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How To Download YouTube Videos

When the topic of downloading YouTube videos comes up, there’s a side subject that must be broached: Is it legal? When it comes to copyright, as long as you’re downloading a video for your own personal offline use, you’re probably okay.
It’s more black and white when you consider Google’s terms of service for YouTube, which reads: “You shall not download any Content unless you see a ‘download’ or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content.
After all, watching YouTube videos offline is taking money out of Google’s pocket and those of the videos’ creators. There’s a reason YouTube runs pre-roll ads: people make a living that way.
So, let’s be clear, taking video from YouTube is a big no-no. If you want to share a video, YouTube makes it pretty damn easy to do, from embedding to emailing to sharing via social networks. You don’t really need to download a video most of the time. But maybe you have your reasons. We won’t judge. If you must download a YouTube video—absolutely need to, just for yourself, and not for dissemination, here’s how.
 
VLC (WINDOWS, MACOS, LINUX)
If you have VLC installed on your computer, you already have a great tool for downloading videos from YouTube. It’s not as straightforward as other methods, but it still allows you to bypass ad-riddled websites and other third-party software that you might otherwise seek out.The method differs slightly between operating systems, but it’s not terribly confusing.
 
Keep in mind that there are downsides to using VLC, however. You can’t convert the video to another format, for instance, or choose which resolution you prefer. But the software still gives you access to your videos faster than other tools, mostly because it downloads directly from Google’s servers. Best of all, this method doesn’t require a website or any third-party tools, well, other than the open-source VLC player.
 
Step 1: Navigate to the YouTube video you’d like to download in your browser, and copy the URL. Then, launch VLC as you would normally, and click Open Network Stream. If you’re on a Mac, you’ll want to click File, then Open Network. Once done, paste your YouTube URL in the box housed within the Network tab, and click Open. Your video will automatically start playing in VLC.
 
Step 2: If you’re using Windows, select Tools in the toolbar at the top and select Codec Information from the resulting drop-down menu. If you’re on a Mac, select Window and click Media Information in the drop-down menu.
 
This will bring up a screen with various information about the video, but we’re only interested in the “Location” bar at the bottom. This will showcase the exact URL for your video, directly from Google’s servers. Go ahead and copy the link and paste it in the address bar of your browser.
 
Step 3: The video will then play within your browser. Right-click the video, click Save As — or Save Video As…, if using a Mac — and wait for the download to complete. That’s it! The video is now on your hard drive.
 
CLIP CONVERTER (WEB-BASED)
Clip Converter is an easy solution for all your downloading needs. The web-based utility is free, requires no additional software to run, and can quickly download videos from YouTube, Dailymotion, IMDB, Metacafe, MySpace, and many other platforms. The tool is compatible with an array of format types — from MP3 to WMV — and even includes an option for editing embedded ID3 tags. Plus, there is a dedicated browser add-on for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, as well as a sleek desktop version for most popular operating systems.
Ads are relatively few and far between, no matter which platform you’re using, making it one the least invasive and streamlined tools of any converter out there.
 
Step 1: Navigate to the main Clip Converter website and enter the appropriate URL for the video you wish to download in the text field near the top of the page. Then, select your desired video format — MP4, 3GP, AVI, or MOV. In most cases, go with either MP4 or AVI, which are nearly universal file formats that will likely be compatible with your devices.
 
Step 2: Check the various conversion options once the expanded settings panel appears. By default, the conversion will span the entire duration of the video, but you can always click the check box directly left of Start of Video or End of video to manually enter start and stop times. Afterward, click the gray Continue button beside the URL box.
 
Step 3: Check the bubble directly left of your desired output resolution from the list below the URL box, and name your video file in the text box below. Keep in mind that many YouTube videos offer 1080p resolution, as well as lower-res options for those looking to save space. We suggest selecting the highest resolution available unless you’re truly limited on space. Once done, click the gray Start button at the bottom of the page to begin the conversion process.
 
Step 4: Wait until your conversion is complete — this can take a few minutes — and then click the gray Download button. That’s it! Now you can watch the video on your desktop, or upload it to your mobile device as you would normally.
 
ANY VIDEO CONVERTER (WINDOW, MACOS)
Besides being one of our go-to choices for extracting audio from a video file, Any Video Converter Free is also a fantastic tool for downloading and converting videos from YouTube. The software supports a handful of file formats including AVI, WMV, MKV — and more than 50 other accessible formats — in addition to batch conversion, a customizable output management tool for tailoring your video for your desired device, and several other editing tools. The premium version also includes a bunch of tools that the free version lacks.
Like Clip Converter, video files can be trimmed to a specified length by inputting the appropriate start and end times, and there is even a function that will allow you to merge multiple videos in varying formats into a single, unified file. The added video-editing tools for cropping, editing codecs, and the like are useful features that most YouTube downloaders lack. AVC doesn’t feature any intuitive URL grabber or search function, but copy and pasting your video’s URL in the box is easy enough.
 
Step 1: Navigate to the AVC website — Windows users click here  http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/  ; Mac users click here  http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/mac_video_converter_freeware/  — and click the green Free Download button on the right side of the page.
 
Step 2: Once downloaded, launch the installer and follow the on-screen instructions. Depending on your operating system, the setup file might ask you to click the Next button several times, followed by the Install button. If you’re a Windows user, be careful to avoid installing any third-party software. To do so, leave boxes like the ones below unchecked.
 
Step 3: Once open, select Download Video at the top and click the ADD URL button in the lower-left corner. Copy the URL of the YouTube video you want to download and paste it into this box. After a few moments, the app should show a drop-down menu with several different versions of said video. Here, you can sort by file size, type, or video resolution, allowing you to choose which version(s) you want to save. Check the appropriate boxes and click OK.
 
Step 4: Select a file destination from the menu on the right, then click the blue Start Download button in the bottom-right corner. Once finished, the file will show up in your History tab. From here, simply watch the video on your desktop or upload it to your mobile device as you would normally.

2 Comments

  • แหวนพลอย 23 Apr 2019

    It’s going to be end of mine day, except before ending I am reading this enormous paragraph to increase my experience.

  • ปั้มไลค์ 2 Jul 2020

    Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.

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