Downloading YouTube Videos

The best tool these days (at last what the person writing this page thinks) is


You can enter the URL and download from the main page. But to be more efficient, install the appropriate extension/script helper for your web browser which will put a download link directly in any video page with an available download.


Two Other Tools

In this tutorial we show you different methods of downloading Youtube videos as video files so you can use them for your ds106 projects. You can find countless tools to do this- these are the ones many previous participants have had good success with. It does not matter how you do this, but in the end you will want to find something that can save the videos as MP4 files (that is MPEG4).

This tutorial is provided both as a screen cast and a series of screen shots and explanations.


Keepvid is one of perhaps hundreds of tools that provide this functionality. The steps are easy- you should copy the URL for any YouTube video, paste it the field, and click the small download button to the right of the field (if you click the bigger one below it, you are usually funneled through some advertisers site).


After it processes the information, it will generate a series of download options. You should right/control click on the link for the MP4 version, and select the menu option to download link as (the exact wording of the menu item varies with browser).

You then will be prompted to save the file- make sure you save it in a place you can find easily, such as a folder created for the project you are working on.

Now you can import this clip into your video editing software and beging editing away! Note that you can also import mp4 files into Audacity, and it will create an audio track based on the sound track of the video.

As a bonus, here is another tutorial for how to to this on an Mac OS computer created by ds106 student Katie:


” PwnYouTube offers this functionality right into your web browser.

From the PwnYouTube site, click and drag the link for the bookmarklet tool right into the bookmarks bar of your web browser


This is a Javascript powered bookmark- when you are on any YouTube page, and you decide that you want to download it as a video, file, simple click once on this link in your browser bar:


This will trigger the appearance of a yellow tool bar superimposed on the YouTube page with links for downloads of various file formats. Again, we suggest you always use the MP4 version, so simply right/control on the link and save it as a file on your computer


If none of these work for you, you can google many many many more web tools to download videos from YouTube.

What works best for you?


  1. Alex

    April 20, 2013

    Though downloading YouTube videos is not legal & it’s not permitted by YouTube but If you and I were producers,we can allow YouTube downloading only if intended for fair use. Also you gonna find many youtube videos which is under creative common license and reuse is permitted. So you can download those kind of videos and also reuse it.
    You can follow the above method for downloading videos or here is the one which I follow

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