We love using YouTube to watch videos, whether to goof around or to learn something, it’s something we consistently return to. If you want to keep a certain video on your phone or in an easy-to-find place, you’ve probably thought about downloading it. But can you download a video off of YouTube?
YouTube videos can be downloaded. However, in order to download from YouTube, one must either have a YouTube premium subscription or use a third-party app to download to a computer. These options will all include some sort of fee or price to use the app or service.
There are a few different ways to download videos from YouTube, and each comes with its own set of specifications in order to use it. We will go through the most common ways and give some more insight as to which might be the most useful for your intentions.
YouTube Premium is perhaps one of the most simple ways to get YouTube videos downloaded. The video will download onto your account while you’re offline, and you can enjoy watching it without an internet connection. This is the more or less YouTube-approved way to download content, but it has its limitations. It only downloads the video to your YouTube account and only works while you have YouTube Premium.
YouTube Premium is a subscription. It has a free one-month subscription for new users and then is $11.99 for the rest of the time you use it. This does not include tax, so it is most of the time somewhere around $12.50.
YouTube Premium may not be worth the cost if you’re simply looking to download videos, especially since downloading those videos doesn’t save as a file to your computer, but rather it saves as a file or link in your YouTube account under the downloads section. So if you want to truly download YouTube videos, then YouTube Premium probably isn’t what you’re looking for.
The benefits of YouTube Premium are pretty good, and if you find you spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos but are constantly annoyed by the ads that you see—whether ad interruptions or the ad banners—YouTube Premium eliminates that completely. And if you want to put your favorite videos all in one place, using YouTube Premium to download the videos to your account is a great way to do that.
If YouTube Premium isn’t what you’re looking for, then you have many other third-party options to help you download content.
The VLC app is an app that downloads the video you’re looking at and plays it through the free multiplayer media tool. The allure of this app is that it is free to use. You have two specific ways to use the app to download the videos you’re watching, and both options allow the videos to end up in a file on your computer.
VLC runs both on Mac and Windows computers interchangeably. You’ll only want to make sure that you have enough RAM and other space free to download the app and whatever YouTube content you want.
Mac laptops sometimes have a problem with enough disk space, so be sure that you have a way to store your video downloads and keep your computer running optimally.
You can either extract the video information as one method to download videos, or you can stream a video to a file where it is then saved. It is up to how you would like to use the app, and each option has a multi-step process that this website does a good job of identifying and showing you how to do with pictures.
There are some reports of VLC not working for some users, and if that is the case for you, you might want to look at some alternatives.
WinX or MacX YouTube Downloader programs
Both WinX and MacX YouTube downloader programs are made specifically for Windows or Mac computers and do similar things as the VLC app. It’s a video grabber and does more than just YouTube downloading. It downloads videos from places like FaceBook, Vimeo, DailyMotion, and Vevo.
Other than that, it’ll have pretty much the same kind of process that VLC has. You’ll be able to copy the URL of the YouTube video you would like to download and then go from there with downloading it, saving it where it needs to be saved, and viewing it as the selected video format.
WinX/MacX also has a paid version available that gives you more versatility on how to save the files, like just saving the audio or just the video feed. However, it is a paid service, so you will have to spend some money to use it.
If none of these options are working for you, you can go to any video converter and usually find a way to download a video from either a web browser or another form of viewing. There are usually alternatives.
YouTube Terms of Service
YouTube’s Terms of Service are pretty straightforward about whether or not you can use or download someone else’s content, so be sure that when you’re downloading a video (however you do it), you’re following those guidelines. YouTube can and will confiscate and shut down your account if they find out you’re not following their Terms of Service.
The Terms of Service clearly state that unless you have permission from YouTube itself or the owners of the content, then downloading a video to use elsewhere is a violation. Essentially, creators’ content is copyrighted by them using YouTube to put it up and let the users see it. You would be infringing on a copyright if you tried to use their footage and boost your own views or stuff like that.
For the most part, downloading YouTube videos is discouraged, as most people don’t just download videos to enjoy on an offline road trip into the mountains, but rather are looking to re-upload and boost their own channels. We would strongly advise against using YouTube downloading services for that reason.