How To Download YouTube Videos: A Complete Guide

Hands holding tablet while downloading a video from YouTube
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How To Download YouTube Videos: A Short Guide

The fastest way to download YouTube videos is with a YouTube Premium subscription. If you have that, you get a download button below every video you watch on mobile devices.

If you don’t want to get a YouTube Premium subscription, you can use third party apps for free. With them, you’ll just need to paste the URL of the video you want to download in a specific field, and you’ll get a download button.

Be wary, though! This method violates YouTube Terms of Service, and it’s a breach of copyright law. We advise against using it. If you won’t heed our warning, at least make sure you’re anonymous and protected with the help of a VPN.

CyberGhost is the best option for this, as it will hide your IP, encrypt your internet traffic, and do it all while maintaining a fast internet speed.

If you want to find out more about how to download YouTube videos, keep reading our article below.

Being able to download YouTube videos is great in a ton of situations. For example, if your internet connection is slow, you can avoid buffering on high-definition videos by downloading them.

If you’re traveling to an area without service, having a few videos downloaded is great as well. It’ll keep you busy while you’re on the train, on your underground commute, or anywhere with minimal connectivity. 

But there are important things that you need to know. In this article, we’ll discuss how to download YouTube videos, and what to avoid while you’re at it.

How To Download Videos With YouTube Premium

Using YouTube Premium is the easiest (and only legal) way to download YouTube videos. Unfortunately, it’s not free. YouTube Premium costs $11.99 per month, with the first month being free. This only works for mobile devices too. Even with a YouTube Premium account, users can’t download videos on their PC.

If you decide to get YouTube Premium, here’s how to download YouTube Videos:

  • Click on the video you want to download. You can open it from search, or from your feed, it makes no difference.
  • Tap on the “Download” button below the video. Depending on your internet speed and the video size, it can take a while for the download to complete.

Screenshot of YouTube with the download button highlighted

  • You can access all of your downloaded videos. Simply click on “Library” and you’ll see a category for downloads.

Screenshot of YouTube with the Library button highlighted

This method on how to download YouTube videos only works for a price, and only on mobile devices. So it’s not the best option. If you want to download YouTube videos to enjoy offline for free, and on your PC as well, keep reading.

How To Download YouTube Videos With Third Party Sites

The internet is full of YouTube video download apps. Whether you can do it all in a browser, or you need to download an app, there are options. In most cases, here’s what users will have to do to download a YouTube video:

  • Copy the URL of the video you want. If you’re on mobile, you can do this by opening the video, clicking on “Share”, and pressing “Copy Link”.
  • Open the YouTube video downloader app.
  • Paste the URL in the software. Most YouTube video download sites have their URL field displayed clearly on the home page.
  • Wait for the video to convert. YouTube download sites can’t start the download immediately. You’ll need to wait for a little while so that the site can source the video.
  • Press the download link. In some apps, you can also choose other options before converting, like the quality of the video or the file format.

Most YouTube video download apps let you download music as well. You just have to go through the process outlined above, and then choose the .mp3 file format. This will only download the audio of a YouTube video. Keep in mind that downloading videos this way goes against Youtube’s Terms of Service.

The Dangers of Third Party Sites

This is a suitable moment to mention that we don’t recommend downloading YouTube videos with third-party apps. It’s a breach of copyright laws, so it can spell legal problems.

Some YouTube download sites install adware on your PC, which can be extremely annoying and dangerous for your privacy and security.

If you still want to do it, make sure you at least anonymize your traffic with the help of a VPN. A VPN (virtual private network) will encrypt your internet traffic, and change your IP. With its help, no one can know where you’re browsing from, and you get an added layer of security.

The best VPN for downloading YouTube videos is CyberGhost. It’s affordable, very secure, and it has decent connection speeds, so you can download large videos without waiting for ages.

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But a VPN is not everything you need for downloading YouTube videos safely. You should also use the right platforms.

The Best YouTube Download Sites

Since YouTube download sites breach copyright laws, they’re not always up. Sometimes, they’ll change domain names, or go down for a period. This is important to keep in mind since some entries from the list below might not be available when you’re reading the article.

If that’s the case, just try another. At least one of them should be available at all times.


Y2Mate

Y2Mate YouTube video downloader Interface Screenshot

Y2Mate is one of the best YouTube download sites. It covers all its bases with fast conversion, unlimited downloads for free, and its support for multiple file formats, including .mp4 and .mp3.

After video conversion, you can choose the video quality for your download. The downloaded videos can be in formats from 144p to 1080p. The variety’s similar for .mp3 audio files, from 48k to 160k.

