How can I download videos from YouTube to my computer for free?

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YTD Video Downloader

(Image credit: Future)

Though many of YouTube's videos are nothing more than cute viral clips you could live without, there are plenty you'd want to watch offline, especially if you're somewhere with a weak or non-existent Internet connection. Whether you want to save a music video so you can listen to the song any time you want or grab an entire movie that someone posted, it's easy to download YouTube videos and save them for offline viewing. Here's how to download YouTube videos on your Windows PC.

1. Download and install YTD Video Downloader.

2. Navigate to the YouTube video you want to save, using your browser.


3. Launch YTD Video Downloader (if it's not already running).

4. Copy and paste the YouTube address from your browser into YTD's URL field.

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Copy and paste URL to YTD Downloader

By default, the video file will be saved as an MP4 and live in your C:\Users\[yourname]\Documents folder. However, you can change the location of the download by clicking on the folder next to "Save to."

Save to

5. Click the Download button in YTD.

Click Download

The program will show the status of your download. Depending on the length of the video, it could take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

YTD download progress

How to convert your saved YouTube videos to MP3s

If you've downloaded a music video from YouTube and you want to turn it into a song you can put on your playlist, you can do that with YTD Video Downloader, too. To convert a downloaded YouTube video to MP3:

1. Navigate to the Convert tab in YTD Video Downloader.

Convert tab

2. Select the video file you wish to convert to MP3. (It must be a video that has already been downloaded.)

Select the video file

If you want to save the file to a different directory than C:\users\[yourname]\Documents, click the Save to folder.

3. Select MPEG Audio Layer 3 (MP3) from the "Convert video to" menu.

Select MP3

4. Click Convert Video.

Convert Video

The audio will take a minute or two to convert, during which time you can watch its progress in the Activity tab. Your file will be saved as an MP3 to C:\users\[yourname]\Documents unless you chose another folder before starting the conversion process. 

YTD progress

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The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master's degree in English from NYU.

Can you download YouTube videos onto your computer?

If YouTube Premium is available in your location, you can download videos to your computer or mobile device by becoming a YouTube Premium member. If you're a YouTube Premium member, learn how to manage your download settings.

How do I manually download YouTube videos to my computer?

How Do You Download YouTube Videos Directly?.
Head to The Video. Open YouTube on your browser and head to the video you want to download..
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 ' ' ... .
Go to the Download Site..