April 14, 2024
Do you want to download YouTube videos and watch them offline? This article explains how to download a YouTube video in 10 easy steps, whether it's legal and how to do it safely and responsibly. Discover the top 5 ways to download YouTube videos for free and learn how to download videos legally from YouTube Premium, purchase/rental sites, public domains or stock footage websites. Weigh the pros and cons of downloading YouTube videos and learn how to stay safe and ethical when downloading videos online.


YouTube is an incredible platform to watch and share videos, but sometimes you may want to save a video offline. Unfortunately, YouTube does not offer a convenient way to download videos. However, there are still ways you can download YouTube videos and watch them offline. This article is intended for those who want to know more about how to download YouTube videos and what are the legal and safe ways to do so.

10 Easy Steps to Download a YouTube Video

Downloading a video from YouTube may seem daunting at first. But with the right tools and simple instructions, you can download any video with ease. Here are ten easy steps:

  1. Identify the video you want to download
  2. Copy the URL of the video
  3. Go to an online video downloader website (e.g., savefrom.net, y2mate.com)
  4. Paste the URL and click “Download”
  5. Select the quality and format you want of the downloaded video
  6. Wait for the video to be processed and downloaded
  7. Save the video in a folder of your choice
  8. Open the video with your preferred media player
  9. Enjoy watching the video offline
  10. Keep the downloaded video safely and delete it when no longer needed

If you need more detailed instructions on each step, you can find many online tutorials or video guides. Additionally, many web browsers and third-party apps support downloading YouTube videos directly; for example, some browser extensions like Video Downloadhelper or apps like 4K Video Downloader can help you download videos without leaving the YouTube page.

Are You Allowed to Download YouTube Videos? Here’s What You Need to Know

Some people may wonder if it is legal to download YouTube videos. The short answer is that it depends. According to YouTube’s terms of service, downloading, copying, or distributing videos without explicit permission from the content owner is strictly prohibited. Doing so may result in the removal of the video, account suspension, or even legal action.

However, there are exceptions in some cases. Fair use, for instance, allows using a copyrighted work without permission for purposes such as commentary, parody, criticism, or news reporting. Educational purposes are also often permitted, especially if such use does not compete with or harm the commercial value of the copyrighted material. Nevertheless, determining whether a specific use is fair use or not can be a contentious and complex matter that requires careful consideration of the four fair use factors (purpose, nature, amount, and effect).

Top 5 Ways to Download YouTube Videos for Free

Although downloading YouTube videos is not allowed by YouTube, many people still prefer doing it for various reasons. Therefore, several methods exist that enable you to download YouTube videos for free. These include:

  • Online video downloader services
  • Browser extensions
  • Screen recording software
  • Video download apps for Android or iOS
  • Command-line tools like youtube-dl

Each method has its pros and cons. For example, online video downloaders can be handy but sometimes lack quality options or impose limits on downloads. Browser extensions may be convenient, but some may compromise your privacy or security. Screen recording software can capture any video but may lower the quality, produce large files, or be time-consuming. Mobile apps are great for phone users, but often require an active internet connection. Command-line tools offer advanced features and flexibility, but have a higher learning curve and require installation and setup.

The Ultimate Guide to Downloading YouTube Videos Legally

If you are concerned about the legality or ethicality of downloading YouTube videos, there are ways to do it legally and responsibly. The best approach is to use sources that provide videos with explicit permission or on a legal basis. These include:

  • YouTube Premium (formerly known as YouTube Red)
  • Purchase or rental from authorized video stores (e.g., Google Play, iTunes, Amazon)
  • Public domain videos from archives or libraries (e.g., Prelinger Archives, Internet Archive)
  • Creative Commons or royalty-free videos from stock footage websites (e.g., Pexels, Videezy)

To download a video legally, you need to follow the instructions of each source. For example, if you have YouTube Premium membership, you can download any video from YouTube with one click. If you want to rent or buy a movie from Google Play, you can download it to your device and watch it offline as long as it stays within the rental period. Public domain videos and royalty-free footage are also available for downloading from their respective websites.

Why Save Videos from YouTube? Pros and Cons, and How to Do it Safely

Downloading videos from YouTube has its advantages and drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

  • Pros:
    • Watch videos offline, without an internet connection
    • Save videos for future reference or entertainment
    • Bypass geographical restrictions or internet censorship
    • Extract audio or video clips for personal use or creativity
    • Avoid buffering or lagging caused by slow internet speed or streaming quality
  • Cons:
    • Violate YouTube terms of service or copyright laws
    • Potential malware or virus infection from unknown sources or phishing scams
    • Use up storage space or bandwidth on your device or network
    • Lower quality or incomplete video content or metadata
    • Create ethical dilemmas or conflicts with the original creators or distributors of the video

If you decide to download videos from YouTube, you should take some precautions to ensure your safety and security. For instance, use reliable download tools or services, avoid clicking on suspicious ads or links, scan your downloaded files with antivirus software, and respect the content rights and creators’ wishes.


Downloading YouTube videos may seem complex or risky, but it’s possible and often safe if you follow the right instructions and use legal sources. Whether you want to save videos for leisure or work, it’s important to keep in mind the potential consequences or benefits of your actions. Remember to share this article with others who may find it helpful, and use your newfound knowledge safely and responsibly.

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