When internet connections and streaming quality are poor, you can still enjoy your favorite YouTube playlists and episodes another way: By using a video downloader. With this tool, you can download a YouTube video right to your device.
All corresponding copyright laws still apply, of course, as well as YouTube’s terms of service and any waivers from the downloaders themselves, all of which may mention restrictions for offline use.
But if streaming just doesn’t work for you, these are the tools you should look into, starting with the incredibly well-designed 4k Video Downloader.
4k Video Downloader
No downloader is as complete or well-crafted as 4K Video Downloader. It’s fast, comes with an excellent interface, and provides a simple copy-and-paste URL field that anyone can use.
However, if you want to go deeper, you can customize the downloader to grab and preserve video exactly the way you want. That includes your desired format (MP3 included), video quality, and save location — all without any annoying ad popups. There’s even support for 3D or 360-degree video, subtitles, and the ability to set up a proxy connection.
You can set it up to download entire playlists as long as you aren’t downloading more than 24 videos at once. While the software is free, you can buy a key to support longer playlists and elements like captions.
The only catch is that you must download this tool onto your device, which isn’t for everyone. But for web app options, we do have some picks further down the list.
DVDVideoSoft’s Free YouTube Download
Many people watching YouTube don’t want to learn a complex new app just so they can download their favorite videos. For them, Free YouTube Download is the perfect fit.
This app is so easy to use — just visit the site, and it provides a GIF showing you exactly how to download from YouTube in literal seconds. Copy the URL, use the app’s big Paste button, and hit Download. For more complex use, the app supports choosing between several formats, converting video files to different formats, and automatically transferring videos to places like iTunes.
The big caveat is that it’s fairly limited for playlists and bundles of videos, so you can only download a few at a time.
Don’t want to install a separate app just for downloading and converting videos from sites like YouTube? We recommend visiting Y2mate.com instead.
This basic web app makes downloading super easy for videos you find online. It has a simple search bar allowing you to search for online videos or paste in a video’s URL, then quickly pick your format, convert, and download it to your device. It’s fast, efficient, and gives you several options for file size to help you manage storage more easily.
However, note that this web app is designed to download one video at a time, so it doesn’t work for batch downloads.
WinX YouTube Downloader
WinX is another high-quality app that has many of the options included in 4K Download. Paste in a URL, and it’s smart enough to automatically detect the current resolution, format, and size. It then gives you quick options for tweaking those specifications to get the exact download that you want.
Formats including FLV and WebM are supported, and you can create previews and snapshots as well. It also scales very well, allowing you to add up to 300 URLs in a batch and maximize download speed if necessary. There’s also support for 4K resolution video, recording YouTube livestreams, and more.
About the only thing that WinX’s app can’t do is handle 3D or 360-degree video.
iTubeGo YouTube Downloader
The clean, friendly interface of iTubeGo lets you download, save, and manage or listen to videos from more than 10,000 streaming websites. The controls manage to be simple while still giving you plenty of options for customization. Multiple video and audio formats are supported for conversion, and you can download entire playlists or channels with a single click.
If you don’t want to use the app to play music, it also supports quick downloads to a folder of your choice. Multitasking and download control features also allow you to control how fast you want your downloads to go and what to prioritize.
Note that Android is supported, but there’s no iOS option. A MacOS download is available, however, which could lead to some iOS compatibility issues.
Another option, YT Cutter, offers downloads but operates a little differently. Rather than download entire videos, you can cut out specific parts. Once you’ve pasted the URL, YT Cutter lets you pick out the start and end times for the recording, or just manually record it. Then you can preview and download with no trouble.
Your export options cover the most common audio and video file types, but also screenshots and GIFs if you’re looking to be creative.
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