Author: Delilah Daut
Wednesday, January 15, 2020

How Do I Download or Save a YouTube Video to My Computer?

Category: Windows 10

The YouTube design is such that users only get the chance to view the videos on their webpage. If you are the type of person who is always on the run or in situations with little or no internet connection, this might not be ideal for you. Many people prefer to download their favorite videos and keep them offline for later consumption. Imagine the possibility of being able to whip out your favorite music video or short film on your way to or from work despite having no internet.

Fortunately, some third-party apps and sites can help you accomplish this. Browser extensions, apps, and websites of all kinds are available to help you download your favorite videos. These features allow you to keep downloaded items offline for as long as you want. Moreover, most of them are free!

What about copyright? If you download videos for your own offline consumption, you are on the safer side. Google’s agreed term of service for YouTube only allows you to download videos that already have a download link. Be sure to keep on the safe side before start downloading. With that said, this article will take you through some of the methods used to download YouTube videos to your computer.

Using a Website to Download Videos

Many websites give people the ability to enter the URL of a video and download them straight to their devices at no charge. To do this, open a new tab, visit a website like “KeepVid” or “Online Video Converter,” and get ready to start downloading. First, you will need to go to the YouTube page containing the video you wish to download. When you get there, highlight the address bar by pressing Ctrl+L on the keyboard and copy the internet address by pressing Ctrl+C. If you use an Apple device, use the command key instead of Ctrl.

Once the link is successfully copied, switch to the tab with the third-party site of your choosing. For this example, I will use KeepVid. You will see a text box on the page where you can paste the URL you copied from Youtube. Use your cursor to click in the text box and paste the URL by pressing Ctrl+V. Of course, if you prefer to right-click inside the text box and access the paste command, that is also fine.

How Do I Download or Save a YouTube Video to My Computer?

“Copy the internet address.”

How Do I Download or Save a YouTube Video to My Computer?

“Paste the URL by pressing Ctrl+V.”

How Do I Download or Save a YouTube Video to My Computer?

“Ensure to pick the format you want.”

The moment you paste the URL, ensure to pick the format you want from the drop-down and click “start.” A 5 to a 10-second preview of the video you want to download will pop up. Next to the preview, there will be a “download” button in blue. Click it. Based on the browser or browser setting you have on your device, you might get a prompt asking you where you want to save the video. After choosing the file destination, select the save option. Again, depending on your settings and browser, the video might start downloading itself automatically to a root location.

If you click the “download” button and the video starts to play directly in your browser, right-click on the video and choose the “save video as” option. On the other hand, you can look for three dots on the bottom right corner of the video, click on it, and select the “save as” option. Automatically, the default name of the file will capture itself or “video playback” with either “web” or “mp4” as the file extension. Of course, this depends on the quality of the video that is available.

The computer will automatically input the file extension. If you wish, you can alter the name of the file. Finally, click the save button to save your video. By default, your download will be kept in the downloads folder. The same process applies if you decide to use the website “Online Video Converter.” However, when it comes to the latter, you may be asked to choose the video quality you wish to download as well as if you want to convert it to mp3. With this knowledge, you can download YouTube videos from any third-party site with ease.

Using a Third-Party App

It is against YouTube’s terms of service to use third-party apps to download their videos. You only get permission to stream their videos from their servers. Downloading YouTube videos puts you at risk of being accused of copyright infringement. They take this stuff very seriously. Unless the video is in the public domain or your own, or you happen to have copyright permission from the holder, do not put yourself at risk.

How Do I Download or Save a YouTube Video to My Computer?

First, begin by downloading a third-party app from a trusted software supplier like Cnet. In this example, I will use the 4K Video Downloader. As mentioned earlier, most of this software is free. The 4k downloader can download a whole playlist, 360-degree videos, and 3D videos, to mention but a few. When you are done downloading, install the software, check the “Launch” box, and then click “Finish.” You are now ready to start downloading videos.

Open your web browser and search for the YouTube video that you want to download. Once it loads, copy the URL from the address bar. Then, go back to the 4K video downloader and click on the green “paste link” button. It is located at the top left of the program. This will allow the software to perform its algorithms and retrieve all the information about the video; this will later manifest itself as options for the type of video quality you wish to download. It is important to note that the quality of the original video affects the quality choices you get. Nevertheless, 4K downloaders can download 4K videos if they are available.

Like an online video converter, the 4K downloader can either download full YouTube videos or ripping them into audio files. Using the drop-down menu located on the left side of the program, choose what option you prefer. On the right, a list can be used to select the format. Many users prefer downloading them in mp4 formats. This is because when it comes to mp4 files, a balance between size and quality exists. Mp4’s can also play on a vast number of devices.

