How To Download A YouTube Video To Computer In 5 Free Ways


YouTube stands as a global titan among video streaming services, offering a vast array of content ranging from music, cartoons, and live broadcasts to shows, movies, and gaming content. These resources hold immense value, often serving as educational and instructional materials. Hence, the ability to download YouTube videos for offline viewing becomes indispensable.

However, the question arises: How can one download YouTube videos to their computer? This query is a common one, echoing through the minds of many. While YouTube Premium members enjoy the privilege of directly downloading YouTube videos in a laptop, which is highly recommended.

For more flexibility and convenience,  consider using third-party desktop software, online services, Chrome extensions, or even command-line tools. These options provide more advanced solutions to different users.

How to Use YouTube Premium Privilege to Save Videos Offline

Price: Individual $13.99/m, Family $22.99/m, Student $7.99/m

Video Quality: Up to 4K

Output Format: BLOB

If you’re subscribed to YouTube Premium, you gain the ability to download BLOB files directly to your YouTube app on your computer, enabling you to export videos in resolutions up to 4K. Here’s how to save YouTube videos to your computer.

Step 1. Open the YouTube app on your computer.

Step 2. Choose the video you want to download.

Step 3. Click the download button below the video.

The location of your downloadable videos will depend on your web browser; for instance, if you are using Chrome, you’ll find the file on Windows: % localappdata%GoogleChromeUserDataDefaultIndexedDBhttps_www.youtube.com_0.indexeddb.blob.

Bulk Download HD YouTube Videos to Your PC and Mac Easily

Test Version: 2.4.1

Video Quality: Up to 8K

Output Format: MP4, MP3, WAV

For HD YouTube videos featuring subtitles and thumbnails, EaseUS Video Downloader is an essential tool. Available for both Windows and Mac, this versatile video downloader supports over 1000 websites, including YouTube, TikTok, and more, and offers video exports in stunning 8K resolution.

With EaseUS Video Downloader, you can effortlessly download YouTube playlists, channels, and videos in batches, handling up to 50 videos simultaneously. Plus, converting YouTube videos to MP3 format is a breeze.

Key Features:

  • Download YouTube videos, music, channels, and playlists.
  • Batch downloads multiple videos simultaneously.
  • High-quality video output in HD/4K/8K resolution.
  • Compatible with over 1000 platforms.

How to download YouTube videos to your computer without premium:

Step 1. Open EaseUS Video Downloader on your computer, where you can easily adjust the format, quality settings, and subtitles directly from the Home page.

Step 2. Click “Paste Link.” The software will quickly identify the link and start the download process automatically.

Step 3. Once the download is finished, find your video conveniently stored under the “Finished” tab.

Disclaimer: We do not condone the use of downloaded videos for any commercial or illegal purposes.

Keep YouTube Videos to a Computer Using Open-Source VLC Player

Test Version: 3.0.20

Video Quality: Up to 1080P

Output Format: Formats supported by libavcodec and libavformat

VLC Media Player stands as a free, open-source, and secure media player compatible with numerous computer and mobile platforms. Capable of playing and decoding a wide range of file formats, VLC also offers conversion to different formats. While its video quality might not match some premium options, VLC remains a fantastic choice for free YouTube video downloading and much more.

To preserve a YouTube video on your computer:

Step 1. Open VLC Player and copy the YouTube video URL.

Choose “Media” > “Open Network Stream…” or use Ctrl + N.

Step 2. Paste the video link into the network box and press “Play.”

You’ll need a solution if VLC’s screen is blank and won’t play videos. First, download youtube.lua from VLC’s GitHub repository. Then, copy it to the playlist folder (C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\lua\playlist) and delete or rename the existing youtube.luac file. Consider disabling hardware acceleration or cookie forwarding in VLC if the issue persists.

Step 3. Go up to “Tools” > “Codec Information” (Ctrl + J).

Step 4. Copy the link in the Location box.

Step 5. Play the video and save it.

Paste the URL into another browser dress bar and right-click the video to select “Save video as…” (Ctrl + S) or click on the three dots to “Download.”

Save YouTube Videos to a Computer Online Free

Video Quality: Up to 2160P

Output Format: MP3 and MP4

To download YouTube audio to Mac, consider using online services like YT1S. This free YouTube video downloader and converter lets you save videos in various formats, including MP3, MP4, and SGP, in up to 2160P resolution. What’s more, there’s no need to create an account or log in, ensuring your privacy remains protected and downloads are unlimited. Additionally, the website offers the option to upload converted files directly to Google Drive or Dropbox for added convenience.

