Everyone watches YouTube and most of us on a daily basis. Sometimes you find that epic video or amazing song that you really need to save or put in your phone. In order to download YouTube videos for free, you do need a separate tool to accomplish that. Thankfully, there are countless ways to accomplish that task and most of them completely free of charge.
One of the best things about YouTube is that it is a universal platform available on every device and platform. You can watch videos on your mobile devices, gaming console and even on your Smart TV. The only downside is, you need an active internet connection in order to stream the videos. Especially on mobile devices, this can become an issue when using a limited data plan. High quality videos can easily consume hundreds of megabytes of data in a few minutes and you will not even notice it.
YouTube has been very adamant on users not being able to download videos straight to their devices, as this will result in less ad revenue for them. You can’t even minimize the official YouTube app on your phone in order to listen to songs, as this would result in less ads being viewed and advertisers would not be happy. This is the main reason most people want to download videos and music for offline use in various different media players on their devices.
After Google acquired YouTube, their next step was to implement YouTube Premium, which allows you to pay a monthly premium in order to view videos while minimized. We happened to find a great app to do that with completely free. You can find our article about how to view YouTube videos minimized and without ads for free here. The only problem with that method is that you need to have an android device to be able to install the app.
The first thing a lot of people are often worried about when downloading videos from YouTube for free is whether it’s legal or not. There are a few aspects which should be considered, but we explained them all below.
It’s worth noting, we’re not affiliated with any of the apps or software listed in this guide. All suggestions are completely unbiased and they are the selections that we would definitely use ourselves!
Is it Legal to Download YouTube Videos?
The legality of downloading YouTube videos for offline viewing is a tricky issue. In most cases it’s completely fine as long as you don’t share them or claim them as your own. However in some cases the copyright holders reserve the rights to the content, making it a gray area to download and use the media without any sort of compensation to the artist or creator. This is usually done by showing ads to the viewers from which the proceedings are split between Google and the copyright holder.
It is against the YouTube Terms of Service
According to the official terms of service of YouTube, it is illegal to download or rip the contents of a video for personal use. However, this is more an issue for the people hosting and selling the actual tools to accomplish the conversion. A good example of this happened a few years ago.
YouTube sued the owners of a website called youtube-mp3.org which at the time was the largest stream-ripping platform on the internet. The website basically allowed users to convert any YouTube video into an mp3 audio file and download it within minutes. YouTube based their lawsuit on the fact that the platform directly violated the YouTube terms of service.
Long story short, the owners of the platform claimed they’re not responsible for the content being converted through their platform and the case ended up getting thrown out of court. To remedy the situation, Google allowed the platform to operate for a few more years with their own ads running the the website.
A while later the platform was directly sued for copyright and DMCA infringement by multiple large companies including Sony and Warner Brothers. After this battle, the platform had to shut down and seize all operations. The creator of the website was banned from making any similar platforms in the future.
We can concur that the activity of stream ripping is illegal and copyrights are taken more and more seriously as of late. However, the main responsibility lies with the creators of the tools we use, so there is nothing to worry about for the end users.
Anyone can Upload and Stream Copyrighted Music on YouTube
Everyone has always wondered why is it possible for random users to be able to upload copyrighted songs to YouTube. The simple answer is ad revenue. YouTube doesn’t take those songs or videos down if they only contain copyrighted audio, as they can play ads and give a portion of the revenue to the artist (and keep some for themselves obviously).
The same applies YouTube music streaming as well. You’ve undoubtedly seen many “24/7 Online Radio” streaming channels on YouTube by now. They operate by the same principle and require some sort of agreement with any possible copyright holders to play their audio.
Most creators are fine with this deal, so it has become a normal practice. This is not true for all videos however, as otherwise people could upload entire movies on YouTube. That would in turn go against tons of different copyright laws and simple ads wouldn’t cut it. The movie entertainment business is in a league of its own and can lead to serious legal trouble to any uploader as well as downloader.
What to Look For in a Free YouTube Video Downloader
When you’re deciding which free YouTube video downloader to start using, there are a few things you should take in to consideration. There are nearly unlimited options out there and tons of them are garbage cash-grabs. When you find your favorite platform, you will never have to look for another one again. Some of the important features you should be looking for are listed below.
