Wednesday, June 7, 2023
HomeTechnologyHow to download YouTube videos for free, plus two other ways

How to download YouTube videos for free, plus two other ways

Picture: Getty Photos

So that you wish to obtain a YouTube video? Whereas fundamental YouTube solely affords downloads for a number of chosen movies in a number of chosen places, there are methods to obtain any YouTube video you need at any time.

Additionally: Warning: Your non-public YouTube movies aren’t 100% non-public

We’ll cowl methods you’ll be able to obtain your favourite movies utilizing three approaches: 

  1. Paying for YouTube Premium
  2. Utilizing a free Mac, Home windows, or Linux software
  3. Utilizing an obscure and complicated (but very highly effective) Linux command line software.

Your paid choice: YouTube Premium

I am an enormous fan of YouTube Premium as a result of it saves my spouse and me from enduring most adverts, however it’s a luxurious expense. People can subscribe to YouTube Premium for $11.99 a month. YouTube additionally affords a household plan for as much as six customers for $22.99 a month. Lastly, college students can subscribe to YouTube Premium for $6.99 a month. 

Additionally: Go to ZDNET on YouTube!

My favourite function is a whole lack of Google-provided adverts. There are not any banners, no pre-roll, and no interstitial adverts. Nonetheless, if a YouTube channel desires to embed an advert in a video, YouTube Premium is not going to filter these YouTuber-embedded adverts.

YouTube Premium additionally gives background play and picture-in-picture, YouTube Music, and entry to YouTube Originals. 

YouTube Premium additionally contains the flexibility to obtain movies. Here is the way you’d go about it. 

Methods to obtain YouTube movies through YouTube Premium

As soon as you have subscribed to YouTube Premium, you may have a Obtain button in your Net browser or your telephone app to the best of the Share (arrow) icon on the backside of a video. 

Arrow pointing to Download button on YouTube Premium.

See the Obtain button marked by my arrows. 

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Choose the video(s) you wish to obtain and as soon as it comes up in the primary display screen show, click on the Obtain icon. 

Yow will discover your downloads within the Downloads space of YouTube. Discover that YouTube says that the downloads are retained so long as you have got an web connection not less than as soon as each 30 days. That means, YouTube can affirm you might be nonetheless a YouTube Premium person.

Arrow pointing to downloads on YouTube Premium.

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Saving as soon as downloaded 

You are not given a simple option to flip that obtain right into a usable video file on a desktop system, so if you wish to use that video for something aside from watching offline, you are considerably out of luck. The identical is true of iOS. 

Additionally: How native politics made me flip to YouTube Premium as a last-ditch sanity protection

Nonetheless, when you’re an Android person with an SD card slot in your telephone, you’ll be able to set the YouTube app settings (faucet your profile image, then Settings, then Downloads) to avoid wasting movies to your SD card.

Download options in the settings on an Android device.

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

So, that is how you can obtain movies into an solely barely usable kind for the low-low value of $11.99 per thirty days. However what if you need a greater resolution, and also you wish to do it without spending a dime? Yeah, now we have you coated.

Additionally: I reduce my video streaming invoice in half, and so are you able to

Your free choice (and my most well-liked means) to obtain YouTube movies: ClipGrab

I’ve to present ZDNET’s managing editor props for introducing me to this program a number of years in the past. I have been utilizing it ever since. 

ClipGrab is a free program out there for Mac, Home windows, and Linux customers. The developer says it is open supply, however the supply code is barely out there for Linux. In any case, ClipGrab rocks. Here is how you can obtain and use it.

1. Go to

Level your browser to and click on the Present All Obtain Choices hyperlink. You will see obtain hyperlinks for Mac, Home windows, and Linux there. I am going to present you the Mac model on this article, however the interface is nearly similar on all three.

2. Copy the YouTube video hyperlink

Copy the video hyperlink of the YouTube video(s) you want to obtain. You are able to do this up in your browser’s URL bar or by clicking the Share button beneath the video itself. 

