Easy methods to obtain YouTube movies safely

There are billions of hours of video on YouTube, actually. And that is hardly essentially the most astounding statistic in regards to the website, which has been the go-to vacation spot for importing and watching movies on-line since 2005. That stated, typically you actually need or have to have a kind of movies by yourself laptop or telephone. However when the subject of downloading YouTube movies comes up, there is a facet topic that should be broached: Is it authorized?

On the copyright entrance, so long as you are downloading a video in your personal private offline use(Opens in a brand new tab), you are most likely okay. It is extra black and white when you think about Google’s phrases of service for YouTube(Opens in a brand new tab), which learn: “You aren’t allowed to…entry, reproduce, obtain, distribute, transmit, broadcast, show, promote, license, alter, modify or in any other case use any a part of the Service or any Content material besides: (a) as expressly licensed by the Service; or (b) with prior written permission from YouTube and, if relevant, the respective rights holders.”

To learn the unique submit in PC Magazine, click on right here.(Opens in a brand new tab)

Watching YouTube movies offline by unofficial channels takes cash from Google and video creators. There is a cause YouTube runs adverts: Individuals make a residing this fashion.

Clearly, stealing movies from YouTube is a giant no-no. If you wish to share a video, YouTube and most different video websites make it straightforward, from embedding to emailing to sharing through social networks. You merely don’t have to obtain a video more often than not.

However you’ve your causes. For those who should obtain a YouTube video—completely have to, only for your self, and never for dissemination, and to not be a jerk—here is how.

Notice: This story is up to date incessantly, because the instruments concerned change recurrently. A few of these adjustments will not be all the time nice, comparable to software program so stuffed with “extras,” it will get flagged as malware by antivirus instruments(Opens in a brand new tab). The identical goes for the helper web sites—a change in a website’s advert community also can create points with malware(Opens in a brand new tab).

To forestall this from turning into a laundry checklist of packages and websites that may obtain YouTube movies, we got here up with a couple of guidelines for inclusion. Companies should:

  • Work with the highest three video websites: YouTube, Fb, and Vimeo.

  • Obtain complete playlists or channels in a batch (on YouTube), no less than with a paid model.

  • Output to MP3 for audio (or supply companion software program that does so).

  • Have an interface that would not suck.

  • Not acquire your private information past your e mail tackle.

  • Not comprise malware. If there’s even a whiff of it, even a PUP(Opens in a brand new tab), it is out.

The packages, providers, and websites on this story are all freed from spam and virus issues as of this writing, however caveat emptor—let the client beware. (Particularly if you happen to’re probably not shopping for.)

Easy methods to obtain YouTube Premium movies

Now accessible for subscribers of YouTube Premium (Opens in a brand new tab)— the paid model of YouTube that permits you to watch with out adverts—are video downloads—type of. There’s one limitation with high quality: All of the video you obtain is proscribed to 1080p high quality max or decrease. No 4K.

YouTube premium screenshot

(Credit score: PCMag/YouTube)
Credit score: PCMag/YouTube

The most important difficulty is, this characteristic would not actually obtain a video to avoid wasting in your laptop perpetually. It’s extra akin to the obtain characteristic discovered on cell apps for Netflix and Hulu, which makes a streaming video accessible to look at later utilizing your native storage utilizing the app’s interface solely. This isn’t a technique that permits you to, say, watch a video utilizing totally different software program such because the VLC Media Participant or Plex.

You entry the obtain by going to the YouTube hamburger menu and choosing Downloads (Opens in a brand new tab)to view the checklist of what you’ve got grabbed. The web page says “Downloads stay accessible so long as your machine has an energetic web connection no less than as soon as each 30 days.” This most likely is not precisely what you’re searching for in a obtain; learn on for instruments which are a greater match.

Utilizing desktop software program for downloading

Third-party software program is what will provide you with the very best management over downloading on-line movies. Sometimes, you paste the URL for the YouTube video you need into this system, and it downloads the highest-quality model it might discover. For movies in 1080p excessive definition (HD) format, that is normally an MP4 file. For something greater in high quality—4K or 8K—the file format is usually MKV.

Up to now, YouTube movies have been Flash-based, so your obtain was an FLV file, however these are usually more durable to play again. MP4 (brief for MPEG-4 Half 14 multimedia format(Opens in a brand new tab)) recordsdata can play anyplace

Notice that the MKV file, additionally referred to as a Matroska(Opens in a brand new tab), is a container—the file may comprise video using any variety of codecs inside. The foolproof approach to play all of them is to make use of the VLC Media Participant for Home windows, which performs every thing. (Learn extra about it under.) As for the downloaders, listed here are the very best choices.