- The platform should support all video qualities, from 1080p up to 8K quality. There is no reason to settle for less.
- Make sure they are compatible with all the websites you intend to use, including Facebook and SoundCloud.
- Ability to download in batches, so you can download entire playlists and multiple videos at once.
- Convert to all major file formats, including the most crucial .mp3 and .mp4 formats.
- Clean and clear user interface as well as up-to-date navigation within the software.
- Don’t give out your personal information, in case any laws end up becoming troublesome now or in the future.
- Make sure it’s from a trusted source to avoid any viruses or malware. Google for some more reviews first.
The need for many of these features greatly depend on what you intend to use the software for. If you only want to download a few songs every once in a while, you can settle for a lot less and have tons of great option. If however you wish to download multiple videos in good quality fairly often, you need to vet your intended software with care.
Desktop Software vs Online Converters
The first fork in the road is deciding whether to go for a standalone desktop app or a separate web service. Apps running on a web server are often more limited in their options, as all the conversions and processing are done online on the respective company’s servers. This makes it costly to run multiple simultaneous conversions, especially for high quality videos.
Web-based Online Converters
When it comes to web-based applications, the best part is you don’t need to download and install any separate software. Online converters allow for fast downloading of YouTube videos completely free with only a simple paste of a URL.
When it comes to downloading simple songs and MP3 versions of videos, online YouTube video converters are a lot more popular in comparison to standalone software. They are also a lot easier to try out as they require no effort to give them a whirl.
Pricing wise, online converters are often the cheaper alternative, as they usually contain ads that pay for the operation.
Downloadable Desktop Software
When it comes to desktop software, they tend to provide a lot more variety. A lot of YouTube video converters are only provided in a downloadable desktop version. They reason for this is the fact that no separate rendering server is required as all the heavy lifting is done with your PC’s own processor which is always a lot more powerful than anything running on a web server.
A desktop YouTube video converter often allows for a lot more variety in conversion options. Due to being able to use your own processing power, you can convert videos to 4K and even 8K resolutions as long as the source provides it. A desktop app is also more likely to provide fast and effective bulk processing in order to convert a full playlist with a single address.
Depending on your needs, either of these options can work for you. Downloadable software often contain restricted address to premium features in order to pay for the development and updates.
Top 5 Desktop Software to Download YouTube Videos for Free
There are tons of options when it comes to free YouTube video conversions using desktop software. We listed the absolute best options for this year down below. A lot of them, if not all of them, have paid versions as well but for basic usage, you can use them without any extra costs.
4K Video Downloader
The 4K Video Downloader is probably the most well known software for downloading YouTube videos. Although the app comes with a Free and a Premium version, you can access all of the basic most important features without paying a dime.
This software checks pretty much every point we mentioned in the features to look for list above. You can download videos in every resolution, all the way up to 8K Ultra High Definition. Alongside high definition MKV video formats, you can also convert the videos to MP3 files if you’re just looking to make a music library.
You can also download entire playlists at once with 4K Video Downloader. This makes the workflow a lot more efficient. Alongside the videos, you can even download subtitles, if the uploader has made them available.
Another unique feature is the ability to use proxies. This allows you to download videos even if they’re blocked within your country or region. This feature is not available in most other converters. Another unique feature is the possibility to download videos in 3D and 360° formats which are definitely not available from other developers.
Alongisde YouTube, you can also download videos from all the other top media sharing sites. These sites include Vimeo, SoundCloud, Facebook, DailyMotion and YouTube Gaming.
Although you can use all these core features to download YouTube videos for free using the 4K Video Downloader, there are some limits. The free version contains some non-intrusive ads as well as certain download limits.
The Premium version costs around $15 for a lifetime license for 3 machines. It allows for unlimited playlist, channel, and subtitle downloads. It also comes with a channel subscription feature which allows you to automatically download new videos from any channel of your choosing. Alongside that, all future updates come free of charge.
If you are looking to use these features often and for a long time, we highly recommend pitching in this small price. It will help the developers keep the high quality software up and running as well as add more features. The free version is usually more than enough for most users as well.
WinX YouTube Downloader
The WinX YouTube Downloader is one of the best options to download YouTube videos for free. The software is published by a company called DigiArty, who also provide the same software as a separate product for MacOS, called MacX YouTube Downloader.
