How to Download YouTube Videos on Mac [6 Ultimate Methods]

Why do you want to download YouTube videos on your Mac? Some people want to keep their favorite videos in case the videos become unavailable, and others use resources from YouTube at school or at work. You must have your own reason. If you're looking for ways to download videos from YouTube to your Mac, there are 6 feasible methods introduced in this post. Let's see how they work out and which one is the best choice for you.

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CONTENTMethod 1. Download YouTube videos Using YouTube PremiumMethod 2. Download YouTube Videos on Mac with VideoHunterMethod 3. Download YouTube Videos Online for Free Method 4. Download YouTube Videos on Mac with Chrome ExtensionMethod 5. Download YouTube Videos to Mac with VLC Media PlayerMethod 6. Save YouTube Videos by Recording the ScreenComparison of 6 Ways to Download YouTube Videos on Mac

Method 1. Download YouTube videos Using YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium has various pricing in different countries, but the features are the same, including playing videos in the background, streaming ad-free videos, and downloading YouTube videos. Many users will subscribe to YouTube in order to skip ads. Before we go any further, you should learn the drawbacks of YouTube Premium.

  • Downloads should be viewed at least once in 30 days or they'll be unavailable.
  • The video quality ranges from 144p up to 1080p Full HD according to your preferred setting.
  • You can download YouTube videos using Chrome, Edge & Opera browsers. (Firefox is not supported for now)
  • Downloads will be encrypted with DRM (Digital Rights Management) restrictions and cannot be played on other media players.
  • Downloads will become unavailable in the next sync if the source is removed or deleted.

Since you can get a one-month free trial of YouTube Premium before you decide to pay for the subscription, You have the flexibility to use it to download YouTube videos. The procedure is easy to follow. You can check out the quick tutorial below to learn how YouTube Premium works.

STEP 1. Visit in the supported browser on your Mac.

STEP 2. Click your profile on the top right and go to Purchases and memberships. Choose a plan to finish the subscription.

STEP 3. Now, search for the video you want to download and stream it. You'll see the DOWNLOAD button under the video.

STEP 4. Click the DOWNLOAD button and choose the preferred video quality to download.

STEP 5. If you want to check out all downloads, you can go to Downloads on the left bar.

Note that you can preset the video quality in Settings - Downloads - Download quality.

Download a Video Using YouTube Premium

Method 2. Download YouTube Videos on Mac with VideoHunter

Also, it's a good idea to resort to a professional video downloader for help. VideoHunter offers the most advanced online video download service. This program works perfectly on Mac and enables users to download any videos from YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Vimeo, and over 1,000 mainstream video sites. If you're unfamiliar with this software, you may want to know what this excellent tool can do for you as follows.

  1. VideoHunter can save YouTube videos in MP4 of Up to 8K depending on the original video quality.
  2. The program also enables users to download music videos from YouTube to MP3 of up to 320kbps.
  3. It can download multiple videos or the entire playlist/channel from YouTube at up to 6X faster speed.
  4. It offers a subtitle downloader for users to download subtitles of multi-languages in SRT files.
  5. VideoHunter can download 360° VR videos, private videos, unlisted videos, vertical videos, and Live replays from YouTube.

This tool is also user-friendly to use with no need to know any expertise. Let's see how to utilize VideoHunter to download YouTube videos on Mac in 3 steps.

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STEP 1. Launch VideoHunter on Mac
Give it a click on the Download button above and it'll automatically fetch the latest DMG file for you to install VideoHunter on your Mac. It supports all models of Mac running macOS X 10.12 and above, including MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro. Then, launch the program and you'll see the intuitive interface.

VideoHunter Mac

STEP 2. Copy YouTube Video Link
Now, go to and open the desired video. Then, copy the URL to your clipboard and go back to VideoHunter. You should paste the link in the bar and click the Analyze button to start extracting data from YouTube.

Note that you can also download the entire YouTube playlist or YouTube Channel.

Copy Youtube URL

STEP 3. Download Videos on Mac
When the program is done fetching data from YouTube, it'll bring up a popup that allows you to choose among options of different resolutions. Just pick a preferred option and choose the related subtitle to download the YouTube video to your Mac.

Download a Video on Mac

Method 3. Download YouTube Videos Online for Free

If you want neither to subscribe to YouTube Premium nor to download any software, an online YouTube downloader is a perfect match for you. The internet now floods with countless online YouTube downloaders on the market, from which SSYouTube Downloader stands out.

This online tool is able to download YouTube videos to MP4 or WebM. But the main disadvantages include the restriction to download quality of up to 1080p and its unstable performance. Due to Digital Rights Management, the online YouTube downloader violates YouTube's terms of service and tends to be banned by Search Engines from time to time.

Due to Digital Rights Management, it happens that online YouTube downloaders violate YouTube's terms of service. And these online tools tend to be banned by Search Engines from time to time. Therefore, it is common to find error messages such as "Failed Download" will pop up as you paste the YouTube video link and wait for grabbing the downloads. Besides, the online downloader website can be down sometimes and brings inconveniences.

