2 easy ways to download YouTube videos onto a computer to watch or share anytime

woman using laptop headphones music
There are two apps we recommend when you’re looking to download YouTube videos.

  • You can easily download YouTube videos onto your computer using an app like VLC, or the WinX or MacX YouTube Downloader programs.
  • The paid versions of WinX and MacX give you the option of just downloading the audio, instead of the audio and video together.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

YouTube has billions of videos. While you can stream all of them, you might want some on your own computer for future and offline use, or for a personal project.

While YouTube Premium has its own pseudo-downloading feature – it lets you download videos onto your smartphone to watch offline – the regular YouTube website doesn’t have any feature like this.

Instead, if you want to download a YouTube video onto your computer, you’ll need to use a third-party service, and there are dozens of programs that will let you do this.

Here are the two options we recommend, including a program you might already have downloaded and a free app.

How to download YouTube videos using VLC Media player

VLC Media Player is a free app that lets you watch videos or play music from your Mac or PC. There’s a chance you might already have it installed on your computer.

And although it’ll take a few minutes, you can use it to download any YouTube video.

1. Find the video you want to download off YouTube and copy its URL.

2. Open VLC. If you’re on a PC, click “Media” at the top of the screen, and then “Open Network Stream.” If you’re on a Mac, click “File” at the top, and then “Open Network.”

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Whether on Mac or PC, get to the “Network” screen.

3. In the menu that appears, paste the URL of the YouTube video you want, and then click “Play” or “Open” at the bottom.

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Make sure that “Network” is selected at the top.

4. After a moment, the YouTube video you want will begin playing. A longer YouTube video will take longer to open.

5. If you’re on a PC, click “Tools” at the top of the screen, and then “Media Information.” If you’re on a Mac, click “Window,” and then “Media Information.”

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Bring up the “Media Information” menu.

6. In the “Media Information” menu, there will be a “Location” bar at the bottom. Double-click the URL in this bar to select it, and then copy it.

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You might not be able to see the entire URL at once.

7. Go back to your web browser and paste that link into your URL bar at the top of the screen, then go to it.

8. You’ll be brought to a page with just the video playing. Click on the three stacked dots on the right side, and then click “Download.”

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It should display the same way in most internet browsers.

The video will download onto your computer as an .MP4 file. You can name it or move it wherever you like.

How to download YouTube videos using the WinX or MacX YouTube Downloader

WinX and MacX are a whole suite of programs, each of which is made for downloading videos from different sources. The WinX and MacX YouTube Downloaders are, as the names suggest, meant for YouTube videos.

1. Go to the WinX website and download the application. If you’re on a Mac, go to the MacX download page instead.

2. Once the program is installed, open it and click “Add Url” in the top-left corner.

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Select the “Add Url” option.

3. Paste in the YouTube link that you want to download, and then click “Analyze” on the right. Note that you need to include the entire URL – including the “https” that’s likely at the start.

4. The app will check the video to see how high quality it is. Once done, you’ll be offered a variety of file types to download it in.

5. Select the version of the video that you want, and then click “Download Selected Videos” or “Done” in the bottom-right.

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The quality of the downloads will vary by video.

6. On the next page, click “Download now.”

Your videos will download in the format you asked for, and be saved to your computer’s “Videos” or “Movies” folder.

If you have the paid “Pro” version of WinX or MacX, once the video’s been downloaded, you can also click the “Convert to MP3” option to get just the audio.

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How to get VLC on a Roku device by mirroring the media player in 2 different ways

roku remote
You can mirror VLC on a Roku in a few simple steps.

  • You can get VLC on Roku by mirroring the VLC player from an Android device or Windows computer.
  • VLC is a popular media player for many platforms, but it’s not available for direct download on Roku.
  • Here’s how to set up and mirror your Android or Windows device to a Roku player.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

VLC (VideoLAN Client) is a popular open-source media player for a variety of platforms including Windows and Android devices. Unfortunately, Roku is not one of VLC’s supported devices, so there is no direct way to install or use the VLC player on a Roku TV or media player. However, you can get VLC on a Roku by mirroring content from your Android phone or from your Windows computer. 

Before you begin, make sure that screen mirroring is enabled on your Roku device. To do that, follow the instructions in the first section of our article on mirroring to a Roku device, under “How to set up Roku for mirroring.”

Then make sure that VLC is installed on the device you plan to mirror – you can install VLC on your Android device or VLC on Windows

How to get VLC on Roku by mirroring from Windows

1. Install the VLC app on Windows, then launch. 

2. Click the Notification icon at the bottom right of the Windows desktop. 

3. If needed to see all the icons, click “Expand.” Then find and click “Connect.”

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Click “Connect” from the Notification icon on the desktop.

