How to download Vimeo videos

Archive those precious videos in case of an internet apocalypse

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The rise of video-sharing services made it easier than ever to find interesting clips and short films. Vimeo, in particular, is known as a platform for sharing high-quality, artistic shorts. As convenient as Vimeo is, though, there’s a sense of impermanence to it — all those videos are stored on a server far away from you, inaccessible the moment you lose your internet connection.

In days of yore, when people wanted to capture the ephemeral television broadcasts of their favorite shows, they had to use a blank tape and a VCR to record it. Today, the process is a bit easier. If you want to download and archive a Vimeo video for personal use, there are a number of ways to go about it, many of which can be done for free on your computer. If you want to download YouTube videos, we also have a guide for that.

Editor’s Note: Keep in mind that laws regarding the copying and distribution of copyrighted material vary by location. Copyright holders might also have their own policies about whether they are fine with people making copies of their work. If you’re going to make a copy of a video on Vimeo, be aware of the creator’s stance.

Downloading directly from Vimeo

The first (and easiest) way to get a copy of a video from Vimeo is from the site itself. After all, many of the videos on Vimeo include a download option. If a video includes that option, there will be a button located under the video description that says Download. Simply click this button and a pop-up window will give you different formats and resolution options (such as SD or HD) to choose from.

vimeo-download-button

Depending on your browser setup, clicking the download button might simply cause the video to play. In this case, simply right-click the download link and select Save link as from the drop-down menu. This will prompt you to choose a location for the resulting video file. Of course, not every Vimeo video includes a download option. If you find a video like this and still feel an overwhelming desire to own a copy of it, you’ll need to put in a little more work.

If you’re a video creator who uses Vimeo, note that you can’t enable downloads for your videos unless you have a Plus, Pro, or Business account.

Using screen-recording software

There are a number of programs available on the web that allow you to record what is happening on-screen and save the recording as a video file, though most require a bit of finesse to use properly. Thankfully, freemium programs such as Ezvid (Windows) and Icecream (Windows, MacOS) aren’t too difficult to utilize.

The obvious thing to worry about when trying to capture a video using screen-recording software is that you can also record other stuff displayed on your screen, such as browser tabs and pop-up ads. Recording your video while in full-screen mode is the most obvious solution. Some of the programs, including the aforementioned Icecream, will also allow you to select a portion of the screen to be recorded. If you do end up recording some bits you don’t want, such as your browser, don’t worry; both options have features for editing the videos you record, allowing you to cut unnecessary details.

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-11-02-09-am

If you’re working on a Mac, you can also use Quicktime to record your screen activity. Simply launch the program, click File from the menu bar at the top of your screen, and select New Screen Recording. This should bring up a little gray box with a red Record button. Click that to begin recording! When finished, you can edit your recordings in any video-editing program, including iMovie.

Using online video downloaders

If the previous methods don’t seem like the right ones for you, dedicated websites like ClipConverter.cc will allow you to download a copy of your desired video. The process is simple, and only takes a few steps.

Step 1: Navigate to the main ClipConvert:cc homepage. Then, copy the URL of the Vimeo video you want to download and paste it in the text field at the top of the page.

Step 2: Click the MP4 or MOV button located to the right of the film strip icon, followed by the Continue button. Afterward, choose the resulting video quality from the list of available options.

image-1

Step 3: Click Start at the bottom of the page, and the conversion process will begin. Depending on the length of the video and the options you’ve selected, this process can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. When finished, simply click the Download button and enjoy your newly-converted video!

Keep in mind that there’s no guarantee about the quality of the recordings, however, and that sites like these sometimes have intrusive ads that will try to prompt you to download malware. If you choose to use ClipConvert.cc or a similar service, be cautious about what you click on.

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