How to Download and Save YouTube Videos
This article shows you how to download YouTube videos to your computer, phone, or tablet. Keep in mind that while downloading most YouTube videos isn't illegal, it does violate Google's terms of service.
Using KeepVid on a Computer
1. Go to https://www.youtube.com in a web browser.
You can use a free YouTube download website like KeepVid to download YouTube videos to your computer. Before opening KeepVid, you'll want to open the YouTube video.
2. Go to the video you want to download.
You can choose a video from the home page or search for something using the "Search" bar at the top of the screen. Once you select the video, it should play immediately.
3. Click the Share icon.
It's the gray arrow below the video. Some sharing options will appear.
4. Click the blue COPY link next to the URL.
This copies the link to your clipboard.
5. Navigate to https://keepvid.pro.
You can do this in the same browser tab if you wish.
6. Right-click the "Enter Link" field.
It's at the top of the KeepVid page.
7. Click Paste.
8. Click the blue Download Now button.
KeepVid will fetch the video and display some format options.
9. Select a download format.
To get the highest possible quality, click the blue Best Download video next to the video. To choose a lower-quality (smaller) file, click Download Other Formats and make your selection. This downloads the file to your computer.
- If prompted, select a saving location and click Save, Download, or OK. You can then watch the video by double-clicking the file on your computer.
Using 4K Video Downloader on a Computer
1. Download the 4K Video Downloader setup file.
Go to https://www.4kdownload.com/products/product-videodownloader in your computer's web browser, then click Get 4K Video Downloader on the left side of the page. The 4K Video Downloader setup file will download onto your computer.
- 4K Video Downloader is available on both Windows and Mac computers.
2. Install 4K Video Downloader.
Once the 4K Video Downloader setup file finishes downloading, you can install it by doing the following:
- Windows: Double-click the setup file, click Yes when prompted, and follow the on-screen setup instructions.
- Mac: Double-click the setup file, verify the installation if necessary, click and drag the 4K Video Downloader app icon onto the "Applications" folder, and follow any on-screen instructions.
3. Go to https://www.youtube.com in a web browser.
4. Go to the video you want to download.
The video should begin playing.
5. Copy the video's address.
Click the video's address in the bar at the top of your browser's window, then press Ctrl+A (Windows) or ⌘ Command+A (Mac) to fully select it and press Ctrl+C or ⌘ Command+C to copy it.
6. Open 4K Video Downloader.
If 4K Video Downloader didn't automatically open upon finishing its installation, click its link in the Windows Start menu or your Mac's Applications folder.
7. Click Paste Link.
It's in the top-left corner of the 4K Video Downloader window. Doing so will cause the 4K Video Downloader to extract the address you copied.
8. Select a video format from the "Format" menu.
If you don't see "4K" listed in the quality options for a video which you know supports 4K, changing the video format from MP4 to MKV will usually prompt the 4K option to appear.
9. Select a quality.
By default, the highest possible quality will be selected, but you can check the box next to a different quality (e.g., 1080p) if your computer doesn't support the highest quality.
- For example, many laptop screens don't support 4K video, meaning that downloading a video in 4K is pointless.
10. Click Download.
It's at the bottom of the window. Your video will begin downloading onto your computer.
11. Open your video's location.
Once your video finishes downloading, right-click it and then click Show in Folder in the resulting drop-down menu. This will cause a File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) window with your downloaded video to open, at which point you can double-click the video to play it in your computer's default video player.
- On a Mac, you can hold down Ctrl while clicking the video to prompt the right-click menu to appear.
Using VLC Player on a Computer
1. Go to https://www.youtube.com on your computer.
If you have VLC Media Player on your computer, you may be able to use it to download videos from YouTube. Start by navigating to YouTube in your browser.
- If you don't have VLC Player on your computer, you can download it from https://www.videolan.org or use another method.
- This method should work for most videos, but some may display a "Your input can't be opened" error during the download.
- If it refuses to play the video, that is because Youtube actually restricts the location of the video on the web if it contains copyrighted content. The only way to get around this is to use a download website not subject to this, such as mpgun.com, or use a computer program.
