YouTube is a great video-sharing platform on which people can upload as well as watch videos on all concern of topics. Here you can find videos of tutorials, reviews, entertainment, advertisements, or any other purpose. However using YouTube requires that you are online– YouTube doesn’t offer a direct download alternative for video enthusiasts. Fortunately, people out there can use video downloader tools to save their favorite YouTube videos onto their computer to watch later on.
Among the most annoying things about YouTube is that downloading videos to one’s local computer or gadget is not natively supported on the website’s free version. All that content, and you can’t grab a local copy to view offline! Users desire this feature for many reasons. Some people like to take their videos on the go, for when they’re out of variety of cellular connections or WiFi hotspots.
Other people like to use content from other videos to make remixes, reviews, and other new content of their own. Sadly, YouTube and its operator Google do not show up to care for the idea of people taking content offline. It is possible to sign up for YouTube Premium, which for $11.99 a month will allow you to download content, but a YouTube Premium account doesn’t allow you to make use of those videos in any kind of creative way outside your own mobile device. Allegedly, 1.5 million people subscribe to the Premium service … but I’ve never met one.
Well, of course there are. There are Chrome web browser extensions for everything, and downloading YouTube videos is no exemption. In this article, we’ll present numerous of the best extensions that we’ve researched. We’ve found these extensions are to function well, and we’ll make sure to maintain our eye on this list every few month to make sure all of them are still reliable. (If one of our recommendations isn’t working, let us know in the comments below. YouTube and Google are regularly working to block extensions like this from operating, so don’t be surprised if one fails to function unexpectedly following a major YouTube upgrade.) Airy in browser mode as a Chrome extension to download YouTube videos.
1. Video Downloader Professional
Want to download videos that is available on the page? You can try Video Downloader Professional. It is one of the most popular YouTube video downloader Chrome extensions. Once you’ve install the plugin, it will add an icon in the toolbar next to the address bar. And the icon will turn green if it finds a downloadable video on the active page. If you want to save the video, just click on the extension icon and you will get the complete list of all the videos that can be downloaded from that page. Also, it shows the video format, file name and video size to be downloaded.
VideoDuke is one of the best video downloaders for Mac that has the ability to integrate with the browser, including Chrome. It can download videos from various online websites including YouTube, Dailymotion and Vimeo. Other than its basic function it can do a lot of other stuff as well. For example, you can use VideoDuke to download YouTube playlists or channels, save videos with subtitles, download 4K-8K videos.
FastestTube is a program that is compatible with Chrome as well as with Chromium-based browsers like Chromium and Torch, and also works on Linux and macOS. It’s an easy program to download and install. Start by downloading the compressed .zip file from FastestTube’s website. You can do this by hitting the Chrome icon on their website. Extract the compressed Zip in File Explorer. Open the extension’s extracted folder, and then double-click on the Install.bat file. Next, open the Extensions page in Chrome; and drag the fastesttube_22.214.171.124 file in the extracted folder onto the Extensions page. Click the Add button to add FastestTube to the browser. Finally, click FastestTube’s Enabled check box.
When you open a new YouTube video, you’ll notice a Download button has been added to the video, which you can click to open a menu that allows you to download videos in both audio and video formats. If you’re looking to save the entire video with both audio and video, you can save the video in either 360p or 720p in MP4 format. If you’re looking to save the video in a higher quality you’ll want to download a 1080p video only copy along with a higher quality M4A audio stream before syncing the two pieces back together in the editing software of your choice.
In terms of features, FastestTube doesn’t have a lot to note. You can disable autoplay, annotations, and ads from right within the plugin itself, though we found the ad blocker to be spotty at best, and outright non-functioning at worst. The installation process is also a little shady, which might turn off some users from using the program, and without some amount of backtracking or terms of service for the app, it’s hard to know where the app is coming from and who can access its data. We also haven’t seen many updates for the app since 2016, putting the future of the app—and any upcoming features or security updates—into question. That said, it’s still a usable app, it works fast, and it’s free. Definitely check this one out.
4. YouTube Video Downloader
Same as the above-mentioned FastestTube, YouTube Video Downloader is an extension compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Opera and many other browsers. And it is not available on Chrome web store, too. You should head to the extension’s website to download it. After you’ve added this extension to Chrome, you will see a green download button next to the subscribe button on YouTube’s interface when you open a YouTube video. In a word, YouTube Video Downloader extension makes it really easy to save videos from YouTube for you own use.
5. Flash Video Downloader
Last but not the least, Flash Video Downloader is another helpful Chrome extension to download videos from YouTube. The extension adds its icon to Chrome’s toolbar when you install it. The icon in the Chrome toolbar remains gray by default. It will automatically turn blue when it detects a downloadable video in the active page. Just like other extensions mentioned in this list, to download the video, you can simply click on the blue extension icon and it will bring a drop-down window which shows the found media files and their quality. This YouTube video downloader extension is able to download 4K videos from YouTube, as well as Full HD, MP3 etc.
