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How to Download YouTube Videos: A Guide for Android, iOS, and PC

Published August 10, 2023

YouTube offers you access to millions of videos, from podcasts and music clips to full-length movies and content reviews. If you have a stable internet connection, you can enjoy these videos wherever and whenever you want.

However, if you want to watch the content offline, your only solution is to download the videos to your device. Here’s how to do that, depending on whether you use your PC, Android, or iOS.

Using YouTube Premium

As you probably know, YouTube offers users a premium version that comes with several excellent features. One of them is the option to download any video and save it for offline viewing.

Now, downloading YouTube videos this way has one disadvantage — it isn’t free. Thus, you will have to pay at least $11.99 per month for this feature. However, if you’re fine with that fact, this option is great as it’s fully supported by YouTube and, therefore, 100% legal. Plus, you won’t be exposing your device to viruses or using third-party apps that might not be safe, which is a big plus.

If you have YouTube premium, here’s how to download videos to your Android and iOS device:

  • Go to the YouTube app and log in.
  • Find the desired video and click on it.
  • In the menu beneath the video, tap the Download button.

On Your PC, follow these steps:

  • Open YouTube in your browser and log in.
  • Locate the video you want to save.
  • Click on the three-dot menu under the video.
  • Select Download.

And you’re all set! As soon as the video is saved, it will appear in your Library under the Downloads folder, so you can watch it anytime you want.

Using the VLC Media Player

This hack can help you download videos to your PC for both Windows and Mac OS. To do that, you will need to install the VLC Media Player, a free cross-platform video streaming software.

Here’s how you can use this app to download YouTube videos on a Windows or Mac:

  • Open YouTube in your browser and find the video you want to save.
  • Copy the video’s URL from the web address bar at the top of the screen.
  • If you have Windows, open the VLC player and click on Media and Open Network Stream. On a Mac, select File, then Open Network.
  • Select the Network section, paste the video URL, and click on Play (Windows) or Open (Mac).
  • When the video starts playing, go to the Tools tab in the menu and click on Media Information on your Windows. For a Mac, go to Window, followed by Current Media Information.
  • Copy the link that appears at the bottom of the screen next to Location.
  • Paste the link into your internet browser and press Enter.
  • Click on Download in the three-dot menu in the bottom right-hand corner.

Using Third-Party Sites

Lastly, you can also use various third-party websites to download YouTube videos. They are usually free, and they give you the option to save videos in different formats (mp4, webm, mp3, etc.)

The most commonly used sites you can try out include:

While these websites can get the job done, you should note that they aren’t 100% safe. Namely, various popup windows open during the downloading process, all leading to sites that may not be safe for your computer. What’s more, the site might even redirect you to a completely different page.

So, if you choose one of these options, make sure you have a strong antivirus program running. That way, you will protect your phone, tablet, or PC from harm while you download videos.

One Last Tip

No matter which of our three hacks you opt for, it’s pivotal that the videos you save are for personal use only. In other words, don’t repost them in order to make a profit or pass them off as your own. If you do, there will be grounds for lawsuits, as copyright infringement laws are notoriously strict.

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Written By:
AUTHOR & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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