Best Way To Download Youtube Videos Mac

What Are the Best Ways to Download YouTube Videos on a Mac? If you are tired of seeing your favorite videos getting taken removed from YouTube, saving them on your computer or cloud could be the best course of action. Airy can also extract MP3 files from videos you download, which is great if you’re downloading a podcast or music files. It also offers downloads in HD for optimal playback quality, as well as being able to download videos that are private to your YouTube account.

Last Updated on October 31, 2020 by Adam Enfroy

YouTube is the largest on-demand video platform in the world.

In fact, over 30 million visitors watch 5 billion videos every single day on YouTube.

If you want to save videos to watch later, you need to learn how to download YouTube videos effectively. You can download YouTube videos into formats like MP4, AVI, MPEG, and more. Or if you just need audio, you can convert YouTube videos into MP3 files.

With so many ways to download and access videos on demand, I created this resource with the latest ways to download YouTube videos this year.

Let’s get started.

Disclaimer: Please note, I may receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no cost to you. However, these are the best tools I have tested for downloading and converting YouTube videos into MP3 files. You can read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

Is Downloading YouTube Videos Legal?

YouTube has a pretty straightforward Terms of Service that delineates what a viewer can or can’t do on the platform.

Downloading videos without prior permission, selling them, and committing copyright infringement are violations of their terms of service.

While downloading YouTube videos is technically a criminal act, YouTube has made no desire to penalize users for downloading videos. Certain royalty-free videos on YouTube with the correct licenses are legal to download. Plus, if you’re just using the video for personal use, it can be considered legal.

YouTube states, “You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”

In other words, you can watch Youtube videos, but only from Google applications.

However, third-party apps will continue to sprout up online and let people download YouTube Videos. It’s tough to enforce or ban users for exploiting them – you can still watch YouTube videos when you’re not signed in.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if downloading videos from YouTube for personal use is something you should be doing.

What Are the Steps to Download Youtube Videos?

Downloading videos from YouTube is a simple and straightforward process.

The first way to download YouTube videos is to use a video converter.

Download YouTube Videos Using a Video Downloading Tool.

Using a YouTube downloader is the fastest way to download YouTube videos. Let’s look at it step by step:

Choose a Downloading Tool/Converter.


First, select the best possible YouTube downloading tool.

In my opinion, the best tool on the market is 4K Download.

4K Download works with Windows, Mac, and Linux and offers great features like batch downloading, saving playlists, and downloads in 720p, 1080p, and 4k. You can also extract YouTube subtitles and save them in over 50 languages.

Give 4K Download a try and get a 14-day money-back guarantee.

There are some other tools out there and while there are some decent free tools, the paid versions provide way higher quality.

Features to Look for in A YouTube Downloading Tool.

  1. Quality of The Video – The converted file must have standard video quality for excellent viewing. Ideally, you should be able to manipulate the quality of the video. It may range between low, medium, or high. It’s even better if you can choose specific video resolution like 360p, 720p, 1080p, and more.
  2. Subtitles – We all like videos that are in different languages. In such cases, the use of subtitles is essential while playing it on YouTube or YouTube Premium. Logically, you’ll prefer to download those particular videos along with the subtitles.
  3. Batch Downloading – You can download the files individually or in bulk based on playlists from YouTube channels. If you like a particular band, you might want to download their entire discography. And if you like a film director, you may want to download their entire filmography.
  4. Multiple File Format Compatibility – You may want to download and save videos in multiple formats within your file manager. Having various options to choose from, like MP3, MP4, FLAC, or AAC, allows you to be more flexible.
  5. Built-In Video Editor – You may want to view a particular song in the middle of a video. Or you may want to edit out a specific portion of a film. Video editing needs can arise at any point in time, making it an essential feature in a YouTube video downloading tool. You can try out Any Video Converter (AVC) that comes with a built-in editor.
  6. Speed – The tool should be able to download and convert videos fast. The download times ideally shouldn’t be highly affected by fluctuations in internet and wi-fi connectivity.

Copy The Video Address Bar URL From YouTube.

Suppose you’re using an online video downloading tool. In this case, you need to head to YouTube and open the video you want to download.

You can simply copy and paste the link URL displayed in the box.

You can open the tool in a new tab on the same window. Once it opens, it will display a text box for you to enter the URL.

Here’s a screenshot from y2mate where you can download the video. You simply need to paste the URL in the text box above and click on the ‘Start’ option. Some websites may also have buttons saying ‘Go’ or ‘Download.’

