On this page
Have you seen an epic YouTube video and want to use some of the footage in a video creation of your own? While your creative mind might be buzzing, it’s important to download YouTube videos safely and legally before you start adding them to your own video.
Whether you want to download YouTube videos for your personal library or to edit and share on social media, getting your hands on a usable video file can be a hassle. That’s why we’ve curated some trustworthy tools and websites to help you solve this problem.
5 reliable ways to save YouTube videos in 2023
Method 1. YouTube Premium
Considering a hassle-free and lawful way to download YouTube videos? Subscribing to YouTube Premium might be your golden ticket.
Benefits: It grants you the privilege to legally download videos via the "save offline" feature and ensures a premium ad-free viewing experience. There are individual, family, and student plans, but you can get a one-month trial to see for yourself before deciding to subscribe.
How to use: Sign up to the YouTube Premium free trial and follow these steps.
Tip: However, there's a little catch: videos saved this way are tailored specifically for the YouTube app. So, while you can enjoy them offline within the app, they aren't free like a standard video file format. This means uploading these videos into a video editing software is a no-go.
Method 2. 4k Video Downloader
4k Video Downloader has a reputation as one of the easiest ways to download online videos.
Benefits: It has an app for Mac, Android, PC, and even Linux. This tool is totally free to use for up to 30 video downloads in a day. If you want to download all of Mr. Beast's YouTube playlist in one sitting, you can sign up for the paid premium offering. You can also grab the YouTube URL of a previously live-streamed video, and it will download just like a regular video.
How to use: Visit their site and download the app using any web browser. Once installed, go to the YouTube video you want to download, copy the URL, go into the 4K Video Downloader, and click "paste link." Choose where the file should save to, and you're ready to go.
Tip: You can download a video at the highest quality settings in the free version (how great is that?), but if you want to save space, you can always select a lesser quality setting. In addition, regularly check for software updates; they often come with enhanced features and bug fixes.
Method 3. Savefrom.net
Another popular free online downloader is Savefrom, which offers a web-based method to download YouTube videos.
Benefits: It can do most of what 4K Video Downloader delivers (including HD quality downloads), but it has no video download limits, AND it has a web browser version, so no install is necessary (although it does have an Android app version as well).
How to use: Copy the video URL of your favorite YouTube videos, paste a YouTube link into the empty field on their homepage, and click "download".
Tip: While Savefrom has a good reputation, we recommend ensuring your system security is up to date and you’re running ad blockers. Don't click any ads that look suspicious. You can never be too careful when downloading from the web.
Method 4. Browser extensions
Wouldn't it be convenient to be able to download YouTube videos straight from your browser, with no external site needed? If you find the right browser extension/plugin, that's precisely what you can expect.
Benefits: Browser extensions are like the express lane on a highway. This extension integrates directly into your browsing experience, allowing you to download videos without detouring to other websites or applications.
How to use: Search for YouTube video downloader extensions in your browser's store or marketplace. Once installed, these extensions typically add a "Download" button beneath the YouTube video, making the process incredibly streamlined.
Tip: Read user reviews before installing any extension. They often reveal the extension's efficiency and safety. Be cautious; if an extension has a limited number of downloads and reviews, think twice about rolling the dice. Also, ensure your browser is updated to maintain compatibility with extensions.
Method 5. VLC Media Player
VLC isn't just for playing videos; it can also help you download them. The VLC media player on your PC is a secure, accessible, and great alternative to downloading YouTube videos.
Benefits: It's a two-in-one solution for those who already have this versatile player installed. It's a bit trickier than the other solutions, but VLC is a trusted name, so there are no security concerns with this option.
How to use: Open VLC, go to the "Media" tab, select "Open Network Stream," paste the YouTube link, and then select "Play"- once the video begins playing, select "Tools" and then "Codec Information." Copy the URL next to 'location' and paste it into your browser window. Once the video starts playing, right-click on the video and "Save As" to download your video.
Tip: Ensure you have the latest version of VLC for the best experience. VLC allows for format conversion, so you can convert YouTube videos to a format best suited to your needs.
Understanding the legal landscape: downloading and editing YouTube videos
If you’re wondering, “Can I legally download videos from YouTube?”, the answer is yes, absolutely! With a YouTube Premium membership in your pocket, you're all set to legally grab those videos. But a heads-up: straying from the correct download methods might land you in murky legal waters. While YouTube hasn't taken anyone to court over this, it's always wise to stay on the right side of their copyright guidelines when diving into downloads.
When considering downloading YouTube videos or using their footage for personal or commercial purposes, it's essential to be aware of the legal implications.
YouTube's Terms of Service: YouTube's terms explicitly state that users are not allowed to download content from the platform without the content creator's permission or unless YouTube clearly provides a download button or link. This rule is in place to protect the intellectual property rights of creators.
Copyright Laws: Simply put, if you don't own the content or haven't obtained explicit permission from the owner, you may be infringing on copyright laws by downloading or repurposing the video. This can lead to your video being taken down, your account receiving a copyright strike, or even potential legal action against you.
Fair use: While copyright laws might seem strict, there is a concept called 'fair use' in many jurisdictions, including the U.S. Fair use might allow you to use copyrighted material without permission for purposes like criticism, commentary, news reporting, education, and research. However, fair use is a complex legal doctrine and is determined on a case-by-case basis.
How to avoid copyright issues on YouTube
Seek permission from creators: The safest way to use someone else's content in your video is to get explicit permission from the content creator. This often comes in the form of a licensing agreement or written consent.
Use royalty-free media: Some creators license their videos under Creative Commons licenses, which allow others to use their content under specific conditions. Additionally, there are platforms where creators upload videos specifically for others to use freely, often called "royalty-free" videos. Always check the licensing details before using such content.
YouTube videos downloaded. What next?
Saving a YouTube video for offline viewing or editing has never been easier. Whether it's a quick online tool or a dedicated piece of software, downloading online videos is now possible for everyone.
If you’ve got your eyes (or ears) on a track from a YouTube clip? Maybe you want to turn a long-form interview into a podcast to listen to on the go. To get that tune or audio track, check out our handy guide on how to save YouTube audio.
Once you have your video, why not import it into Clipchamp to see how easy video editing can be? No matter if you're a video editing expert or a newcomer, Clipchamp is an easy online video editor with pro features that can help bring your video ideas to life.
Get started with this easy tutorial.