How to Download YouTube Videos on a PC

Saving YouTube videos onto a PC is possible, even though YouTube would rather you not do it. While you may want to watch clips when you're without a signal, or download them in case the clips are taken down, you'll need to circumvent the service to get it done.

Oh, and since you're taking a risk by going against YouTube's rules, we've got an explanation on your risk at the bottom of the page.

How can I download YouTube videos to watch offline on a PC?

OnlineVideoConverter is the best way to easily download YouTube videos on a PC. The catch? This site often runs nauseating ads, and sites like these — that offer a free service that people often pay for — often spam users with notifications, as documented here.

1. Copy the URL of a YouTube video.

2. Open Online Video Converterand paste (Ctrl+V) the URL into the address field. Decline the site's offer to send notifications.

3. You may need to close a pop-up window. That's the price you pay for breaking the rules.

4. Select a file format.

5. Click More Settings to find resolution options.

6. Select a preferred resolution (for highest quality, skip automatic and pick the highest resolution).

7. Uncheck the Convert From and Convert To boxes and add times if you don't want the whole video.

8. Click Start.

9. Click Download.

Which is the best app for downloading YouTube videos on a PC?

The best app for downloading YouTube videos on a PC is Parallels Toolbox, for its reliability and smooth process. The one downside? It's $19.99 per year, though that’s $123.89 cheaper than a year of YouTube Premium.

Here's how to use Parallels Toolbox on a PC:

1. Copy the URL of the YouTube video you want to grab (click in URL bar, click Ctrl+A and then Ctrl+C).

2. Open Parallels Toolbox from the taskbar, which you may need to expand to show.

3. Click Download Video.

4. For options, click the settings icon.

5. Here you'll get options for Video Quality and file destination. Click the downloads icon to return.

6. Next, click Paste (or drag and drop) to insert the YouTube URL into the utility and start the download.

7. Your download progress will display.

8. Right-click on a finished download and select Show in File Explorer.

You've saved a video for offline!

MORE: The Best Streaming Video Services for Cord Cutters

What is the best free app for downloading YouTube videos on a PC?

Looking to get away with spending zero dollars? The best free option for downloading YouTube videos is 4K Video Downloader. That  said, its free version is a tremendously flawed app.

When I tested it out, I discovered that you need to pay at least $19 per year to unlock its premium version, and without the premium version, you're stuck at glacial download speeds, where it took 47 minutes to download a 5-minute-and-45-second clip.

Further, I wouldn't put it on my own computer, because I don't trust any free app that allows you to violate terms of service. You never know what other apps from that company are coming  with that app, and what user-tracking those apps are doing.

4K Video Downloader works just like the other options, where you copy and paste a YouTube address into it, and watch as the video lands on your computer.

Breaking YouTube's Terms of Service

While YouTube Premium allows iOS and Android users to save clips to watch later, that's not available on the PC. If you follow any other method of downloading YouTube videos, you're violating YouTube's terms of service, as explained here:

"You may access Content for your information and personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the Service and as permitted under these Terms of Service. You shall not download any Content unless you see a "download" or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content."

If you violate the YouTube TOS, the company may terminate your account.

Credit: Tom's Guide

4 comments
    Your comment
  • guised
    Tell me, do you know any means to download and convert it into normal formats, such as mp4 or some other? I would like, it is possible even a paid tool, to both download and use any converter, such as this, but preferably with one payment without additional surcharges. And in large quantities.
  • henrytcasey
    2863820 said:
    Tell me, do you know any means to download and convert it into normal formats, such as mp4 or some other? I would like, it is possible even a paid tool, to both download and use any converter, such as this, but preferably with one payment without additional surcharges. And in large quantities.


    While I wouldn't use it myself, the DVD Video Soft one supposedly has an "Unlimited" option, which supposedly is a permanent, non-recurring license. Currently, it's $29 https://www.dvdvideosoft.com/r/store.htm?app=web&appid=w_dvs&src=faq
  • dale.o.brandt
    Try YTD Video Converter from GreenTree.
    The are free and pay-for versions available for both, PC and Mac.
    Be careful when installing. Be sure to check or uncheck the boxes in fine-print, to avoid having other unwanted software from being sneakily installed on your system.
    There will be typically 3-4 pages (screens) where you may have to check/uncheck options.
    If you don’t want to agree to something, click the Cancel (or equivalent) button.
    This doesn’t cancel the install. It cancels the current web page (dialog box) and takes you to the next step in the install process. After 3-4 of these screens, you will see a screen showing the directory path where the program will be installed. Change it if you like. Click OK or Continue. You will then see the install Progress Thermometer, and the install process will complete.

    I have been using this program for several years, with no problems other than having to outwit it during the install process, or where it may not be able to download a certain video format. It’s pretty good and easy to use.
  • charlieeX
    I have been using VidPaw for a couple of days. It's a free and easy-to-use online downloader. I often use it to convert YouTube video to MP3.