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How to download Youtube videos with Firefox, Chrome and other browser add-ons

Though you can download YouTube videos using dedicated programs, many of them are Windows-only. On top of that, these programs require you to perform multiple steps in order to snag your favorite cat video or clip of a bear riding a skateboard while sporting mirrored sunglasses and a “whatevs” look on his face. And who needs that? (Multiple steps, that is.)

Dedicated programs are fine. But with browser plugins, you’re not bound to things like system requirements or platform support. If the OS you’re using on your desktop or laptop can run a Web browser, then you can probably find a plugin to work with it. Simple. What’s more, dedicated programs also throw a lot of confusing information at the user. Browser add-ons and extensions go the opposite route, only hitting you with the stuff you need to know.

Here is a collection of the best browser plugins we’ve found that make it easy to download your favorite YouTube videos. But first, the obligatory disclaimer, which we pulled from our YouTube downloads story that we linked to above.

Disclaimer

It is generally legal to share and embed YouTube videos on the Internet, but downloading them for your own personal use offline is a different story. Downloading videos or using an external application to download videos that lack an official button or similar link is a violation of the YouTube Terms of Service and the video owner’s copyright. Proceed at your own risk.

Now, onto the fun stuff …

How to download YouTube videos with a Firefox browser add-on

First, we’ll start off by introducing you to our favorite Firefox plugin for downloading YouTube videos. It’s called 1-Click YouTube Video Downloader.  And while its name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, YouTube Video Downloader is extremely easy to use. Tracking down and installing this add-on is simple too. We’ll show you how.

First, open Firefox. Click on the orange button labeled Firefox at the top of the browser window and click Add-ons. Next, in the search box in the upper right hand corner of the window, type in YouTube and press Enter. 1-Click YouTube Video Downloader (version 2.1.7) should be the first result that comes up. Click the Install button next to 1-Click YouTube Video Downloader 2.1.7 on the right hand side of the screen. Once installation is complete, which should take a few seconds at most, you’ll need to restart Firefox in order to use your new browser add-on. Click the blue Restart Now button. 

(Alternatively, if you’re using Firefox right now, you can download 1-Click YouTube Video Downloader from here.)

Once Firefox is restarted, you can begin using 1-Click YouTube Video Downloader. Just head over to YouTube.com, find the video you want to download, and click on it. Look directly below the player and you should find a red button labeled Download. Click on it, and you’ll be able to choose from multiple image quality options. (We recommend that you pick the option labeled MP4 720p at the top.) Then, select a download destination on your computer and click Save, which will start the download.

Once the download is complete, you can watch that video on your computer anytime you want, even if you’re not connected to the Internet.

How to download YouTube videos with a Google Chrome extension

If Chrome is your preferred browser, you can also snag whatever YouTube video you want by installing and using an add-on. Here’s how.

Open Chrome and go to this link. Then, type in “YouTube Video Downloader” in the search box, which is located in the upper-left corner of the window. Press Enter, and towards the top-middle portion of the screen, you should see four tabs: All, Apps, Extensions, and Themes. Click the Extensions tab. The Chrome extension you want is called YouTube Video Downloader, which should be the third entry from the top.

Click the blue button to the right of YouTube Video Downloader labeled “Free +.” Chrome will then ask you to confirm the new extension install. Click add, and you should get a notification in the upper right hand corner of Chrome telling you that you added the YouTube Video Downloader extension.

From there, go to YouTube.com, find whatever video you want to download, and click on it. Underneath the video player and below the Subscribe button, you’ll find a crimson colored button labeled Download Video. Click it, and a new browser tab will open.

Click on this new tab and scroll down to select from the quality options at your disposal – we recommend that you download the MP4 version every time. Find the green Download button next to the MP4 version, and click on it to begin downloading the YouTube video you selected. The download will then show up on the bottom left corner of your Chrome window. Once the download is completed, you can click on that button to watch the video you just downloaded.

How to download YouTube videos with an Opera extension

Is Opera you’re preferred Web browser? Not to worry. It might not have the name recognition of Firefox or Chrome, but there’s a browser extension you can use to download YouTube videos in a cinch when using Opera. Here’s how to get it.

Open Opera and click the Opera button in the upper-left corner of the window. Click on “Get extensions.” From here, type “Fastest Tube” in the search box located on the right side of the screen, and press Enter. Note: The space between fastest and tube is very important, so don’t forget to include it. If you fail to do so, you won’t be able to find the extension you’re looking for.

Once you press Enter, you’ll find yourself staring at an extension called BestVideoDownloader 2. Click on it, and then click the green Add to Opera button on the right side of the screen. Once the BestVideoDownloader 2 extension is installed, head over to YouTube.com and find a video you want to download. Click on a video as if would if you wanted to watch it.

Underneath the video player and the red Subscribe button, you should see a small, square, gray button with a circle and a downward pointing arrow in the middle. Click on this button and select your preferred file format and image quality. Using BestVideoDownloader 2, you can either download the video in full, or skip the video and download only the audio by clicking on one of the options labeled MP3. If you want the video, we recommend downloading videos using the MP4 1080p option.

How to download YouTube videos with an IE or Safari extension

If you use Internet Explorer or Safari, you’ll be using the same browser extension to pull videos from YouTube to your machine, which is why we’re lumping these two together. Here’s how to get it.

Open Safari or Internet Explorer and go to Kwizzu.com. From there, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Install Now. Doing so will install the browser add-on you need for whichever browser you’re using; no configuration is required.

Once prompted, accept and confirm the download and the installation. Then, head over to YouTube.com, find the video you want to download and click on it. Below the player and to the right of the Like and Dislike buttons, you’ll find a white Download button. Click on it to reveal a drop-down list consisting of three video quality options: 240p, 360p and 720p. To get the highest quality version of the YouTube video you want to download, click on the 720p option. Doing so will start the download.

Once the download is done, head over to your default download location to watch your newly acquired video. Alternatively, you can click on the gear in the upper right hand corner of the browser window and click “View downloads” if you’re using Internet Explorer, or “Downloads” if you’re using Safari. (Note: both browsers user a gear symbol on their options button. From there, just find the video you snagged a few moments ago and double click on it to watch.

Enjoy! In case you didn’t see it the first time up top, here’s the disclaimer again. Can’t say we didn’t warn you! 

Disclaimer

It is generally legal to share and embed YouTube videos on the Internet, but downloading them for your own personal use offline is a different story. Downloading videos or using an external application to download videos that lack an official button or similar link is a violation of the YouTube Terms of Service and the video owner’s copyright. Proceed at your own risk.