VLC Media Participant

Free; Home windows, macOS, Linux

VLC Media Participant(Opens in a brand new tab) is a unbelievable software for Home windows, Mac, and Linux customers that performs again nearly any media ever created. It additionally has the flexibility to obtain YouTube movies, albeit in a convoluted manner. (For those who run into any issues, attempt a full re-install of VLC and clear your cache to make it work.)

Copy a URL from a YouTube video, then open up VLC. From the Media menu, choose Open Community Stream (Ctrl+N) and paste within the URL. Click on Play. When the video is taking part in, go to Instruments > Codec Data. There’s a field on the backside referred to as “Supply” — copy the URL you discover in that field.

VLC media player

VLC media participant
Credit score: PCMag

Return to your browser and paste that URL—it is a momentary internet tackle and can expire finally—within the tackle bar and begin taking part in the video. Once you’re viewing the video, within the Chrome or Edge browser, click on the three-dot menu on the decrease proper for the obtain choice to maintain it domestically. In different browsers, comparable to Firefox, right-click the video and choose Save Video As.

Save video as in VLC

Credit score: PCMag

It seems that VLC saves your file as 1080p solely and never any greater, even when the unique YouTube stream was accessible in 1440p or 2160p (aka 4K). It additionally will not convert video to different codecs. To get these choices, you want the desktop software program under.

4K Video Downloader

Free, or $10 for one yr of use; $15 for a lifetime license on three computer systems; Home windows, macOS, Ubuntu Linux, Android

4K Video Downloader

Credit score: PCMag

Multi-lingual 4K Video Downloader (Opens in a brand new tab)(4KVD) is incessantly up to date and options clear obtain hyperlinks on this system’s web site; no advert traps right here. The software program does what it advertises in a easy interface: It grabs movies as much as 8K in high quality and downloads to loads of codecs. Merely copy a YouTube URL and click on the Paste Hyperlink button to get began. 4KVD will even acquire subtitles, complete playlists, and all of the movies in a channel to which you subscribe. The websites supported are restricted to the massive names, together with YouTube, Vimeo, Fb, and some others, however that ought to cowl most of what you want. It does show a big banner commercial to maintain the lights on with the free model, which can be restricted to 30 downloads a day.

Once I tried it, I needed to make a swap from MP4 to MKV format to get my take a look at video to obtain in 4K. 4KVD snagged a 3-minute, 229.7MB file for a film trailer in about 1 minute and 20 seconds. I made the identical swap when downloading an Extremely Excessive Definition (8K) playlist(Opens in a brand new tab).

Once you allow the Good Mode and its presets, 4KVD can carry out one-click downloads to your favourite format. If you wish to obtain greater than 30 movies per day or subscribe to YouTube channels to immediately obtain(Opens in a brand new tab) the most recent, you may want the paid model. Playback of the ensuing MKV recordsdata through VLC Media Participant is flawless.

This system has the choice to extract audio to MP3 format, so you do not even want the 4K YouTube to MP3(Opens in a brand new tab) companion software program. But when that is your factor, it is the identical value as 4KVD.

VideoProc Converter

$25.95 for 1 yr/3 PCs; $39.95 lifetime for 1 PC; $57.95 household on 3-5 PCs; Home windows, macOS

VideoProc Converter

Credit score: PCMag

The highly effective VideoProc from Digiarty is available in an editor version and this converter(Opens in a brand new tab), which additionally offers modifying and results and, in fact, handles plenty of downloading, supporting 4K from over 1,000 web sites, together with TikTok. With {hardware} acceleration(Opens in a brand new tab), it guarantees some velocity. Fortunately, Digiarty incessantly affords value reductions: In truth, the value has dropped rather a lot on the one-year license; it is at present(Opens in a brand new tab) simply $25.95.

To make use of it, let the software program detect your {hardware} to see what’s going to assist with acceleration (if something). Click on the Downloader button, click on Add video to position as many URLs as you need to batch, after which click on on Obtain Now. Or seize an entire YouTube playlist or dwell stream.

VideoProc grabbed our 697MB take a look at 4K video(Opens in a brand new tab) to WEBM format in about 2 minutes and 15 seconds, which is not unhealthy. The trial model of VideoProc Converter, which limits conversions to five minutes, would not seem to restrict downloads.


