How to download YouTube videos

  • Post category:Technology
  • Reading time:10 mins read
How to download YouTube videos

Beginning an era of online video sharing platform, three former PayPal employees; Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim decided to launch YouTube in February 2005. Later acquired by Google in 2006, YouTube is now giving a business of $15 billion per year.

With more than 500 hours of video being uploaded every minute and more than 2 billion logged in users every month, there is no denying that YouTube has become the number 1 platform to watch videos online.

We already know how to convert YouTube media as MP3, but at times you may need to download videos as well on your computer or mobile phones to watch them later.

Although downloading any type of content from YouTube is not recommended owing to the copyright laws, but if need be this can be done by three methods.

  1. Installing third party applications.
  2. Using online tools.
  3. Adding extensions on your browser.

Installing third party applications

Installing third party applications (commonly called as software) are the best way to download YouTube videos if the videos resolution needs to be more than 720p. These software provides full control over the video resolution, format and bit rate of audio. They also help to schedule future download of the newly uploaded YouTube videos.

The only disadvantage of using these applications is the risk involved in using them. These software only function post installing on your local computer, making them vulnerable to Virus, Trojan or Malware.

Using online tools

Unlike third party software using online tools to download YouTube videos is much easier. However the amount of time taken to download the videos is not standard and may vary from one tool to another. The risk of your system getting infected by viruses is greatly reduced; however the video resolution that is available for download is restricted up to 720p. The choice of choosing the output file format and audio bit rate is also limited.

There are many online tools that can assist you in downloading video content; however it is advised to use them at your own risks. Avoid using suspicious sites or the one that looks similar to spam.

Adding extensions on your browser

Another way to download videos on your device is by adding extensions in your browser. This allows you to download the content directly from the channel just by activating the extension.

As easy as it sounds, these types of extensions usually require permissions to access your files and folders. Before installing them on your browser it is recommended to check their file permission.

Their functionality is also restricted similar to the online tools, and the maximum output file that can be downloaded is limited to 720p.

5 Best apps to download YouTube videos on computer

There are lot of software and third party application available online but not all serve the purpose. After testing and analyzing these applications for spam and malwares, we are sharing the list of applications that allows you to download YouTube videos on your computer.

VLC Media Player

VLC player allows you to save the video in MP4 format with the highest resolution of 1080 pixel. In order to download YouTube video from your VLC player, you need to follow the below mentioned procedures:
  1. Select and copy the URL from the YouTube.
  2. Go to the top bar of your VLC player and select Media > Network StreamDownload YouTube videos using VLC
  3. Enter the URL selected from YouTube in to the network URL.
  4. Select Play
  5. Go to the top bar of your VLC player and select Tools > Media information
  6. Go to the location bar and copy the URL.
  7. Open your browser and paste the URL copied from location bar of your VLC player.
  8. Right click and select “Save as”.

4K Video Downloader

A fast and reliable way to download YouTube videos is by using 4K Video Downloader. This downloader also helps you to download content from Facebook, Tumblr, Vimeo and various other sites. It is free as well as paid depending upon the usage. To download videos using 4K Video Downloader, follow the below steps.
  1. Download and install 4K Video Downloader.
  2. After installation open the downloader.
  3. Click the “Paste Link” button.Download YouTube videos using 4K Video Downloader (Step 1)
  4. You will be asked to download the entire playlist or the single clip.Download YouTube videos using 4K Video Downloader (Step 2)
  5. Select your preference and the downloading will start.
Pros: This software allows you to download videos that have Ultra HD, 4K and 8K resolutions. Output format can also be changed before downloading. You can also automate the downloader to automatically download new uploads along with their subtitles.

WinX YouTube Downloader

WinX is an all purpose HD video downloader that can download videos from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vimeo. You can also convert the downloaded YouTube 4K VP9 MKV/WebM video to MP4, H264, HEVC. You can also change the bit rate, frames per second, and the aspect ratio of the video. Follow these steps to download the video to your computer.
  1. Select the video URL from the source.
  2. Paste the URL in the space provided as shown in the figure.WinX YouTube Downloader
  3. Choose the video quality and proceed to download.

5K Player

A simple and classy application that allows user to download video in 4K, 5K and 1080p format. Just like above mentioned applications, 5K Player can also download videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion etc. Download Youtube videos using 5KPlayer All you have to do is install this application on your computer and paste the URL link. You also have an option to choose the format and resolution before downloading. The most important feature of this application is the airplay tool that lets you connect to Apple devices. It also has a DLNA server playback feature for devices that support DLNA.


