How to download YouTube videos, clips and records
on Mac

Like any other Mac user, I was wondering how to download videos from YouTube on my Mac, and in search of an answer I turned to the help of Internet. As expected I found out multiple ways to do it. Here I will share with you the fastest, easiest and most convenient methods, their pros and cons, as well as some tips and tricks.


  1. The easiest way
  2. Download manager
  3. Media Player
  4. Video downloader for Mac
  5. Paid video converter
  6. Web-browser
  7. Web-sites

Best software for downloading YouTube videos - Airy app

All you need to do is:

  1. Download Airy and activate its full version with the registration code. BTW, free Airy allows 2 downloads so you can try it before you buy.
  2. Open a YouTube video, playlist or channel in your web browser, copy the link and paste
    in Airy;
  3. Choose the preferred file format to save the videos or audio files.
  4. Click the "Download" button.

Isn't that easy?! The video is saved on your Mac just as it would with a download manager. Additionally to being able to save media in various formats, you can save multiple files at a time.

Download YouTube with Airy

The app is also available in PRO version with its appealing features:

1. Extract MP3 audio from the downloaded videos.
If you really like the soundtrack used in a video you don't have to download the video to have the music on your computer. Just choose MP3 format in Airy and you'll only have the audio file to listen to whenever you want.

2. Save YouTube videos in Super HD quality, including 4k and 8k
Depending on the initial quality of the video you have the possibility to save it in an HD resolution and enjoy the top-notch viewing experience.

3. Download multiple files at a time. Save Youtube channels and playlists within a couple
of clicks.

4. Download age-restricted videos

5. Integrate Airy with your web browser
This way you won't need to paste YouTube links in Airy. All you'll need to do to save videos is press the shortcut in your browser and the download will start automatically.

Folx Download Manager

This app is free, and having used it for a while I can say that it does its job pretty well. A newly released version allows you to download clips from YouTube, although it requires a bit more effort than downloading with the help of Airy, see above.

Related post:
How to download faster on Macbook, Mac Mini and other OS X devices

Here is how you do it:

1. Download Folx and upgrade it to PRO version with an activation code that you can get at the developers' website;

Folx download manager

2. Copy and paste the link to a YouTube video in Folx and click Enter

Free youtube download manager

3. You have plenty of flexible options to play with:

  • Assign tags to your downloaded content (for example: YouTube).
  • Folx can save the downloads according to the tags assigned so that you can always find the files easily no matter how long ago you downloaded them. You can also set up any preferred download location in settings.
  • Select the video format or choose MP3 when you only want an audio.
  • You can create custom descriptions for downloaded videos.
Youtube video manager download
Folx allows downloading videos in the following formats:
  • 240р
  • 360p
  • 480p
  • 720p
  • 1080p
  • 1440p (2К)
  • 2160p (4К)
  • 4320p (8К)

4. Click OK to finish the process of adding task.

youtube video downloader app

Downloading YouTube clips and movies with Media player

Media Player is a functional application to playback media files, it has a user-friendly interface and multiple features. Some apps allow downloading torrents, Elmedia Player allows you to make downloads from YouTube.

paid youtube video downloader

Player can be downloaded here.

To use download feature, you need to activate PRO version of Elmedia Player – follow this link to the developer’s site. PRO version also allows you to watch YouTube videos directly from the player window.

Here is a brief manual that explains the quick download process.

  1. Switch the player to the browser mode in its main menu.
  2. Paste the YouTube link in it and click Enter.
  3. You'll see the list of files available for download from this link - choose the one you want and click Download.
  4. Among the available video formats are MP4, 3GP, WebM, etc. MP3 is also available to just extract the audio from the video.
  5. Elmedia saves videos and audio files in Downloads folder by default, but you can easily set up any location in Preferences.

VideoDuke: Best Video Downloader For Mac

VideoDuke is undoubtedly the best video downloading the app for Mac. The app supports over 1000 video streaming sites including YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo on the web. In addition, the app also offers you two different download modes, advanced and simple. Not just that, you can even use the app to download video from popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as well.

VideoDuke also offers you with the option of downloading an entire playlist from YouTube with its one-click feature. You can even choose your video quality preference as the app can support different types of video quality 144p to 4320p. To download videos using VideoDuke you don’t have to be an expert. The app is easy to use and also very fast.

youtube video downloader for mac

Steps To Download Videos On Mac

To download videos on Mac using VideoDuke all you need to do is follow the steps given below:

  • At first download and install VideoDuke in your device;
  • Once you have installed the app on your Mac, choose YouTube in the main menu window of the app;
  • You can now search the videos on YouTube that you want to download directly from the app;
  • Click on the video that you wish to download and the app will automatically prepare it for download;
  • Before, downloading the video choose the resolution;
  • Your video will be downloaded in the default folder. However, you can change the location of the file whenever you want;
  • You can even copy and paste the link of a video that you wish to download. Press enter and the app will instantly start downloading it.

To conclude, it can be said that VideoDuke is not only the best but also a very user-friendly app to use. You can download any video you want with the help of VideoDuke.

Paid video converter

To download YouTube videos you can use software that converts videos. However since such software is usually meant for specific purposes, general functions are available mostly in paid versions, and their price can be rather high – over 100$ on an average

Let us take Any Video Converter as an example.