2. Go to the video you want to download.
You can search for the video using the "Search" bar at the top of the screen. Once you select the video, it should begin playing right away.
3. Copy the video's URL.
You can do this by highlighting the URL in the address bar at the top of the browser and pressing Ctrl+C (PC) or ⌘ Command+C (Mac).
4. Open VLC Player.
It should be in the Start menu on Windows and in the Applications folder on macOS. It's the icon of an orange traffic cone.
- If you don't have it already, you can download VLC for free at https://www.videolan.org. VLC is an open-source video player with a lot of beneficial features for playing all kinds of files.
5. Open a new Network stream.
Network streams allow you to play content from your web browser in VLC. The steps are a little different for Windows and macOS:
- Windows: Click Media, then click Open Network Stream....
- macOS: Click File and then Open Network.
6. Paste the YouTube video's URL into the field.
Click the "Please enter a network URL" text box, then press Ctrl+V (PC) or ⌘ Command+V (Mac).
7. Click Play (PC) or Open (Mac).
This will open the YouTube video in VLC.
- If you are unable to play any YouTube videos, update to the latest version of VLC and try again.
- If you are still unable to play any YouTube videos, copy the text on this web page and paste it into a new Notepad or TextEdit file. Save the file as "youtube.lua". On Windows, navigate to "C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\lua\playlist" in file explorer. On Mac, right-click on VLC.app in Applications and click Show Contents. Then navigate to "/MacOS/share/lua/playlist". Delete the "youtube.luac" file and replace it with the "youtube.lua" file you saved.
8. View the video's codec information.
To do so:
- Windows: Click Tools, then click Codec Information.
- Mac: Click Window, then click Media Information.
9. Copy the "Location" field.
At the bottom of the window, you'll see a long address that you'll need to copy. Highlight the entire address and then follow these steps to copy it:
- Windows: Right-click the highlighted link and click Copy.
- Mac: Right-click the text field and click Open URL.
10. Paste the copied URL into your web browser and press ↵ Enter.
You can skip this step if you're using a Mac as the video should already appear in a browser. If you're using Windows, open a new browser tab, right-click the address bar, and then click Paste.
11. Right-click the video and select Save video as.
This should open your computer's "Save" dialog.
12. Download the video.
Right-click the video in your browser, then click Save video as in the resulting drop-down menu. The video will begin downloading onto your computer as an MP4 file with the name "videoplayback".
13. Select a location and click Save.
This downloads the video to your computer. Once the file is downloaded, you can view it by double-clicking the file.
Using TubeMate for Android
1. Go to https://tubemate.net in your Android's web browser.
Tubemate is a free app that lets you download YouTube videos to your Android. The app isn't available from the Play Store, but you can download the APK and install it manually.
- There's always a bit of a risk when downloading APK files, but Tubemate is a popular app with many reputable users.
2. Tap the APKMirror link to download.
This brings you to the APKMirror download site.
3. Scroll down and tap the red DOWNLOAD APK button.
There are a lot of other links on the page so make sure you're tapping the one with this text. A pop-up will appear at the bottom, asking if you want to keep the file.
4. Tap OK on the pop-up.
This downloads the file to your Android. When the download is complete, a pop-up will appear that displays the word "Open."
5. Tap Open on the pop-up window.
A confirmation message will appear.
6. Tap INSTALL.
The app will now install on your Android.
7. Tap OPEN when the installation is complete.
It's at the bottom-right corner of the confirmation message.
8. Review the terms and tap AGREE.
Tapping AGREE means you agree to download videos for private use only.
9. Tap OK on the Permissions pop-up.
This just explains the permissions you'll need to give Tubemate to run.
10. Follow the on-screen instructions to grant permissions to Tubemate.
You should allow Tubemate to save files to your Android and "draw" over other apps. The rest of the permissions are optional.
- When prompted to enable "Drawing over apps," slide the switch to the On position, and then tap the back button to open the Tubemate page (which looks like YouTube).
11. Search for the video you want to download.
Tubemate will open to a screen that's identical to YouTube. After tapping through a quick how-to, use the search box at the top of the screen to open the video you want to download.