Snapdownloader is video downloader application for Windows and Mac operating system. Apart from YouTube, users have the option to download video from over 900 different websites. The video can be downloaded in 8K, 4K, HD and 720p, and has an option to download as an MP3 or MP4 file. Users also have an option to download a single or multiple playlist at the same time.
  1. Download and install the application.
  2. Open Snapdownloader and paste the URL selected from YouTube.
  3. Select the downloading method.Download YouTube videos using Snapdownloader
  4. Choose the output format and resolution.
  5. Click on download.

How to download YouTube videos online

Installing third party applications exposes your computer to potential risks of malware and spyware. Besides, installing these third party applications just for one time video download is a lot to ask. Online Tools are a quick way to download YouTube videos without installing any third party applications. They are quick, simple and are potentially less risky. We are sharing some of the best online tools that can be used to download YouTube videos directly.

Y2 Mate

Y2Mate Youtube video downloader

A simple online tool that downloads videos from YouTube, Facebook, Video, Dailymotion in HD format. No registration is required and user is free to use this tool for unlimited file downloads. Follow these steps to download your video using this tool.

  1. Visit website.
  2. Paste the URL selected from YouTube.
  3. Click on Start.
  4. Choose the desired format and select “Download”.


Saveform YouTube video downloader

Another simple tool to download YouTube videos online is SaveFrom. It is a simple tool that helps user to download the video in MP4 format. However the videos resolution is restricted to a maximum of 1080p and is provided without audio. The most ideal video output for this tool is 720p and comes along with the audio.

Steps to download

  1. Visit SaveFrom website.
  2. Paste the URL selected from the source.
  3. Choose from the list of download options and select “Download”.


U2Convert YouTube video downloader

U2Convert is another online video downloader tool for Windows and Mac operating system. It allows users to download YouTube videos to Mp3 and Mp4 format completely free of charge. Like any other online tool, the maximum output resolution by U2Convert is restricted to 720p and the bit rate for audio is restricted to 320kbps.

Follow the below steps to download your YouTube videos using U2Convert.

  1. Visit the website
  2. Search the YouTube video and paste the URL in the bar.
  3. Choose the resolution.
  4. Click Download.

How to download YouTube videos on your Phone

Downloading the YouTube video on your mobile phones becomes necessary if you need to watch them while you are offline. It is generally required by travelers who enter in to a no internet zone for few hours. You can download videos officially by registering with YouTube official app or you can choose to install third party applications. Let us discuss these in detail.

YouTube App

Downloading directly from YouTube official app has its own benefits. Not only can the user download unlimited videos depending upon their storage capacity, they also have an option to choose the video resolution. Besides, downloading videos using official app saves you from any type of copyright infringement. The downloaded files can be accessed from the library of the application and are available for a maximum of 48 hours before requiring an active internet connection again. The only disadvantage of using official application is its inability to share videos through apps like WhatsApp or Facebook. In order to do so you may require third party applications that can help you download videos directly on your mobile, however this violates YouTube’s terms and conditions.

Third Party App

There is not a single reliable third party application that has remained in the play store for more than 1 month. Google has been very stringent on third party software since it directly affects their revenue generated from YouTube.

This being said, you can install these applications by accessing their websites and downloading them. Applications like TubeMate or InsTube are few of the third party software that can help you download video content directly to your android device. Yet we recommend everybody to avoid installing and using these applications as much as possible.

When it comes to downloading YouTube content on Apple mobiles (iOS), the process to do this is next to impossible. The terms and conditions of Apple are stricter than anybody else, and the possibility of finding an application on i-Store is almost none. In the event you do find an application that promises to do the job, it won’t last long.

Is It Legal to Download YouTube Videos?

YouTube has clearly mentioned in their terms and conditions that reproducing, distributing and broadcasting their content without prior written consent from them or the content owner is not permitted. Doing so is illegal and is strictly prohibited as per United States Copyright Law.

Downloading copyright content which you can financially benefit from puts you at a risk of facing criminal charges. This not only applies to US but also to countries like United Kingdom and Europe.

However, there are some content available on YouTube that can be downloaded without any restrictions. Contents that have Creative Commons can be used to download and reproduce since you already have the permission from the owner.


In this post we shared list of applications required to download YouTube videos and their step by step procedures. Along with this, we also explained various other alternatives to third party applications for downloading on your mobile or desktop. Along these lines, we have shared a comparative difference for you to decide between these tools before installing. We hope this post was useful to you, for any concerns please do not hesitate to write us back.

Disclaimer: Downloading someone else’s video content from YouTube can be astray both morally and legally. On the copyright front as long as you are downloading the video for your own personal use to watch it later offline, it is not illegal. But when it comes to downloading a YouTube video for commercial use, it is considered a felony. Watching the videos through unofficial channels apart from YouTube does not help the channel owner or YouTube itself in monetization.


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