Do not forget to choose the quality you desire. The available qualities will be displayed at the bottom of the “format” drop-down menu. If the videos you wish to download are for TV or PC playback, picking the highest resolution is recommended. This will allow you to experience the video in high resolution on all the devices you wish to use. Nonetheless, it is good to note that videos with very high resolutions take up much disk space and more time to download. Lucky for you, you can always check the size of the file to determine which suits you more.

Using the browse button at the bottom, select the location in which the file will be saved. Click “download,” and the video will start downloading. If your YouTube channel of interest has other videos, the 4k downloader will give you the option to download them as well. The 4K video downloader can download 24 videos simultaneously.

When you are done with your download, you can browse back to the destination folder to find it. You can also right-click the download from a list in the 4k downloader and click the “play” option. All the videos downloaded will remain in the said list until you decide to do away with it – even if the program is closed. The 4k video downloader has a smart mode that saves your common download preferences and applies them automatically when you download something. To access this, click on the lightbulb icon at the top right. So the next time you use 4K video downloader to download something, the last settings you used will be used for your download.

Using Browser Extensions

Using browser extensions can save you a lot of time and steps. Once the extension is installed in your browser, one or two clicks are enough to get you downloading. However, if Chrome is your primary browser, you might face some difficulties downloading YouTube videos, especially if the extension is from the chrome store. In addition, videos that you want to download might be locked. Therefore, it is advisable to seek an extension outside of the chrome store. Examples of browser extensions are FastestTube, YouTube Video Downloader, Video DownloadHelper, or Threelly SmartView. 

An excellent choice is YouTube Video Downloader.  This, too, is designed to match up to the needs of billions of YouTube users. The biggest pro of this product is that it will never redirect your download to other apps or sites. To begin, download the extension from and start the installation process. When the installation is complete, the YouTube Video Downloader extension will automatically add a “download” button below the video you are playing now. If you click the download button, all the available download formats will appear. Select the format you wish to use and save the video to your computer.

The file will automatically save itself to a predetermined destination based on your settings, or a prompt will appear asking you to choose the desired location. The download button will always appear below the YouTube videos. If you wish to save an mp3 file, click the download button and choose many available formats. Depending on the duration of the video, it might take a maximum of 25 minutes to download your video.

The YouTube video downloader gives users different quality options to download videos. The options are 4K (2160p), 2K (1440p), 1080 and 720 HD, 480p, 360p, 144p and others. These quality options go hand in hand with the available video formats: FLV, WEBM, 3GP, and MP4. Moreover, the YouTube video downloader gives users the choice to download dash audio streams and videos.

Another feature that the YouTube video downloader presents is the ability to take high-quality screenshots. All you need to do is to press the camera button at a frame you want to capture. For the best results, try pausing the video first before capturing the screenshot. It also has a dark mode feature, a feature that many app users have come to adore. It is important to note that the downloader only supports the conversion of 20-minute clips by default. This can be altered under the mp3 converter configuration option.

Using YouTube Premium

Various perks present themselves to those who choose to get a YouTube premium subscription. A major one is the ability to download videos for offline consumption without the use of third-party software. This is possible by only using YouTube, YouTube Gaming, and music apps. It should be noted that you could only access these downloaded videos using the application. You will not watch the video with a different player or even transfer the file to a different device. On the other side, you get to enjoy your favorite videos ad-free with background playability while still downloading your favorite videos.

To download, start watching your favorite video, then click on the “download” button (gray arrow). Do not forget to choose the quality setting you desire. Once the YouTube download is successful, you will be able to access it from the “account tab” or “library.” To watch downloaded videos, you must sign in. In addition, if you are watching YouTube videos offline, you do not have the capacity to engage with other comments or add alike.

The Risks of Downloading YouTube Videos

Watching videos offline may sound like the perfect dream, but the alarm clock in this scenario is one of the risks of downloading YouTube videos. One of the dangers is malware. Let’s not forget the vast number of tricks used by hackers to get personal information from people. Some third-party software and apps have substantial malware interference, which could mean doom to your device. Your computer may start malfunctioning, or the file might eventually corrupt all your documents. In some scenarios, ransomware attacks users' devices and locks them out of any functionality until a ransom is paid. This might make you pay huge fines to access your computer.

According to Google’s term of service, you are in breach of their agreement if you download YouTube videos through other channels not supported by YouTube. Many people who use these videos for their work end up getting their content taken down or with huge fines to settle. In some cases, some users are also banned from accessing YouTube services. Therefore, it is advisable to weigh in on the risks before trying YouTube downloads.


Having offline videos to view at moments of convenience is a fantastic experience, especially during situations where internet access is limited. It is quite easy to download YouTube videos, as several channels are available for the same: browser extensions, third-party apps, and third-party websites. Different download locations come with various benefits. However, downloading YouTube videos can also put you at risk of malware infection and the violation of Google’s term of service- both of which lead to damages on your end. It would help if you always remembered to stick to the terms of service given to avoid breaking the law when downloading YouTube videos.

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