Download YouTube Videos: A Step-by-Step Guide
When it comes to videos, there is no bigger platform or more mainstream than YouTube. Its integration with Google makes its video algorithm suggestions favor videos you're more likely to be interested in. All sorts of videos can be found on YouTube; the old saying "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" has transformed into "What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube". An issue regarding YouTube is that it lacks download potential... or does it? So what ways are there to download YouTube videos? Is it legal? And is it safe? All that and more in this article.
Is It Legal to Download YouTube Videos?
There are two different legality issues when opting to download YouTube videos, first is the YouTube terms and regulations, and the second is International law on copyright.
To download YouTube videos on the YouTube platform is legal regarding international law and Youtube regulations when using the YouTube-specific download functionality integrated on phones and tablet apps.
YouTube intrinsically prevents the download of any copyrighted material. However, according to YouTubes' terms and policy, using third-party programs and website is a breach of the terms and regulations and could result in a ban.
That being said, the chances of YouTube going after someone for downloading material is exceptionally slim and unlikely. However, if you want to be on the safe side, as a person living in the US or the EU, then using a VPN such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN would mask your activities in ISPs' eyes, keeping you safe from a legal standpoint.
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• Downloading videos from YouTube is against YouTube's Terms of Service, and the company could sue you/ban you.
• Based on previous actions, YouTube has shown no desire to penalize users for downloading videos. However, that doesn't mean they won't.
• Downloading video with copyrights without owner permission is an act of piracy punishable by international law.
• Some videos are legal to download from a criminal standpoint as there is no copyright on them.
YouTube Go App
The most direct method would be downloading a video using YouTube Go on your phone or tablet to view it while offline. This method ensures the videos downloaded are 100% legal and have no copyright issues. On the downside, however, the videos can only be viewed using the YouTube Go app.
Is there a YouTube Go for PC?
Well, yes...but actually no.
YouTube Go, the YouTube app by Google, provides users with the ability to safely and legally download YouTube videos; the catch is it's only available on Android and iOS. However, this can be bypassed by downloading an emulator like Bluestacks on Windows.
Video download steps:
Step 1: Download BlueStacks emulator on PC and lunch, proceed to run the app, and sign in.
Step 2: To download videos, start by downloading the app using the Google Play Store or the Apple Store.
Step 3: Search the YouTube Go app and download your video of choice, similar to how it's done on an Android device.
To Download YouTube Videos with Third-Party Websites
Using third-party installers is against the YouTube terms of service, and often they hold risks.
More often than not, websites that offer YouTube video download include malware. Care is advised. A premium antivirus use is recommended.
A few examples of these websites include:
1. Replacing the word "tube" in the URL with "Pak"
2. Adding the word "Magic" between "You" and "Tube"
3. Adding the letters "SS" before "YouTube"
4. Adding the word "Paw" after "YouTube"
Due to the high rate of malware you risk downloading in this step, it is not advised to try it without a sturdy antivirus such as Norton or Bitdefender.
For more info on Antiviruses, check our top Antiviruses list.
To Download YouTube Videos With Third-Party Programs
The use of third-party programs and gives you the option to download videos. These programs include:
1. VLC media player
To download videos using VLC media player, download VLC media player, then click on Media, followed by Open Network Stream, or simply click (Ctrl+N).
Then insert the URL of the video you want to download and click play.
After the video starts playing, right-click the video, go to tools, and click Codec Information, or simply press (Ctrl+J).
Copy the URL in the location bar and past it in your browser, and there you'll find a version you can simply "Save video as".
2. 4K Video Downloader
Download 4K Video Downloader, open the application, copy the video of choice URL, then click past link.
Finally, download in the formate type desired.
3. Internet Download Manager
After downloading IDM, activate the IDM extension on Chrome, then simply open the page containing the video you want to download and click download this video.
Using third-party download programs is against YouTube's terms and regulations. Despite YouTube typically not going after people/third-party programs, caution is advised.
Youtube-dl (Hard Mode)
Youtube-dl is an open-source command-line program to download videos from YouTube.com and some other websites. To use it, you need the Python interpreter (2.6, 2.7, or 3.2+).
Youtube-dl is not platform-specific. Youtube-dl should work in your Unix box, in Windows, or macOS X. It is released to the public domain, which means you can modify it, redistribute it or use it however you like. The program is constantly updated to keep up with protocol changes by YouTube.
In general, downloading a video is as easy as running the program from the command line via this simple command:
Its use requires some expertise in using Python. Otherwise, it's a good choice.
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