YouTube gives its users a number of ways to save videos on their site. You can like videos, share them with friends or save them to a playlist. If you want to save a YouTube video to your computer or mobile device for viewing offline, things aren’t quite as straightforward unless you opt for YouTube Premium.
Liking, Saving, and Downloading Videos on YouTube
If you’re new to YouTube, the process of saving a video could be confusing. When you click the Thumbs Up button and give a video a “like” it’s sent to the favorites section of your YouTube account. You can find them under your profile alongside videos you’ve saved.
To save a YouTube video, you simply need to select the “Save” button under a video or by using the 3-dot menu. This saves the video to a playlist, however, not your computer or smartphone. You can make and access YouTube playlists with ease, but if you want to download a video, there’s only one official option.
YouTube Premium is an add-on for YouTube that allows users to download videos straight to their devices. You can do this by clicking the download button on a video which brings up an option to choose a resolution. The service is well worth it for heavy users considering it removes ads while enabling downloads, but is priced at $11.99 per month. If you want to try and download videos for free, follow the steps below.
How to Save a YouTube Video
While there are dozens of applications that allow you to save a YouTube video on your computer, VLC is the solution we like the best. It’s a great all-around media player you may already have on your PC, and this method works on several video services from a Mac or Windows PC.
1. Download and Open VLC
If you don’t already have VLC player installed on your PC, you can pick it up at VideoLAN.org. It’s a free open-source program that streams media across multiple platforms. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the program, open it.
2. Choose a Video
Find the video you want to save from YouTube and copy the video link. You can do this by selecting the Share icon and choosing the Copy button next to the link.
3. Open Network Stream
From VLC, go to the top menu and choose Media and then select Open Network Stream from the drop-down menu.
4. Copy Video Link
When the Open Network Stream menu appears, copy the link to the YouTube video in the box as shown and then select Stream from the drop-down menu next to Play.
5. Destination Setup
After you select stream, the setup Wizard beings. Follow the prompts until you see a screen called Destination Setup. Make sure the box is set to “File” and then click Add and set a file name and destination for the video.
6. Transcoding Options
Now you’ll need to choose a format from the profile list. Click to open the sub-menu and choose the format you want to save the YouTube video to your PC in.
7. Stream and Save
After you’ve chosen a format and set a destination for the saved video, select stream and wait for the process to complete. Once finished, you can find the YouTube video you’ve saved on your PC.
The best way to save and download a video from YouTube is through YouTube Premium, even if there are workarounds for smaller videos. These methods could change at any time, however, so consider their free trial and be sure to save any videos you like to a playlist so that you can download them later.