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5 min read 30 comments

How to download YouTube videos and watch them offline

We all love watching videos on YouTube, but sometimes we want to watch our favorite content offline or keep it for later, which means downloading the video to our device. YouTube doesn't normally permit this, but there's always a way. In this article, we show you how to download a video from YouTube to your smartphone or PC.

Let's get one thing straight right off the bat. Generally speaking, Google does not want you downloading YouTube videos, because it (and YouTubers) make money from the advertising shown when you view the videos online. Google's terms of service for YouTube lay it out like this: "You shall not download any Content unless you see a 'download' or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content."

Consider yourselves warned. With that in mind, when it comes to technology, there's always a way to get what you want. Without any judgement, here's how to download videos from YouTube.

Jump to:

YouTube Premium

The good news, is there's a legit way to download videos from YouTube. The bad news, of course, is that you have to pay for it. For $11.99 a month ($17.99 for a 6-person family account), a YouTube Premium subscription allows downloads and background play as well as basically giving you an ad-free YouTube. 

How to download YouTube videos on YouTube Premium

  1. Look for the 'download' button, next to the share button under the video.
  2. Hit it and the download should start. 
  3. The button should turn blue to show you are downloading.
  4. You can also view the progress of your downloads by hitting 'view'.
  5. Once complete, the downloaded video is available to play for 30 days.
ytpremdownload
It's as simple as hitting a button to download your favorite AndroidPIT videos. / © AndroidPIT

In addition to downloads and extra features, Premium subscribers also get access to YouTube Original content. If you're not sure whether Premium is right for you, you can still get a month's free trial when you sign up.

On your PC

Using ClipGrab

There are a few different programs you can use to download YouTube videos (and videos from other sites) to your PC to store or convert them. Take care, however as there are many dodgy programs out there. One reliable service that we tried is a tiny program called ClipGrab. It’s a free YouTube video downloader and converter, and it takes up very little space. It also works for other video hosting sites like Vimeo and DailyMotion.

Downloading YouTube videos with ClipGrab:

  1. Download the ClipGrab program to your PC.
  2. Launch the .exe file, and follow the Setup Wizard instructions
  3. Once installed, open the program, and simply type in your YouTube search terms. I’ve used our video on ''how to conserve battery life on your smartphone'' video as an example. Or, if you already have the URL of the video you want, just click the ''Downloads'' tab and enter the URL.
  4. Choose the download options you want, from the format you wish to save the video in, to the quality of the download.
  5. Click ''Grab this clip''
  6. Select a download location and name the video. ClipGrab will download and convert the video. That’s it!
AndroidPIT ClipGrab Options
Once you've selected your video, set your download options and click ''Grab this clip!'' / © AndroidPIT/ClipGrab

Using 4K Video Downloader

 

4K Video Downloader (and companion app 4K YouTube to MP3) is another program we tried that works well, without any malware traps. It does what it says on the tin: grabs videos up to 4K in quality and downloads to plenty of formats—it will even grab subtitles and entire playlists, even all the videos in a particular channel. 

Once it's installed, you can use the following steps to download videos from YouTube or other sites:

  1. Copy the video link from the browser.
  2. Press 'Paste Url' button in 4K Video Downloader application.
  3. Select a quality type in the download window and press 'Download' button.
  4. After the download is completed, you may play the downloaded video.

On your smartphone

Bear in mind that YouTube Premium works just as well on your smartphone using the YouTube app, so consider paying for it before resorting to the following unofficial methods.

YouTube Go

This is only a sort-of unofficial method, since this uses an app straight from Google. YouTube Go is a lighter version of YouTube intended for developing countries where Wi-Fi is scarce and mobile data very precious. As such, it features a download button for videos so that users can grab a video to watch when they don't have an Internet connection. If you live in India, you can simply download YouTube Go from the Play Store.

But what if you live in a more privileged country and still want YouTube Go? You can check its features and where to get it here.