This YouTube video downloader provides many of the same features as the other products listed here. One of the best features of the WinX YouTube downloader is the ability to batch download up to 300 videos simultaneously. Most other apps would require you to purchase a premium version for this ability.
The app also supports the download of playlist and channels through a single link. This alongside the ability to record live streams, makes this video downloader jump up to a league of its own. The WinX app allows you to download videos from over 300 different sites including TikTok and Facebook.
The software also allows you to download 4K and 8K quality videos as well as conversions to plain MP3 audio files. In fact, you can choose a custom resolution to convert the videos in, so you can play them on any native screen size of your choosing.
The app even has the ability to take snapshots of videos with a single click, to save some funny moments and memes to share online.
This app doesn’t even have a paid version, but the developer sells a separate software for around 30 dollars which has the same features as this one. The reason it is marketed separately, is because it has a built-in video editor. Most people looking to download YouTube videos or music won’t need it, so it’s nice to see they have separated that completely.
The official website for WinXDVD looks a little bit low budget and shady, but it doesn’t take anything away from the quality of this top notch free YouTube video downloader.
Gihosofts video downloader called TubeGet is another very high quality alternative to download your videos with. The software is very clean and sleek, but has a lot more limitations between the free and paid versions of the app in comparison to the others.
The free version of Gihosoft TubeGet allows you to download YouTube videos in any quality all the way up to 8K resolution. You can also download videos from any media sharing websites like Twitter or Vimeo and the list exceeds over 1,000+ websites.
You can also download playlists and full channels using TubeGet. But here come the limitations that you can only bypass by paying $29.99 for the personal edition lifetime license.
The free version of TubeGet limits you to only 5 downloads per day as well as limited playlist downloads. Alongside the very limited download quantities, the free version also limits your maximum download speed to only 1 Mbps which is fairly slow.
Another pro-only feature that might be a deal-breaker for many, is that you can’t convert videos to MP3 or M4A audio files with the free edition. Alongside that con, you can only download and add subtitles with the pro version.
If you are looking for a free YouTube video downloader, this is a great alternative, but you might want to look at the other alternatives seriously as they don’t have so many limitations. This one can win you over with its simplicity and modern user interface.
We highly urge you to try the Gihosoft TubeGet free version at least once, as if you fall in love with it, 30 bucks for a lifetime license is a very small price to pay for all the premium features. The app is also available on Windows and Mac so there’s no reason to not give it a chance.
The 5KPlayer is a unique alternative to download YouTube videos for free. Not only does it allow you to download any videos from multiple sites, it also acts as a full media player and library. If you’re looking for an all-in-one media library solution, you might want to give this one a shot.
The 5KPlayer is developed by the same company who made the WinX YouTube Downloader. The player comes with built-in AirPlay and screen mirroring technology alongside DLNA so you can play your downloaded videos on your TV with ease.
The 5KPlayer allows you to download up to 4K videos from YouTube, but playing them on their own player requires some form of paid audio or video codecs. This is why it might not be the optimal solution to actually play your videos. When it comes to music, it is a much more convenient solution.
You can download YouTube videos for free in any audio formats including MP3 and FLAC for high quality audio. The player even has built-in online radio if you want to hear some curated playlists instead.
The best part about the 5KPlayer is that it’s completely free and provides no paid premium version. They way they look to get paid is to ask for payment for video codecs if you wish to playback higher quality videos using their app. This, however, is not necessary as you can download plenty of great media players that can do that for free.
You should definitely give the 5KPlayer a whirl before deciding which free YouTube downloader to make your primary option. There’s really nothing to lose and it has tons of happy users.
YouTube Downloader (formerly known as Free YouTube Downloader) is the most light-weight and fast desktop solution for downloading YouTube videos for free. If you’re looking for a solution to quickly download an MP3 or an HD video, with no additional bells and whistles, this one is definitely for you.
The free version of this app gives fast and easy access to the most important features you will need. You can download as many videos as you wish with up to 1080p 60FPS quality. This is as high as most people every need to go anyway.
You can also download and convert unlimited videos into MP3 format at 128 Kbps bitrate. This is more than enough for most users as well. This accompanied with a built-in video search functionality makes the YouTube Downloader one of the best free alternatives as your primary downloading software.
