December 27, 2019 at 3:40 pm #82889TobiParticipant@tobi
Having access to YouTube videos offline is a comfortable way to enjoy the videos that you’d prefer to watch without an internet connection. With access to a downloaded video, you can enjoy the content without having to worry about unreliable internet access. Moreover, downloading videos is also useful when you don’t want to use your limited mobile data allowance. Simply taking a minute or two to download a video with your WiFi at home will save you from worrying about your mobile data.
The process of downloading YouTube videos is simple and easily accessible with a free service. Many third-party tools exist to make the process smooth. Today, we will share some services that are easy to use and offer a myriad of options for quality of life.
Please note that this is purely educational and only serves as a guide to learn how people usually do this. We do not take responsibility for how you intend to use this knowledge. Downloading YouTube videos for personal use violates the YouTube Terms of Service.
How to Download YouTube videos on a PC
Step 1: Get 4K Video Downloader
If you’re on Windows, simply head to the 4K Video Downloader website and click on “Get 4K Video Downloader” to begin the process. Luckily, the app works on any resolution and PC specification. So, don’t let the name bother you. 4K Video Downloader is optimized for any resolution. It also offers niche features like 3D support and 360-degree videos. Once its complete, install the program and click on the checkmarks that pop up. Click on “Launch” to run the app on your PC.
An upgraded paid version is available for just $15 and it comes with more features. However, the free version will suffice for downloading high-quality videos.
Step 2: Copy the URL from YouTube
Open your browser and head to the YouTube video you want to download and copy the URL from the address bar as highlighted above. With the URL in your clipboard, you can close the video. 4K Video Downloader allows you to download automatically by enabling “Subscriptions” and “Smart Mode”.
Step 3: Paste the URL
Switch to the 4K Video Downloader app that you just launched. With the link in your clipboard, click on the “Paste Link” button to the top left corner. Once you do this, the URL will recognize the link from your clipboard as a YouTube video. The software automatically collects the information on a video and offers you a range of options for the quality. The quality options available will depend on the highest option on YouTube from the original video. This also works for videos up to 4K.
Step 4: Choose the format and quality of the video
4K Video Downloader gives you the option to download the whole YouTube video, or you can choose to rip the audio alone. Use the drop-down menu from the left side of the app if you want to download the video or directly rip the audio. On the right side, you can choose a format for the video. MP4 is our recommended format because of its accessibility across devices and its good size-to-quality ratio. However, if you’re looking for the best quality video file for TV viewing, our top pick is MKV. MKV files are usually higher in quality but aren’t as versatile as MP4 video files.
To pick the right quality, consider the type of device you’re using to view the video. The file size for each quality is displayed and available on the left. Knowing this will help you estimate how long the download will take and how much space it will occupy on your PC. On a smartphone, it’s best to choose a quality like 1080p or 720p. For a TV or PC, choosing the 4K resolution is great for a rich viewing experience.
The downloader also allows you to select where the file will be downloaded with the “Choose” button. As a bonus, 4K Video Downloader lets you select a preference that prevents your PC from going to sleep until the downloads are finished. This way, you don’t have to worry about your battery life overnight.
Step 5: Download the video
You can now click on the “Download” button. The 4K Video Downloader app allows you to view other videos from the YouTube channel you’re downloading from. This gives you easy access to more videos if you want to binge. On that note, you can also use the app to download up to 24 videos at the same time. Go to the destination folder or select “Play” to begin the video once your download is complete. For quality of life, your downloads will stay on a list in the app. So, you can decide to view and keep track of previous downloads.
Check out Smart Mode
4K Video Downloader comes with a Smart Mode that’s useful for repeat users. If enabled, it saves the settings and configurations for your previous download and applies them to all future downloads. Once you paste a link, it begins the download according to your settings without any input from you. Smart Mode is enabled by clicking the light bulb icon next to the “Paste Link” button.
