How to Download a YouTube Video (The Right Way)

Person watching YouTube
YouTube Premium is the YouTube-sanctioned way of downloading your favorite videos even when you're not connected to the internet. ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

There are places where connecting to the internet is difficult — or even impossible. In those scenarios, your best bet is to download your favorite YouTube videos to save to your phone for offline viewing.

Learn how to download a YouTube video and why you want to avoid a third-party solution.

Why Third-Party Solutions Are Risky

Sure, there are plenty of third-party solutions that you can use to download YouTube videos, but the company doesn't allow it.

Per YouTube's terms of service, users cannot "access, reproduce, download, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, alter, modify or otherwise use" any YouTube content. Using a third-party YouTube video downloader could lead to the termination of your account.

But there is a simple way to download online videos: Get authorization from YouTube through its premium service.

What Is YouTube Premium?

YouTube Premium is a popular paid service that supplements your viewing experience on the platform. For $13.99 a month for an individual account, this premium service allows YouTube users to:

  • Watch videos ad-free

  • Keep videos playing in the background while using other apps on their phone or tablet

  • Download videos for offline use

  • View any YouTube Original series or movie

  • Access YouTube Music Premium and Google Play Music at no additional cost

In addition to the regular plan, the service offers family and student plans. The family plan allows up to five people to access the service for $22.99 a month.

On the other hand, students get a sizable discount at $7.99 a month. However, students are only eligible for up to four years, and they have to verify their school through SheerID.

Before purchasing a subscription, you can snag a one-month YouTube Premium free trial before making the monthly commitment.

How to Sign Up for YouTube Premium

Signing up is pretty simple and in a few steps, your account will be ready for downloading online videos.

Follow these five steps:

  1. Sign into your YouTube account. If you don't have one, make sure to sign up for a free account.

  2. Select your profile photo in the top right-hand corner.

  3. From the drop-down menu, select the "Paid memberships" option.

  4. Select YouTube Premium from the "Offers from YouTube" page.

  5. Fill in the payment form to set up recurring payments.

Downloading YouTube Videos

Now that you're subscribed to YouTube Premium, it's time to download all the videos you desire, right? Not exactly.

Downloading videos using Premium works in a similar way to watching shows and movies offline through streaming services. You can only download and save videos when using YouTube's mobile app. To access your downloaded videos, you must connect to the internet once every 30 days. Also, be aware that you may be unable to download some videos if the creator restricts it.

With that out of the way, you can follow the steps from YouTube Help:

  • Log into the YouTube mobile app.

  • Visit the specific YouTube video link and start watching a video.

  • Click the "Download" icon that's just below the video player.

  • Select the video quality.

  • When the download completes, the "Download" icon will change to "Downloaded."

If you want to watch the YouTube videos downloaded to your device, you can find them under either the Library or Account tabs. When you finish watching a downloaded video, click the "Downloaded" icon and select "Remove."

Original article: How to Download a YouTube Video (The Right Way)

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