12. Tap the red arrow icon.
It's at the bottom-right corner of the screen. A list of download options for the video will appear.
13. Tap the desired size and file type.
The video formats are at the top half of the screen, and the audio options are on the bottom. Choose one of the MP4 formats to download a video.
- The largest resolution (1900 x 1080) will produce the largest file size. You can see the exact file size on the right side of each option.
14. Tap the red arrow icon.
It's on the right side of the screen. This will download the video to your Android. Once the video is downloaded, you can view it in your Photos or Gallery app the way you would any other video.
- If a pop-up appears asking you to download something, choose No. These pop-ups look like system warnings but they are ads that bring you to the Play Store. They won't install anything bad, but don't be tricked into downloading anything extra.
Using KeepVid on an iPhone or iPad
1. Install Documents by Readdle on your iPhone or iPad.
Apple makes it sort of difficult to download files to your iPhone or iPad, so you'll use an app called Readdle. Here's how to get it:
- Open the App Store.
- Tap Search at the bottom-right corner.
- Type readdle into the search bar at the top of the screen and tap Search.
- Tap GET or the cloud icon next to "Documents by Readdle." It's the gray "D" icon with yellow and green accents.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
2. Open YouTube on your iPhone or iPad.
It's the white icon with a red rectangle and white triangle inside.
3. Go to the video you want to download.
Tap the magnifying glass at the top of the screen to search, or tap Library at the bottom-right corner to browse videos you've saved. Once you get to the video, it will start playing immediately.
4. Tap Share.
It's the icon with an arrow below the video's title. Several sharing icons will appear.
5. Tap Copy link.
It's the gray icon with two overlapping rectangles in the bottom row of icons. This copies the video's link to your clipboard.
6. Open the Documents app.
It's the gray "D" icon with yellow and green accents. It should now occupy the last icon position on your home screen.
- Since it's your first time using the app, tap Continue when prompted, and then proceed through the screens until you reach the screen that says "Documents" at the top.
7. Tap the blue compass icon.
It's at the bottom-right corner of the "Documents" screen. This opens a web browser.
8. Go to https://keepvid.pro in the browser.
You can do this by typing the URL into the "Go to this address" bar at the top of the screen and then tapping Go.
9. Tap the "Enter Link" field.
This springs open your keyboard.
10. Tap and hold the "Enter Link" field.
After a second or so, the "Select All" and "Paste" options will appear.
11. Tap Paste.
The YouTube video link you copied will appear in the blank.
12. Tap the blue Download Now button.
Keepvid will locate the video and provide some download options below.
13. Scroll down and tap Best Download.
It's the blue button below the video's duration. The "Save File" screen will appear.
- If you want a smaller file, you can tap the Download Other Formats button below instead and choose something else.
14. Rename the file (optional) and tap Done.
This downloads the video to your iPhone or iPad. Once the video is downloaded, you'll be returned to the main Documents by Readdle screen.
15. Add the Readdle folder to the Files app.
If you add Readdle to your Files app it'll be easy for you to access your downloaded videos. Here's how:
- Open the Files app (the blue folder) on your home screen. It may be buried in a folder.
- Tap Browse at the bottom.
- Tap Edit at the top-right corner.
- Slide the "Documents" switch to the On (green) position.
- Tap Done at the top-right corner.
- You can now use the Files app to access the videos you download with Documents by Readdle.
16. Watch the downloaded video.
When you're ready to watch your video(s), follow these steps:
- Open Files.
- Tap Browse.
- Tap Documents.
- Tap Downloads.
- Tap the video to watch it.
- Finding a music video and downloading it as an MP3 will result in a music file. The music may also not be the best quality because it's from a video, not a high-quality audio format.
- Be patient! Even a one-minute video may take two to three minutes to download depending on your Internet speeds.
- Downloading certain music and videos may be a breach of Intellectual Property laws since companies own the rights to the video and music you are downloading. If you want to avoid this, only download from YouTube with the explicit permission of the content creator. Otherwise, you may be liable for copyright infringement.