How to Download YouTube Videos in Chrome
Now we’ve covered the 4 best Chrome extensions for downloading and saving YouTube videos without having to install anything on your computer. All these extensions are guaranteed to work well. Here we will take Flash Video Downloader extension as example to show you how to download YouTube videos in Chrome step-by-step.
- Go to Google Chrome web store and search for “Flash Video Downloader” extension.
- Click “Add to Chrome” then choose “Add extension” from the pop-up to add Flash Video Downloader extension to your Chrome.
- Whenever you see a video on YouTube or other websites, just click the extension and choose the video quality, then click “Download”,
6. YouTube DL
YouTube DL is the most difficult program to use on this list. If you’re looking for simplicity, you aren’t going to find it here. YouTube DL doesn’t even have it’s own graphical user interface—to gain that, we’re going to have to install a separate program that will allow it to have that interface for easier downloads. At the same time, however, YouTube-DL is under active development and is regularly updated, so it is much less likely to fall prey to YouTube blocking its technology than some other downloaders. On its own, YouTube DL uses a command line interface. If you’re at all familiar with using these types of programs, YouTube DL will be a cinch to set up, especially on Windows, where you won’t have to use any sort of command line or code and instead have the option of using an executable file. For MacOS users, you’ll have to be comfortable using Terminal to install this one.
Once you’ve installed the file as detailed on the installation page, you can either run the program through a command line by using the executable file or by using command line interfaces on MacOS, or you can use the optional YouTube DL GUI interface that is available for download here. While not technically a browser extension, what makes YouTube DL so great is the ability to work outside of YouTube exclusively. This means changes to the YouTube platform UI shouldn’t stop you from downloading videos. Side-stepping these issues of support with future updates to the YouTube platform is one of the best things about YouTube DL.
Even with the GUI installed for YouTube DL, things are pretty standard and simple. You can add URLs to your download list, view downloads, and that’s about it. Downloads, when completed, will be added to your personal hard drive, where you can view your completed content. GitHub has a full list of keywords and terminal instructions on how you can use commands to change the appearance and content of your download, but overall, things are pretty standard within YouTube DL. If you’re comfortable with command lines and terminal interfaces, as well as adding programs to your user PATH on Windows, this is definitely the best option.
Alas, as of February 2019, KeepVid has been forced to shut down after complaints from Google and YouTube. For now, we will leave this section archived, in case the site is able to return to service, but this option is no longer workable at the present time.
KeepVid is our favorite website to download audio, video, or both from a YouTube video quickly and easily, so it’s no surprise that their Chrome extension is our favorite of the bunch. Though not perfect by any means, KeepVid’s own extension seems to work better than any of the others we’ve tested, with more stability, more reliability, and a better instruction guide than any other extension out there for downloading videos. The steps are simple: install TamperMonkey, an extension available right inside the Chrome store that allows for special userscripts. Once TamperMonkey’s been installed into Chrome, you have the option to add KeepVid’s own userscript from their website. Unlike script and command lines like YouTube DL above, downloading a userscript from TamperMonkey and putting it into effect is as easy as a few clicks—you won’t have to do anything else.
Once the app is installed, we still ran into a few problems. First, the extension seems to have difficulty on newer versions of YouTube, specifically the June 2017 update with the newer version of the YouTube subscription button. Sometimes the button would appear, sometimes it wouldn’t. In older versions of YouTube unaffected by the recent change, the button appears as it did in KeepVid’s own screenshots. The other major problem with KeepVid is recent: as the company continues to push their into premium and Pro versions of their software, 1080p downloads have been hidden behind a paywall implemented by KeepVid to earn more cash from their downloading business than ads can. You may only get a few free downloads through YouTube before you’re forced to pay for the application.
Problems aside, it’s still the easiest way to download videos through KeepVid; rather than using their own website, using their TamperMonkey script makes it really easy to just download with a couple clicks. While we wait for KeepVid to update their script for newer versions of YouTube, they also have their website as a permanent backup, along with mobile apps for Android that make downloading on the go really easy. None of these are perfect choices, but KeepVid is the easiest to install, safest to use, and our favorite of the bunch.
8. YouTube ByClick
YouTube ByClick is actually an add-on program that runs on any browser, including Chrome. After installing the program, you simply leave it running. Then navigate to the video you want to download on YouTube (or many other video sites) and the program will automatically pop a window asking you if you want to download. It’s very simple and very quick.
YouTube ByClick comes in a free version and a premium version (which costs $9.99 for installation on up to three PCs). The main difference between the versions is that the paid software will allow you to download video in HD, as well as convert to AVI and WMV formats. The base version allows you to download either just the sound file or the entire video clip, to choose between MP3 and MP4 formats, and to specify a destination directory. The interface is clear and easy to use, and although the feature set is limited, it does work and it works on multiple video sites so you don’t have to keep jumping around between programs.