How to Download YouTube Videos for Desktop & Mobile (2024)

How to Download YouTube Videos for Desktop & Mobile (2024)

Do you want to enjoy your favorite YouTube videos without worrying about internet access?

Watch as many Adam Enfroy videos as you want while on a plane?

With over 30 million visitors watching 5 billion videos daily, there’s always something new to consume.

In this post, I’ll show you how to say goodbye to buffering internet videos and hello to offline viewing.

What Are the Steps to Download YouTube Videos?

Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple process. 

The first way to download YouTube videos is to use an MP4 video converter. 

Download YouTube Videos Using a Video Downloading Tool.

Using a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos. Let’s look at the steps involved:

Choose a Downloading Tool/Converter.

First, select the best possible YouTube downloading tool. 

In my opinion, the best tool on the market is the 4K Video Downloader.

4K Video Downloader works with Windows, Mac, and Linux and offers excellent features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k.

You can also extract YouTube subtitles and save them in over 50 languages.

Give 4K Video Downloader a try and get a 14-day money-back guarantee.

There are some other tools out there, and while there are some decent free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.

Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.

  1. Quality of The Video – The converted file must have standard video quality for excellent viewing. You should be able to manipulate the quality of the video. It may range between low, medium, or high. It’s even better if you can choose specific video resolutions like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
  2. Subtitles – We all like videos that are in different languages. In such cases, subtitles are essential while playing YouTube or YouTube Premium videos. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those videos and the subtitles.
  3. Batch Downloading – You can download the files individually or in bulk based on playlists from YouTube channels. You can download their entire discography if you like a particular band. And if you want a film director, you can download their complete filmography.
  4. Multiple File Format Compatibility – You can download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Various options, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allow you to be more flexible.
  5. Built-In Video Editor – You can view a particular song in the middle of a video or edit out a specific portion of a film. Video editing needs can arise anytime, making it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try out Any Video Converter (AVC) with a built-in editor.
  6. Speed – The tool should be able to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by internet and wi-fi connectivity fluctuations.

Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.

Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool.

In this case, you must head to YouTube and open the video you want to download.

You can copy and paste the YouTube video link in the box.

You can open the tool in a new tab on the same window.

Once it opens, it will display a text box for you to enter the URL.

Here’s a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video.

You must paste the URL in the text box above and click the ‘Start’ option.

Some video sites may also have buttons saying ‘Go’ or ‘Download.’

Paste URL y2mate

If you’re using a downloadable tool, you must download and install it on your computer first.

Once you run it, it will provide you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.

Be careful about unnecessary software that you may need to download as well.

Avoid those whenever possible. Some good alternatives are Keepvid, which can help you download video files with Apple MacOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.

You may also need to look into alternative YouTube apps that work in the Google Play Store or with different smartphones.

And if you’re downloading from Vimeo for offline viewing, there are many other options.

Choose the File Format & Video Quality.

Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get many choices.

For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, the quality, and the file size you want to download.

Finally, select the option you want and click download.

Some tools also allow you to download YouTube videos in formats like WMV, MPG, AVI, ASF, M2TS, 3GP, 3G2, FLV, MKV, SWF, WEBM, HTML5 WEBM, HTML5 OGG, HTML5, and more.

If you’re looking for batch downloads, specify a folder on your computer to save all the downloaded videos.

You might face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize your IP address over the video URL you enter.

So if you’re a VPN user, you should change the location for proper downloads.

Once the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.

How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?

You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool.

It’s easy to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.

Here are the steps:

1. Head to The Video

Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video you want to download.

2. Add ‘ss’ In The URL

Next, you need to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. Enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘’

After you’ve entered it, press the ‘Enter’ button on your keyboard.

Next, you get redirected to a free download site.

3. Go to the Download Site

Once redirected, there are plenty of free services that you don’t need to download or install.

When you press the ‘Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.

You’ll see that the text editor already has the video URL, so you don’t need to copy and paste any links.

Your video is also ready to get downloaded – all you need to do is click the ‘Download’ button.

You also get to choose the format and the quality of the video.

Finally, click the “download” option to have your video within a few seconds.

