How to download YouTube videos, clips and records
on Mac

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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. Paid video converter
  5. Web-browser
  6. 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.

airy youtube downloader

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;

youtube clips downloader Folx

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

paste youtube link

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.
start download from youtube on mac
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.

select format for downloaded youtube video

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.

elmedia player

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.

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.

how to download youtube clips with safari

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.

Free Youtube downloader for Mac
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