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 make a GIF from a YouTube video and post it online

Influencer working on laptop
It’s easy to quickly turn a YouTube into a GIF.

  • You can make a YouTube video into a GIF using free websites like GIPHY.
  • GIPHY lets you select up to 30 seconds from nearly any YouTube video and turn it into a GIF.
  • Once you’ve made a GIF out of a YouTube video, you can download that GIF or copy the embed code.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you’ve been on social media anytime in the last few years, you’ve seen GIFs: short video clips that run on repeat, often with a funny or snarky message. GIFs are increasingly popular, turning up in emails and on websites.

Most people make GIFs using websites like GIPHY. Here’s how to use GIPHY to quickly and easily make a GIF out of almost any YouTube video.

How to make a YouTube video into a GIF

You don’t need any special knowledge or tools to make your own GIF.

First, find a video to excerpt on YouTube. Then go to GIPHY, log in or create a new account, and get to work.

1. On GIPHY’s homepage, click the “Create” button at the top of the window.

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You can find the “Create” button at the top of GIPHY’s colorful homepage.

2. Copy the link for your YouTube video into the “Any URL” box on GIPHY. You can also use Vimeo videos and other GIPHY links. Just note that it needs to be shorter than ten minutes.

3. Choose the moment in your video where you want to start your GIF. Slide the Start Time bar until you get to the spot in the video right before the snippet you want to turn into a GIF.

4. Pick the length of your GIF by moving the Duration bar to the left or right, or hitting the up or down arrow next to “Seconds.” Watch your GIF a couple of times to make sure you’ve captured the slice of video you wanted.

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Use the two sliders to trim or extend your GIF.

5. Once you’ve found the perfect starting point and length for your GIF, it’s time to decorate it. Click “Continue to Decorate.”

6. On this page, you can add text and pictures to your GIF. Click on “Caption” to add text. Click and drag the text to move it where you want it on the screen. You can also choose what you want the text to look like, and how you want it to move.

7. You can add stickers when you choose “Stickers.” Click and drag stickers to position them on the GIF.

8. Click “Filters” to change the look of the GIF.

9. You can also draw on your GIF in the Draw menu.

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You can decorate and edit your GIF in many ways.

10. When you’re finished decorating, click “Continue to Upload.”

11. Your GIF is almost ready. Add one or more tags so others can find and share it. Then click “Upload to GIPHY.”

12. GIPHY will create your GIF. This takes a few seconds.

13. Watch your GIF and appreciate your handiwork! Use the menu to the right of your GIF to copy the link, share it on social media, or get its embed code. You can also right-click the GIF to download it onto your computer.

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There are several options available for sharing your GIF.

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Read the original article on Business Insider