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How do I download a YouTube video?

I have used various solutions in the past that do not seem to work any longer (KeepVid and various Greasemonkey scripts). Is this just no longer possible?

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Content is provided to you AS IS. 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. – phwd Jul 9 '10 at 14:58
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. YouTube and its licensors reserve all rights not expressly granted in and to the Service and the Content. – phwd Jul 9 '10 at 14:58

25 Answers 25

up vote 50 down vote accepted

If you're using Firefox as your browser, there are a wealth of addons available for the purpose. Personally I use NetVideoHunter. It suits the way I work. Other options are;

There are plenty of others..

For Google Chrome, you could try:

Opera has a number of widgets available for the same purpose, but I know nothing about them, like wise Internet Explorer, I haven't used that in years...

Alternatively there is a really useful bookmarklet at Clipnabber.

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If you're a little command line oriented like myself, the handy tool youtube-dl I find quite practical. (Edit: youtube-dl has moved to http://rg3.github.com/youtube-dl/.)

youtube-dl -t "http://youtube.com/watch?v=quuxthing" 
mplayer "This Is What the title looks like but its just an example.flv"

youtube-dl will work even if you only give it the video code (usually at the end of the URL, after "v="), like this:

youtube-dl -t zJOS0sV2a24

Allegedly supported on Mac/Unix/Win, but I can only speak for Linux.

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Love this, I'm linux man now \m/ – nXqd Jul 12 '10 at 14:29
does it work after the changes at about 2010-07-22? – Peter Mortensen Sep 17 '10 at 8:16
@PeterMortensen Well, looong time since your comment, and I don't know if youtube-dl worked at that time. However just for the record, seems to be working very well currently. – Ilari Kajaste Apr 30 '12 at 8:25

JDownloader will really help. If you copy a YouTube link to the clipboard it will give you various options like,

  • download MP3 files
  • download Flash videos
  • download MP4 files
  • download in 320, 460, 720, etc.

Moreover, if you copy a YouTube playlist link, it will parse all videos and gives you option to download all the videos in the playlist.

Supports/has plugins for more than 200 other sites like (Hotfile, MediaFire, ifile.it, etc.)

You must give it a try, it will become your all in one download manager.

One more thing, it supports multithreaded downloading.

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+1, i would have suggested the exact same thing but with a different product (Internet Download Manager). – slugster Jul 10 '10 at 2:00
Personally i think that JDownloader is far better than IDM or other downloaders because of its Huge number of plugins. – LifeH2O Jul 11 '10 at 19:33

I use FlashGot addon for Firefox to download Youtube videos.

From the FlashGot forum:

Q: How can I download video and audio streams with FlashGot?

A: Just open the page where the video or audio stream plays, and as soon as it starts you will see a new FlashGot Media status bar icon flashing as a notification: you can either left-click it to download all the streams at once, or right-click to choose among multiple streams, if more than one have been found. Alternatively, you can press ctrl+F7 or select the FlashGot Media command from your context menu.

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RealPlayer integrates a download feature for any flash video on a website even if the video isn't from popular platforms like youtube.

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Assuming you're prepared to install it. :| – Gelatin Aug 1 '10 at 21:30

Video DownloadHelper - it just works.

Note: Quite frequent addon updates can be sometimes annoying, especially if you are not using this addon too often (so you don't appreciate having it up to date).

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Some videos (like the Vevo ones) get streamed; I haven't figured out how to save them yet.

But for the bulk of videos, they get saved to the computer's temporary folder until the video is navigated away from. On a Linux or Mac OS X computer, it's relatively easy to find and copy the temporary file elsewhere (renaming it to a .flv if it is a Flash video).

On Windows, the file's locked, so you need to use something like HoboCopy to copy it, which requires administrator rights and command-line usage. In places where you don't have administrator rights, like a computer lab, I launch a logging proxy (Fiddler2's lightweight and easy) to intercept all HTTP traffic, but this slows down all your browsing while it's capturing.

Usually, though, sites like KeepVid will work again later if you give them time.

