Unfortunately the internet doesn’t always travel with us. So for those who are addicted to YouTube, being able to download YouTube videos is hugely valuable. In this article, I will cover 10 of the best free YouTube downloaders.
But before I get stuck in, here are some reasons why you might want to download a YouTube video.
- Slow internet connection: While this might seem counter-intuitive, it’s a great way to get around sluggish internet connections. Instead of your video stuttering, you can download it in the background while you do other tasks. Also with some YouTube downloaders, you can opt to download an entire playlist for later viewing.
- Offline viewing: This is where YouTube downloaders work best. As I travel a lot on planes and out of service areas, being able to watch YouTube videos without a connection is a lifesaver. Usually, I download my selected YouTube videos I want to watch a few days before I get on the plane.
- Backing up your own content: Many time I have uploaded a video to YouTube and then deleted the original copy on my computer. Now I keep backups for all my new videos, but for the older one, I uploaded I don’t have any copies. By using a YouTube downloader, you can back up the ones you don’t have a copy of.
Disclaimer: You should only download videos when you have permission from the copyright owner of the content. Reading YouTube’s terms of service notes that downloading content without permission is explicitly prohibited.
Top 10 Best Free YouTube Downloaders
You don’t really need to be a rocket scientist to know what this program does! The title is pretty self-explanatory. Free YouTube Downloader is a slick software that is designed for one thing only: download videos.
- Allows batch downloading
- Allows user to select the video quality
- Converts videos into other formats if you want
Overall, this option is by far the favourite that we have used from this list. It consistently gave us the fastest download speeds, ease of use, lots of functionality and not to mention the ability to select video quality. Can’t go wrong!
The downloader is simple; all you need to do is paste the URL. If the auto-downloading option is enabled the software downloads the video on its own. Batch downloading is also available by default, and requires no premium or paid credits. It is also available for Mac and PC.
After using Free YouTube Download, it was quite hard to fault. It serviced all my needs which was great. The only thing I would prefer would be a more modern user interface. But overall a great tool and easily deserves my number one spot.
2. 4K Video Downloader
Looking for simple, ad- & worry-free YouTube downloads? 4K Video Downloader is one of the safest bets out there and provides comprehensive YouTube downloading capabilities. Its most decorated features include:
- Supports a wide variety of websites in addition to YouTube
- Downloads entire play lists
- Supports 4K & 360-degree videos
Simply superb, all that 4K Video Downloader requires is the video’s URL, and from there on out, you can download the video with a single click. The downloader supports multi-stream downloading that speeds up downloads while eliminating any risk of getting the IP address blocked.
There’s no free meal, right? Right. While the downloader is available for free, its features are limited. The most major ones of these limitations is the version’s inability to download playlists with more than 24 videos. Apart from this, the free version doesn’t put you in a tight spot with the video’s source website, the quality, or its download speed.
3. WinX YouTube Downloader
Most people who are looking to make YouTube videos work offline aren’t looking for an overloaded or fancy software. They just need to get the job done.
WinX YouTube Downloader is one of the best free YouTube downloaders available. It’s able to:
- Download videos from 300+ sites other than YouTube
- Download 8K quality videos
- Convert videos in formats such as FLV, 3GP, etc.
The downloader can download video at any of the resolutions available, while also supporting batch downloads. In addition, it is completely free so missing out on any feature is impossible.
With that being said, the interface feels a bit outdated, and the downloader misses out on some of the more advanced features such as multi-stream downloads.
4. Any Video Converter Free
Don’t be fooled by the software’s name, since it has the ability to do way more than what you might think. Any Video Converter is a YouTube downloader, that’s capable of:
- Downloading videos from multiple video websites
- Tailoring videos through an inbuilt video editor
- Converting videos into various formats
On its face, this is one of the best free YouTube downloader available, but its limited functionality within the free version puts it on hold. The interface is fluid, and requires little interference once a download has begun. Once done, you can edit the video and save it in a variety of formats.
The free version’s installer comes with adware such as ByteFence and Yahoo software so be sure to decline that. In addition, the you can’t initiate batch downloads unless you buy the premium version. These two drawbacks keep the downloader from going up the list.
5. ISkySoft Video Downloader
One of the best free YouTube downloaders there is, ISkySoft Video Downloader is a simple yet effective software. It is highlighted by features such as:
- Ability to download both video & audio from 100s of websites
- Can download entire YouTube playlists
- Can convert videos in over 153 formats
Available for both Windows & Mac, the simple YouTube downloader lets you download & convert video files from YouTube. If you want, you can extract audio-only from videos as well.