Free (donation-ware); Home windows

FlixGrab(Opens in a brand new tab) affords a number of totally different packages, many with overlapping options. For instance, FlixGrabMS is obtainable within the Microsoft Retailer(Opens in a brand new tab) for Home windows 10 and 11 machines, however it would not let me seize video from YouTube. The straight obtain of the FlixGrab program from in a brand new tab) did work with YouTube and a number of other different websites. It additionally affords a Free YouTube Downloader(Opens in a brand new tab) that’s particular to YouTube but has the identical easy-to-use interface.

The subscription costs for an improve have disappeared. The location now has a donation web page(Opens in a brand new tab) the place it says “for now, our functions are completely free.” For those who can donate a bit through PayPal or bank card, the builders will likely be grateful.


Free; Home windows and macOS

5KPlayer screenshot

Credit score: PCMag

The free 5KPlayer(Opens in a brand new tab) is much more than a downloader, however it’s bought a heck of an built-in downloader. Promising no viruses, adverts, or plug-in necessities is an efficient begin. It’s, sadly, one of many few that asks for registration of your identify and e mail—you need to try this to get the complete obtain operate throughout 300-plus websites(Opens in a brand new tab). You’ll be able to nab 4K vids from YouTube with out registering, although.

When downloading, this system tries to cover some issues. Paste within the URL for a YouTube video, and the evaluation engine runs and exhibits only some obtain choices. Click on the gear icon, then the Present All button, and scroll to see extra—together with a 4K 3,840-by-2,160 file in WebM format. The 227MB WebM take a look at obtain took an agonizing 6.5 minutes. Grabbing playlists is feasible, however you have to alter obtain settings one video at a time. The complicated interface makes it exhausting to return to the opposite movies within the playlist.

5K Participant additionally options DLNA server playback, so the movies you seize will be watched on any machine that helps DLNA. It additionally helps AirPlay for fast playback to Apple units. Choose a video within the library for fast conversion to MP4, MP3, and even ACC (the audio format most well-liked by iOS). The participant did not like taking part in again the overly massive 4K file, although, and skilled buffering points (VLC did not have any downside with the identical file).

In the end, there’s rather a lot to love about 5K Participant, together with the value and the options—particularly if you happen to have a look at them as extras on a downloader. However the unhealthy interface, gradual obtain speeds, and playback points might trigger you to look elsewhere.

Helper Web sites (Heed Any 🚩s)

Do you need to keep away from putting in software program? Video-download helper websites are supposed to do the obtain be just right for you. All of them do one primary factor: You give them a YouTube URL (or one other video website, if supported), and so they parse it, offer you a selection of what dimension obtain you need, and supply a hyperlink to stated obtain. The websites work on any platform, typically even on cell units. You do not have to put in something in your PC. It may well take rather a lot longer to get a obtain, relying on the dimensions and high quality of the video you need, however you may’t beat the comfort.

The issue is you can’t all the time belief them. Tons of of some of these websites exist—it appears anybody with a modicum of coding capability has set one up. Such websites can simply go from helpful to suspicious, particularly once they get fashionable, and the proprietor sells out to make money off your visits.

Since this story was first revealed, all of the helper websites we advisable have been eliminated for causes comparable to including sexually express adverts, not working, and switching to pushing a obtain utility solely. One went out of enterprise voluntarily in 2020 to keep away from getting sued(Opens in a brand new tab).

For these causes, we’re not recommending any helper websites for the time being. For those who determine to attempt one, and your browser, antivirus, or instincts throws up red-flag warnings, keep away from it and transfer on.

Browser Extensions

A browser extension can prevent a step. However you are going to run into some points with downloading movies from YouTube, particularly if you happen to’re utilizing Chrome as your main browser.

The Chrome Net Retailer (Opens in a brand new tab)— the place you get Chrome browser extensions—is managed by YouTube’s proprietor, Alphabet/Google. Even an extension created ostensibly for this objective is not going to permit YouTube direct downloads due to Chrome Retailer restrictions. Generally, with Chrome extensions, the obtain of any RTMP protocol video (protected video) or streaming video is not potential. You should utilize them on different websites with video, in fact—simply not YouTube.

