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How to download YouTube videos

YouTube has quickly become the world’s second largest search engine behind Google, with people spending hours per week on the popular platform. If you’re a YouTube fan like us, you might want to know what the most viewed YouTube videos are, and how to download YouTube videos. Also, check out our guide on how to download YouTube videos on an iPhone or iPad, if that is the device you will be using.

But first, we do need to issue this warning: Though it is legal to share and embed YouTube videos on the internet, downloading them for offline use isn’t always allowed. Downloading videos is considered a violation of  YouTube’s terms of service, unless the video streaming site has explicitly granted permission to download a particular video.

That said, let’s take a look at how to download YouTube videos. This guide features an easy-to-use desktop app known as 4K Video Downloader.

Step 1: Download the 4K Video Downloader app

new version of 4k video downloader installation step 1 screenshot

Head over to the 4K Video Downloader website, and under the heading 4K Video Downloader, select the blue Download button that corresponds to your computer’s operating system. This app is available for Windows, MacOS (10.13 or later), and Ubuntu. Once the installer has downloaded, run it to get the app installed on your computer.

If you don’t have a 4K display, don’t be put off by the name. This is one of the most versatile and simple-to-use download tools available, and it will work with all of your files regardless of your computer’s display resolution. The free version of this software has the ability to download individual videos at customizable qualities all the way up to 4K, has support for 3D and 360-degree videos, and can download subtitles.

There is a paid version that starts at $15, but for downloading a simple YouTube video, the free version will suffice.

Step 2: Copy the YouTube video’s URL

4k video downloader youtube url copy screenshot

The next step is the easiest: Just head over to the YouTube video you want to download and copy its URL from the address bar at the top of your browser window. With the URL locked and loaded in your clipboard, you can close the window or tab of the video.

Further reading

Step 3: Paste in the URL

4k video downloader paste link screenshot

Open up the 4K Video Downloader application you just installed. There’s no need to manually paste in the URL — just click on the Paste Link button in the top-left corner of the menu bar and the software will grab the URL from your computer’s clipboard.

Step 4: Download your video

4k video downloader step 4 download video screenshot

The 4K Video Downloader will take a few moments to process the video. Once this process is complete, the app will let you choose from different video qualities, formats, and conversions. You’ll also be able to change where the video downloads; the application will construct a special folder for you containing all of your downloaded videos. If you use VPN, you should note that this specific software uses videos based on your IP address rather than the URL you copied. You’ll need to change your download location to the correct version.

Once you pick all your preferred options, click the Download button. Once you do this, a progress page will appear, detailing the size of your download, how fast it downloaded, and how much time remains in your download. You can pause the download if you need to without losing any progress. Once your download is complete, you can select your video from the open page. Look for the three vertical dots on the right-hand side and click them. A menu will pop out with the option to select Show In Folder. When you click this, the app will automatically take you to the file location of the downloaded video. 

After you’ve mastered it, you can configure 4K Video Downloader to automatically download videos or use Subscriptions or Smart Mode as necessary.

YouTube TV has taken off as well, you would be amazed to know how many subscribers YouTube TV has already. You might want to see if it’s worth subscribing to those shows.

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