- Downloading YouTube videos on Android can be done in five easy steps, including selecting the video, activating the drop-down menu, and choosing the resolution.
- YouTube Premium subscription allows legal downloading of videos for personal viewing, costing $11.99 per month for individuals and $17.99 per month for groups.
- Third-party tools like TubeMate and Y25s can be used to download videos, but they may violate copyright laws or YouTube’s terms of service.
You might find yourself in a situation that requires you to download YouTube videos if streaming them isn’t a viable option. Maybe you’re in a place where you have to wait, such as the dentist’s office, the mechanic, or the DMV. Maybe this location has a terrible Wi-Fi connection. Worse, maybe it has no Wi-Fi at all. If you have a phone plan with limited data, you could be stuck watching whatever random general interest program is left on the lobby TV or occupying yourself with a communal magazine.
Or, if you plan ahead, you can download YouTube videos and spend your time on entertainment that will actually pass the time. This tactic of preloading your Android phone or tablet with videos may also be a lifesaver when you’re flying. Now when you’re on a layover and stuck in a lobby with spotty Wi-Fi, or worse, connectivity blinks out when you’re flying at 20,000 feet, you’ll be prepared. Here’s how to download YouTube videos on Android in five easy steps.
Download YouTube Videos on Android in 5 Easy Steps
1. Open Your YouTube App
Tap on the red and white YouTube icon to open the app on your Android device.
2. Activate the Drop-Down Menu
Tap the three dots on the video you wish to download in order to make the drop-down menu appear.
3. Download Video
Tap “Download video” to begin the process of downloading.
4. Select the Resolution
A higher resolution will give you a better picture, but it will also take up more space on your storage drive. Choose the resolution that best suits your situation. If you’re downloading a lot of videos, it might be a good idea to go with the lower resolution.
5. Hit Download
Once you’ve pressed this final download button, your device will automatically complete the process.
After that, it will take a few minutes to download depending on the size of the video. However, once it has finished, you will be able to access the video offline. It should be noted that this is the way to download videos if you have a YouTube Premium subscription. It is the proper way to download YouTube videos and the way we highly recommend. There are other ways to download YouTube videos on Android, but those have drawbacks which we will discuss below.
As you can see, downloading YouTube to your Android device is easy. In fact, downloading YouTube videos to any device — Android, iPhone, laptop, or PC — is easy and legal if you have a YouTube Premium membership! YouTuber Kevin Stratvert explains why a YouTube Premium membership is worthwhile and walks you through downloading videos to your preferred device. Let’s see how!
Downloading YouTube Videos on Android: Copyrighted Content
YouTube’s Terms of Service do state that users are authorized to download a video through their YouTube Premium account for watching videos outside the official app. This comes with the condition that users will not have access to the file for purposes beyond personal viewing.
If you aren’t a Premium member and you are looking to download a couple of videos by using a third-party tool, be careful. According to YouTube, using a third-party downloader could potentially be a violation of copyright law. Whether or not copyright comes into play, you will be in breach of YouTube’s Terms of Service. This means that unfortunately, YouTube has the right to suspend or even terminate your account.
Videos That Are Safe to Download
There are videos that you can legally download from YouTube via a third party, you just have to be careful. Pay attention to the type of video you are downloading to ensure you are not breaking any copyright laws. The types of videos that are typically safe for download include:
- Public domain videos that are not covered by any additional copyright
- Any videos that fall under a Creative Commons (CC) license
- Personal videos shot by family or friends that have given you expressed permission
Legally downloading the majority of YouTube videos will typically require a YouTube Premium subscription. Premium will set you back $11.99 per month if you get the package for individuals. Groups will cost $17.99 per month but it covers up to five people in the same household. The group package will also get you a couple of added benefits, most notably a YouTube Music subscription.
The rules, as well as the process for downloads, will be the same whether you have a group or individual subscription. Using YouTube Premium is the safest and easiest way to download a video from YouTube. However, the price, or maybe the fact that users can’t access downloaded videos outside the app, may make turning to a third-party tool a necessity for some. If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few words of caution you should heed.
Just to reiterate, Youtube Premium is our preferred and recommended way to download YouTube videos on Android. If, however, this isn’t an option for you, there are other download methods out there for you. Be warned though, these may violate copyright laws, or even YouTube’s terms of service, which could result in fines or the suspension of your Google account. Furthermore, using third-party software comes with the risk of viruses, spyware, and malware. Be cautious when using these third-party tools and definitely consider some anti-virus software.
Downloading YouTube Videos on Android: TubeMate
If you are in a situation where you have to use a third-party tool, TubeMate YouTube Downloader might be your best bet. This app allows users to watch, search for, and, of course, download YouTube videos. The downloading process is a background function, which is useful in case you want to do other tasks while you wait for your videos to download.
Unfortunately, it isn’t available on the Google Play Store. To get TubeMate, you’ll have to download it as an APK file. However, once you have it, you can use it to download videos from other streaming sites like Vimeo and Dailymotion. You’re not just limited to YouTube.
TubeMate is a crowd-pleaser, mostly because it is intuitive. Just about anyone can figure out how to use it. If you’re struggling though, we can walk you through it.
- Download TubeMate.
- Using the app, locate the Youtube video you want to download.
- Hit the Download icon.
- Select your desired video quality.
- Hit the Download icon again (it’ll be red this time).
Downloading YouTube Videos on Android: Y25s
The nice thing about Y25s is that you don’t have to download an app the way you do with TubeMate. This is advantageous if your device is running low on storage space, and even if it isn’t, it’s nice to be able to have as much free space as possible if you are downloading videos. Videos tend to be rather large files, so if you can download them without an additional app dedicated to the process, even better. You can access the Y25s site from the browser of your choice such as Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.
It should be noted that sites such as Y25s may violate Google and YouTube’s policies depending on how they are used. As such, they are often blocked, or dismantled following a cease and desist. They can also be difficult to locate, for fairly obvious reasons. Google owns YouTube, so if you try to use the ubiquitous search engine to locate a website that may help you violate its policies, you could be out of luck.
Once a site like this hits the top of Google’s results, it’s often not long for this world. Once Google knows about it, odds are they are going to do all they can to kill the site. Y25s is functional at the time of writing, just understand that your mileage may vary.
Here is the process for using Y25s:
- Visit the Y25s site by going here.
- In a separate tab, copy the URL of the YouTube video you wish to download.
- Return to the Y25s tab, paste the YouTube URL, and hit “Start.”
- Select your desired resolution and hit “Get Link.”
Downloading a few videos you may want to watch offline is a good idea. Especially if you know you might be in a situation where you may need to kill time. This goes double if there’s a good chance you may not have access to reliable Wi-Fi and your data plan is limited. While we recommend using YouTube Premium for this operation, there are many other options available to those who can’t use Premium for one reason or another. We mentioned TubeMate and Y25s, as those are a couple of the more reputable options, but there are plenty of other tools out there if you know where to look.
|1||Open Your YouTube App|
|2||Activate the Drop-Down Menu|
|4||Select the Resolution|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Ben Harding/Shutterstock.com.