Wish to get round this? Get an extension that does not come from the Google Net Retailer. Among the packages and helper websites supply an extension element and can spell out the right way to do the set up(Opens in a brand new tab) with out the help the Chrome Net Retailer normally offers. Listed below are a pair.

YouTube Video Downloader

Free; Courageous, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Safari, Vivaldi

YouTube Video Downloader

Credit score: PCMag

YouTube Video Downloader from Addoncrop(Opens in a brand new tab) is obtainable for a number of browsers however with glorious side-load capabilities(Opens in a brand new tab) through consumer scripts or third-party extensions comparable to Foxified (Opens in a brand new tab)(which permits Chrome/Edge consumer entry to Firefox extensions). It places a button under whichever video you are taking part in on YouTube, even an embedded YouTube video, making the video straightforward to seize. As much as 8K video is supported. You may as well convert audio from the video to an MP3, and it’ll even enable you take video screenshots.

Video DownloadHelper

Free; Firefox, Chrome, Edge

Video DownloadHelper(Opens in a brand new tab) helps an enormous variety of websites—even these for adults. You will know a video is downloadable when the icon for the extension animates if you’re on the net web page. Video DownloadHelper for Chrome has stopped working with YouTube; that manner, it bought placement within the Chrome Net Retailer. Get round that by utilizing the Video DownloadHelper extension on Firefox or Edge as a substitute.

Cell Video Downloader Apps

Downloading from YouTube utilizing an Android app from the Google Play Retailer is a problem, provided that Google has a grip on the location it owns (even when it seldom appears to verify for malware(Opens in a brand new tab)); it affords the paid YouTube Premium(Opens in a brand new tab) service talked about above to facilitate offline viewing.

That stated, with Android, it is potential to put in apps with out going by Google. For instance, InsTube – Free Video and Music Downloader(Opens in a brand new tab) for Android will be discovered solely at InsTube’s web site. Obtain the APK (Android utility bundle) file to sideload on an Android machine. Discover it in your machine’s downloads and click on to set up(Opens in a brand new tab). (You will have to enter your safety settings and allow “Unknown sources.”) 

You’d suppose there can be no such restriction on iPhones and iPads, since Apple and Google aren’t the very best of buddies (or possibly they’re(Opens in a brand new tab)). However with the iOS apps I’ve tried, not solely would they not obtain from YouTube, however they’re additionally sometimes not accessible for lengthy. A type of apps stated in its description, “Downloading from YouTube is prohibited on account of its Phrases of Service.” Apple is guaranteeing that app makers play by the principles—even Google’s guidelines.

Chances are high, the minute you discover an iOS app that may obtain YouTube movies, it is going to be “mounted” or banned. The one actual possibility is to jailbreak your iPhone and use sideloaded apps that obtain what you need.

There are workarounds. One is to subscribe to YouTube Premium, which helps you to obtain movies in your iPhone or iPad to look at later, a lot as Netflix and Hulu do. However it would not enable you the liberty to edit a clip.

One other is utilizing a free iOS file supervisor app, comparable to Paperwork by Readdle(Opens in a brand new tab). Use the Safari browser to go to a YouTube video, and use the Share possibility to search out Copy Hyperlink. Then return to Paperwork, and use the built-in browser within the app to surf to a video obtain helper website (you recognize, the sort we do not suggest).

Paste the hyperlink into the shape (maintain your finger down on it till you get the “Paste” menu to pop up). The location will provide you with the hyperlinks to obtain, and it can save you the file to Paperwork. Maintain and drag the file up till you are again on the primary display screen, then drag it to the Photographs folder. You will want to present Paperwork permission to entry Photographs the primary time. You’ll be able to then entry the video as you’d any video taken on the telephone or pill, within the Photographs app.

One other workaround: Return to the desktop, and take a look at AnyTrans(Opens in a brand new tab) ($39.99 for a single laptop for one yr, Home windows or macOS; $59.99 for a lifetime plan). It is a desktop file supervisor for iOS units that has an built-in downloader supporting 900 websites, together with YouTube and Fb. It will switch the movies to the iPhone for you over the USB cable. Even if you happen to do not pay for AnyTrans, the obtain possibility stays and is free perpetually.

YT Scribe

Desire a actually distinctive approach to “obtain” a video? YT Scribe(Opens in a brand new tab) permits you to seize the transcription so you may learn it as a substitute: It auto-transcribes, punctuates, and paragraphs the textual content. The higher the subtitles, the higher the “article,” in fact. Better of all, it’s very free.

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