The premium version of this app costs around 15 dollars a year and adds a few crucial features to make your life easier. These include downloading 4K and 8K resolutions as well as up to 192 Kbps bitrate audio files.
Another key feature of the premium version is the ability to download playlists and channels without any limits. You can even download live streams directly through YouTube.
In comparison to some of the other alternatives, this app is very lightweight and fast, as well as cheaper than many of the others. The YouTube Downloader is our personal favorite due to its simplicity and ease of use, so we highly recommend you try it out and see how it fairs against the bigger players.
Top 5 Online Converters to Download YouTube Videos for Free
The other end of the spectrum from using downloadable desktop software are the various online converters. They don’t require you to download any separate applications in order to download YouTube videos free of charge.
They’re preferred by many, but leave you at the mercy of your web browser and processing power of a server. They can often be slower than desktop alternatives that harness the processing power of your personal computer. Online video downloader services often utilize more ads as well, since they’re easier to implement in a web browser.
We listed our five favorite free YouTube downloaders below. These services can change at any time, so take them with a grain of salt when trying out.
TubeNinja is definitely one of our favorite online platforms to download YouTube videos for free. It’s completely free and fast. You can download any YouTube video quickly in MP4 video format as well as MP3 audio format.
The best part about this site is a so-called quick URL downloading trick. It works by adding “dl” in front of a URL, which in turn starts to instantly convert the video into a downloadable format. This trick works for tons of different sites, not only YouTube. This includes sites like SoundCloud and Vimeo as well as tons of adult websites. (Adult websites are a big reason why this tool has reached such huge popularity.)
Obviously the site also supports simply pasting the URL on to their homepage, which works just the same. The only downside of TubeNinja is that it doesn’t support high quality video conversions. This means if you’re looking to download Full HD or Ultra High Definition videos, you need to opt for the other alternatives.
YouTubeMonkey is a very lightweight and simple free YouTube video downloader platform. All you need to do is paste a link and start the download.
The best part about YouTubeMonkey is that it supports all qualities, even 8K Ultra High Definition videos. Once the videos has been converted, you get a long list of all possible formats and sizes. Weirdly enough the audio file formats are limited to MP4 and WebM formats. There is no MP3 available.
The app is completely free, supported only by a few ads on the main page, which is completely reasonable for such a quality tool. YouTubeMonkey also has a similar URL trick to TubeNinja. All you need to download any video instantly from YouTube is add the word “monkey” after “youtube” in the URL. The address should look like the following youtubemonkey.com/watch?v=zJ0hC0QoCxc.
The only thing you should note is that the site has no visible loading bar when converting videos. This means the website might seem like it’s stuck, but in fact it’s processing the video in the background. You will be redirected to the download page once the processing has completed.
As a side note, the site only supports YouTube videos, so if you’re looking to download videos from other sites as well, you should opt for a different platform.
Y2mate is one of the most versatile online converters out there. Similarly to the previous options, it also supports fast downloads by simply pasting a URL into the search box.
The app allows you to download videos in 1080p HD quality but there is no support for 4K or 8K formats. Unlike YouTubeMonkey, this platforms has tons of options for audio formats as well. This ranges from MP3’s to WebM formats and bit rates varying from 64 kbps all the way up to 160 kbps.
This platform is also completely free with no pushing of premium versions or paywalls. Another great thing is that the conversion only happens once you choose the format to download, so you don’t need to wait around beforehand.
Similarly to the previous platforms, Y2mate also provides a possibility for URL based quick-downloads. All you need to do is add “pp” after “youtube” in the video URL, very similar to the YouTubeMonkey method.
Y2Mate is one of the better options out there and you should definitely try it out for yourself. For the unbeatable price of zero, there’s literally nothing to lose.
SaveFrom.net is another great free YouTube video downloader. It allows fast downloading through the pasting of a single link as well as the URL methods mentioned above. In this case, you need to add “ss” in front of the YouTube URL.
The biggest downside of SaveFrom.net is the fact that it only allows normal downloads of 720p quality and below. If you wish to download higher quality formats, they are only available without sound. There is also no possibility to download MP3 formats through this app, which is a shame.