3. Launch ClipGrab

Just be sure you’re on the Downloads tab after which select the Launch ClipGrab choice. 

4. Copy and Paste 

Copy and paste the URL of the video you wish to obtain into ClickGrab. 

5. Click on Seize this clip!

As soon as you have copied and pasted the specified video hyperlink into the ClickGrab browser, choose Seize this clip!

Dashboard of ClipGrab.

Put one hyperlink of a video at a time into the highest Downloads tab browser on ClickGrab. When you’re able to obtain, choose Seize this clip!

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

6. Select the video format

On ClickGrab, you may also tweak choices.

For instance, you’ll be able to select the format you need the video to be in when it is saved in your laptop. I typically go along with Authentic, however I am going to specify one thing else if that does not work. 

You may also select obtain decision. Relying on the video’s unique decision, you’ll be able to select to obtain the total decision video or cut back the decision to avoid wasting area.

Options available for formatting video.

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

7. Customise

Lastly, tapping the Settings tab allows you to customise the place ClipGrab deposits your newly downloaded movies.

ClipGrab download and convert videos window.

David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Linux command line choices

I’d be remiss (or so I have been instructed within the feedback beneath, on Twitter, and in my e mail inbox) if I did not point out that Linux customers have a command line choice (as a result of, in fact they do) to obtain YouTube movies. As with all issues Linux command line, there are some grey areas right here, similar to whether or not the software even works or whether or not there’s a greater software (due to course there may be).

AdditionallyMethods to set up Linux purposes from the command line

The primary on this command line hit parade is youtube-dl. You may get entry to it through its personal website, on GitHub, or your favourite package deal supervisor. It ought to be famous that the GitHub repository was taken down for some time as a consequence of an allegation of DMCA violations, however GitHub later reinstated it. There is a very fascinating story about GitHub’s reasoning and response you’ll be able to learn. 

Some people declare that youtube-dl is previous hat and hasn’t been up to date shortly. That is probably not true. I simply visited its repo and the header stated youtube-dl was up to date two weeks in the past. It appears to be like prefer it’s getting ongoing upkeep. That stated, there’s one other open supply mission on GitHub, known as yt-dlp, that claims to be a fork of youtube-dl with extra options. I have never examined it, use it at your individual threat.

Additionally: Linux isn’t just for builders and command line professionals

Each youtube-dl and yt-dlp supply a really, very big selection of options when you want them. Personally, I will persist with ClipGrab, as a result of I haven’t got time to show YouTube downloading right into a second or third full time job. However, ’tis as much as you.

What occurred to SaveFrom.internet?

A few of you might be accustomed to the positioning SaveFrom.internet. It allowed you to obtain from YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion (and some different websites), merely by pasting a URL into an online web page on the positioning. It additionally had a browser extension that facilitated downloads. However, highlighting the subject in our subsequent part, SaveFrom.internet has shut down its operations in the USA and the UK, saying this from the UK (and the equal within the U.S.):


Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Nonetheless, one among our intrepid editors (not me) set his VPN to the Czech Republic and located that SaveFrom.internet is alive and effectively, hiding distant from copyright legal guidelines:


Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Talking of copyright legal guidelines…

Some ethical, moral, and authorized issues

Now that you know the way to obtain YouTube movies, must you? First, do bear in mind that completely different jurisdictions have completely different legal guidelines. It could or might not be authorized to obtain a given video, even when all you wish to do is watch it offline.

If you wish to obtain a video to include it into one thing you are producing, needless to say some international locations have the idea of Truthful Use. In these jurisdictions, small clips of copyrighted media could be included into your productions. But additionally, keep in mind that YouTube has algorithmic programs searching for individuals reusing movies, and your channel would possibly get a strike towards it for reusing media.

Additionally: Methods to document a telephone name on an iPhone

When doubtful, it is at all times greatest to ask.

There you go. Do you have got different strategies for undertaking the identical factor? Tell us within the feedback beneath.

You possibly can comply with my day-to-day mission updates on social media. Make sure you comply with me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Fb at, on Instagram at, and on YouTube at




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