The current owner of best free YouTube downloader is 4K Video Downloader. This freeware disgraces many paid tools by being ad-free, allowing you to record videos in the format of your choice and not placing watermarks on downloaded clips. It will even let you extract audio from a video or download an entire playlist.

However, sometimes you don't need a lot of capacity. If you are looking for the best free YouTube downloader that meets the most basic requirements, such as simply recording a video quickly, there are other lighter options.

The best free YouTube downloaders make it easy to save YouTube videos in whatever format you choose, so we've put the best in one convenient place. And don't worry, while these YouTube downloaders are constantly evolving, we update this guide regularly so you always get up-to-date advice.

If you're particularly interested in recording music from YouTube, our guide to the best free YouTube to MP3 converters might be better for you. We've also rounded up the best free YouTube video converters if you want to play videos offline on another device, like a phone or tablet, as well as the best free video editors to cut and trim your recorded videos. For more detailed instructions, check out our full guide: How to Download YouTube Videos for Free.

YouTube downloaders online vs. Desktop software

There are many sites you can use to download youtube videos, but we don't recommend them due to their disadvantages compared to desktop software. First, they are slower due to the limitations of the remote server and your data connection. Many of these sites also display advertisements for a variety of NSFW, or display thumbnails of recently downloaded videos, which may not be appropriate.

Online video converters generally don't give you (if any) much choice regarding video file, in terms of quality or expert format. They only allow you to download one video at a time, and you can forget about saving entire playlists. 3D and 360-degree videos are out of the question as well, and very few can handle 4K.

Before using a free YouTube downloader, be aware that using third-party applications to download videos is against YouTube's terms of use, which state that you cannot stream videos directly from its servers. Downloading videos is also a potential copyright infringement, unless you own the video, have permission from the copyright holder, or are in the public domain.

WinX HD Video Converter

The best YouTube downloader currently available is:

WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe
Out of all the YouTube downloaders we've tested, WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is the most impressive. Not only does it capture videos, it can also convert them to virtually any format, rip DVD and Blu-ray disc content, and allow you to burn your own. It also handles 4K content with ease. It is not free, unlike the following software, but you will not find a more powerful tool.

1. 4K video downloader

Fast, free and flexible - the most versatile YouTube downloader

Operating system: Windows, macOS, Linux

Wide variety of formats.

Playlist Downloads

Supports 3D and 360 degree videos

No additional software is provided

4K Video Downloader is the best free YouTube downloader for fast and smooth YouTube downloads. It's easy to use, highly customizable, ad-free, and doesn't include any additional software provided.

To retrieve a video (or an entire playlist, as long as it does not exceed 24 videos), simply copy its URL from your web browser, click 'Paste URL' and select an output format, quality and location.

There are a wide variety of formats, video and audio, including MP4 and MP3. You can download subtitles for individual videos, and there is also support for 3D and 360-degree videos.

Diving into properties allows you to modify options such as multi-stream downloads (increasing the number of streams will speed up downloads, but increases the risk of YouTube blocking your IP address) and setting up a proxy connection.

Buying a key will let you download longer playlists and subtitled playlists, and at €7.95 for a lifetime license for three PCs it's a good deal, but the free edition has everything you could want.

2.WinX YouTube Downloader

Clear, powerful and well-designed - a very close finalist

Operating system: Windows, macOS

Supports more than 30 video sites

Can download 4K video

Download multiple videos at once

No 360 degree video support

In a very close second, WinX YouTube Downloader can download videos from all the most popular sites, including Facebook, Vimeo, and DailyMotion. It is very easy to use. Just paste in a URL, select an output format and quality settings, and it will be added to the current batch.

Once you have added all the videos you want to download, just click the "Download" button and they will all be processed at the same time and saved to the destination folder of your choice.

WinX YouTube Downloader can download 4K videos when available and only lose 4K Video Downloader as it cannot download 3D and 360 degree videos. If that is not a problem for you, this free YouTube downloader is highly recommended.

3.Any Video Converter Free

Download and convert videos and add special effects

Operating system: Windows, macOS

Excellent format support

Integrated video editor

No batch download

Additional software provided

At first sight, Any Video Converter Free is one of the best free downloaders on YouTube. The only drawback is that this free version limits you to downloading just one video at a time, but if you're looking for a free solution, it's something you can decide you're happy to put up with.

There are many video formats to choose from, and even a basic video editor built into this YouTube downloader. This can be used to trim a video you download, add simple effects like adjusting colors, and adding overlay text.

The whole process is quick and easy. The interface of any video converter may not be attractive to everyone, but it is actually a difficult choice; It is a fantastic free YouTube downloader in all other respects. Be careful with the ByteFence and Yahoo software provided during installation, and you're good to go.

4. Free download from YouTube

Record videos without clicking a single button

Operating system: Windows, macOS

Automatic download option

Batch download

You can shut down the PC when you're done

Three minutes late

There is no price to guess what the free download on YouTube does. It is a very simple and very specific free YouTube downloader that eliminates distractions to get work done. Paste a URL from YouTube and you can download the video with just a few clicks, or no clicks if you enable the automatic download option.

You can download multiple videos at once if you need to, and you can convert them to several different formats on the go. The available formats depend on the quality of the original video, but AVI, MP4, iPhone / iPod, and MKV should be available in most cases. It is also possible to convert to MP3 format only if you don't need the footage as well.

There's only one real downside, but it's a big deal - you can only use YouTube's free download to retrieve clips less than three minutes long. That excludes most music videos, and it's a shame.

5. aTube Catcher

Batch download

Convert to popular formats

Automatic file conversion

Adware in the installer

Although the name suggests that it is just a YouTube downloader, aTube Catcher can record videos from most of the major video hosting sites.

First, however, a word of caution: misleading adware abounds during installation. When the first application is offered, be sure to press Cancel and for the second, click Decline; then you can enjoy ATube Catcher without any unwanted surprises.

Downloaded videos can be automatically converted to various popular formats, so you can customize them based on your intended use or the device you want to watch them on. If you are looking to download a large number of videos, you can download them all at the same time, maximizing your bandwidth, something that is not available in all the best free YouTube downloaders on this list.

This free YouTube downloader also offers many additional extras, such as the ability to record any video on the screen, merge videos, and burn discs.


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