It is ever so convenient to watch the videos saved on your device as you don’t need to rely on the internet connection. Also, you save yourself some data, which would otherwise be spent in streaming the videos over. That’s why it only makes sense to download YouTube videos.
But, before we jump to how to download YouTube videos part, let’s address another looming question that calls for attention – is it legal to download YouTube videos?
YouTube itself allows you to download certain videos by clicking on the ‘download’ link (if it is available with the video). The copy of such a video is cached for offline viewing. You can play the video back even when there is no internet connection. But, you will still need YouTube app to view the video.
So, the question somewhat changes to – is it legal to download YouTube videos in a particular file format on my device? The answer to this question is largely NO. Google whips out ads in various ways during the video playback on YouTube. So, Google makes money when you watch videos on the YouTube portal (or mobile app). When you download the videos, you deprive the company of some revenue. This is why it is a NO. However, if you have your own video uploaded on the site, it is okay to download them.
Nevertheless, if you really need to download the videos and you have already taken all the probable consequences into account keep reading to learn how to download YouTube videos.
Related Article: – How To Convert YouTube To WAV
METHOD 1: USING ONLINE HELPER TOOLS
There are plenty of apps/tools to convert and download the YouTube videos on your computer or mobile devices. But, on account of security concerns, many do not like to install an additional application. For them, online YouTube download sites are a great choice. Thankfully, when it comes to browser-based YouTube helpers, there are various choices available.
The download speed may vary on the side and is also incident to your Wi-Fi connection. The quality of videos, however, is pretty consistent and depends on the choice you made at the time of download. You could choose to save the video in the 1080p, 720p or even a lower resolution. The higher the resolution the more space it will take on your storage and longer will be the download time.
So, how do these web-based helpers work? A few years ago, in order to download a YouTube video, you needed to copy and paste the URL on the helper website. You can still use this process. However, many sites have made the download tasks a lot easier than before. For instance, if you wish to use VDYouTube.com to save the videos, you don’t necessarily have to visit this website. In the YouTube video URL, simply prefix ‘VD’ to the part ‘YouTube.com’ and make the URL start with ‘vdyoutube.com’.
Most websites offer this capability and this saves you time and effort. A number of good websites also offer browser extensions to download videos with a single click. But, these third-party extensions are not always reliable and are replete with snags and crashes.
The download process is simple and more or less the same across all sites. Here are the general steps:
- Modify the YouTube URL with one of the website prefixes or simply copy and paste the link in the appropriate section on the website
- Choose the desired file format for the downloaded videos. You will find all the popular formats such as mp4, MOV, Avi, mpg, WMV, etc. In fact, these sites let you download audio-only files in common formats like mp2, Wav, and more. This is a good choice for those who wish to download songs from YouTube
- Click/tap the ‘Download’, ‘Start’ or any other relevant button
A word of caution: These websites are free to use but are fraught with ads. Some ads are so subtle and strategically placed you may not be able to tell them apart from the actual site content. They may have a ‘Download’ button for a software program unrelated to what you intend to do (in this case download YouTube videos). So, click carefully!
Also Check: – How To Play YouTube Videos In The Background
Top Sites To Download YouTube Videos
Let’s take a look at some of the YouTube video download sites you can use.
KeepVid.com is one of the best sites to download YouTube videos from. In fact, it lets you download the content from nearly 30 websites including dailymotion.com, Vimeo, and more. All you need to do is copy and paste the desired YouTube URL in the text box placed on top just underneath the menu bar and press the ‘Download’ button next to it. There are plenty of download options to choose from. You can pick the download quality as well as the format. You can convert the YouTube content to audio files as well.
KeepVid is also available on the Android platform. You can download the app from <a rel=”nofollow” href=”http://keepvid.com/keepvid-android”>http://keepvid.com/keepvid-android. In case you wish to install a desktop app on your PC, you can buy the Pro version for $19.00 with one year license at https://pro.keepvid.com/buy/keepvid-pro-v.html?
TubeNinja is also a great place to download the YouTube videos. The site is pretty well designed and makes the download process incredibly easy. Just like KeepVid (or any other such site) you simply need to get the YouTube URL and paste it the box placed with prominent visibility on the web page. Click on the ‘Download’ button by the box and in a few seconds, the site will present you with download options.
TubeNinja gives you 5 download choices:
- Mp4 in 720p
- Mp4 in 360p
- 3GP in 240p
- 3GP in 144p
- MP3 audio
TubeNinja also has a bookmark button, which you can drag and drop in your browser bookmarks section. Later, while watching a YouTube video, you will simply need to click the bookmark and TubeNinja will download the content for you.