Try the Premium option for Subscriptions
The app also comes with a Premium option for $15 which grants you the full version permanently. As a bonus, a single purchase of the premium version allows you to enter the premium license key in two other PCs. So, it’s technically premium for three users. This option offers even better features for repeat users. If there is a YouTube channel you always watch, the Subscription feature automatically recognizes new uploads from a channel and automatically downloads it. Even better, you can do this for multiple channels.
If 4K Video Downloader is not your preference, you can try Y2mate. It is generally similar to 4K Video Downloader, but it does not come with better quality of life features like subscriptions and smart mode. The download process is generally similar to 4K Video Downloader.
How to Download YouTube videos to an Android Device
Step 1: Get TubeMate YouTube Downloader
For Android devices, you will need an app called TubeMate. Unfortunately, TubeMate is not accessible on the Play Store as Google is not too fond of YouTube downloaders. You have to Allow your Android device to install apps from external sources. During the process of installation, click on any ‘Allow’ that pops up. Alternatively, go to ‘Settings’ on your device, then select ‘Security’. Scroll down and tap ‘Unknown Sources’ to toggle the setting on. Once this is complete, you can go to a verified TubeMate YouTube Downloader website to begin the download.
Step 2: Find the video to Download
On your device, there will be a warning message on APK files from external sources. Click ‘Ok’ to continue. After the download, run the file and install it. Finally, tap ‘Open’ to begin it. When you run it for the first time, there will be some permissions needed from your device to use the app. The permissions are for access to your storage and media. If you’re happy to proceed, allow such permissions and the app will run.
The User Interface of TubeMate is reminiscent of the Android YouTube app. This makes it easier to navigate and find the videos to download in-app. Simply search for a video and start playing it. In the same window, click on the green ‘Download’ button at the top right of the app.
Step 3: Download the video
From the download window, you’ll see a range of formats available. These are tailored to any type of device that can play audio and video. Select the highest quality option if you’re using a high-end device. The highest quality option is usually a higher file size. So, keep that in mind for your device storage. TubeMate also gives you the option to stream the audio alone. With TubeMate, if you stream the audio, you can keep playing it outside of the app. Unlike the YouTube mobile app, TubeMate allows you to stream music and use your device outside YouTube.
If you’re not up for streaming, tap the green ‘Download’ button to begin the download. This will make the video download in the background. Note that downloading can drain your battery faster. Queue up the videos that you want to download later. This is great for saving downloads that you’d rather use WiFi to get.
How to Download YouTube videos to an iPhone
Documents App Method
There is a file manager on the app store called Documents. Unlike other Documents apps, this one is helpful in downloading YouTube videos. Go to the YouTube video you’ll be downloading, tap the ‘Share’ icon and copy the link to your clipboard.
Next, you’ll open the Documents app and look for a web browser icon at the bottom right of the app window. Tap that icon and go to Savefrom.net. Paste the YouTube address on the website and select your quality preference. Once you’ve done this, you can proceed to download the video. After the download is complete, you can find it in the Documents download section. From here, you can drag it to your Camera Roll for easy access.
The Shortcut Method
If you are on iOS 12 or higher, there is a new Shortcuts app that is useful for YouTube downloads. This app is the same as Workflow from previous versions of iOS. Shortcuts allows you to cut corners in a way only Apple devices can. This method is great because it uses YouTube’s API and extracts the video directly from the source.
Step 1: Add the ‘Download YouTube’ option to your Shortcuts
By default, the Shortcuts app has some shortcuts in the Library window. The Download YouTube option is not accessible among the default shortcuts in the app. Normally, you’d have to create the shortcut yourself, but thankfully, we have a pre-customized shortcut for downloading YouTube videos. Tap the link and tap ‘Get Shortcuts’ to add it to your shortcut library. Tap ‘Done’ when you see its workflow page.
Step 2: Save your videos with Shortcut
Now, to use the shortcut, you have to be viewing the video currently. Go to the YouTube app and access the share sheet. The share sheet is accessible in Safari through the ‘Share’ icon in the bottom bar. In Chrome, it is accessed through the vertical ellipses at the URL bar. Tap the ellipses and tap the share icon. In the YouTube app, when watching the video, tap ‘Share’ under the video and select ‘More’.