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That reminds me, it's also possible to retrieve a video from firefox cache, so no download required: walkernews.net/2007/11/19/… – Pulse Jul 9 '10 at 15:08
There’s apps and such, but I usually use Nirsoft’s SMSniff to capture the packets, then save to disk. – Synetech Aug 3 '10 at 0:48

My favorite is prefixing youtube in the URL with "kiss". Like this,


Try it.

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Internet Download Manager also supports this (enable "Advanced Browser Integration")

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There are a lot of software and websites that can download YouTube videos, and I use Leawo Free YouTube Downloader.

I have used it for about 1 year without any problems.

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I like YouTube Enhancer for greasemonkey. It also supports downloading at higher resolutions and mp4's

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I use VideoDL. Crazy awesome.

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I use JDownloader, but sometimes I also use http://savevideo.me because it lets you download the streamed file, it even lets you choose HD, or any resolution the video might had. The good news is that (as JDownloader) there's no conversion process involved, you get the real thing here.

FYI, I'm in no way affiliated with SaveVideoME in any way.

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If you use Opera you can use this extension(works not just in youtube.com)

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It works really easily as it just adds a download button on the youtube page and has addons for most browsers.

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I use Orbit Downloader with Firefox. Downloads flash video from all sorts of sites including YouTube presumably integrating with Flash.

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Another simple site:


Also offers conversion to mpeg, audio only and other options.

This service allows you convert a Flash Video / FLV file (YouTube's videos,etc) to MPEG4 (AVI/MOV/MP4/MP3/3GP) file online. It is using a compressed domain transcoder technology. It converts FLV to MPEG4 faster and less lossy than a typical transcoder.

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Use the Zamzar bookmarklet to download your favorite videos in a variety of audio & video file formats

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I just use some Audials Tunebite Youtube Downloader, just got the new version 8 a couple of days ago.

It's actually pretty cool since this one besides being able to download and convert youtube videos can also work as a Youtube to mp3 ripper and convert youtube flv to mp3 files I can use on my pc or cell phone.

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There are already a lot of answers but if the others don't meet your taste Freemake also has a free video downloader.

Freemake Video Downloader is a great, free Windows application which requires .NET platform to be installed on your system. It supports many video sites (says 40+ on the site), not just only YouTube. It also supports conversion to a large set of video formats.

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aTube Catcher is a good one, with lots of options on formats and video quality. You can customize it to batch download a user’s videos. Also, downloading is very fast.

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@aberry: instead of posing questions in an answer it is better if you post a new question. – Peter Mortensen Oct 4 '10 at 10:06

VLC can already do this.

From The Best Hidden Features of VLC:

  1. Find a video on YouTube and copy the URL from the address bar.
  2. In VLC, head to Media > Open Network Stream.
  3. Paste the YouTube link in the box and click Play.
  4. Under Tools, click Codec Information.
  5. In the box that says Location, right-click the block of text and click Select All. Copy this text to your clipboard.
  6. Go back to your browser and paste the link in the address bar. This will open the source file directly on YouTube's servers.
  7. Right-click the video as it plays and select Save Video As.
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There is nice Python script called youtube-dl. Usually you can install it straight via apt-get (on Linux) or brew (on OSX).

Or you may try Wondershare AllMyTube which supports video and the whole playlist downloads.

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  • free software for Windows, Mac, Linux
  • supported by developer
  • supports various sites, formats, resolutions
  • grabs links from clipboard
  • supports pausing download and etc.

enter image description here

p.s: I hope I won't get banned for second answer about it -_-

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In the video url, replace www. with ss

e.g: www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7INnQGoBkE

replacing www. with ss you'll get:


and then press enter. You'll be redirected to a page with the direct download links for the video, that too in different formats.

p.s.- most of the time this trick works.

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Is that legal?? – Jacob Jan Tuinstra Jul 16 '13 at 11:13
@jacob-I guess it is. Facts: 1.)just check their FAQ page:en.savefrom.net/faq.php 2.)Check comment no.8:forums.crackberry.com/blackberry-z10-f254/… 3.)Important one-they have a google chrome plugin too. chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/savefromnet-helper-lite/… – Prateek Jul 16 '13 at 18:54
@JacobJanTuinstra as legal as every other answer here – janot Dec 25 '15 at 21:10

protected by phwd Oct 17 '13 at 20:58

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