The free version of the app allows downloading videos only from four sites. The app is not your easy-to-use tool, and a lay person might find it difficult to figure out how to use it.

PRO version price - 59,95$

How to download videos from YouTube with the help of this video converter:

  1. Install the program (drag it to Applications folder)
  2. Launch the program and click "Online Video" to display a special interface
  3. Click "Add" button to display an entry field in Input URL window
  4. Now copy-paste a YouTube URL in the field and click "OK"
  5. Once the video’s link is processed by the program, click Start
download from youtube with video converter

Web browser


Described here is relevant not only for downloading YouTube clips, but any files that do not have direct links to them in the open browser window.

Open the page with the clip to be downloaded, open Activity Window through Window menu or using Alt+Cmd+A keys combination.

safari youtube downloader extension

The window will display links to different objects on the page with their size indicated in Status column to the right. What you need is the file of the largest size.

safari settings

To download an object (in your case a video clip), double-click it holding Alt key. The file will be downloaded to your Downloads folder.

Usually YouTube clips are downloaded as videoplayback.flv files. However videos from other sites can be saved with other names and extensions, and you might have to rename them after downloading.

Downloading with Safari browser is easy and costs nothing. Unfortunately downloading option is not available in Safari 8.0 or newer.

Download with Chrome

Open the video’s page, go to Developer’s Tools (Settings – Tools – Developer’s Tools). In Network tab click Size column heading so that the rows are sorted by size (in descending order). Reload the page and check the data in Size column. On the top you will see a row with a file named Videoplayback. This is what we need. If required, select Quality in Player, and the file will start downloading.

downloading youtube videos with chrome

Got the videoplayback file row? Right click it and choose “Open in New Tab”. It will open in the built-in browser. Right click it again and select Download video. The video will start downloading with the required extension, and you will not have to rename it afterwards.

You can't grab some YouTube files through a web-browser. Refer the manual and follow the instructions given there.

Browser extensions

All popular browsers have their own add-ons that allow you to perform essential functions. It is easy to find, download and install such add-ons, however I don’t find find downloading with the browser extensions convenient.

They tend to overload the browser, do not allow you to regulate download speed, not entirely functional and quite often display obtrusive ads. So I would prefer using software to download YouTube videos.

In case you still want to try using add-ons, I will show you how to find them:

Chrome add-ons

  1. Open Chrome browser
  2. Follow this link -
  3. Enter “youtube downloader” in search field
  4. Select plug-in you need and install it

Firefox add-ons

  1. Open Firefox
  2. Click a widget icon and select Add-ons
  3. In Add-ons window displayed enter “youtube downloader” in the search field, the right top corner
  4. Search for add-ons, сhoose the add-on you need and install it

The Website

This is meant exclusively for YouTube URLs.

To download a YouTube video, add a “ss” before the “youtube” in your URL, so it becomes “ssyoutube”, e.g. URL of will change to

The browser will parse the URL and open another window. Start your download here.

YouTube Premium

The name of the service speaks for itself. With the YouTube Premium subscription you get access to the premium features offered by YouTube, including the YouTube Music Premium app and exclusive movies as well as TV series starring the stars from the YouTube Originals collection. In YouTube Premium you can find the so-called "picture in picture" mode that allows you to watch YouTube videos and to perform other actions like browsing the news or chatting in your favorite social networks, simultaneously.

Users who have subscribed to YouTube Premium are able to watch YouTube and listen to its music without ads, in the background mode and offline. They can also download the YouTube content they like. The subscription works on mobile devices (Android, iOS), Chromecast, Smart TVs, game consoles (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U) and covers the entire video hosting line: YouTube, YouTube Music, YouTube Kids and YouTube Gaming.

To activate YouTube Premium be ready to pay $11.99 per month. YouTube Music Premium costs $9.99 per month. For new users the service offers 1 month of free trial subscription. There is also a family plan that counts up to 5 users aged 13 and up provided that they all have the same residential address and are registered with Google. To activate create a Google family group and send an invitation to your family members.

Reasons Not to Activate YouTube Premium

The main reason why users may not want to pay for YouTube Premium is not in YouTube services or plans. Many people think, “why should I pay for the content that is initially free?” Though there are 2 types of YouTube users. The first type is users that can’t live without YouTube videos a single day. They surely should know how to download videos from YouTube if the Internet is off. For such YouTube lovers it’s highly recommended to activate YouTube Premium and get a good YouTube downloading app or YouTube downloader for Mac if they are Mac owners. The second type are casual users who visit YouTube channel from time to time when a friend has shared a video or when there’s too much free time. Such users surely don’t need any YouTube subscriptions and downloading software.

To Download the YouTube Content Or Not to Download? That Is the Question

To answer to this question let’s refer to YouTube’s Terms of Service cited below:

5.1 M. You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.

9.1 With the exception of Content submitted to the Service by you, all other Content on the Service is either owned by or licensed to YouTube, and is subject to copyright, trade mark rights, and other intellectual property rights of YouTube or YouTube's licensors..

.. YouTube and its licensors reserve all rights not expressly granted in and to their Content.

Free Youtube downloader for Mac
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