In case you’re using a downloadable tool, you need to download and install it on your computer first. Once you run it, it will provide you with the same options to copy and paste the URL for conversion.

Be careful about unnecessary software that you may need to download as well. Avoid those whenever possible. Some good alternatives are Keepvid, which can help you download video files with Apple MacOS, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.

You may also need to look into alternative YouTube apps that work in the Google Play Store or with different smartphones. And if you’re downloading from Vimeo to watch videos offline, there are a host of other options to choose from.

Choose the File Format & Video Quality.

Once you paste the YouTube video URL into the search box, you’ll get a host of choices. For instance, y2mate lets you choose the video format you want to download, video quality, and the file size.

Finally, select the option you want and click on the “Download” option.

Some of the tools also allow you to download YouTube videos in formats like WMV, MPG, AVI, ASF, M2TS, 3GP, 3G2, FLV, MKV, SWF, WEBM, HTML5 WEBM, HTML5 OGG, HTML5, and more.

If you’re looking for batch downloads, you can also specify a folder in your computer to save all the downloaded videos. You might face some confusion if you’re using a VPN because tools usually emphasize on your IP address over the video URL you enter. So if you’re a VPN user, you may want to change the location for proper downloads.

Once the video gets downloaded, you can play it whenever and wherever you want.

How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?

You don’t always have to use a YouTube video downloading tool. It’s pretty easy to download YouTube videos directly from YouTube.

Here are the steps:

1. Head to The Video.

Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video you want to download.

2. Add ‘ss’ In The URL.

Next, you need to edit the URL in the text editor provided by YouTube. Simply, enter ‘ss’ after ‘www.’ but before ‘’

Best way to download youtube videos mac free

After you’ve entered it, simply press the ‘Enter’ button on your keyboard.

Next, you get redirected to a site like

3. Go to the Download Site

Once redirected, there are plenty of free services to use that you don’t need to download or install. The moment you press the ‘Enter’ button, you get redirected to its website.

You’ll see that the text editor already has the video URL, so you don’t need to copy and paste any link. Your video is also ready to get downloaded – all you need to do is click the ‘Download’ button.

You also get to choose the format and the quality of the video. Finally, click on the “download” option, and you’ll have your video within a couple of seconds.

How Do You Download YouTube Videos with Browser Add-Ons?

You might not want to tinker around with the YouTube video URL. And some of you may not want to use any third-party tool to download the videos.

In this case, using add-ons on your browser is just the solution you need.

1. Choose An Add-on.

There’s an add-on for practically everything you could need.

The good news is that there are a variety of options available to download YouTube videos.

Some of them are best suited for Firefox and Chrome, while some are standalone tools.

Here’s an example of a similar add-on called ‘YouTube Video and Audio Downloader’ for Opera.

2. Download The Add-on.

The process is simple in Opera. And it’s more or less the same for other browsers too.

In Opera, you can just go ahead and click on the ‘Add to Opera’ option displayed in green color. Moreover, make sure you download the correct add-on concerning the browser you’re using. They won’t work otherwise.

Once the add-on gets downloaded, install it. If the add-in doesn’t work after installation, then restart your computer.

3. Head to YouTube.

Next, head to the YouTube video you want to download. Once you’re there, you’ll notice an icon on the top right-hand side (for Opera users).

When you install this add-on, you get some options:

  • Quick download
  • Download panel
  • Conversion tool
  • Settings

Next, click on the “quick download” option, and you’ll have the video installed in your system.

You won’t get the direct download option from YouTube no matter what browser you use unless you use an add-on.

4. Choose Your File Format.

Most add-ons provide you with a variety of options to save the video. Choices range between multiple formats, as well as various video qualities. Usually, a pop-up floats up during the download choice, asking for your preferences.


How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a Virtual Desktop?

Using a Virtual Desktop (VD) is another easy way to download YouTube videos.

Here’s how you can do it.

1. Head to The YouTube Video.

First, visit the YouTube platform and type the name of the video you want to view and download. Once you do this and press the ‘Enter’ button, the video starts playing.

2. Add “vd” To The URL.

Now the process is similar to when you directly download videos by adding ‘ss’ to the URL. In this case, you need to edit the video address and add the words ‘vd’ before ‘youtube’ and after ‘www.’.

Check this out:

After the edit, press the ‘Enter’ button. Next, you get redirected to the Django website for the video you wish to download.

