How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
There are numerous ways to download YouTube videos, depending on where you’re downloading from and to.
However, before we reveal how to download YouTube videos, we feel duty-bound to discuss the legal and moral issues of downloading content from YouTube.
Technically, downloading any content that you don’t own the copyright for, or have permission to download from the copyright holder, is against YouTube’s terms and conditions. Breaching copyright is also illegal, and if you use copyrighted material – or even snippets of copyrighted material – you stand the risk of being sued by the holder. This is especially the case if you then use the material in your own videos, pass the video off as your own or even post the video with a credit to the holder, if you don’t have permission to do so.
Why Download YouTube Videos
There are many reasons why people want to download YouTube videos.
- Offline watching – For many of us, YouTube is the go-to option for entertainment and education, but it can also be a data hog. It’s great to enjoy the content without limitations when going out or traveling somewhere.
- Sharing – Having a copy will always make it easy to access and share your favorite video, even if the original video is taken down by the uploader.
- Further editing – With the downloaded video, you can cut out ads or unwanted parts or make it part of your own footage to elicit edit requests.
Is Downloading YouTube Videos Legal?
This is a side subject that you can’t bypass when talking about downloading YouTube videos. Essentially, it is illegal to download copyrighted videos if you plan on sharing them, uploading them to websites where you know they’ll be shared, and making a profit off of them. While certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you’re just using the video for personal use, and not for dissemination, it can be considered legal.
How to Download YouTube Videos on a PC or Mac Laptop
Desktop software is where you can get the best control over the whole process of downloading YouTube videos. Based on our tests, VideoProc Converter is one of the simplest ways, though there are tons of downloaders out there on the market.
Why We Like VideoProc Converter
- Support 4K downloads – 4K video is quickly becoming the new standard in today’s technology. YouTube and other social media support 4K video uploading; GoPro and DJI support 4K shooting. You will want to preserve the highest possible quality when downloading. Ideally, you can manipulate the quality of the video with VideoProc Converter.
- Support multi-platform downloads – A YouTube downloader should at least let you download from YouTube, and it is even better VideoProc Converter can help you download videos from 1000+ UGC websites like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, etc.
- Support batch downloads and playlist/live streams downloads– With batch downloading, you can download multiple YouTube videos automatically to your device. VideoProc Converter could save you a lot of time and effort. Live stream downloading is a feature most video downloaders fail to provide.
- Fast processing speed – VideoProc Converter peaks Hardware Acceleration fully powered by Intel, AMD, NVIDIA GPUs, and Apple M1/M1 Pro/M1 Max.
- Multiple file format compatibility – VideoProc Converter supports more than 420+ file formats and devices. You are free to save the YouTube videos with various options, including MP4, WebM, MP3, FLAC, etc.
- Simple yet powerful video processing software – Far more than just a YouTube downloader, VideoProc Converter comes with a built-in video/audio converter, compressor, DVD ripper, and screen recorder.
Steps to Download YouTube Videos Using VideoProc Converter
First of all, you need to download and install VideoProc Converter from its official website. Click Buy Now or Free Download if you prefer the trial version. Then you can follow the steps below to start downloading videos from YouTube.
- Go to YouTube to copy the URL of the video in the address bar. Note: If you want to download a batch of videos, create a playlist and copy the URL for that playlist.
- Launch VideoProc Converter and choose Downloader from the welcome screen.
- Click the Add Video button in the upper left corner of the interface. Paste the URL of the video to VideoProc Converter in the black space of the pop-up window. Then hit Analyze to the right.
- Choose the video format and resolution that you want to save from the list. Click done to confirm your choice.
- Click the blue Download Now button to start downloading.
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How to Download YouTube Videos in Chrome
You can also download YouTube videos in Chrome with an online downloader to avoid installing software. With plenty of such platforms out there, you can choose the one you prefer as they all work similarly.
However, these online downloaders often get shut down because of complaints from copyright owners. Also, these websites tend to redirect you to other sites that may or may not be safe. And there are usually restrictions even if you find a safe site for downloading from YouTube. For example, they tend to save your video with a lower-quality 1080P version, even if the original video is in 1440P or 4K. As for the download speed, they may take a lot longer, depending on the size of the video and your internet connection.
Below are the steps to download YouTube videos in Chrome using Y2Mate, one online downloader still running.
- Go to YouTube and open the video you want to save, and copy the URL of the video.
- Go to Y2Mate in your Google Chrome.