However, it’s worth noting that YT1S lacks batch downloading capabilities and, like other online tools, it may face takedown risks. Therefore, be cautious, as the website you’re using could potentially be a mirror site containing malicious code within the files.

Anyhow, if you find a reliable online tool, the downloading process is roughly the same:

Step 1. Copy and paste the YouTube video link to the search bar.

Step 2. Select the output format and the quality. Click on “Download.”

Record YouTube Videos to a Computer Without Any Software Via Extension

Test Version: 9.9577.997.9989

Video Quality: Up to 2160P

Output Format: WebM, JPG, PNG, MP4

If you encounter restrictions on video downloader extensions for YouTube due to Google Web Store policies, an alternative approach is to use screen recording. Nimbus Screenshot & Screen Video Recorder offers free and premium features for capturing page screenshots and recording videos.

With this tool, you can record specific tabs, your entire desktop, selected areas, or even your webcam. Additionally, you can add your watermark and customize video and audio quality. Once recorded, you can easily upload the video to the cloud or save it directly to your disk.

To record YouTube videos on your computer:

Step 1. Add Nimbus Screenshot & Screen Video Recorder to your Chrome.

Step 2. Open the extension and choose “Record Video.”

Step 3. Customize the record part. “Selected area” is recommended.

Step 4. Choose “Video settings” to set the video quality and other parameters.

Step 5. Play the YouTube video and click “START RECORD.” Press “Cancel” for sharing.

Step 6. Click “Start Recording” again. To pause or stop recording, click the extension to bring it up.

Step 7. Edit, convert, or share the video. Click the download button to save it.

Get YouTube Videos to a Computer Using Command GUI

Test Version: 6.0.28

Video Quality: Depends

Output Format: MP4, MP3, AAC, FLAC, M4A, WAV, WEBM, BEST, etc.

Many beginners may have heard of yt-dlp (or its source youtube-dl), a command-line audio/video downloader renowned for its versatility with YouTube and other platforms. Compatible across various systems like Windows, macOS, and Unix, it allows users to download live streams, playlists, multiple videos, and individual ones in a variety of formats, including MP4, MP3, 3GP, AAC, FLV, M4A, OGG, WAV, and WEBM.

However, navigating the complexities of Python codes can be daunting. To simplify the process, consider downloading the command GUI Stacher onto your computer. This graphical user interface provides an intuitive platform for utilizing yt-dlp, streamlining the downloading process for users of all skill levels.

To get YouTube videos easily:

Step 1. Open Stacher, and it installs yt-dlp automatically.

Step 2. Run Stacher anyway.

Step 3. Copy and paste the URL into the box.

Step 4. Click the button to choose your preferred video format.

Step 5. Press the enter button to start downloading, and find the video on your computer by clicking “Open Download Location.”

Wrapping up

In conclusion, knowing how to download YouTube videos to your computer using free methods empowers you to enjoy your favorite content offline. Each tool mentioned in this guide serves a specific purpose:

  • EaseUS Video Downloader: Hassle-free solution for high-quality YouTube video downloads, including playlists and channels.
  • VLC Media Player: Versatile media player and converter for various file formats, providing flexibility.
  • YT1S: Simple free tool for users to download YouTube videos without downloading software.
  • Nimbus Screenshot & Screen Video Recorder: Handy option for capturing screenshots and recording videos when downloader extensions are restricted.
  • yt-dlp with Command GUI Stacher: Versatile command-line tool with a graphical interface, suitable for tech-savvy users seeking flexibility across platforms.

How to Download a YouTube Video to Computer FAQs

1. Is it legal to download YouTube videos to your computer?

Downloading YouTube videos without permission violates YouTube’s terms of service and is generally considered illegal unless you have explicit permission from the content creator or the video is for personal use.

2. How can I download YouTube videos on my laptop for free?

You can download YouTube videos for free on your laptop using online video downloader websites or browser extensions. Simply copy the YouTube video URL, paste it into the downloader, and select your preferred video quality and format. Then, download the video to your laptop’s storage for offline viewing.

3. How do you download YouTube videos on a phone?

To download YouTube videos in a mobile gallery, you can use YouTube Premium. Alternatively, you can install third-party apps like Video Downloader or Video Master for YouTube or use online video downloader websites directly in your phone’s browser. Simply copy the YouTube video URL, paste it into the downloader, select your preferred video quality and format, and download the video to your phone’s storage for offline viewing.

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