How to Download YouTube Videos

how to download youtube videos

YouTube can help businesses in many ways. From skills you can learn on YouTube to the latest industry trends, there are many types of YouTube videos to consume. Its size is so big that YouTube is now considered the second largest search engine in the World. So, knowing how to download YouTube videos can be helpful in the event when you’re facing poor or no Internet connection. But can you really do that?

Is it Possible to Download YouTube Videos?

Yes, if you want to download YouTube videos, you can do it. YouTube allows its users to view videos offline on mobile in selected countries. Sadly, in the US, this free option is not available.

Therefore, you should explore other download options like YouTube Premium or third-party apps if you want to download YouTube videos.

But, first, you should understand the legality of using downloaded YouTube videos.

Is downloading a YouTube video legal?

YouTube is a free video hosting platform. It allows users to host and view videos free of cost. And it generates its revenue by showing ads on videos.

So, YouTube doesn’t want anyone to leave the platform and view videos outside because doing so will rob YouTube of its ad revenue.

So now the question comes – Is downloading YouTube Video legal?

Let’s find out!

To start using the YouTube app, you have to agree with YouTube’s Terms of Service, which states,

“You are not allowed 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 respective rights holders;”

The above paragraph clearly states that YouTube forbids you to download content.

What’s more, downloading sports clips, movies, TV series, or any other copyrighted content on YouTube is breaking the copyright law in the US.

So, it is illegal to download such content, and doing so will put you at risk of facing a criminal trial.

You can download public domain videos, creative commons videos, and copyleft videos.

However, downloading these videos too will violate YouTube’s Terms of Services, you will not commit a criminal act though.

If you want to watch videos offline, the legal way is to buy a YouTube Premium subscription.

Downloading YouTube Videos Using YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is a subscription-based service that offers multiple benefits to users. It includes Ad-free videos, downloading videos, playing in the background (to listen to just the audio), ad-free music, and offline play in the YouTube Kids app.

YouTube Premium offers a one-month free trial, then you will be charged $11.99/month. The family plan costs $17.99/month, and you can add up to five family members (ages 13+) to your plan.

Eligible students can go for a student plan that starts at $6.99/month.

To start downloading videos with a premium plan, you should:

  • Begin playing a video in YouTube mobile app
  • Click the download button below the video player
  • Pick the video quality
  • The downloaded icon will appear below the video player once downloading is complete

The downloaded video is available for 30 days. Also, you should note that downloading videos and playlists to watch offline work only on smartphones. This feature is not available on laptops and computers.

How to Download Videos from YouTube on iPhone and iPad

There are three ways to download video content from YouTube on iPhone and iPad:

1. Use YouTube Premium

Just download YouTube mobile app from the App Store, and subscribe to YouTube Premium. Then, you can initiate video downloads by clicking on the download button.

2. Install a Third-party Software Application

You can use any third-party app like iDownloader to save videos on your iPhone or iPad devices. But you should be aware that downloading content from YouTube using a third-party app violates YouTube’s Terms of Services. In the worst case, you may be charged with committing a criminal offense.

3. Record your screen

You can record your screen while watching a YouTube video. Here are ways to do it:

  • Go to Settings, then access Control Center
  • Add Screen Recording to Control Center
  • Access Control Center and tap Screen Recording and wait for 3 seconds countdown
  • Visit Control Center and tap Screen Recording to stop

This method also violates YouTube’s Terms of Service.

How to Download a YouTube Video on Android

Downloading video content on an Android phone using a third-party app is difficult. This is because you will not find a good app on Google Play Store as Google discourages these apps.

So, the best (and legal) way to save video content on your Android device is to buy a YouTube premium subscription.

Another way to download video content is to use the screen recording function of mobile. Most Android phones these days are coming with preinstalled screen recording apps.

If your phone doesn’t have a screen recorder, you can easily download such an Android app from Google Play.

AZ Screen Recorder, Mobizen Screen Recorder, and Vidma Screen Recorder are good apps to record mobile screens.

Even if you are using a third-party app to download a video for personal use, it still violates YouTube’s Terms of Services.

How to Download YouTube Videos on Mac

If you want to play downloaded videos on Mac in the absence of the Internet, there are two ways that can help you.

The first one is to use a screen recorder on Mac. Just press Command + Shift + 5, you will see onscreen control to capture a still image of your screen, record a selected portion of the screen, or record the full screen of Mac. This method doesn’t offer you good video quality, but it helps you save a video you want.

Another method is to take the help of a video downloader to save a video you want. 4K Video Downloader works fine on Mac, and it offers high video quality.

Here are simple steps to use 4K Video Downloader:

  • Install and open the tool
  • Pick YouTube video URL
  • Paste the YouTube Video link on the address bar of the tool
  • Click download button

Once your download is complete, you should click the three-dot icon to play or find the file on your computer.

Remember – using these methods to download your favorite YouTube videos on your own computer is against YouTube’s Terms of Service.

Other Methods of Downloading YouTube Videos

If you google for How to Download YouTube Videos, you will notice that the first page is full of third-party video downloaders. A good thing about these video downloaders is you can use them easily for both Mac and Windows PC.

Also, a video downloader will let you choose your favorite video format as there are multiple video file format options are available.

Here are the top six video downloaders:

  • Desktop VLC media player
  • KeepVid
  • Snap Downloader
  • Y2mate YouTube Playlist Downloader
  • 4K Video Downloader
  • DDownr

Windows users can follow these steps to download a video from YouTube with the desktop VLC media player:

  • Click the media menu, then select open network stream
  • Paste YouTube link into the network URL section and play
  • Go to Tools, then find codec information and copy location field
  • Paste it on the browser tab to start playing
  • Click on the three dots to find the download symbol to save the video

When you use these tools, you violate YouTube’s Terms of Services.

Can you download videos directly from YouTube?

Yes, you can download video content directly from YouTube on mobile for offline viewing in selected countries without any fee. And for the rest countries (including the US), you have to buy a premium membership to download content.

Which is the best YouTube downloader?

The best YouTube downloader to download your favorite YouTube content is 4K Video Downloader. It is simple, fast. You just have to copy the video’s URL and paste it into the application to save the video.

A few other YouTube video download apps include aTube Catcher, WinX YouTube Downloader, ByClick Downloader, etc.

What is the easiest way to download YouTube videos?

The easiest way to download YouTube videos is to buy a YouTube Premium membership, which also allows you to watch YouTube originals and enjoy ad-free music.

Can you download YouTube videos without an app?

Yes, you can download YouTube videos without an app. But you have to buy a premium membership if you are not living in those selected countries where YouTube allows users to download content on their mobile devices for offline viewing. Except for those countries, you will need an app to download content from YouTube.

You must note that downloading a certain type of video content from YouTube can be a violation of YouTube Copyright & Fair Use Policies.

Image: Depositphotos

More in:

Sandeep Babu Sandeep Babu is a cybersecurity writer. He writes about malware, data security, privacy, and other cybersecurity topics for SBT and other reputed platforms.