Alternative YouTube apps

One way to get the ability to download YouTube videos on Android is to use an alternative YouTube apps. Naturally, Google will not think very highly of you for doing so, and you won't find such apps on the Play Store. But apps like NewPipe and OGYouTube give you a "download" button and also support background play, features that you'd normally need to to pay for Premium to enjoy.

newpipe
NewPipe's download button is right there on the top. / © AndroidPIT

Tubemate

Some readers have chimed in to recommend TubeMate in the comments section. TubeMate works well, and is clearly geared towards downloads, with a big red download button popping up on the videos you browse. However, the app isn't open source, shows ads and asks for personal information (such as your location and access to your calls) that it could share with third parties. Even if some users swear by TubeMate, I'd still recommend a non-commercial open source app like NewPipe over it.

Have you used these methods on how to download videos from YouTube? Do you have any other apps or tips to share? 

30 comments

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  • I know a Tubemate alternative - Free HD Video Converter Factory. Because my Android phone has limited storage space, i found this free desktop software to download video from YouTube and convert to my phone. LoL, anyway, it finally can help me successfully download to my PC or tablet for offline watching.


  • I need help , pronto ! A Facebook buddy designed a website on messenger, using Weebly.. It only will open in other messenger accounts. When I post the raw link on a classified ad or share on other social video phone addresses like IMO, it reads blank or ad posts lead to unrelated searches ! Does anyone out there know HOW I can separate or grab my link so I can send or post it ANYWHERE ? I am an old duffer who is a newbie..THANKS..
    robpage1951@gmail.com...202-812-6120


  • Awesome information.


  • Tubemate is the best YouTube Downloader for Android in downloading!!


  • Very informative! Thanks for showing clearly how to download Youtube videos. I always use acethinker video downloader to do that, free and works quite well. It's a web-based application, you don't have to download or install anything. Share it here as an alternative.


  • yes i use tubemate on android


  • Nathan Jan 21, 2016 Link to comment

    I don't see why you need to install any software to download the video/audio.. There's only risk you get malware or something slowing your computer down..

    What I do is I just to open the YouTube video in the browser and then add "dlv" in front of youtube so that it reads www.dlvyoutube.com... (m.dlvyoutube.com.. in mobile case)
    Then on that page I select what quality I want and it downloads instantly!


  • The most efficient and professional app on Google Play to download YouTube videos is "Tube Video Manager"
    play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chaweng.tubemanager


  • Please check this, LastTUBE

    google "lasttube2"

    It can download not only 1080p HD but also 2160p UHD videos.
    Last.fm + Youtube Mashup features, similar artists and top tracks.
    Also it can make custom ringtone from Youtube video.

    Thanks in advance


  • @Kris Carlon great tutorial.

    well, there are plenty of tutorials to download Youtube video. Check my new top best youtube downloader for android app. You can download videos on a device within a few clicks.
    www.androidbuzz.net


  • Please, any friends cant help me how to download video from facebook? Thanks..


  • How to download youtube video easy and simple. Download Youtube video easily and fast.Download any video from youtube also enjoy hd quality video.. Youtube video download tips.
    all guyes to search to video write on youtube "nayeem talukder"


  • Zoe Jul 30, 2014 Link to comment

    Hello, this is what I am stumbling upon recently - Video Downloader Free (Video Grabber), no need to pay any amount, simply download whatever you like in the built-in browser. You are able to get from google play store.


  • Its really a good way to download YouTube video. But i think Freedi is the best way to download and store YouTube videos. It also gives you an option to download it as MP3. ***Admin edit: links are forbidden***


  • Sunny Apr 2, 2014 Link to comment

    Yes. I just downloaded CatchEmAll downloader It is very fast and No Ads! I just love it.
    This app is also is in Android market(search catchemall) but it does not download youtube video. So I downloaded it from Opera store. ***Admin edit: links are forbidden***


  • Hi used CatchEmAll HD Video downloader in my Lg G2 . It is really faster than other downloader and we can download from any site. ***Admin edit: links are forbidden***


  • There are at least two apps called videoder. one is a front for pornography, the other uses a particularly annoying advertising; it sweeps the entire screen every few second, blinking the display black. Most annoying.


  • Hi, I would like to know how to install adobe flashplayer on my sprint zte V55 table, I've tried but haven't been successfull. Thank you


  • thanks for the knowledge


  • 1.Download "Internet download manager" from cnet.com
    2.Install it.
    3.Open youtube videos or any videos websites.
    4.Click play on youtube video and there will be tab of Internet download manager onside video.
    5.Click on tab and download video.

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