menu and paste in the URL. To begin, press the Play button. Go to Resources > Codec Information when the video is playing. At the bottom of the page, there is a box labeled “Source”; copy the URL from there.
Return to your browser and paste the URL into the address bar—it’s a temporary web address that will expire eventually—to continue watching the video. When you’re watching the video in your browser, you’ll see a button to save the file to your computer.
Multi-lingual 4K Video Downloader (4KVD) is regularly updated and has direct download links on the program’s website; there are no ad traps here. The app does just as it says in a plain interface: it grabs videos up to 8K in quality and downloads them to a variety of formats.
To get started, simply copy a YouTube URL and paste it into the Paste Link box. 4KVD can also download translations, whole playlists, and all videos in a channel to which you have subscribed. The platforms supported are limited to the big names in the industry, such as Twitter, Vimeo, Twitter, and a few more, but they serve the bulk of your needs. To keep the lights on, it shows a large banner commercial at the bottom.
For my test video to download in 4K, I had to change the file from MP4 to MKV. In around 1 minute and 20 seconds, 4KVD grabbed the 3-minute, 229.7 Megabyte (MB) file for the movie trailer. Since 4KVD reverts to 1080p HD by default, I did the same while uploading an Ultra High Definition (8K) playlist.
4K Video Downloader will perform one-click downloads to your desired format if you allow Smart Mode and its pre-sets. The premium version is required if you wish to download more than 25 videos at once or subscribe to YouTube channels to automatically download the most recent videos. VLC Media Player played the resulting MKV files without a hitch.
You don’t even need the 4K YouTube to MP3 companion app because the application itself has the ability to extract audio to MP3 format.
Digiarty’s multilingual WinX claims to support downloads from 300+ user-generated content sites, including adult sites. Perhaps the most convincing selling point of all is the argument that “Malware, adware, spyware, or viruses do not exist. one hundred percent” “clear.” It has a simple interface, but there are advertisements for WinX’s premium service during installation.
Launch the WinX app after copying a YouTube URL (even though it is for a playlist). The “analyzer” examines all of the choices. This tool attempted to switch to the 1,920-by-1,080 MP4 version; I choose the 4K version (3,840 by 2,160 pixels) in WebM format, which is a subset of the MKV format—you can rename a.WEBM file to a.MKV and it will work perfectly.
There are choices in the configuration to default to WebM at the highest resolution. Before you even press the download button, you can back up a variety of videos. The 4K 226.9MB file was downloaded in 2 minutes and 19 seconds.
There are no download options for closed captions. That’s a second blow. However, WinX compensates for this by supporting a large number of download sites and charging nothing.
The free 5KPlayer is something more than a downloader, but it does have a really good downloader built-in. It’s a nice start to promise no viruses, commercials, or plug-in conditions. Unfortunately, it’s one of the few I tried that requires you to register with your name and email address—you’ll need to do so to use the full download feature through 300+ pages. You can also stream 4K videos from YouTube without having to log.
When installing, the software tries to conceal some details. When you paste a YouTube video’s URL into the analysis engine, it runs and just shows a few download options. To see more, press the Gear icon, then the Display Everything tab, and scroll down to see a 4K 3,840-by-2,160 WebM video.
The 6.5-minute loading time for the 227MB WebM test was unbearable. It was possible to import playlists, but you had to change the download settings one video at a time. It’s impossible to return to the other videos in the playlist due to the frustrating interface.
5K Player now supports DLNA server playback, allowing you to watch videos you’ve downloaded on any platform that supports DLNA, as well as AirPlay for fast playback to compatible devices. Choose a file from the library to convert to MP4, MP3, or even ACC (the audio format preferred by iOS devices).
The player, on the other hand, didn’t like playing back the excessively big 4K file and had buffering problems (VLC didn’t have any issues with the same file). Overall, there’s a lot to like about 5K Player, from the price to the functionality, particularly when viewed as add-ons to a downloader. However, problems with the interface and playback can cause you to look elsewhere.
ByClickDownloader (previously known as YouTubeByClick) collects video from over 40 different websites. Even on the free edition, you can use the interface’s “dials” to choose the desired download format (MP4 video or MP3 audio) and a default download quality as high as 8K before beginning the first download.