This service also allows downloading from services like TikTok and Facebook, so it is a viable solution for many users.
The main benefit of SaveFrom.net which makes it stand out from the rest is the browser extension. It allows for 1-click downloads right from the video pages. This makes it extremely convenient without the need to paste any links or remember URL shortcuts.
We will cover more awesome browser extensions in more detail below.
This website is only used for converting YouTube videos and playlists into MP3 files for free. The reason we decided to add YTB MP3 to the list, is because it’s very simple to use and has great support for downloading full playlists from YouTube.
The website itself is a little rough around the edges, but does its job fast and efficiently. When you enter in a YouTube playlist URL, you get a full list of download links for all the songs in the list. They do have a browser extension as well, but we haven’t had time to test it out, so use it at your own risk.
There is not much else to say about this site. It’s free and fast, a perfect tool for filling up your music library. As stated before, it doesn’t allow conversions to video formats, so it’s purely for audio purposes.
We recommend giving YTB MP3 a shot, it might just be a positive surprise.
Best Browser Extensions to Download YouTube Videos for Free
Browser extensions are becoming the new norm when it comes to downloading YouTube videos. Surprisingly many people are not taking advantage of them, as they can seem a bit daunting at first.
By using an extension, you no longer need to paste any video URLs or look for a website to download from. All you need to do is click a button and you’re done.
The problem with extensions is the new YouTube update that arrived in early 2020. Nowadays YouTube streams audio and video separately on different tracks for high quality videos, so it’s not as simple as it used to be. This is why a lot of tools and extensions no longer work properly.
You can’t download YouTube videos with Extensions on Chrome Browser!
Sadly, it is no longer possible to download YouTube videos using native Chrome Extensions. This is due to Google owning both Chrome and YouTube. They don’t want users to download videos without ads, so they now remove any plugin and extension from their store with this functionality.
This limitation applies to all other Chromium based browsers that use the Chrome Web Store. The up and coming very popular Brave browser is one of these limited Chromium based browsers.
The only way to get around this and take advantage of downloading YouTube videos for free using extensions, is by installing a different browser. These include popular web browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and many more.
Firefox is the most popular web browser aside from Google Chrome and it has tons of extensions not limited by the Chrome Web Store terms of service. You can always use 2 separate browsers and just switch over to Firefox every time you feel like downloading videos from YouTube.
Easy Youtube Video Downloader Express
This is one of our favorite free YouTube video downloader extensions. This extension is one of the most popular ones available in the Firefox addon library.
This extension adds a small green button next to the Subscribe button on every video allowing for fast downloads. Once clicked, the button opens up a menu with the various possible file formats.
Once you’ve chosen a file format to download, the download dialogue should start almost instantly. When it comes to free YouTube video downloader extensions, this is probably the only one that doesn’t require any sort of additional app to be installed on your PC.
The downside of the Easy YouTube Video Downloader Express (aside from the long name) is that you can only download Full HD 1080p videos and MP3 audio files if you purchase the premium version.
Although, the tool has a neat free little feature, that if a premium user has downloaded the video you are watching within the last 24 hours, you can download it in full quality for free. This is due to the fact that the converted file can still be found from their web server cache.
Considering a permanent pro upgrade only costs 10 dollars, we think it’s worth the investment to support the development of this great plugin. Obviously you can give the free version a shot first to see if you like it.
Video DownloadHelper is an amazing yet simple extension. You can use it to download any embedded videos from any website for free, including YouTube.
The extension adds a little button at the top right of your browser and when you click it, you see a full list of all downloadable media on the current page. You can even use a shortcut by right-clicking anywhere on the page and selecting the VDH menu from the list.
The extension can not only download videos but it can also convert them into any format of your choosing. There is a variety of other options to modify as well.
The main downside of this extension is that it requires a separate “companion app”, as they call it, to be installed on your PC. Although this companion app is lightweight and allows for the conversions to be done using your machines processing power, it is not very convenient to get started.
This drawback might be a deal-breaker for some users, but once set-up, it is very convenient and easy to use. We recommend you give it a shot nonetheless.
This extension can be found from the Chrome Web Store as well, but for the reasons stated above, it can’t be used to download YouTube videos on Chrome.