- Paste the video link you just copied from YouTube and click Start.
- Choose the video format you want according to the quality and file size, and click Convert.
- The button will turn to “Download” after clicking. Click the Download button.
- Set the filename and save path, then click Save to start downloading.
How to Download YouTube Videos With VLC
VLC, the phenomenal media player, can also serve as a YouTube downloader. Downloading with VLC is a little convoluted, but it works.
Another point worth noting is that VLC can only save your video as 1080P and not any higher, even if the original video is available in 1440P or 4K on YouTube. For that reason, using a real YouTube downloader, VideoProc Converter, is still highly recommended.
Anyway, follow the steps below to download a YouTube video.
- Download and install the VLC media player to your device.
- Head to YouTube and copy the link to the video you want to save.
- Open VLC and go to Media > Open Network Stream from the top menu bar.
- Paste the video address you just copied, then hit Play.
- Click Tools > Codec Information from the top menu bar.
- Copy the “Location” field in the pop-up window.
- Paste and open the copied URL in a browser.
- Right-click the video and select the Save video as option.
- Set the filename and path to save the video to your device.
How to Download YouTube Videos on an iPhone or iPad
It can be a little tricky to download YouTube videos on your iPhone and iPad since Apple makes it harder and harder to download YouTube videos. Apps that can download videos from YouTube are typically not available for long in the app store. One you can still use for YouTube downloading is Documents by Readdle, a file manager app.
- Download and install Documents by Readdle on your device.
- Find the YouTube video you want to download, either in the YouTube app or in a browser, then copy the video link.
- Open the Documents app, then click the compass icon to enable the built-in browser.
- Go to Y2Mate in the browser and paste the video link you copied from YouTube.
- Click the Start button to the right of the blank space.
- Choose the video format and size you want to save according to your needs.
- Click Download to start downloading.
How to Download YouTube Videos on an Android Device
For mobile users, downloading videos from the official YouTube app with a Premium subscription is the best solution. If you don’t have a YouTube Premium subscription, it’s still possible to download with a third-party app. As you’d expect, none of such apps are available on the Google Play Store since Google prohibits such tools. But with Android, it is possible to install apps without going through Google.
- Download and install TubeMate from its official website or a third-party app store.
- Open the app and search for the video you want to download.
- Tap the red Download icon.
- Select the quality of the video you want to download.
- Tap the red Download icon.
- Tap the small, white Download icon to check the download process.
So here are some of the best ways to download YouTube videos on different devices. Having a copy of your favorite makes you can always access it and share it with others, even if it’s been taken down.
Downloading YouTube videos on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device is a little tricky. You will have to switch between different apps.
Desktop users can consider using VideoProc Converter. Taking various factors into consideration, a desktop program like VideoProc Converter is always more reliable and stable. This program supports downloading high-quality videos instead of just being limited to 1080P. It can also download content from many other video and audio sites.
Downloading YouTube videos: Terms & Conditions
The first thing you need to consider when downloading a video from YouTube is that if you do so, you’re immediately breaking YouTube’s terms and conditions. “Big deal” you may think, and to be brutally honest, you’re probably right in thinking so. If Google (which owns YouTube) was to track down a particular user who downloaded a video from its servers, and then went on to suspend that person’s account, it would take only minutes for a new account to be set up and the process to begin again. Naturally, Google discourages such actions, but at the same time it doesn’t make its content that difficult to download.
Downloading YouTube videos: Copyright laws
The main thing you need to consider here is that copyright laws apply to YouTube in the same way they do if you were to smuggle a video camera into a cinema to record Hollywood’s latest blockbuster.
Therefore if you’re downloading something that you know, or suspect, to be copyrighted material – such as a music video or a TV show, or even if you simply see the copyright (©) symbol in the description of the video – then you’re breaking the law.
The water becomes muddied a little when you already own a copy of what you’re downloading. For example, if you’ve bought the latest Lady Gaga single and part of the CD or download file was her latest music video, it could be argued that what you are doing is simply backing up content that you’ve already paid for. People have been making personal copies of media for years through Apple’s iTunes software – transferring music from CDs to iPods – and neither record labels nor law agencies have made a significant effort to stop the practice.
Downloading YouTube videos: non-commercial content
On the other hand, if it’s simply a video from your cousin’s birthday party you want to download, and YouTube is the quickest and easiest way to get your hands on the file, then common sense would suggest that you’re probably safe from being persecuted by Google’s terms & conditions and the fat cats at major media corporations for doing so.