Saving YouTube Videos to Your Desktop

Saving YouTube videos to your desktop requires a third-party website

Youtube Red page
FloggHD (Own work) / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Saving YouTube videos to your desktop computer via YouTube is easy if the videos are your own. If the videos aren't yours, you can use a third-party website for the download, but be aware you could be violating copyright law if you download a video without the owner's permission.

How to Download Your Own Videos

  1. To download one of your own videos from YouTube, go to your video page, which lists all the videos you've uploaded to YouTube.
  1. Next to each video are buttons that read "Edit" and "Insight" as well as an arrow to reveal more options. Click on that arrow and select Download MP4. Your download begins immediately.

How to Download YouTube Videos Other People Post

  1. If you want to download a YouTube video that's not your own, go to that video's page on YouTube.
  2. Copy the video URL.
  3. Open KeepVid or one of the other free YouTube downloader websites listed below.
  4. In the case of KeepVid, paste the video URL in the box at the top of the webpage and click Download. The first time you use the website, you may need to download Java or allow the site to access your computer.
  5. Select the file size you want to download. KeepVid offers low- and medium-quality FLV downloads and high-quality MP4 files.

Warning: Downloading other people's videos could violate copyright law. YouTube doesn't allow direct downloads in order to protect copyrights.

Free YouTube Downloader Websites

In addition to KeepVid, other free YouTube-compatible downloader websites include:

Tips for Downloading Videos to Computers

  • If you download an FLV version of a YouTube video, you'll need to install a desktop FLV player to play it back on your computer.
  • The YouTube downloader websites work with sites other than YouTube. See each downloader webpage for a list of compatible websites.
  • You'll need high-speed internet to download the videos. 

Downloading YouTube Videos to Mobile Devices

If you want to download YouTube videos to an Android or iOS mobile device, you can do it with the YouTube Red service. The service is not free, though, and does not work with computers. A one-month free trial is available.

YouTube Red works through the YouTube or YouTube Music app. The pay service does much more than download videos. You can use it to watch original shows, watch videos without ads and stream Google Play music ad-free.