How to Download YouTube Videos: The Ultimate Guide

Long journeys with patchy signals, flights, adding videos to your own projects — there are plenty of instances where you would benefit from downloading YouTube videos for offline viewing. But what is the best way to go about it? YouTube offers a few ways to download videos from the site, so let’s dive in to learn how to download YouTube videos.

How to download YouTube videos

There are two ways to download YouTube videos from features that YouTube has introduced. The first is downloading your own content. When you upload content to your YouTube channel, even if the videos are set to private or unlisted, by going into YouTube Studio you will be able to download the high resolution version of your videos. This is useful for keeping backups of your work and personal projects, as storage is unlimited and you can download it whenever you need it.

But what if you want to download someone else’s YouTube video to watch later? To do that, you’ll need to be a YouTube Premium subscriber. For a monthly fee you’ll have access to more premium features including not having ads when you watch videos, and being able to download content to watch offline. This is perfect for saving videos for long journeys or commutes without a signal, or if you simply want to save your data for something else.

How to download music from YouTube videos

Most music you hear in YouTube videos will be copyright protected by the music library the creator purchased it from. But in some instances, YouTube channels exist specifically to share music for others to download. These free music libraries generally post videos that aren’t really videos, but as YouTube is such a popular social network it’s a great way to reach new audiences with music.

With a YouTube Premium membership you can download these videos, import them into video editing software like Pinnacle Studio, and extract just the audio to save on its own. Alternatively, many of the channels that share copyright-free music on YouTube will also provide a link to download the track from an external site. Just make sure it’s definitely copyright-free music.

YouTube is full of creators freely sharing music and videos they have made because it’s in their interests to get their content out to as many people as possible. Simply search for terms like ‘free music’ and ‘free stock footage’ to track down the channels that genuinely offer copyright-free music and videos on YouTube, and download them. Read the video descriptions carefully to make sure the content you are downloading is definitely free, and usually they will ask for some kind of attribution in return.

YouTube is a huge library of royalty-free stock footage and music

There are plenty of creators on YouTube sharing great stock footage and music for you to use in your own projects, but to access them you’ll need to download them. If the channel owner does not provide an easy way to download them, such as linking out to a different site, then a YouTube Premium membership will let you download videos to watch offline. Once downloaded, you can then import the files into video editing software like Pinnacle Studio and work with them in the same way you’d work with video footage you shot yourself and music from other music libraries.

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