How To Download YouTube Videos


Updated · Oct 16, 2022


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YouTube is accessible in 100+ countries and available in 80+ languages.

So, as you can see, it’s pretty popular.

In this article, we’ll answer the most-asked question on the internet - how to download YouTube videos?  

Honestly speaking, this is somewhat of a grey area.

On paper, it’s illegal.

Google, YouTube’s parent company, strongly prohibits it on its Terms of Service (TOS). 

You see, the search engine earns money from users that stream content on the platform. 

So naturally, it has to protect its source of revenue and that of its contributors by asking you not to download from YouTube. It, however, gives you the liberty to watch as many videos as you want online.

Not only that:

Copyright laws in almost all countries on the globe protect content creators’ work online. Unless you live in Turkmenistan, Eritrea, or San Marino.

There are, however, exceptions to the rule:

  • If you have the owner’s permission to use them for commercial or personal reasons, then you’re good. Usually, such videos either have a link or the words “Download.” 
  • If copyleft(right to modify or distribute) protects the work
  • The copyright has expired or forfeited
  • You’re a YouTube Premium member
  • If the content is under creative commons

However, with a myriad of third-party YouTube downloader options available, one would say that the legalities could be a losing battle. 

In that case, it becomes more of a moral issue, especially considering that YouTube hasn’t actively pursued anyone in breach of its TOS. 

Sooo… what’s the trick?

How To Download YouTube Videos on Mac/PC

 How to download videos from YouTube? It’s pretty simple, really. You can use:

  • VLC Media Player
  • Free websites
  • Browser extensions
  • YeetDL
  • YouTube Premium
  • WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe

Here are the details:

VLC Media Player

VLC is an open-source platform compatible with Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and Linux. It’s completely free.

The procedure is slightly different for Windows and Mac, but worry not - I’ll show you how to do both. 

Start by downloading the YouTube link downloader; if you don’t already have it, then do the following:

For Windows

Open VLC Player, then copy the video’s URL on YouTube.

After that, go to VLC’s “Media” and click on it. Click on “Open Network Stream,” then paste your URL on the text editor and click “Play.” Head over to “Tools” ( or CTRL+J shortcut) and click on “Codec.”

A new window will open up. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see your video’s information. Copy it, and paste it on your browser. Hit “Enter,” and the video will start playing.

Right-click on it, then tap on “Save Video As.”

The video will begin downloading (the default title and format are “Videoplayback” MP4, respectively).

For Mac

Here’s how to download YouTube videos on Mac:

Open VLC, then copy your video’s URL from YouTube.

Head back to VLC, then navigate to “File,” then “Open Network.” In the text area will appear. Paste the URL here, then click on “Open.”

When the video starts playing, right-click on it, then select “Media Information.” After that, copy the URL on the “Location” bar at the bottom, and paste it into your browser. 

Right-click on the video and then choose the “Save Video As” option. Finally, pick a location to store it.

This method has its pros and cons.

It enhances volume up to 200. The video resolution is good. And it’s free and safe.


It is also time-consuming and, unfortunately, doesn’t remember your preferred settings. And there are the occasional errors.

Free Websites

Up next, we’ll learn how to download YouTube videos via websites. 

By Click Downloader

It works on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. It supports YouTube and +40 other sites. Additionally, it comes with a free version and paid packages.

You can choose from:

  • One year - $7.99
  • Unlimited - $9.99

This tool is pretty straightforward to use:

Start by installing By Click Downloader. Open your browser, then enter the URL of the clip that you’d like to download. A dialogue box will appear. On it, choose the “Download Video” option.

That’s all.

See how easy it is to use this video downloader for YouTube?

You’ll get 4K resolution videos and fast download rates. And the tool is regularly updated!

It is, however, incompatible with Mac. Users have also complained of errors and broken converted files.

Browser Extensions

There are lots of YouTube web browser extensions available in the market. But I wanted one that works for both Windows and Mac.

Here’s what I found:

Addoncrop Browser Extension

Addoncrop browser extension is available on Web Store and is yet another way to download videos from YouTube. You can also use it to download streams on CBS, FOX, ESPN, ABC, NBC, etc.

The quality is admirable -  4K-2160p, 2K - 1440p, HD-1080p amongst others.

It also supports videos in different formats such as FLV, MP4,3GP, and WEBM. It works on Chrome, Edge, and Opera.

And on top of that - it’s free.

Here's what you need to do to download a YouTube video using it:

Install Cross Pilot from the Webstore, then go to the Addoncrop website still in CrossPilot. 