The downloader is certainly free to try but some of its features don’t work until you pay. One of these is batch downloads & converts. With the free version, you’ll be able to carry out only basic YouTube downloading tasks, none of the fancy stuff!
Do you really need an entire software program installed on your computer in order to download YouTube videos? No, a web-browser extension would suffice. FastestTube is a web browser extension that downloads videos without requiring any additional software installed on your computer.
The extension works with popular browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome & Firefox. You may download videos in a variety of qualities as high as 1080p, while at the same time enabling/disabling additions such as annotations, auto-play and ads. This makes the interface solid, and removes all the hassle of opening up a separate software for downloading videos.
As Google doesn’t really like you to download YouTube videos for free, you’ll have to download the extension from FastestTube’s website and install it from thereon. This might be undesirable for some users who are looking for a quick-fix.
7. Freemake Video Downloader
If you look at it as an entirely free software, it really is one of the best free YouTube downloaders available. Not just for YouTube, the application grabs videos from websites such as Facebook, Dailymotion, Vimeo, etc.
- Simple copy/paste mechanism
- Convert videos into multiple formats
- Extract audio from video files
The video downloader comes with an intuitive interface, sporting a one-click mode which makes downloading videos a cake-walk. You can set-up the application’s setting once, for downloading, extracting & converting, and from thereon, rely on a single click for the whole operation to take place. You can download the video file in any of the available qualities without a glitch.
The application tends to get bogged down when multiple downloads are initiated at the same time, but for the most part, maintains its fluidity.
ClipGrab has been designed to ease in the process of downloading videos, letting you work your way through sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc. This is one of the best free YouTube downloaders out there, and has almost every bit of functionality you want.
- The interface is all set for novice users
- Comes with an inbuilt search-bar for videos
- Can download videos in any format/quality
For starters, ClipGrab lets you search for a video from its search-bar. This means you don’t have to open your browser at all. Once you find the video you were looking for, all you need to do is select the quality & format, and start downloading.
If you want, you can also paste URLs into the software’s clipboard to download videos. The downloader also gives you an option to download audio-only version of files, which is great for a music enthusiast.
The installer comes with adware such as Yahoo & ByteFence add-ons; be sure to avoid these. In addition, you’ll need to be really specific while carrying out a video search as the results only contain 12 entries.
9. All Video Downloader
All Video Downloader works on a similar principle as ClipGrab. It lets you search for a video from within the application, and download them without opening a separate web browser. Apart from YouTube, the application’s search engine includes sites such as Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc.
- Built on simple & fluid interface
- Allows batch downloading
- Allows video conversion
The entire operation is highly simple, which makes this software desirable for beginner users. In addition, to downloading videos, you can also configure the application to extract audio on its own. Moreover, you can covert video files in a variety of formats as well and watch them on a separate device later.
The batch download feature is a little limited though. You can only download two videos and only convert four at any given time.
10. aTube Catcher
aTube Catcher is a YouTube Downloader that in addition to its normal operation, lets you convert files into different video formats. A brief of the features is as follows:
- Batch downloading
- Batch conversion for viewing in PC, Mac or Mobile
- Top speed availability
aTube Catcher is truly one of the best free YouTube downloaders as it provides top-notch downloading capabilities. Once you acquire the link to the video, you can select a variety of video formats to download in. That’s not all. You can also record on-screen videos, and burn them on a CD/DVD if you like.
But the story doesn’t end here. The installer does try to sneak up on you through adware, which is of course not installed if you decline the offer.
How To Use a Free YouTube Downloader
When it comes to downloading YouTube videos, there are literally dozens of ways of going about it. You could use the YouTube premium version, which of course comes at a price, or you could opt for a tool such as a video downloader.
These software and online tools are a great way to copy in a link and simply download the video (providing that you have adhered to YouTubes terms and conditions).
Once you have the link of your choice, you simply paste it into the downloader of your choice. From there you can easily select the video format such as Mp4 (most common), MWV and so on. We do recommend Mp4 as its a lossless compression and is great storage wise.
After following the steps, simply click download and your video will start to import onto your computer. Depending on the size of the video, this can take several minutes.
To learn more about downloaders, you can also check out our great guide on the best YouTube downloaders for Android. If you are a fan of Apple computers, you will then be happy to know that I have written a guide on the best YouTube downloaders for Mac computers. If there are any other lists you would like to see, please let me know!