A 229.6MB MKV file in 4K took just 2.5 minutes to download—not poor despite the free version’s 2Mbps speed limit. You’ll also need the premium edition to import playlists and channels, convert them, skip commercials, and access closed captions.
One special aspect of ByClickDownloader is that you can customize it such that if you copy a URL from YouTube, the software would automatically detect it and inquire whether you want to begin the download. To get instant private downloads, enter your account credentials for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and a few other foreign sites.
Do you want to stop having to download and update software? Video download help websites are supposed to do the downloading for you. They all do the same thing: you give them a YouTube URL (or other video location, if supported), they parse it, give you a size file option, and have a link to that download. They run on every network, even handheld ones. You do not need to install something on your computer. It can take much longer depending on the size and content of the video you choose, but the simplicity is unbeatable.
The issue is that you can’t really depend on them. There are hundreds of these types of websites out there, and it seems that someone with even a limited knowledge of coding can create one. Such sites will rapidly deteriorate from helpful to suspicious, particularly if they become successful and the owner sells out to benefit from your visits.
As a result, we are not currently suggesting any helper sites. It’s not a bad idea to try one you come across, but if your browser, antivirus, or intuition caution you, stop it and move on.
YouTube’s creator Alphabet/Google manages the Chrome Web Shop, which is where you get Chrome browser extensions. Because of Chrome Store limitations, even an extension ostensibly for this reason would not allow YouTube direct downloads. The download of any RTMP protocol file (protected videos) or streaming video is not possible with Chrome extensions in general. Of course, you can use them on other video-based websites. It’s just not on YouTube.
Are you looking for a way to get around it? Get a Google Chrome extension that isn’t from the Google Web Store. Some of the programs and helper sites have an extension component and can explain how to install it without the help of the Chrome Web Store. Here are a few.
Video DownloadHelper is compatible with a large range of websites, including those intended for adults. If the button for the extension animates while you’re on the webpage, you’ll know the video is downloadable. Video DownloadHelper for Chrome no longer works for YouTube, allowing it to be added to the Chrome Web Store. You can get around this by downloading the Video DownloadHelper Firefox plugin. The developer has a Kiva initiative page where you can contribute money to help people in need; so far, it has raised $177,225.
However, with Android, you can install apps without going to Google Play. InsTube – Free Video and Music Downloader for Android, for example, is only available on InsTube’s website. To sideload on an Android smartphone, download the APK (Android application package) file. Tap to access it from your device’s downloads. (You will need to allow “Unknown sources” in your security settings.)
Given that Apple and Google aren’t really best friends, you’d imagine there’d be no such ban on iPhones and iPads. But the applications I’ve downloaded not only won’t download from YouTube, but they’re also not available for long. According to the description of one of that software, “downloading from YouTube is forbidden according to its Terms of Service.” Apple is ensuring all software developers obey the rules, like Google’s.
There are workarounds available. One choice is to use Documents through Readdle, a free iOS file manager utility. Visit a YouTube video using the Safari browser, and then use the Sharing option to locate Copy Connection. Return to Documents and navigate to a video download helper site using the app’s built-in browser. Copy the connection and paste it into the form (hold your finger down on it until you get the “Paste” menu to pop up).
The platform will provide you with download links, and you can save the file to your Documents folder. When you’re back on the main screen, keep and drag the file up to the Images section. To view Images for the first time, you’ll need to grant Documents permission. The video can then be accessed in the Photos app, much as any other video taken on your phone or tablet.
Another option is to return to the desktop and download AnyTrans ($39.99 for a single computer, Windows or macOS), a desktop file manager for iOS computers with an optimized downloader that supports 900 websites, including YouTube and Facebook. It will use the USB cable to move the videos to your iPhone. And if you don’t pay for AnyTrans, you can still use it for free.
Do you want a real one-of-a-kind way to “download” a video? Anton Gera, a Google Chrome developer, developed the YouPost extension to translate a YouTube video into an “article.” It takes all of the subtitles, in whatever language you choose, and puts them on a browser page with screenshots from the videos as examples. It will not fit if the video does not have subtitles. Of course, the better the translations, the better the article; auto-generated subtitles are like run-on sentences written by someone who doesn’t even speak the language.