3. Choose the Video Format and Quality.

On the VDYouTube website, scroll down to choose the quality and the format of the YouTube video. Based on your needs, you can go ahead.

4. Download the YouTube Video.

Once you click on the “download” option, it’s only a matter of seconds before it gets installed in your computer system.

How Do You Download YouTube Videos with a VLC Player?

If you don’t have the VLC media player in your computer system, then you can download it. VLC Media player is secure and makes it easier for you to download YouTube videos.

Here’s how:

1. Head To YouTube Video & Copy The URL.

Head to YouTube and open the video you want to download. Next, copy the URL of the video.

2. Open VLC Media Player.

Ideally, you shouldn’t wait for this step to open the VLC media player. You should keep it open on the taskbar for your benefit.

3. New Network Stream.

When you open the VLC media player, head over to the ‘Media’ option, and click on it.

Next, select the ‘Open Network Stream’ option. Of course, this is the case when you’re using a Windows OS.

When you’re using Mac, the flow is FILE > OPEN NETWORK.

4. Open Media.

In this stage, you’ll see a page with a text editor, no matter what OS you’re using. Here, paste the copied URL of the YouTube video you want to download.

Download Youtube App For Mac

5. Hit The ‘Play’ Option.

When you click on the ‘play’ option, the video starts playing on VLC.

6. Codec Information.

Next, click on the ‘Tools’ option on the top right-hand corner. There, you’ll find an option called ‘codec information.’ You can also reach the ‘codec information’ option by using the ‘CTRL + J’ command.

When you click on the ‘codec information,’ a new window opens up.

7. Location.

The window looks something like this:

You need to copy the information of the video from the location text box at the bottom of the page. This step is pretty straightforward for Windows users.

Best Way To Download Youtube Videos Mac

However, if you’re a Mac user, you need to right-click on the field and click on the ‘Open URL’ option.

8. Copy/Paste the URL.

If you’re on a Windows system, you already copied the URL. Paste it onto your web browser and click ‘Enter.’ The step is redundant for Mac users.

9. Save the Video.

At this stage, the video should be playing on your browser online. Right-click on the video and select the ‘Save video as’ option.

Best Free Youtube Downloader For Mac

10. Download The Video.

The video will now start downloading. The default format is MP4, and the default title would be ‘videoplayback.’ Once it gets downloaded, save it with your other videos.

Although the process may seem lengthy right now, it’s pretty simple once you do it yourself.

Executive Summary.

There you have it – some of the best ways to download YouTube videos. In my opinion, go with 4K Download– it’s the best tool for video quality and MP3 conversions.

This tool lets you access your favorite YouTube videos anytime, even without an Internet connection. Downloading videos and storing them on your computer or phone helps you never miss out on the videos you like.

Do you download YouTube videos? Which tool do you use? Let me know in the comments below.

Last Updated on October 31, 2020 by Adam Enfroy

Aug 14,2019 • Filed to: Download YouTube Videos • Proven solutions

YouTube fans are always searching for a best way on how to download YouTube videos on Mac easily and legally. As there are many Mac YouTube downloader or YouTube downloader online services through the Internet, it is a little bit hard to choose the best YouTube downloader for Mac. No worry! Here we share 6 easy ways to help you download videos from YouTube on Mac for free, including download YouTube videos with URL, YouTube download plugin, directly download YouTube from browser Chrome or Safari, download YouTube online, etc. Read on and learn how to download YouTube videos on Mac (macOS 10.14 Mojave,10.13 High Sierra, 10.12 Sierra and 10.11 EL Capitan included).

Part 1. Download YouTube Videos Mac in One Click

If you want an easiest way to download videos from YouTube on Mac, we highly recommend you to use iTube HD Video Downloader. This YouTube downloader Mac allows you to download any YouTube videos on Mac for free. You can download YouTube 4K UHD videos, YouTube VEVO, and the whole YouTube playlist.

iTube HD Video Downloader - Download YouTube Videos on Mac with Ease

  • Download not only YouTube videos, but also online videos from Facebook, Lynda, Metacafe, Bilibili, FC2, and 10,000+ sites.
  • 1 click download YouTube to MP3 format in high quality, or extract audio from a video to any popular audio format.
  • Support YouTube HD Video downloading, as well as batch download YouTube playlist and Lynda playlist at the same time.
  • Record unable to download videos from Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, CNN, Hollywood videos and any other sites easily.
  • Convert videos to any video formats, or directly to optimized preset for iPhone, Android or other devices.
  • Transfer downloaded YouTube videos to portable devices with USB connected in order to enjoy on the go.
  • Private Mode to download videos in secret with a password known by yourself only protected.

