Sometimes streaming isn’t enough and you just want to know how to download videos from YouTube. There are plenty of reasons to do it. Perhaps you wanted to include a snippet of a video in a presentation that you thought would fit nicely, but you didn’t know how to use it without an internet connection. Maybe you just want to download a video you uploaded to YouTube yourself years ago and you’ve lost the original copy. Or maybe you want to know how to convert an MP3 from YouTube. So we’ve listed a few ways around it. Below I’ll show you how to download YouTube videos with my top 4 software recommendations. These include ways for you to download YouTube videos for free to Mac, Windows, Android and iOS.
Software To Download YouTube Videos
- Airy (Mac)
- Video DownloadHelper (Mac & Windows)
- FastestTube (Mac & Windows)
- Tubemate (Android)
- Documents5 (iOS)
1. Airy (Mac)
Airy is a great YouTube downloader for Mac that serves its purpose faithfully. Here are the highlights of what you can do with Airy:
- Download YouTube playlists and channels
- Save downloaded content in various formats
- Extract audio files from YouTube videos
- Download private YouTube videos
Airy has a friendly and neat interface to offer and is very user-friendly. To download YouTube videos, simply:
1. Download Airy and activate its full version. Or if you only need a couple of videos, free Airy allows you to get 2 downloads.
2. Paste the link to your YouTube playlist, channel or video in Airy.
3. Choose the format to save your video as and if need to save an audio file, choose MP3 format from the list.
4. Click the Download button and give Airy some time in case you’re downloading a large number of files.
5. All videos and audio files will be automatically saved to the Downloads folder unless you have changed the destination in Airy Preferences.
2. Video DownloadHelper (Mac & Windows)
This is one of my favorites to download YouTube videos for free. It’s a Firefox extension, so you’ll need to download Firefox if you don’t already have it. It’s lightweight and fast while allowing different formats of quality to be downloaded directly to your computer.
Once you have installed Video DownloadHelper, using it is very simple.
- Navigate to YouTube and select the video
- Click the top right icon in the toolbar
- Select the quality you want
- Click download
The video will be downloaded to your computer. One note to mention is that for long videos, the full length has to load first before the download is complete. Video DownloadHelper is available for Firefox on both Windows and Mac.
3. FastestTube (Mac & Windows)
FastestTube is another extension similar to Video DownloadHelper that’s available across a range of browsers. Using it is very easy, although the positioning of the download options are different to that of Video DownloadHelper.
When you have added the FastestTube extension to your browser:
- Head to YouTube and select your chosen video.
- Click on “Download” underneath the video.
- From the options, select what quality you want.
- Choose the destination on your computer to save the video to, from the pop-up window.
- Click “Save”
FastestTube is available for Opera, Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
You can download FastestTube from here.
4. Tubemate (Android)
If you’re looking for a solution to download YouTube videos to your android device, then Tubemate is the answer. It’s an easy to use application that has some extra functionality outside of just downloading YouTube videos to your mobile device. It also allows you to convert MP3’s and share your videos through Twitter and Email.
Once you have installed Tubemate, downloading a video to your android device is easily done in just a few steps:
- Open Tubemate.
- You’ll notice that YouTube renders inside of the app itself.
- Navigate to the video you want to download.
- When the video loads, press the “green arrow” at the top of the screen.
- Select the quality of the video.
- The video will download, which you will see in your notifications.
- When you tap on it, select the application you wish to use to play it.
Tubemate is not available on the Google Play store, so you will have to download the .apk file from Tubemate’s site where they have a selection of providers for you to choose from.
You can download Tubemate from here.
5. Documents 5 (iOS)
If you’re looking for a multi-use application that can not only store photos, annotate PDF’s, sync with Dropbox and allow you to download videos from YouTube, then look no further. Documents 5 is a free app for iOS that covers all of these functions and more.
While it has some extra steps compared to the previous mentions in order to download YouTube videos; it’s not too complicated:
- Go to YouTube and copy the URL of the video you want to download.
- Open Documents 5 and click on the compass icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Enter the URL “http://en.savefrom.net” in the address bar.
- Paste the YouTube URL into the box on the homepage.
- Select your quality and tap the “Download” button.
- You can rename the file at this stage if you like also.
- Once it’s completed, the video will be available in the “downloads” section of your Documents 5 app.
Documents 5 is available on Apple’s App Store for free and well worth space on your device for the functionality it provides.
You can download Documents 5 from here.
As this is a non-exhaustive list of applications to use as technology progresses, I’m always interested to hear what other people use to download YouTube videos for free. So send in your recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll check them out to add to the list.