We’ve all been there—you stumble across a YouTube videos you absolutely love, and you can’t help but think, What if I could watch this when I’m not connected to the Internet? Luckily, with the right tools, downloading your favorite YouTube videos couldn’t be easier! We’ll show you how in just four easy steps…
Step 1: Open the website
Before you begin, make sure you’ve opened up your computer’s web browser of choice and have logged into your YouTube account. After you’ve done that, simply enter your search query (i.e., Jennifer Lawrence) into the search bar at the top of your screen. On average, millions of videos will appear with results being sorted based on relevance.
The more popular or relevant a video is, generally speaking, the higher it will be ranked. This means there’s no point in looking for obscure or niche content; instead, focus on popular topics like entertainment news or viral trends. You can also filter your results by channel or video length to help you narrow down what you want to watch. Once you’ve found something you like, click on its title to open it up and play it. If you don’t find anything worth watching, try using different keywords to broaden your search terms.
Step 2: Upload the video
Once you’ve done that, click on File and select Download as MP4. Now your video is downloaded, and you can play it whenever you want. No more holding up your tablet to watch videos on a plane! And if that wasn’t already good enough, here’s some extra advice: Always check file size before you download.
A high-definition music video will take up much more space than a short clip of a cat doing something cute. Be sure your device has enough room for what you’re downloading. Also, make sure that there aren’t any viruses or malware attached to what you’re downloading—especially if it’s coming from an unknown source or channel on YouTube or any other website or app.
Even though they might be entertaining, we don’t recommend watching pirated movies or TV shows online because they could contain harmful software that could infect your computer. If you do end up with a virus, there are ways to get rid of it.
In fact, when we wrote about how to remove malware last year, we talked about how removing malware was similar to getting rid of unwanted guests at a party: You need to ask them politely to leave (and then call security). The best way to do that is by installing anti-virus software on your computer. You should also back up all important files so they don’t get lost if anything goes wrong during removal.
Step 3: Paste the link
Now that you’ve found your favorite video on YouTube, you can actually download it using Transfer. This part is really easy. Simply paste the video link into Transfer and hit Start. The interface will take care of everything else: downloading, transcoding (converting), and automatically naming your video based on its original title. It’s really that simple! If you want to watch your downloaded videos directly from Transfer, click Watch Folder at the top right of your screen and select Transfers.
There you can find all of your recent downloads—along with playlists for videos downloaded in bulk—and watch them directly from within Transfer. Note: If a video is blocked by Content ID or claimed by another user on YouTube, simply select Keep files instead of Transcode when prompted during Step 2 above. Then use any video player app on your computer or mobile device to play back those files as usual.
Step 4: Choose quality and format
Before you start downloading, make sure you choose a quality setting for your video. You can select either SD or HD, and most of your videos will support both. It’s also important to note that you’ll want an MP4 (video) file, not an M4V (audio). This is because iMovie ‘11 and GarageBand ‘11 don’t accept M4V files; they only accept MP4s. So if you’re planning on using your downloaded videos with these apps, keep them as MP4s.
Step 5: Add a password
There are many reasons why you may want to hide your video. Perhaps you’re worried about it being stolen and reposted somewhere else without your consent. Perhaps it contains sensitive material that isn’t suitable for all audiences. Or perhaps, you just don’t want certain people seeing it at all. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, add a password to your video—and never worry about anyone else stumbling upon or sharing something you’d rather keep hidden from view.
Step 6: Click on download
In order to download your favorite videos from YouTube, you’ll need an application such as YouDownload. While there are many different programs available, you’d be best served by using one that is free and compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux-based computers. Since YouDownload is free, it’s also compatible with all of these systems. Make sure your computer meets all of the system requirements before continuing.
Once everything checks out and you’ve downloaded YouDownload on your computer, it’s time to get downloading! Simply open up YouDownload and click on Start. This will bring up a prompt asking you which video you want to download. Simply type in music or comedy or whatever else into the search bar, find your video, and hit enter. After doing so, click on next.
This will take you to another prompt where you can choose what quality level of video file (low, medium or high) you want to download. If possible, go for high because low-quality files take up more space than their higher-quality counterparts but aren’t as clear or crisp when played back. Click next again after making your selection and then wait for about five minutes while YouDownload downloads your file onto your computer. That’s it! All done!