4. In the pane that pops out of the right side of the desktop, find and select your Roku device.

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Select your Roku device when it appears.

5. On the TV, use the Roku remote to select “Allow.” 

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Be sure to allow the content from your PC to appear on the Roku.

Your PC should now be mirrored on the Roku. Open the VLC Player app – its contents should be displayed on the TV. 

How to get VLC on Roku by mirroring from Android

1. Install the VLC app on your Android.

2. You can mirror to Roku from almost any Android device, but the name of the mirror feature varies depending on which Android device you are using. In general, you can find it by swiping down from the top of the screen to display the quick-access icons (or open Settings and select “Connection and sharing”). Some of the names that this feature goes by includes Cast, Screen Cast, Smart View, Quick Connect, HTC Connect, and Smart Share. Find the casting feature for your phone and tap it. 

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Start casting from your phone. On this Samsung Galaxy, the feature is called “Smart View,” but the name will vary from phone to phone.

3. Make sure you enable casting. Look for your Roku to appear in the list of devices and then tap it. You might need to confirm you want to do this. 

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Select the Roku device when you see it.

4. On the TV, use the Roku remote to select “Allow.” 

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Allow the Roku to mirror your phone, and you can access VLC from your Roku.

Your Android phone’s screen should now be mirrored on the Roku. Open the VLC Player app and watch the mirrored videos on your TV screen.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to cut videos in a VLC media player and create new videos by deleting sections you don’t want

macbook laptop using keyboard
It’s easy to cut video using VLC.

  • To cut videos in VLC, you can use VLC’s recording feature to create an entirely new video file.
  • If you want to cut out multiple clips, you’ll have to either make multiple new video files, or skip around the video while it’s recording.
  • Both the Mac and PC versions of VLC let you cut videos by recording them.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

You might know VLC as a free, open-source media player – it’s a streamlined program that’s easy to use and plays nearly every type of video under the sun. This makes it a popular tool for anyone who watches videos on their computer.

And although the app is mostly made for watching videos, you can edit videos in several ways too. One of these ways includes cutting smaller clips out of a larger video.

What might otherwise require a paid video editing program can be done in seconds for free with VLC. 

The only caveat is that you can’t stop the recording and then start it again in another spot without making multiple video files. You can, however, skip around the video however you like while it’s recording – the new file will record your skips exactly.

How to cut video in VLC on a PC

1. Start VLC and open the file you want to cut into one or more clips.

2. In the menu bar, click “View,” and then in the drop-down menu choose “Advanced Controls.” You should see a new toolbar appear at the bottom of the window, which includes a red record button.

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The Advanced Controls includes a Record button and a Frame-by-Frame button, both of which will be handy for cutting video.

3. Position the video at the point you want to start the cut. 

4. Click the red Record button in the new toolbar. 

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When you click the Record button, it’ll light up.

5. Click the Play button until you reach the end of the clip you want to cut. You can also use the Frame-by-Frame button to the right of the Record button in the new toolbar.

6. When you reach the end of the sequence you want to cut out, click the record button again to stop the recording. You can also skip to another part of the video if you’d like to save another clip in the same file.

7. After a moment, the clip should appear in your computer’s Videos folder. It’ll have the same name as the original video, with “vlc-record-” and the current date added to the start of the filename.

To find your Videos folder, open a Windows Explorer folder and go to “This PC” in the navigation pane on the left. There you’ll see your user folders, including Videos. You can also go into VLC’s “Preferences” menu to change this location.

How to cut video in VLC on a Mac

1. Start VLC and open the video that you want to cut.

2. Head to the point in the video where you want to start your clip.

3. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click “Playback,” and then click “Record.”

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You can also press Option + Command + R to start and stop recording.

4. Start playing the video again. Play it until the point you want to end your cut, and then click “Record” again in the menu bar. Or, if you’d like to include another clip in the same file, you can skip to the start of that clip and keep recording.

5. Once you click “Record” the second time, your new video will be saved to your Mac’s “Movies” folder. It’ll be named “vlc-record,” followed by the date, time, and the video’s original title.

You can find the “Movies” folder by clicking the name of your computer in the Finder’s sidebar, followed by “Macintosh HD,” then “Users,” then your account name, and then “Movies.” You can also change where your recordings are saved through VLC’s “Preferences” menu.

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You might have to navigate through a few different folders to find your Movies.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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