How to Download YouTube Videos Mac

Step 1. Download and launch YouTube downloader for Mac

Download and start installation of iTube YouTube Downloader (macOS High Sierra, Sierra, EL Capitan, Yosemite, Mountain Lion included). It's superb easy to use! After that, launch the YouTube video downloader to its main interface.

Step 2. Download YouTube videos to Mac from extension

Open your browser Safari, Chrome or Firefox and visit YouTube. When you watch a video, you will see the 'Download' icon appearing at the top left corner of the video. And several web pages can be opened to download videos at the same time. Click the 'Download' button and it will start the downloading process for YouTube video automatically.

The download process can be checked in 'Downloading' tab. And in 'Downloaded' tab, you will find downloaded YouTube videos. You can see the downloaded videos on the list by clicking 'Download' menu on the left side of the YouTube Downloader for Mac window. With the built-in FLV player, and right-click the program and choose 'Play' option in drop-down box, you're able to view or play the video.

Optional. Convert YouTube video to any format

To convert downloaded YouTube video, click the 'Add to Convert List' icon on the right side for each video in 'Downloaded' tab. You can add the video to 'Convert' menu by doing this.

Open the 'Convert' menu, and you can convert YouTube videos to iPod, iPhone, iPad and all popular devices. Find the 'Convert' icon on the right of the video, click it. In the window that appears, choose from about 153+ output formats and click 'OK' to start conversion. Then you could switch to the Transfer tab, and easily transfer converted or downloaded YouTube videos to your mobile devices to watch YouTube at anytime.

Video Tutorial on How to Download YouTube Videos Mac

Another easy way to download YouTube to Mac is to use online YouTube downloader like Dovideo. Before we dive into the guide, note that Dovideo not only allows you to download videos from popular video sharing sites, including YouTube, but also acts as an online file converter. The online YouTube downloader supports a wide variety of formats, so if formats are your primary concern, the web-based YouTube downloader for Mac will never disappoint.

How To Download Videos From Youtube

Using Dovideo is as easy as pie. The online app’s main page has an entire user interface (all in the same place). Immediately you land on the home page, you’ll get these options instantly: browse your file, specify the format to convert to, enter your e-mail address, and upload and convert your file options.

Step 1. Open the video you’d like to download from YouTube or any other popular video sharing site. Copy its URL and head on to the next step.
Step 2. Go to Dovideo’s main site, and paste the URL in the field provided on the main page.
Step 3. Specify the format in which you’d like your video to be output in.
Step 4. Provide your email so that you can receive the file after it has been converted.
Step 5. Finally convert and save your video. Agree to the app’s terms and click convert.

After a few moments, your video will be ready for offline viewing anytime and anyplace.

How To Download Youtube Videos Mac Without Software

Part 3. Download YouTube Videos Mac with 3rd Party Softwares

Download Youtube Videos Mac Free


#1: Download YouTube videos on Mac with Limewire

Step 1. Go to the website of Limewire and you can get the basic version for free. Install and launch the Limewire Mac downloader.
Step 2. Input whatever you want and click search, you'll find lots of files for you to download.
Step 3. Then click 'Explore' when you finished downloading the file, and you will find your download videos on Mac.

Best Way To Download Youtube Videos To Mp4

You can find and get the file by clicking Download button. What's more, several files can be downloaded at the same time.

Best Way To Download Youtube Videos To Mp3

#2: Download YouTube Video to Mac with RealPlayer

Alternatively, you can also download the YouTube video clips to your Mac by RealPlayer. Below is a brief guide on how you can start downloading videos from YouTube in just a few clicks.

Step 1. First install RealPlayer to get to RealPlayer YouTube videos Downloader on your Mac.
Step 2. Restart the browser and open the YouTube video you wish to save to your local storage.
Step 3. Click the RealPlayer Downloader button popping up at the top part of your browser.
Step 4. Then tap on “Download This Video” option. Your video will consequently download to Real Player Library.

As the download continues, it will show up in the RealPlayer Downloader window. That’s all! After some seconds, click on newly downloaded video in the RealPlayer Downloads folder o start viewing the video online!