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How to download YouTube videos to watch offline

If you want to stack a load of YouTube videos from your favourite creators to watch when offline, you’ll need to download them to your device – be it smartphone, PC, Mac or whatever. So here’s our handy guide on how to download YouTube videos.

Streaming videos on YouTube is a highly enjoyable way to pass a boring commute or afternoon at work, but you’ll need a dependable internet connection to get involved. However, you may wish to catch up with your favourite channels on your laptop when there’s nary a reliable WiFi network in sight. Or alternatively, you might be running low on mobile data, and not have the allowance to spare on the latest Epic Fail videos.

Either way, don’t stress. It’s perfectly possible to download YouTube videos to your computer or smartphone, so you can enjoy them without the need for an online connection.

Related: Best streaming sites

How do I download YouTube videos to my phone?

The official way to grab videos to enjoy offline is with a YouTube Premium subscription.

If you throw a bit of cash Google’s way for a Premium account, you’ll notice a download option is unlocked inside of the YouTube mobile app. Just open up a video and tap the download button, and you’ll be asked what quality you want. Select an option and your file will be pulled onto your smartphone’s storage, ready to enjoy when you’re offline. You’ll find your content stashed away inside of the Library folder.

At the time of writing, a YouTube Premium subscription will cost you $12 or £12 a month. Alternatively you can also sign up for a family account, which upgrades six separate accounts to Premium for £18 a month.

Can I download YouTube videos to my phone without a Premium subscription?

That download feature in the YouTube app is only unlocked for Premium users, so any freeloaders can’t get involved. And while some third party apps can perform the same function, these are shady territory as they’re in direct conflict with YouTube’s terms of service.

If you’re happy with that situation, Android users can check out TubeNinja. This website allows you to copy the video link into a text box and will then download the content for you, hassle-free. You can even simply add the letters ‘dl’ directly into the web address before (i.e.…) and you’ll automatically be taken to TubeNinja to grab what you need.

Note that you may get a ‘popup blocked’ message when you first hit download. Just tap the ‘allow’ button and your video will be pulled down.

If you have an iPhone, check out an app called Documents by Readdle. This is available on the App Store.

Once you’ve installed Documents, just click the web browser icon (which looks like a compass) in the bottom right corner of the main screen. Enter “” in the address bar of the web browser, and then copy your chosen YouTube video link into the box that pops up. Select the quality you desire and hit download to grab that vid. Your content will appear in the Documents folder inside of the app.

How do I download YouTube videos to my laptop?

One of the easiest ways to download a YouTube video is by using a piece of PC/Mac software called 4K Video Downloader. It’s free and very straightforward – just copy in the link of the video you wish to download and it’ll be stored on your computer, to enjoy offline. The app can even automatically download content from any channels you subscribe to.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to install any software, you can once again rely on TubeNinja. Just copy and paste the video link, or that web address trick will do the job as well.

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