Free YouTube Video Download
This is also a very clean looking free extension to download YouTube videos with. As with almost all extensions, this one also requires a separate light-weight desktop installation to handle the processing.
The Free YouTube Video Download extension also adds a small button next to the Subscribe button. From there, a menu with file format options pops up.
Once you install the add-on software, you can download any quality formats you wish. The way the tool works is by downloading the video and audio separately. Most modern media players and devices are able to play these files in unison.
Although not the cleanest way to accomplish this, it works flawlessly. Considering this tool is free, there’s no reason not to try it out.
How to Download YouTube Videos Free on Android
More than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. This includes video views on sites like YouTube. It used to be very easy to download those videos using various apps from the PlayStore. Now due to Google basically owning Android and YouTube, times have changed for the worse.
You Can NOT Download YouTube Videos with PlayStore Apps
It is no longer possible to download YouTube videos with any apps from the PlayStore. This is due to updated YouTube and Google Play Store terms of service. Google now bans any app from their store if it has the ability to download YouTube videos. This is the same reason why downloading YouTube videos for free using browser extensions is so complicated now.
Thankfully, all hope is not lost. The easiest way to download YouTube videos on android devices is by purchasing YouTube Premium. Once activated, you get a download button next to every video, allowing you to instantly download any video.
Obviously, YouTube Premium costs a monthly fee, so it is not an optimal solution. However, there is another way to download YouTube videos for free on android devices.
What you need to do, is download apps that are not available in the official Play Store. These come in the form of .APK files and are usually available to download for free from the internet. We will provide our favorite unofficial apps and give instructions on how to install them.
Best Free Unofficial Android Apps to Download YouTube Videos
All of the apps listed here are not officially supported by Google, so you must exercise caution when downloading and installing them. These apps provide all kinds of cool features that you can’t find on official apps. You can find a list of our favorites below.
The main reason we listed YMusic first on the list, is because we have the most experience with it and have been using it for years. We even made an in-depth guide on it’s features and a tutorial on how to install YMusic on Android.
What makes YMusic unique, is how it’s designed around listening to music. As you might infer from the name, it’s main function is to listen to YouTube videos and playlists. This app completely skips the official YouTube app and has all the features like searching built-in.
YMusic allows you to listen to any videos without any ads and you can keep the app minimized while listening. Playlists and libraries work perfectly, as they would in the normal YouTube app. This app is especially awesome for people who have a limited data plan, as you won’t need to stream video to hear songs. This can obviously be considered a downside as well, since you can’t stream the videos even if you wanted to.
You can also download any videos in tons of different audio formats including MP3 with a simple tap. Similarly, you can download any videos in all video formats as well, which is the only way to actually see the visuals of the videos.
If you want to take advantage of all the features, you need to log-in with your YouTube account. It’s mainly to get access to your playlists and favorites. You can’t actually leave comments or rate videos with the app.
Considering all these features, this is one of the best free options out there for downloading YouTube videos for free on Android. You definitely can’t go wrong with YMusic as we’ve tested it extensively and been using it for a long time.
Videoder is one of the most popular free android apps to download YouTube videos for free. The app is very simple to download and install while giving you tons of cool features.
Videoder is basically a standalone YouTube app allowing you to browse, watch and comment on videos like you normally would. Unlike YMusic, you can watch videos of any quality, as well as download them in a single tap of a button.
The best part of this app is the amount of download options you get for a video. You can download anything in Full HD quality with no issues and fast download speeds. You also get tons of options to convert videos into any audio format of your choosing.
Another great feature of Videoder is that it is not only limited to YouTube. You can also use it to download videos from TikTok and sites like Facebook and SoundCloud. It’s rare to find an app that works this well for free on so many websites.
Really the only downside of Videoder is that they show ads on the app itself. They’re not intrusive and not shown on the actual videos. You can choose to pay around 2 dollars to remove all ads, which is a lot cheaper than most free apps of this nature.
There’s really no other downsides with this app and we fully recommend you to give it a shot. You can even download the app for PC, but we haven’t tried how well it works. We can guarantee the android version works perfectly, even after the 2020 YouTube and Play Store limitations.
TubeMate is probably the most well known app of the bunch. It has been around for a long time and trusted by many. The app utilizes the web version of the YouTube site while overlaying it’s own options on top of it.
