YouTube is the number one video platform globally, with about 500 hours of videos uploaded every minute; that’s a whole 720,000 hours of videos uploaded on YouTube daily.
With these monstrous numbers, it is almost impossible for anyone not to find visual content they’ll love to view over and over again.
Typically, YouTube videos are accessible only with an internet connection; this is sometimes uncomfortable, especially if you prefer to have these videos offline.
There are countless ways to download YouTube videos for offline viewing; many do this with specific software.
These types of software often have their downsides, which are displeasing to many of us. Some may contain malicious codes, bloatware, sap too much space, contain annoying ads, and so many other turn-offs.
So if you need a way to download YouTube videos without any software, this article is for you.
Ways to download YouTube videos without any software
In this article, I have broken down in bits easy ways to download YouTube videos without any software, there are as follows;
- With the SS shortcut
- With a computer browser extension
- With a download manager
- With a mobile app
- With an online tool
- Using the default YouTube option
1. With the SS shortcut using SaveForm.net
This tool is owned by a site called Savefrom.net. It has been one of many people’s #1 go-to sites to download YouTube videos to PC and mobile devices.
It is best accessed on a browser, be it your mobile or computer browser. All you have to do is add SS to your YouTube watch link by following the steps below.
Step 1: Open the YouTube video you have in mind on your browser. If you access YouTube from its mobile app, hit the share button, copy its link, and then paste and open it on your browser.
Step 2: When the video starts playing, tap on its URL (in the address bar), then add ss right after www. then hit Enter. There’s always an m in a video URL played on your mobile browser; replace the m. with SS, then hit Enter.
Step 3: You are then directed to the Savefrom.net download page.
Step 4: Select your preferred video quality and then click on Download.
Besides using SS, you can also use Kiss; follow the steps above but replace ss with a kiss. This will redirect you to a different page but still offers the same feature.
Alternatively, you can visit Savefrom.net directly; they also act as an online tool to save youtube videos to your computer.
2. With a browser extension
Most of our desktop browsers offer us many extensions and add-ons to customize our browsers or make things easier. Herein, we have extensions for the famous browsers that can help you download any YouTube video onto your computer.
i. YouTube ByClick (Chrome and others)
In 2014, Google Chrome disabled every add-on that enabled users to download YouTube videos directly from Chrome.
This was a shock or setback to many, but YouTube ByClick swung by to save the day.
It is somewhat software because you’ll need to download and install its setup file; however, it doesn’t function like one.
What this program does is, it sits down, so to speak, waiting for you to access any YouTube video; it then presents you with the download option automatically.
The download process is quite easy and straightforward; follow the laid down on-screen instructions.
Although this program is free, it has a $9.99 premium plan, making it accessible on three PCs. You get the option to download the video or download its Mp3 version.
You can also download a full playlist with YouTube ByClick. Finding and downloading videos from the program itself is a plus; you can save videos from Vimeo, Facebook, and other sites with this tool.
Technically it looks like software, but practically it functions as a browser extension.
ii. YouTube Downloader (Firefox)
One safe way to download YouTube videos on Firefox is with the YouTube Downloader extension.
On your Firefox browser, click on the Extension tab, then type YouTube Downloader in the search field. Install the extension, then open the YouTube Video.
While it plays, click on the extension icon at the top right corner of your screen and select the video quality from the drop-down list.
This extension then saves the video to your local storage. Another plus with this plugin is that you can download the video as an MP3 file.
iii. KeepVid (Chrome)
At the moment, Chrome has 67% of the desktop browser market worldwide; the next five don’t consume up to half of what Chrome consumes, they are Safari (9.86%), Edge (7.96%), Firefox (7.79%), Opera (2.65%), IE (1.68%).
So, we have another way to download YouTube videos on a PC using a Chrome extension.
KeepVid is one awesome tool to work with. It takes things higher from being more than just a YouTube downloader to being a sound converter, video compressor, audio converter, supervisor, and much more.
However, if you are asked to pay for the app after downloading a considerable amount of videos, get hold of TamperMonkey, a Chrome extension available on the Chrome store.
With TamperMonkey, you have the alternative to access KeepVid’s client content right from its website.
Update : Keepvid is no longer available to use. You can check out some Keepvid Alternatives to download youtube videos.
iv. YouTube and Audio Downloader (Opera)
Offering a one-click download feature, YouTube and Audio Downloader is our #1 go-to for downloading YouTube videos with ease on Opera. Visit the opera extensions store, search for this extension and have fun or click its link above.
v. One-Click Video Downloader (Chrome) (Obsolete)
Extensions that allow you to download videos from YouTube don’t do this officially, they either act like ByClick, or they scrap media files on the current tab(s) you activate them on. One-Click Video Downloader is one of such extensions.
It is free and has amassed quite a considerable amount of downloads (though its developer has recently stopped developing it and could be kicked out of Chrome any time soon) from the Chrome store.
Step 1: Visit this link to download the extension. Google Chrome automatically installs it and lists it as one of your extensions.
Step 2: Open your YouTube video on one of your tabs, then click its icon at the top right corner of your browser window.
Step 3: The extension pops up a window that contains a list of all open tabs, selects the tab with your YouTube video, and proceeds.
Note: This extension might not function as its developer has stopped maintaining it, it is still on Google’s store, and a few users still work with it.
3. Download Managers
Normally, download managers are developed to make downloading on mobile devices or computers easy; however, a few of these tools take things higher by offering awesome features like means to download YouTube videos.
i. Internet Download Manager
This is one awesome tool every computer user should have. IDM helps speed up download processes and resume downloads after they stop abruptly. To enable it to work with YouTube, visit its official site and down and install the tool.
