How do I download or save a YouTube video to my computer?

YouTube has been designed to only allow users to watch and view videos on their website. Many users want to save their favorite videos to their computer so they can watch them without being connected to the Internet or so they can watch them on other devices. Below are the steps required for downloading and watching YouTube videos on your computer for free.
Note: these steps are for saving a YouTube video and not saving only the audio of a YouTube video to an MP3 file.

Saving YouTube video as a video file on your computer

Today, there are several online websites that allow you to enter the URL of the video you wish to save to your computer, and get a link to download the file. Below is the simple three step process that will link you to a page that
1. Go to the YouTube video page and copy the URL of the video you wish to save. For example, below is a URL to a video on YouTube, the whole address would be copied.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3ymHMgFAps
2. Once this address has been copied, paste that URL into the below URL text field and click the Download Video button.
3. If done properly, a new window will open with available video formats that can be saved. For most users we suggest the MP4 format, other formats may include FLV, 3GP, and WebM.

YouTube boomarklet

If you plan on downloading several videos, use the Computer Hope YouTube bookmarklet. See our bookmarklet page for more information.

Other YouTube download sites

In addition to using the above box to convert your videos there are also many other websites and services that will allow you to download YouTube videos. Below are just a few of our favorites.
Caution: These services can be used to save any flash videos online and can be used to save adult related videos, which unfortunately means when viewing these pages you may be subjected to adult related content.

Watching a FLV video on your computer

Once the .flv file has been downloaded to your computer, you'll need a player that supports .flv files. Below are a few suggestions.
VLC media player
http://www.videolan.org/
Windows Media Player
Microsoft Windows users also have the ability of playing FLV files in Windows Media player with the right codec. Downloading and installing the CCCP codec will install this codec, as well as many other codecs you'll likely need in the future.

Converting the YouTube video to a different movie format

There are dozens of different software programs and online services available that will allow you to convert FLV files into another format. Below is a short listing of some of the free services and products we recommend.
Media Convert - An excellent online service that can convert FLV files into dozens of other formats.
http://www.media-convert.com/
Vixy - Another great online service that allows you to download and save YouTube video files to another format.
http://vixy.net/

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Anika Devi received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University in 2012. She began freelancing for Business Solutions BD in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor.
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