From here, select Shortcuts from the list. After this, you’ll see the Run Shortcut screen. To begin the download, tap ‘Download YouTube’ which is the shortcut added earlier. As it downloads, you’ll see the square icon akin to ‘Stop’ during the process of a download. After your download, you’ll have the option to ‘Share’ or ‘Save to photo album’. Tap the ‘Save’ option to have the video available in your Camera Roll for easy access. Go to your Camera Roll or ‘Videos’ to play the video.
How to Download YouTube videos to a Mac
The MacX YouTube Downloader method
On a Mac, there are a few options, a straightforward and easy-to-use method will be through the MacX YouTube Downloader. There is also a version for Windows. Add the URL like it is done in the PC guide. MacX also offers a range of quality options to use. You can also download multiple clips at once with MacX.
The OnlineVideoConverter method
An easily accessible downloader for Mac OS is OnlineVideoConverter. OnlineVideoConverter is purely within the browser. You can be assured that the only download to your computer with this method is the YouTube video itself.
Step 1: Copy the URL
First, go to the website with your link copied to your clipboard. Decline any notification requests that pop up. Click on ‘Convert a video link’.
Step 2: Paste the link
The page will only load if you don’t have an AdBlocker active. Turn off your AdBlocker to enable the download.
Step 3: Select the format and quality
By default, this converter selects MP4. You can also choose to use one of the different audio formats. Once the format is selected, find the right resolution. As we’ve stated earlier, the higher the better. Uncheck the ‘Convert From’ and ‘Convert To’ buttons, then click on ‘Start’ to download. Close any pop-up windows that open. Even if they contain links to update Adobe Flash, simply cancel them. Once your download is complete, you can play it as a video file.
Video downloading apps come with a range of file formats. The most widely known are MP4, 3GP, AVI, and MKV. The format you select is what affects the quality of the video. On older phones from the earlier 2000s, 3GP video files were more common. However, they are no longer in use and have been overtaken by the largely popular MP4.
If the video quality is not a big deal, 3GP files are still quite good. Using smaller phones, 3GP files are perfect. There is less storage occupied and the full video is readily available. This is great because smaller phones come with less on-board storage space.
On Apple devices, MOV is the reigning video quality. It works on any Mac or Apple device. AVI is the equivalent of PC. But recently, both have seen less preference over MP4 which is the video equivalent to an MP3 because it works on anything. Sticking to MP4 is great because of its reliability across devices and the file size-to-quality ratio.
The different video download services mentioned earlier come with a range of quality options. YouTube streams in different quality options from 3GP to 4K on many displays. This is great for having a rich viewing experience.
Typically though, the main quality options worth caring for are, 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p, and 4K (2160p). The best choice for a big screen remains 4K. Other screens are fine with 360p to 1080p. Try to manage the lower options if storage can be an issue.
If you’re downloading a video with music, the bitrate or quality of the sound does not change with the video’s quality. So 480p and 1080p both sound the same on YouTube. The audio and video streams on YouTube are completely separate. Adjusting the video quality will not change the soundtrack. This is why most downloaders allow you to select the audio file type.
Try YouTube Premium
All the download methods mentioned above are completely free. But, YouTube Premium is the only YouTube supported way of getting access to YouTube videos offline. YouTube Premium costs $12 for a single user. For $6 extra, you can have five family members on your premium subscription. It does not violate the Terms of Service and it also offers a range of perks. You can only download videos with the YouTube Premium app. It is also exclusively viewable in the YouTube app, so it does not allow you to transfer the file to another device.
Simply start watching a video, then tap ‘Download’ under the player. After this, select the quality option. The videos from YouTube Premium will only be visible on your account. Signing out will not give you access to any previously downloaded videos. You can’t like or comment on videos that are viewed offline.
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