You can right click on just about any image on the internet and save it to your computer, so it might seem a bit confusing that you can’t just download any video you want, too. After all, YouTube billions and billions of videos, and more are uploaded every single second, so there’s has to be a way to save them forever, right? Well, you’re right, there is, and here’s how.
Just so you know…
Before we dive into the tools you can use to download YouTube videos and save them forever, it’s important to mention the messy legality of all of this. YouTube isn’t particularly keen on people downloading videos from the site, and there’s a couple of important reasons for that. First, the content itself belongs to the creators, which means possessing (by storing a copy on your computer) can be considered stealing. Secondly, by keeping the video on your computer, you won’t see ads when you watch it, and since that’s how YouTube and the people who post videos there make revenue, it’s bad for just about everyone involved.
That being said, there’s plenty of totally valid reasons to download a YouTube video. Maybe a fellow mom uploaded a video of your child’s school play or soccer match, or a relative shot some great clips from your family reunion and you want to save them for posterity. Well then, let’s get started!
Of all the ways you can go about downloading a YouTube video, using one of the popular web downloader tools that have sprung up in recent years is by far the easiest. There’s seriously a ton of these kinds of sites, and they all work pretty much the same way: Paste in the URL of the video you want to download, pick a video format and/or quality level, then click download.
OnlineVideoConverter and ClipConverter are both solid options, but the convenience of CONV makes it our favorite. Rather than having to copy and past the video url, all you have to do to use CONV is to change the “youtube.com” in the video’s url to “convyoutube.com” and press enter. It’ll automatically grab the video link and let you download it as an MP3, GIF, or MP4 video. Easy peasy!
If you don’t feel like trusting a web tool to handle the downloading duties there’s plenty of downloadable apps for both Windows and Mac that can handle the load just fine.
TubeGet (Free) – This handy video downloader is quite popular thanks to its ability to download in qualities up to 4k, and its compatibility with thousands of different video sites, including YouTube.
DLNow Video Downloader (Free to try, $19 to buy) – A handy video download tool, DLNow ups the ante by letting you drag and drop links to start downloads from YouTube and many other sites.
AVC Pro (Free to try, $39.95 to buy) – It’s not cheap, but AVC Pro — which stands for Any Video Converter — is an extremely powerful video downloading and conversion app that lets you snag videos from YouTube and many other sites and then save them as they are, or convert them into just about any video format you can think of. This is great if you want to save videos in multiple qualities and formats for various devices.