How do I download or save a YouTube video to my computer?

YouTubeYouTube has been designed to only allow users to watch and view videos on their website. Many users want to save their favorite videos to their computer so they can watch them without being connected to the Internet or so they can watch them on other devices. Below are the steps required for downloading and watching YouTube videos on your computer for free.

Note: these steps are for saving a YouTube video and not saving only the audio of a YouTube video to an MP3 file.

Saving YouTube video as a video file on your computer

Today, there are many online websites that allow you to enter the URL of the video you want to save to your computer, and get a link to download the file. Below is a simple three step process that to download any YouTube video.

1. Go to any YouTube video page and copy the URL of the video you want to save. For example, the address below is the URL of a video on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3ymHMgFAps

2. Once this address has been copied, paste that URL into the below URL text field and click the Download Video button.

3. If done properly, a new window will be shown with available video formats that can be saved. For most users we suggest the MP4 format, other formats may include FLV, 3GP, and WebM.

YouTube bookmarklet

If you plan on downloading several videos, use the Computer Hope YouTube bookmarklet. See our bookmarklet page for more information about bookmarklets.

Other YouTube download sites

In addition to using the above box to convert your videos, there are also other websites and services that allow you to download YouTube videos. Below are just a few of our favorites.

Caution: These services can be used to save any flash videos online and can be used to save adult related videos, which means when viewing these pages you may be subjected to adult related content.

http://www.savefrom.net/
http://www.savevid.com/
http://keepvid.com/

Watching a FLV video on your computer

If you've saved the file as a .flv file, you'll need a player that supports .flv files. Below are a few suggestions.

VLC media player
http://www.videolan.org/

Windows Media Player
Microsoft Windows users also have the ability of playing FLV files in Windows Media player with the right codec. Downloading and installing the CCCP codec installs this codec, as well as other codecs you'll likely need in the future.

Additional information