Productivity Hacks

How to Download YouTube Videos: A Step-by-Step Guide

YouTube is home to millions of videos covering every topic imaginable. From cute cat clips to how-to tutorials to full movies, there's something for everyone on the video sharing platform. While YouTube is great for streaming videos online, what if you want to download a YouTube video to watch offline? Or convert a YouTube video into an MP3 audio file? This guide will walk you through several methods for downloading YouTube videos.

Finding the YouTube Video URL

The first step to downloading any YouTube video is identifying the unique video URL. This URL points to the specific video file you want to download. Here are some tips for finding YouTube video URLs:

  • On the YouTube video watch page, look at the address bar. The full URL will be displayed there.
  • Right click on the YouTube video title and select "Copy video URL." This will copy the URL to your clipboard.
  • Use a browser extension like Video DownloadHelper which inserts download buttons under YouTube videos. Click a download button to view the video URL.
  • On mobile YouTube apps, tap the "Share" button. Select "Copy link" to copy the video URL.

Once you've copied the YouTube video URL, you can use one of several methods covered in this guide to download the video file or convert it to MP3 audio.

Using Online YouTube Converters

The easiest way to download YouTube videos is using an online converting tool. Online YouTube converters allow you to simply paste the video URL, select file formats and quality, and convert. Here are some top online YouTube converter recommendations:

Clip Converter is a straightforward, free online media conversion site. It supports downloads from major video platforms including YouTube. Just paste the YouTube video URL, select MP4 or MP3, and quality. Then click "Start" to convert and download.


9xbuddy is a YouTube converter focused on simplicity. It has options for MP4, MP3, and even YouTube playlist and channel downloads. Like other converters, copy the YouTube video URL, select output format preferences, and click "Download" to save the file.

Online YouTube converters provide download flexibility alongside device compatibility. The converted files can be played back on smartphones, tablets, computers, and more.

Using Browser Extensions

Browser extensions or addons allow you to download YouTube videos directly within your web browser. Instead of copying and pasting URLs into a separate website, tools like Video Download Helper integrate downloads into YouTube.

After you install the Firefox or Edge extension, Video Download Helper automatically detects and inserts download buttons under every YouTube video. Click these buttons to grab videos in multiple file types and qualities. It even supports channel and playlist downloads. Video Download Helper works across major web browsers and desktop platforms but it doesn’t work on Chrome.

Supernormal for AI-Powered Transcriptions

A bonus tool for downloading YouTube videos is Supernormal. This web app utilizes advanced AI to automatically transcribe videos, podcasts and other audio. To use Supernormal to transcribe a YouTube video, just import the video into Supernormal after you’ve downloaded it, and follow the prompts. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes and you’ll get a picture-perfect transcript that matches the video perfectly.

Now you have the techniques to download any YouTube video for enjoying offline and converting to the file types you need. You can access media while traveling, extract audio for your music collection, back up playlists and channels, automate workflows and more. Start downloading YouTube videos smarter today.

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