How to download YouTube videos to your Mac

Josh Centers for TidBITS:

There are several reasons you might want to download videos from YouTube. Like most cloud-based things, YouTube videos can be ephemeral. Videos vanish all the time for all kinds of reasons: the uploader pulls it down, copyright restrictions (sometimes legitimate, sometimes not), and YouTube’s ever-changing and seemingly haphazard standards for acceptable content. But preservation isn’t the only reason people download YouTube videos. For example, they may want to download a clip to use in their own videos (respecting copyright, of course).

Note that downloading YouTube videos with a utility other than YouTube’s own apps (which require a YouTube Premium subscription) violates YouTube’s terms of service… That being said, I’ve never heard of YouTube punishing a user for downloading videos, although using copyrighted material in videos you upload to YouTube could get you in trouble.

MacDailyNews Take: In the full article, Centers covers four utilities that you can use to download YouTube videos in macOS:

• youtube-dl
• ClipGrab
• Downie
• 4K Video Downloader

Do you have a favorite?


  1. I’ve been following MDN for years & really appreciate when people make recommendations.

    I download videos when I’m learning new software – Vectorworks has been a big learning curve for me.

    I bought Airy and it was serviceable, however my go to app now is Softorino Youtube Converter.
    Their customer support is first rate & the UI gives you great options if you’re a power user.

    Just my 2c

  2. I used to use 4K Video Downloader which is very good.. but Downie is Heads above them all.. not just for Youtube Videos but for an Astounding number of sites listed in its Preferences/Supported sites. Plus constant updates to improve it’s site compatibility. Charlie Monroe Software rules in this category.

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