Downloading YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons

You should avoid tinkering around with the YouTube video URL.

You may want to download the videos from something other than a third-party tool.

In this case, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you need.

There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.

1. Choose An Add-on

The good news is that various options are available for downloading YouTube videos.

Some are best suited for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, while others are standalone tools.

Here’s an example of a similar add-on called ‘YouTube Video and Audio Downloader‘ for Opera.

Opera Add-Ons YouTube Downloader

2. Download The Add-on

The process is simple in Opera. And it’s the same for other browsers too.

In Opera, you can click on the ‘Add to Opera’ option in green.

Moreover, make sure you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using.

They won’t work otherwise.

Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it.

If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.

3. Head to YouTube

Next, head to the YouTube video you want to download.

Once you’re there, you’ll notice an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).

When you install this add-on, you get some options:

  • Quick Download
  • Download panel
  • Conversion tool
  • Settings

Next, click on the “quick download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.

You won’t get the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use unless you use an add-on.

4. Choose Your File Format

Most add-ons provide you with a variety of options to save the video.

Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities.

Usually, a pop-up floats up during the download choice, asking for your preferences.

Downloading YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop

A Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.

Here’s how you can do it.

1. Head to The YouTube Video.

First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video you want to view and download.

Once you do this and press the ‘Enter’ button, the video starts playing.

2. Add “vd” To The URL.

Now the process is similar to downloading videos directly by adding ‘ss’ to the URL.

In this case, you need to edit the video address and add the words ‘vd’ before ‘youtube’ and after ‘www.’.

Check this out:

After the edit, press the ‘Enter’ button.

Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you wish to download.


3. Choose the Video Format and Quality.

On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to choose the quality and the format of the YouTube video.

Based on your needs, you can go ahead.

4. Download the YouTube Video.

Once you click on the “download” option, it’s only a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.

Downloading YouTube Videos with a VLC Player

If you don’t have the VLC media player in your computer system, you can download it.

VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.

Here’s how:

1. Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.

Head to YouTube and open the video you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the video.

2. Open VLC Media Player.

You should immediately open the VLC media player. Keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.

3. New Network Stream.

When you open the VLC media player, head to the ‘Media’ option and click on it.

network stream

Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream option. Of course, this is the case when you’re using a Windows OS.

When you’re using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.

4. Open Media.

In this stage, you’ll see a page with a text editor, no matter your OS.

Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video you want to download.

5. Hit The ‘Play’ Option.

When you click the ‘play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.

6. Codec Information.

Next, click the ‘Tools’ option in the top right-hand corner.

There, you’ll find an option called ‘codec information.’

You can also reach the ‘codec information’ option using the ‘CTRL + J’ command.

When you click on the ‘codec information,’ a new window opens.

7. Location.

The window looks something like this:

You need to copy the information of the video from the location text box at the bottom of the page.

This step is straightforward for Windows users.

However, if you’re a Mac user, you must right-click the field and click the ‘Open URL’ option.

8. Copy/Paste the URL.

If you’re on a Windows system, you already copied the URL.

Paste it onto your web browser and click ‘Enter.’

The step is redundant for Mac users.

9. Save the Video.

At this stage, the video should be playing on your browser online.

Right-click on the video and select the ‘Save video as’ option.

10. Download The Video.

The video will now start downloading.

The default format is an MP4 file; the default title would be ‘videoplayback.’

Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.

Although the process may seem lengthy, it’s pretty simple once you do it yourself.

Downloading YouTube Videos on Mobile

Downloading a YouTube video to your mobile device is tricky.

However, I have two simple ways for you to download them to your mobile devices.

Option #1: If you have an Android phone, you can use an app called InsTube.

This app makes downloading videos to your phone super simple and free.

Option #2: If you have an iPhone, you cannot use InsTube to download your YouTube videos.

The simplest way to get this done is by getting the official YouTube Premium.

It costs $11.99 per month but is worth it.

You can download and watch videos on your phone through the YouTube app.

Since it’s what I do, I recommend you do the same.

You’ll also have access to YouTube Music to stream videos and music.

A free hack to get this done is by using Apple AirDrop.

