How to download YouTube videos

It’s easier than you might think to learn how to download YouTube videos, and we’re going to take you through it, whether you want to store a music video or a NASA archive.

Related content

It is generally legal to share and embed YouTube videos on the internet, but downloading them for your own offline use isn’t always permitted. Downloading videos is a violation of the YouTube Terms of Service, unless YouTube has explicitly given permission to download the video in question.

Step 1: Download 4K Video Downloader

Head over to the 4K Video Downloader official site and click the “Get 4K Video Downloader” button to download it. Once the installer has downloaded, execute it to get the app installed on your PC.

If you don’t have a 4K display, don’t be put off by the name. This is one of the most versatile and simple-to-use download tools available, and it will work with all of your files regardless of your PC’s display resolution. The free version of this software has the ability to download individual videos at customizable qualities all the way up to 4K, has support for 3D and 360-degree videos, can download subtitles, and is even able to do so via embedded links.

There is a paid for version with a price tag of £20, but for downloading a simple YouTube video, the free version will suffice.

Step 2: Copy the YouTube video’s URL

How to download YouTube videos

The next step is the easiest: Just head over to the YouTube video you want to download and copy its URL from the address bar at the top of your browser window. With the URL locked and loaded in your clipboard, you can close the window or tab of the video.

Step 3: Paste in the URL

How to download YouTube videos

Open up the 4K Video Downloader application you downloaded. No need to manually paste in the URL, just click on “Paste Link” button in top left corner of the menu bar and the software will grab the URL from your PC’s clipboard.

Step 4: Download your video

How to download YouTube videos

Once it has finished checking the video, you will be given a number of options for video quality, formats, and conversions.

You can also adjust the download location of the video, and the application will create a folder where you specify that contains all of your downloaded videos. Note that the video the software grabs will be based on your IP address, not the URL you input, so VPN users, you may need to change your location to download the right version. Just click the download button after selecting your desired options.

You’ll then be shown a progress page that details download size, download speed and estimated time remaining. You can pause and cancel the download at any time. Once you have the hang of it, the 4K Video Downloader can be configured to download videos automatically or with a single click using the “Subscriptions” and “Smart Mode” respectively.

Other alternatives

The best alternative to 4K Video Downloader is one of the many web-based options you can find online.

While it’s convenient to not have to download software, these sites are often use unconventional money-making practices like cryptomining or pop-up ads. That makes it recommending sites difficult, so we’d really suggest the method above instead. Secondly, there are a number of desktop alternatives to 4K Video Downloader, such as the VLC media player.

We love VLC, but it’s not nearly as straightforward for downloading YouTube videos.

In addition, you can’t convert the video to another format or choose which resolution you prefer.

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