Its interface is easy to navigate while offering features for different download purposes. After installing the tool, open YouTube and click on a video. At the top right corner of the video, playing is the download button.
ii. Eagleget Download Manager
Just like IDM, Eagleget is one powerful download manager with awesome features too. Visit its official download site and get the program. Launch your YouTube video, then click the download button at the top right corner of the video and select video quality.
It offers a vast amount of options, including 4K and 8K videos. It would work across multiple browsers, including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.
4. Using Mobile Apps
You can download YouTube videos without software by making use of your mobile device’s app.
Android apps like Snaptube, Tubemate, and Vidmate are renowned for downloading almost all types of YouTube videos.
Snaptube is a multi-site video downloader. It gives you a medium to download videos from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a host of other sites.
You can download videos from the basic 240P to the awesome 4K HD videos.
You can also convert your videos to Mp3 using this app. It is currently not available on the Google Play store, but this is expected as apps of this nature; I mean, video downloader apps aren’t often allowed on Google Play Store.
However, this app has been tested by prestigious security firms so it is a safe way to download youtube videos.
To install this app, you might need to grant permission to apps from unknown sources. This feature was put in place by Google to restrict users from getting Android apps from no other place than Google Play Store.
- Step 1: Open your Android phone’s Settings and select the Security option.
- Step 2: Find and toggle On the Allow apps from unknown sources switch. If prompted to confirm settings, click Ok.
- Step 3: Visit the official Snaptube site and download the app, then run the installation. If Android brings up a security warning, select Ok.
- Step 4: Launch your Snaptube app, then select the For You tab.
- Step 5: Pick the YouTube option; you can sign in to your account or play the video.
- Step 6: Locate a download button typically situated at the lower right corner of your screen, then pick any of the vast amounts of resolutions available there.
- Step 7: Click on Download and allow Snaptube to do its thing.
Also, from your YouTube app, you can click the Share button and pick Snaptube as one of the options there, then follow from Step 6 down.
Tubemate is another Android app to look to download any YouTube video. It is quite popular, amassing thousands of users. Its developers keep it updated and always release newer versions to fit their user’s needs.
Setting up this app is a tad similar to Snaptube. You’ll need to permit your mobile device to install apps from unknown sources.
Note, this feature is part of Android devices; it aims to constrict apps to be installed only from the Google Play store, a move that is both securities necessary and cynical on Google’s part.
After downloading and installing the app, launch Tubemate then search for the specific YouTube video and hit the download button.
Just like Snaptube, Tubemate offers you vast video qualities to choose from.
A list of mobile apps to download YouTube videos with is never complete unless Vidmate is mentioned.
VidMate has been consistently dishing out awesome features to make video downloading easy across multiple sites lime Vimeo, Dailymotion, YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud, and a host of others.
Like you probably guessed, Vidmate isn’t available on the Google Play store, but you can get it here. Vidmate is an all-in-one app; you can share memes, watch live TV and do a lot on this app.
To install it, you’ll have to allow your device to accept apps from other sources like the other two above. After installation, launch the app and search for a video using the search box at the top of its screen.
You can restrict the search to specific sites like YouTube. Tap on the video to start playing, then click the red download button at the lower right.
Pick any of the video qualities listed there, then proceed.
5. Online Tools
Like third-party extensions and programs, there are many third-party sites you can save YouTube videos to computer with.
This online tool is quite famous and has been around forever. It offers a whole 11 video formats to pick from. From which is often more than enough.
You can also use Y2Mate as a video-to-audio converter. This domain offers about nine audio formats. You can download videos from YouTube and Facebook, Vimeo, Youku, and a host of others.
- Step 1: Open your YouTube app or site, then copy the URL. You can either copy from the address bar or use the share option.
- Step 2: Go to the official Y2Mate site here on either your mobile or desktop device.
- Step 3: You should see a big, bold text box, paste your YouTube URL there, then click Start.
- Step 4: Y2Mate gives you the option to download the video or audio format.
In summary, there are so many other online tools to help you download YouTube videos without software.
Often, they follow the same steps as Y2Mate. Below are 5+ others you can check out if you don’t fancy Y2Mate
- Online converter (Comes with a Chrome extension)
- Clip converter.cc
6. YouTube offline download
This is a bit different from what you’ll expect. YouTube itself has a feature to download videos for offline viewing.
This feature isn’t available in every country and on every device. With this, every video you downloaded is stored on your local storage, but you can access it through YouTube only.
It is pretty limited as you can’t share videos here, edit, extract its mp3 version or carry out other editorial features on it. Also, not all YouTube videos allow you the offline download features; I noticed music videos didn’t offer this feature.
All you have to do is, play your YouTube video and locate a Download button, usually below the video screen (when not full-screen).
How to download 1080p YouTube videos without any software?
We all love enjoying our video content in its highest resolution. Even if we don’t go for the magnificent 8k or 4k, the 1080p resolution is always perfect; besides, most YouTube videos have 1080p resolution as their highest quality.
The majority of the apps, extensions, third-party online tools listed here allow you to download videos in 1080p format.
However, I’ll introduce 4K downloader, which is an overkill tool to download YouTube videos.
- Step 1: Visit the 4K official site and download the tool.
- Step 2: Open your YouTube video, then copy its URL from the address bar or with the Share feature.
- Step 3: Launch the 4k downloader tool and paste your URL.
- Step 4: Select 1080p. It is one of the vast amounts of resolutions available there.
This tool allows you to download videos while offline. You can also get a whole playlist to save you the stress of downloading videos one-by-one. It has a free and paid plan. Although its free plan is limited, it is still enough for someone who would moderately download YouTube videos.
Downloading YouTube videos for commercial use might be illegal in most jurisdictions; however, personal use might be allowed. Nevertheless, this article has given you over six ways to download YouTube videos without any software while offering detailed steps to go about this.
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