How to download YouTube videos

Found a fun YouTube video and want to download it? We can show you how with the instructions below.

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

Head over to the 4K Video Downloader site and click the green Get 4K Video Downloader button to download it. 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 with a price tag of $15, but for downloading a simple YouTube video, the free version will suffice.

Step 2: Copy the YouTube video’s URL

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

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

Once it has finished checking the video, you will be given a number of options for video quality, formats, and conversions. You can also adjust the download location of the video, and the application will create a folder that contains all of your downloaded videos. Note that the video the software grabs will be based on your IP address, not the URL you input, so VPN users may need to change their location to download the right version.

Just click the Download button after selecting your desired options. You’ll then be shown a progress page that details download size, download speed, and estimated time remaining. You can pause the download at any time. Once the download is complete, select your video from the window and a vertical three-dots icon should appear on the right side of the window. Click on that icon, and a menu should pop up. From that menu, select Show in Folder to find where on your computer the new video was saved.

Once you have the hang of it, 4K Video Downloader can be configured to download videos automatically or with a single click using Subscriptions or Smart Mode, respectively.

Editors' Recommendations