Find the YouTube Downloader extension, which you’ll also need to install. After that, go to the platform, and hit the “Download” button next to “Subscribe.”

Super easy!

And the benefits don’t end here - it allows users to capture screenshots!

Keep in mind, though, that it does track your internet activity and that there were regulation-related controversies surrounding it. Hardly ideal.


YeetDL is a free YouTube video downloader for Windows. It also allows you to convert your videos to MP3 and MP4.

YeetDL has a paid version. All plans have 30-day money-back guarantees.

You can choose from:

  • Six months - $9.99
  • One year - $14.99
  • Lifetime Access - $49.99

Here’s how to download your video clips using this tool.

After Installing YeetDL, type any YouTube video title on the search bar. Alternatively, you can copy-paste a URL from the social media site.

Once your video comes up, hit the “Download ” icon (black downward-facing arrow) at the bottom.

A small window with a white background will come up. It will give the options to convert to:  

  • .mp4 
  • .mp3 
  • .mov 
  • .avi 
  • .wmv 
  • .3gp 

Hit the “Download” button once again, this time at the button on the left corner of your window. 

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of using this YouTube clip downloader?

It offers great quality - 4K and 8K resolution. It’s also superfast and has its own search engine.

And the best part? It supports 360 VR videos.

Some, however, have complained about issues with the registration key. 

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is perfect for downloading video clips on Windows and Mac machines. It’s one of the best tools for UHD conversion and comes with over 410 in-built preset profiles.

The YouTube video downloader for online use has a 15-day free trial. Usually, it costs $45.95. The manufacturer, however, currently has an offer, so it’s going for $29.95.

Here’s a short guide on how to use the converter on the online videos platform:

Download and install WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe. Next, launch the software to bring up the main interface

To download a video from YouTube, open the platform and copy the clip’s URL. After that, click on the “YouTube URL” button at the top of your screen on WinX.

On the window that comes forth, paste the details you’d copied earlier. Here, you can also select the resolution, format, codec, and size that you want. After that, tap “OK.”

Next, hit “Run” for it to start downloading. Then, on the downloading screen, you can either open the video immediately after it finishes the action. Alternatively, click on the “Shutdown” checkbox.

The tool is efficient in 4K video editing, has perfect resolution balance and 47X real-time speeds.

On the downside, it offers 5-min video conversions on its very limited trial. The slideshow features are also not the best.

How To Download YouTube Videos on Mobile

It’s now time to look at how to download videos from Youtube for both Android and iOS. 

Via YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is formerly known as YouTube Red and is a paid service. It costs $11.99 per month. 

The best thing about it is that you have YouTube’s full permission to do downloads. 

Open the YouTube app and click on the video you want to download. At the bottom of the player, tap on the “Download” icon ( a white thick downward-facing arrow).

After that, choose the video quality (144p, 360p, or 720p) you prefer. Note that the higher it is, the larger the storage space it will require. 

When the YouTube video download is over, you’ll see a blue tick. The videos will be in the “Accounts” or “Library” tabs.

It has a one-month free trial. It also doesn’t impose a limit on downloaded videos.

There are, however, frequent errors. And the video quality might not always be what you choose.

Wrap Up

As you can see, there’s no shortage of options if you want to learn how to download YouTube videos. 

Some tools like YouTube Premium work best for iOS and Android, while others like WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe work well for Windows and Mac.  

One thing’s for sure, the solutions above will help you access your favorite YouTube content at all times. You don’t even need an internet connection to see them after downloading!


How do I download and save a YouTube?

You can use a video downloader. Examples include:
  • YeetDL
  • YouTube Premium
  • VLC Media Player
  • Addoncrop Extension
  • By Click Downloader
  • WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe

How do you download YouTube videos for free?

You can download YouTube videos for free by using either of the following options:
  • Addoncrop browser extension
  • YeetDL (free version)
  • By Click Downloader (free version)
  • VLC Media Player

How do I download and save a YouTube video on my phone?

If you’re wondering how to download YouTube videos on your phone, start by looking for a mobile-friendly service.  For example -  YouTube Premium. Using it is pretty effortless because all you need to do is click on the “Download” icon.

What is the best YouTube video downloader?

For now - By Click Downloader. It’s user-friendly and has the following advantages: 
  • 4K resolution videos
  • One-click download
  • Regular updates
  • Fast download rates




Eve is a lover of everything technology. Figuring out how software works and creating content to shed more light on the value it offers users is her favorite past time. When not evaluating apps or programs, she's busy trying out new healthy recipes, doing yoga, meditating, or taking nature walks with her little one.

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