Similar to Videoder, TubeMate also allows you to download any videos in any quality as well as download audio versions of your choosing. The app is quick to install and works even without logging into your YouTube account.
The main issue with TubeMate is that it requires you to grant a lot of permissions for all the features to work properly. This includes ability to make phone calls, in order to pause the music if you’re getting a call. The app also needs location data for regional videos as well as file management permissions to save the videos on your device.
These excessive permission requirements might be a deal breaker for some users, but the features they grant are worth the trouble. The user-interface is the closest you’re going to get to the normal YouTube app, which is the main reason why this app is so popular.
You can use YouTube as you normally would, but a small download button is added towards the bottom of your screen to download a video. By tapping it, you get a popup window with all the conversion options.
If you’re looking for a clean, normal YouTube-like app, TubeMate is the best option for you. Give it a shot and decide which of these 3 listed apps is your favorite.
How to Install Free YouTube Downloader APK Files on Android
If you decided to go with one of the free unofficial android apps to download YouTube videos for free, you need to know how to install them. Thankfully, new versions of the android operating system have made the process ridiculously simple.
In order to install an app from an APK file on your android device, you need to allow the installation of unknown apps. This setting can always be found from your phones Settings but the location varies between devices and android OS versions.
Allowing Installation from Unknown Sources on Android Version 10
At the time of writing this guide, the newest version of android is OxygenOS Version 10.3.1.
In order to allow the installation of unofficial apps, first navigate to your Settings. Once you get there, look for the Apps & Notifications menu and open it up. You should now see a bunch of data about your apps and their permissions. Tap on the Special App Access option at the very bottom.
Next up, you should see a long list of different types of permissions. These permissions are all the kinds of actions any app can perform on your device. Due to the new android operating system, you need to separately allow every app to be allowed to install APK files.
It used to be possible to just generally allow installations from unknown sources, but this new way is definitely more secure. In the permission list, look for the one labelled Install unkown apps and select it.
You should now see a list of all of your apps that have the ability to install custom APK files on your devices. All the selections for you will probably be set to Not Allowed. Look for your web browser, for example Chrome, and select it. Now all you need to do is toggle the switch labelled Allow from this source. You should now be able to download APK files with that browser and install them directly from it by tapping on your downloaded file.
Allowing Installation from Unknown Sources on Other Android Versions
The goal should be the same, but the location within your Settings menu will differ between operating system versions. The path to allowing the installations should also start by going to Settings. Then look for the Security tab and open it up. Then just look for Device Administration and toggle Unkown Sources from off to ON.
If you can not find the way to enable the installations for your android version, check out this great post by NordVPN. If that does not work for you either, your best bet is to Google it. Just look for “How to install APK files on Android” and insert your OS version at the end.
Install the APK File and Launch the App
Now you should be ready to download your app APK and install it. First open up the web browser on which you enabled the Unknown Source installations. Next, open up the download page to any of the unofficial free YouTube video downloader apps from this guide or Google for another one.
Once you find the download link you’re looking for, go ahead and download the file. Once the download is finished, all you need to do is tap on the finished file to start the installation process.
If you can’t find the file, open up your App Drawer by swiping up from the bottom of your screen and look for the File Manager app. You should be able to find and install your downloaded APK file from there.
If everything went according to plan, you should now find your fresh app in your app drawer. Remember, always double check the source you download APK files from, as there are tons of malicious installations out there. If the website looks suspicious or shady, avoid them at all costs. Common sense will go a long way when installing unofficial android apps on your device.
Which Free YouTube Video Downloader Should You Use?
As you may have noticed, even after the latest 2020 updates to YouTube and the Terms of Service, there are tons of options. It is not as easy as it used to be, but don’t let that deter you.
We covered our favorite options to download YouTube videos via desktop software, online web-apps as well as android apps. We recommend you give each one of them a shot in order to find your favorite one.
In conclusion, we still think the desktop based apps work the best by far. You get way more options formatting wise as well as much greater speeds. The low prices for the super cool premium features are definitely worth it for most if not all of the listed apps.
If you have other great options or have any issues with the apps we listed, let us know through our About Us page in the footer. Happy YouTubing!