Fresh trailers, cats of all stripes and sizes, a variety of gags, homemade animations and professionally made video clips – all this can be found on YouTube. Over the years of development, the service has evolved from a simple hosting of videos 'for their own' to a huge portal, a key player in the online media market. And with the growing popularity, users increasingly wanted to watch videos from the site and without the Internet.
In this article, I will show you how to download YouTube videos in a variety of ways – using programs, plugins or special sites. Let's get started!
- 1. How to download YouTube videos to your computer
- 1.1. Can you download Youtube videos directly?
- 1.2. Downloader sites
- 1.3. Plugins
- 1.4. Download programs
- 2. How to download YouTube videos to your phone
- 2.1. How to download YouTube videos to iPhone
- 2.2. How to download YouTube videos to Android
1. How to download YouTube videos to your computer
By the number of available options, saving to a computer is in the lead. And if at first this could only be done directly, then later special downloader sites appeared, plugins for popular browsers and specialized programs were written.
1.1. Can you download Youtube videos directly?
In 2009, YouTube tried to implement downloading by means of the hosting itself in a test order. Then a modest save link appeared under some videos on Barack Obama's channel. It was assumed that the functionality for direct download will go to the masses … but it did not work out. It is not known what statistics were collected during testing, but it is known for sure that there is still no 'native' solution to the question of how to download a video from YouTube. For the sake of fairness, we note that the following downloader sites, plugins and programs cope with this task 100%.
In a way, direct saving could be called the search for the downloaded video in the browser cache with further copying to the desired location. However, this method does not work at the moment. First, browsers have changed their caching mechanisms. Secondly, YouTube itself has changed its way of sending data to visitors.
1.2. Downloader sites
If you have an Internet connection at hand (and it is, since we are talking about an online video service), then you should not worry about how to download YouTube videos without programs – of course, using downloader sites. They do not require the installation of additional applications and allow you to save videos in different formats. Let's consider the most popular ones.
Savefrom.net (using ss)
The official address of the service is ru.savefrom.net. Because of its ease of use, it is even considered a 'direct' download option. The fact is that the developers came up with an elegant move: they registered the ssyoutube.com domain and virally promoted it on social networks.
- very easy to use via the 'ss' prefix;
- good selection of formats;
- works with other sites;
- videos in the best quality cannot be downloaded;
- advertises the program for download.
This is how it works:
1. Open the video you like, then add ss to the very beginning in the address bar.
2. The service page will open, with the download link already processed. If the default format is suitable, then immediately click download. If you need a different one, open the drop-down list and click on the desired option. The download will start automatically.
3. Another use case is to copy the video address and paste it on the service page. After that, a form with download options will appear.
In my personal list, this site deservedly takes 1st place as the best service for downloading videos from YouTube without programs and plugins.
The service located at savedeo.com also claims to be simple. It even looks similar and also supports a number of other video hosting sites.
- supports various services;
- a good choice of formats (it immediately gives links to everything);
- there is a selection of popular videos on the main page;
- there is no way to download in high quality;
- instead of downloading, it can redirect to advertising sites.
It works as follows:
1. Copy the video address and paste it on the website, then click 'Download'.
2. On the page that opens, select the appropriate option and click on it.
It remains only to choose a place to save the video.
Even more convenience is provided by the YouTube plugin for downloading videos. To use this method, you need to install an add-on for your browser.
The add-on website is www.downloadhelper.net, supported by Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. This plugin is versatile, so you can save videos from a wide variety of sites.
- wide range of formats;
- when installing an additional codec, you can change the format on the fly;
- Supports downloading multiple videos at the same time;
- from time to time offers to support the project with money;
- currently does not support all popular browsers (eg Edge and Opera).
Using the plugin is simple:
1. Install the plugin from the official site.
2. Open the video page, then click on the plugin icon and select the desired download option.
It remains to indicate the location to save.
Download YouTube Videos as MP4
Another easy way to download YouTube videos for free. Support page – github.com/gantt/downloadyoutube.