You can transfer the video files from your Apple computer to your phone and watch them like a regular video.

All you have to do is follow the steps, and you can easily download any YouTube video for free and have it on your mobile device.

YouTube has straightforward Terms of Service delineating what a viewer can or can’t do on the platform.

Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement violates their terms of service. 

While downloading YouTube videos is technically criminal, YouTube does not penalize users for downloading videos.

Specific royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download.

Plus, YouTube considers them legal if you use the video for personal use. 

YouTube states, “You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”

In other words, you can watch Youtube videos, but only from Google applications. 

However, third-party apps will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos.

It’s tough to enforce or ban users for exploiting them – you can still watch YouTube videos when you’re not signed in.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something you should be doing.

What is YouTube batch downloading?

Batch downloading is the term used to describe the downloading of multiple files in a single Internet download session.

The number of files and their size in kilobytes (KB) will determine how long it will take to complete the file(s).

YouTube batch downloading is when people use software or web browser add-ons to download multiple YouTube videos automatically into a specific folder on their computer or device.

Batch downloading is also called multi-part downloading.

The main reasons people practice batch downloading are because it can be an easy way to download several small files from one location and because the file sizes of the downloaded video do not exceed the limits imposed by specific software.

Many YouTube users download videos using third-party software because it takes less time to complete the task.

What music can I use when creating YouTube videos?

When recording a video, use royalty-free music.

The music you select should not violate the rights of the original artist.

YouTube allows users to use certain tracks from their library, which you can use for free.

Summarizing A Video Using AI and YouTube Transcripts

As video content becomes more prevalent in today’s digital age, summarizing those videos for efficient consumption becomes increasingly important.

Many methods have been developed to summarize videos, but one of the most effective is using AI and YouTube transcripts.

Using AI algorithms, videos can be automatically transcribed into text, allowing for easy scanning and identifying critical topics and information.

Additionally, these transcripts can be analyzed using Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to identify significant themes and topics.

One of the advantages of using YouTube transcripts for video summarization is that they often contain more accurate and detailed information than simple video summaries created by humans.

The platform creates transcripts through the automatic speech recognition process, which captures all of the spoken content of a video.

To grab a video transcript, visit YouTube and open the desired video.

Just below it, you’ll find three horizontal dots next to Share and Save – click them to bring out a convenient menu with an Open transcript option.

Clicking this will initiate transcription, and you’ll have the video’s full transcript available for summarization.

To summarize a YouTube video using AI and YouTube transcripts, you can use pre-trained models such as Jasper AI, ChatGPT, or any other AI writing software.

Using AI and YouTube transcripts together makes summarizing videos much easier and more effective.

Through automatic transcription and natural language processing techniques, users can quickly identify essential topics from long-form videos in seconds and create concise summaries that capture all of the critical points of a video.

This process makes consuming large amounts of content much easier and faster for viewers.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Can you download a video file from YouTube?

Yes, you can download any YouTube video by following the steps in this guide.

I walk you through three ways to download videos using a YouTube video downloader, extension, and mobile device.

Can I download YouTube videos for free?

Yes, you can download any YouTube video for free.

However, I recommend using the 4K Video Downloader to save time.

It will give you higher-quality videos and free your devices from viruses and malware.

What is the best way to download YouTube videos?

For desktop, the best way to download a YouTube video is through 4k Video Downloader.

The best way to download YouTube videos is for mobile devices: InsTube or YouTube Premium.

How do I download YouTube videos to my Android?

The best way to download videos to your Android is by using InsTube. It is free and super simple to use.

Executive Summary.

There you have it – some of the best ways to download YouTube videos.

Go with 4K Video Downloader – the best tool for video quality and MP3 conversions.

This tool lets you access your favorite YouTube videos anytime, even without an Internet connection.

Downloading videos and storing them on your computer or phone helps you never miss out on the videos you like.

Do you prefer streaming videos or downloading YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.

Further reading on Did you know YouTube isn’t just for consuming videos?

You can also learn how to make money on this platform while sharing your knowledge.

Editorial Process:

Our reviews are made by a team of experts before being written and come from real-world experience. Read our editorial process here.

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