YouTube offers tons of videos on the platform that users can watch without paying even a single penny. There are several content creators that post informational content on the platform. However, sometimes, people want to download the video content. So, the billion-dollar question is that is it legal to download YouTube videos from the platform? Without wasting any more time, let us dive into the details of the answer.

Can you download the video content from YouTube?

According to the Term of Service of YouTube, a person should not download any content when there is a download icon present for that content. If you use any third-party application to download the content, then you are violating the Term of Service of YouTube.

You may think that it is rare to find download icon for most of the videos, but Youtube allows the “Fair Use” permission for the content present on its platform. You can reap benefits from this policy and download content with some conditions. Here are the details of the conditions.

  1. Always give credit to the owners of the video to use the protected content under the fair use policy.
  2. Post a “no copyright infringement intended” statement in case you use the downloaded Youtube videos.
  3. You can use the downloaded content from the YouTube platform for criticism, research, teaching, commentary, and news reporting. You will not violate the Terms of Service of Youtube in this case and enjoy the perks of the platform.

Besides this, there are some types of videos on the platform that is open for public download. Let us dive into the details.

Legal downloads

  • Creative Commons

Some content creators grant the public the right to use the content. They can copy it and distribute it legally. The content creators claim ownership using copyright, but grants access to the content to the public users.

  • Public Domain

In case a certain copyright claim has expired or fortified, then the content is available for public use as no party owns the content in the video. Users can download the content and even distribute it without any copyright issues.

  • Copyleft

It grants the users to use the content protected by copyright claim according to their wish but reserve the same right for the produced content.

Here are the limitations under which you can download the content and use it for your own purposes. Now we will discuss the options to download the content. Here are the top ways to download video content from Youtube

Top ways to download videos from Youtube

  • Use VLC media player


You can use the VLC player to download video content from the YouTube platform. Make sure that the content you download is available for the public domain, or you are using the content under the fair use policy of YouTube. The method works with most of the videos. However, sometimes you may encounter an error while downloading the content. This issue arises when the content is protected by the copyright claim or not present in your location.  Here are all the detailed steps to download videos from Youtube.

  1. Go to your browser and open YouTube.
  2. Search for the video you wish to download on your device.
  3. Now, copy the URL in the address bar present in your browser.
  4. Open the VLC player on your device. If you do not have the player, then download it on your device.
  5. Now open Network Stream in your VLC player. If you are using a Windows PC, you will find the option under the Media tab, and if you are using a Mac, you will find the option “Open Network” under the File tab.
  6. Paste the URL under the field and click on play. In case you are not able to play the video, then get the latest version of the VLC player and then try again.
  7. While the video is being played, you have to open the tools tab, go to Codec Information, and copy the URL.
  8. Now go back to your browser and paste the URL. While you are viewing the video, you get the option to save the video locally on your device. 
  • Use any downloader software

There are tons of options available in the market, and you can use any premium or free video downloader for Mac or Windows PC to download video content from the YouTube platform.

Here are the general steps to download the video content from Youtube using these software or apps.

  1. Open your browser and go to YouTube.
  2. Search for the video you want to download and copy its URL.
  3. Now open your downloader software or app and paste the URL. There may be an option to select the video quality for the download.
  4. Click on the download option and wait for the process to get completed.

The number of steps may differ with different apps, but the core process will remain the same.

  • YouTube Premium


YouTube allows you to download the content and watch it without any internet connection with its Premium Subscription of 11.99$ per month. The platform offers a 1-month free trial. If you want to add a screen to your plan, you only have to spend 6$ to add up to five screens each.

Final Verdict

Here are the top ways to download content from Youtube and enjoy it locally. However, make sure that you do not violate the Term of Service of the platform and use the content under the “Fair Use” policy. YouTube can ban you from using the services if it finds that you are violating the terms and conditions of the platform.