Y2Mate is also a great download site because it has an Android app. If you want to use YouTube download sites from your phone, you’ll usually struggle with a bad interface. That’s not the case with Y2Mate, which makes it one of the best YouTube download platforms.


Loader

Loader Download YouTube Videos in 1080p page screenshot

Loader is not as beautifully designed as Y2Mate, but it’s still a solid pick. It has more complex format options for video and audio downloads. These include WEBM (4K and 8K) for videos, and M4A, AAC, FLAC, OPUS, or WAV for audio. This makes Loader a great option if you want to download resources from YouTube in different formats.

Beyond a variety in file formats, Loader stands out as one of the few download sites that support 4K downloads. You just need to make sure the video you download is 4K, to begin with.

And lastly, Loader is much more versatile than Y2Mate. Besides YouTube videos, you can use it to download files from Twitch, Tik Tok, Facebook, Soundcloud, IMDb, or Vimeo.


WinX YouTube Downloader

WinXDVD YouTube downloader Interface Screenshot

The WinX YouTube Downloader is downloadable software that you need to install, not an in-browser app. It’s part of the larger WinX suite of software, and it’s a very solid YouTube download app. It can download videos in any video quality, and it advertises support for batch downloads as well.

Besides YouTube, the WinX Downloader can also download videos from over 30 platforms, including Facebook or Vimeo.

If you just want to get one video, WinX isn’t the best option. There are some extra steps since you need to download the software before you download the videos. But if you’re looking to get a lot of content from online video sites, WinX is a splendid choice.


Any Video Converter (AVC)

Any Video Converter Freeware Screenshot Download Software page

Any Video Converter has a clunky interface with background music (which is strange, since it’s not 2009 anymore). But that doesn’t take away from its effectiveness. It’s an app that you have to download, so it’s not in-browser, but it has amazing format support.

With AVC, you can download videos in formats, including MP4, WEBM, MOV, MPEG, AVI, and dozens more. You can also download music in a large variety of formats. And this is AVC’s biggest strong point. If you’re looking for variety in file formats, it’s the tool for you.

But other than that, it’s not a top free download site. You can’t download videos in bulk with the free version, and you have to install the software before you get the videos you want.


Savefrom Converter

Savefrom Interface, download video from YouTube page Screenshot

Savefrom Converter is a very straightforward YouTube video download site. You just paste the YouTube video link of the video you want on their site, and you get the option to download the video in 360p or 720p.

Unfortunately, these are the only options to download with Savefrom directly from the browser. If you want higher quality videos or MP3 versions of the YouTube videos, you’ll need to download their app. At that point, it’s better to pick one of the other apps on this list.

So if you just want one video, and the other in-browser options are down, Savefrom is a good choice. In any other scenario, it’s not the best.


YTD Video Downloader

YTD Video Downloader and Video Converter Free download page screenshot

The YTD Video Downloader is a simple app that you have to download in order to get access to online videos. Once you do, you can download from a ton of sites, including YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and some adult video sites.

It also features HD downloads up to 1080p, many video and audio formats, as well as bulk downloads. It’s all completely free to use.


Should You Use an Online Youtube Video Downloader or a Desktop App?

There’s a considerable difference between using an online Youtube video downloader and a desktop app. For starters, an online Youtube video downloader is often hosted on a remote server, so if there’s an increase in traffic, your video downloads will slow down dramatically. Moreover, your network speeds play a big role in how quickly the video downloads.

On the other hand, paid desktop apps come with handy features, including bulk downloads, and a greater choice when selecting the download format. If you only want to download one or two Youtube videos, it’s best to use an online Youtube video download site. However, if you want to download videos in bulk, you might want to consider going for a desktop app.

How To Download YouTube Videos: FAQs

If you have any other questions about how to download YouTube videos, the FAQ section below should come in handy.

Curious about how to download YouTube videos from any device? You’ll need to use a third-party YouTube download site. You can find many of them after a simple Google search, but if you want to see our top 10, check out this article.

If you just want the video on your phone, you can also use YouTube Premium, but that’s not free.

The best way to download YouTube videos is to sign-up for a YouTube Premium account. With it, you can just press a “Download” button below any YouTube video. It’s also the only legal way to enjoy YouTube content offline.

But it’s not the only way. If you want to find out more, read our article on how to download YouTube videos.

With a YouTube Premium account, anyone can download YouTube videos. But it was possible to source online videos long before YouTube Premium was a thing. There are a ton of sites, and even apps that let you do just that. If you want to see which are the best ones, read our article here.

Tech writer
Theodor is a content writer passionate about the newest tech developments and content marketing strategies. He likes privacy-friendly software, SEO tools, and when he's not writing, he's trying to convince people they should uninstall TikTok.