• saves to popular mp4; • adds a button for fast loading; • regularly updated; • available for different browsers.
• like any additional plug-in, it slightly reduces the performance of the browser; • limited choice of formats; • does not download in high resolution.
Here's how to use it:
1. Install the plugin, then open the page with the desired video. A 'Download' button will appear below the video. Click on it.
2. Select the appropriate option and specify where to save it.
It is very easy to download YouTube videos online with this plugin.
1.4. Download programs
A separate download program can give more options – here you can find flexible settings, format selection, and work with a list of files.
This is a full-fledged video editor, with which you can not only download a video from YouTube, but also process it after.
- user-friendly intuitive interface for downloading videos;
- the ability to download 1080p HD videos;
- numerous tools for high-quality video processing;
- convert video to any of 350+ formats.
Cons: Most of the advanced features are only available in the full version.
How to use the program:
1. Download the VideoMASTER program from the official website and install it on your computer.
2. Start the video editor using the shortcut that appears on the desktop.
3. In the main window of the program, on the top panel, click 'File' – 'Download videos from sites'.
4. Copy the URL of the video you want to download from your browser.
5. Return to the program and click the 'Insert Link' button.
6. The copied link will automatically fit into the program field. All you have to do is select the quality and save location, and then click 'Load'.
7. Wait for the video to download, and then find it in the folder you selected as the save destination. Done!
Strictly speaking, it is a cross-platform script that works on almost any operating system. However, in a 'pure' form, it operates from the command line. It is much nicer to use a graphical shell for it – it is available at github.com/MrS0m30n3/youtube-dl-gui.
- works in any operating system;
- undemanding to resources;
- shakes the list;
- supports a huge number of sites and many formats;
- very flexible settings (playlists, how many files to download, etc.);
Minus, perhaps, one – English. Otherwise, this is almost the best answer to the question of how to download YouTube videos for free. And here's how to do it step by step:
1. Copy the URLs of the pages with the clips to be loaded into the program window.
2. If necessary – click 'Options' and specify the desired settings.
3. That's it, you can click 'Download'. The program will do the rest.
4K Video Downloader
One of the best programs that allows you to download YouTube videos to your computer in high resolution.
- user-friendly interface for downloading both videos and playlists entirely;
- support for 4K resolution and 360-degree video;
- works with subtitles;
- there are versions for different OS;
Cons – I didn't notice 🙂
How to use the program:
1. Copy the address of the video you like into the program.
2. Select the desired format and click 'Download'.
If necessary, specify where to save the finished video.
2. How to download YouTube videos to your phone
It is also useful to know how to download videos from YouTube to your phone. After all, now the mobile trend is gaining strength, and most people use smartphones, and not laptops or stationary computers.
2.1. How to download YouTube videos to iPhone
The situation with the company's popular products Apple is ambiguous. On the one hand, the company is officially against such downloads. On the other hand, loopholes are constantly popping up on how to download YouTube videos to an iPhone. And here's the easiest way: use the uploader sites described above in conjunction with the Dropbox app. For example, savefrom.net will do. With one addition – when the site opens the video, you need to share it in Dropbox. After that, the video can be opened through the Dropbox application (it will need to be installed separately).
An alternative approach is to do the same as described above in the section on how to download a video to a computer from YouTube, and then simply send it via iTunes to your phone:
- In iTunes, add the downloaded file to your library.
- Drag the video to your smartphone.
That's it, the video is available in the standard application.
2.2. How to download YouTube videos to Android
Here the situation is similar: officially, Google is against users being able to download videos from YouTube to their phones. Indeed, at the same time, the corporation loses money that comes from advertising on the service. But still, developers manage to host apps for download on Google Play. You can try searching for them by the word Videoder or Tubemate.
Attention! Malicious programs can also hide under the promoted names!
Therefore, the same approach can be used as with iPhone:
- Download the video to your computer (preferably in mp4 format to play accurately).
- Connect your android device to your PC.
- Copy the file to your device.
That's it, now you can view it from your smartphone.