There are multiple ways to download YouTube videos: via browser add-ons, through an online service, through free Windows application. This article describes various approaches to download YouTube videos to your PC or mobile devices but it is in no way a compendium on the topic.
• Free browser add-on:
• Free online service:
• Windows freeware:
Youtube Downloader HD
1. YouTube downloader as browser add-on
With the help of an add-on, you can download YouTube videos inside your browser. Here's how.
1.1. Convert2mp3.net browser add-on
Convert2mp3.net is a popular browser extension available for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera users.
1.1.1 Installing convertmp3.net
Visit the extension's website at: http://convert2mp3.net and select "Addon" at the top (1).
Then, click the button for your browser (1). I'm using Opera so I select "Download for Opera" (2).
Next, click "Add to Opera" (1).
Once installed, the button changes to "Installed" and the extension's icon now appears in the browser (1).
1.1.2 Usage instructions
Once you've found a video to download, simply click the "Download MP4" button for videos (1) or "Download MP3" to download the audio only (2).
You will then be redirected to convert2mp3.net where the actual conversion takes place. Once complete, click "Download" to download the video/audio file (1).
The file will then be in your "Downloads" folder.
1.2 Free Vidpaw online download service
Vidpaw works similar to the aforementioned browser add-on but without the need for installation, making it ideal for occasional YouTube video downloads.
1.2.1 Usage instructions
First, open the video you wish to download on YouTube. In this example, I've picked our video tutorial for Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 7.
Then, right-click into the video and select "Copy video URL" from the context menu (1).
Next, open a new tab in your browser and input the following URL: https://www.vidpaw.com
Afterwards, click into the text field (1) and input the URL you copied before, e.g. by pressing Ctrl+V. Then, click "Start" (2).
Finally, select your desired video format (1) and click "Download" (2).
You can close the subscription notice (1). The download will have already started (2) and the video will be in your "Downloads" folder.
2. Free Windows YouTube downloader application
Aside from browser extension and online service, you can also use a separate application to download videos from YouTube. Here are two examples commonly referred to as "free youtube downloader" programs.
2.1 4K Downloader
4K Downloader supports video downloads at various qualities and the option to download audio only (mp3).
2.1.1 Download and installation
Visit the developer's website (https://www.4kdownload.com) (1) and download the free "4K Downloader" (2).
Double-click the setup file to start the installation (1). If you own Ashampoo UnInstaller, we recommend starting the installation through that instead. Simply right-click the setup file and select "Install with Ashampoo UnInstaller". This ensures you can uninstall the software without leftovers, if needed later.
Then, follow the installation instructions.
After that, right-click the YouTube video and select "Copy video URL" to copy the URL to the system clipboard. Then, run 4K Downloader (1) and click "Paste link" (2).
4K Downloader supports different video formats (1) and qualities (2). You can also select to only extract and download the audio from a video (3), e.g. for music videos. Click "Download" (4) to download the file to the folder "4K Video Downloader" that will be created in your "Videos" folder. If needed, you can also select a different location.
2.2 Youtube Downloader HD
Youtube Downloader HD is an alternative to 4D Downloader, also free and with an identical feature set.
2.2.1 Download and installation
Visit "https://www.youtubedownloaderhd.com" (1) and download the software (2).
Double-click the setup to start the installation (1).
Follow the instructions and launch the program afterwards.