This is another great website to get the YouTube videos on your computer. OnlineVideoConverter.com is not only to download the videos from the online portals like YouTube; as the name suggests, it is also an online video converting tool. You can upload any video from your hard disk and convert it into one of the popular video or audio formats.
To download YouTube content, visit the website and click on ‘CONVERT A VIDEO LINK / URL’ option on the top section. Copy the link from YouTube and paste it on the site. Select the desired audio or video format in which you wish to download the video and click ‘Start’ button. The only problem with this site is that it presents only one download choice in a particular format. It does not let you pick the download quality/resolution.
METHOD 2: USING SOFTWARE PROGRAMS
We understand why some users are reluctant to download the YouTube downloader apps. These apps have been designed by the third-party developers and are not available officially. But, we have tested and used some of these applications and are more than convinced that these programs pose no security threats. Just make sure you pick the right app.
Note: Some free apps are thronged with more ads than you may like. But, ads allow them to keep providing the services free of cost. If you don’t like ads, you can buy a paid app.
Platform: Windows and Mac
If ads and security worry you, let’s start this list with a paid app. This compact app can do a lot of things for you. It is easy to use; as easy as copy and pasting the URL from YouTube and hitting a button. It lets you choose the format and resolution. You can also convert the video into audio format. You can also download videos from playlists on YouTube. But, Airy only supports YouTube and no other video portal. This could be a big setback, especially when you consider the price.
4K Video Downloader
Platform: Windows and Mac
4K Video Downloader is easily one of the best free apps to download YouTube videos. It is completely free of cost and still uses the advertisements moderately. This means you will not fall into an ad trap with this app. What we were really impressed by was its ability to download the videos in the 4K format (something even some paid apps can’t do well). You can convert the videos in a plenty of output formats. Another great thing about this app is that it picks the subtitles as well. Not only does it let you download the particular videos but you can also download an entire channel. You can use this app to download content from YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo.
Platform: Windows and Mac
This is another great free tool you can use to download videos from YouTube. This app can download videos in a wide range of resolutions including 4K. However, the 4K resolution was not as good as we had thought. We found 4K Video Downloader better in this regard. What’s most amazing is the fact that this app can download content from loads of websites (10,000 as its website claims). This means that you can get the videos from just about all the favorite websites. You can also download audio from YouTube in the MP3 format.
METHOD 3: DOWNLOAD ON MOBILE DEVICES
First things first – you cannot get any YouTube downloader app from the official app stores. So, you will need to rely on the process what is called side-loading. In other words, you will have to download the third-party apps from the third-party developers. This is applicable to both Android and iOS devices.
The side-loading methods vary across the device platforms. It is not within the scope of this article to cover those methods in detail. We will, however, touch upon them briefly. However, you can find plenty of online tutorials and resources on these subjects. Thanks to the latest app technology, you don’t need to root or jailbreak your mobile device to get these apps.
If you are an Android user, we would recommend using WonTube, free YouTube downloader. You can download the APK file on your Android device from http://www.wontube.com/free-youtube-downloader.html using any browser of your choice. APK is the installer file. Once you have downloaded the file you can run it to install the app. But, before that, you may need to enable Unknown Sources from Android’s Setting >> Security
As aforementioned in method 1, KeepVid.com website also has a similar Android app, which you can download from http://keepvid.com/keepvid-android
Many may be inclined to conclude that Apple will have no reservation featuring the YouTube downloader app in its official App Store. This is because Apple and Google are arch rivals and YouTube is Google’s adopted baby. But, this is not true. Even in the face of stiff competition, these top organizations do not fail to maintain integrity. You will not find any YouTube downloader app on App Store as well.
So, we will need to use workarounds for Apple’s iOS devices. For instance, you can download Document 5 app from the official App Store. This free app has its own, integrated browser that allows you to use the YouTube download helper sites. You can also install a paid, third-party app AnyTrans from https://www.imobie.com/anytrans/download-videos-to-iphone.htm. This app lets you download videos from nearly 900 websites including YouTube. It is available for $39.99.
Also Read :- Best Video Editing Apps for iPhone
Whether or not it is legal to download YouTube videos is not completely black and white clear. The site allows you to download those videos that have a download button. But, you can only download the cached version, which can be viewed offline only through the YouTube app. At least one thing is sure – you can download your personal videos without causing any copyright infringement. If you absolutely need to download a YouTube video, you can either use the helper sites, desktop software, or mobile apps. You can also use some browser extensions but they are hardly reliable.