Despite the occasional download failure, online YouTube downloaders are ideal options given the fact these online tools can be accessed on any operating system that has a browser. Online YouTube downloaders can be accessed on any operating system that has a browser. To download videos from YouTube to your Mac, you can follow the tutorial here.

STEP 1. Open SSYouTube Downloader in Safari on Mac.

STEP 2. Go to YouTube and view the video you want to download.

STEP 3. Copy the video URL and paste it to SSYouTube Downloader.

STEP 4. The site will automatically detect the link and show Download options of different video quality.

STEP 5. Click the Download button and it'll prompt you to save the video to a folder on Mac.

SSYouTube Video Downloader

Method 4. Download YouTube Videos on Mac with Chrome Extension

There were excellent YouTube downloader extensions that users can download from Google Store. However, it is now prohibited by Google from directly downloading the YouTube Downloader extension from its store. Don't be frustrated. Viable options such as YouTube4K Downloader are still available.

This Chrome Extension gives you a Premium-like feature that shows the Download button right below the YouTube video. It's easy to download YouTube videos but sometimes it is unstable and suspended for maintenance. You may want to follow the steps below and get the Chrome Extension working for you.

STEP 1. Open Google Chrome on your Mac. (Safari isn't supported in this case.)

STEP 2. Click here to download the ZIP file of YouTube4K Downloader. Then, extract the file from your Mac.

STEP 3. On Chrome, go to the Dropdown menu - More Tools - Extensions, and toggle on Developer mode.

STEP 4. Click Load unpacked and load the Chrome Extension from your Mac. Then, wait until the Extension is successfully installed.

Load Unpacked in Chrome

STEP 5. Go to a YouTube video and you'll see the DOWNLOAD button next to the SUBSCRIBE button.

STEP 6. Click on the DOWNLOAD button to see more options. Now, choose a preferred option and click Download to save the video to your Mac.

Use Extension to Download YouTube Videos

Method 5. Download YouTube Videos to Mac with VLC Media Player

The VLC media player is indeed a versatile tool. It may be well known as a media player, but this utility can do more than play media files. VLC also enables users to convert local files, record on-screen activities, and download YouTube videos. If you have VLC installed on your Mac, you definitely should grasp the idea of downloading YouTube videos to Mac using the VLC media player here.

STEP 1. Launch the VLC media player from your Mac.

STEP 2. Click the File tab and choose Open Network Stream.

VLC Open Network Stream

STEP 3. Go to your desired YouTube video and copy & paste the video link into the Open Source window.

STEP 4. Click Open to stream the YouTube video, and then go to Window - Media Information.

STEP 5. A link is shown at the bottom. You should copy the link and paste it into your Safari.

STEP 6. The link will redirect you to the video page, and you can right-click to choose Download Video As to save the YouTube video to your Mac.

Copy the URL in VLC

Method 6. Save YouTube Videos by Recording the Screen

Another possible method seems a bit tricky. That is to record the YouTube video on your own. This may sound like a lot of work, but it's actually workable. When recording a YouTube video, some screen recorders on the market will display a black screen while the audio can still be captured. This is because videos uploaded to YouTube are protected by DRM copy restrictions and not all screen recorders can bypass DRM. For people who are inclined to record video contents from YouTube, we recommend VideoSolo Screen Recorder which has full support for getting rid of the black screen issue.

VideoSolo Screen Recorder is a powerful recorder that enables users to capture on-screen activities with the system sound on Mac. If needed, you can also record your webcam and microphone sound along with the recording. The recording will be saved in MP4, WMV, MOV, F4V, TS, and AVI of up to lossless video quality without a watermark. Now, let's see how this tricky way works out.

STEP 1. Download and install VideoSolo Screen Recorder on your Mac.

STEP 2. Stream a YouTube video that you want to record on Safari.

STEP 3. Select Video Recorder and custom the area to fit the YouTube preview window.

Optional STEP. To modify output quality and format, you can go to ≡ - Preferences - Video Settings.

STEP 4. Turn on the System Sound and perform a Sound Check.

STEP 5. When you've got everything ready, click the REC button to start recording the YouTube video. When the recording ends, you can trim the video to a preferred length.

Video Recorder

Comparison of 6 Ways to Download YouTube Videos on Mac

If you get confused by so many methods and don't know which one to try, you ought to check out this table chart below. The compassion will tell you the differences among the 6 methods and you'll know what is your best pick.

Methods 4K/8K Support Batch Download Playlist Download Choose Format Private YouTube Download Easy to Operate
Use YouTube Premium × × × × ×
Use VideoHunter
Use Online Tool × × × × ×
Use Chrome Extension × × × ×
Use VLC × × × × × ×
Use Screen Recorder × × ×

To sum up, you can try the free solutions: Online Tool, Chrome Extension, and VLC media player, if you don't want to pay extra money. However, the resolution of a YouTube video is restricted to 1080p at most. Or, if you prefer a professional tool to batch download as many YouTube videos as you want to up to 8K, VideoHunter is the top priority. Better yet, it works not only for YouTube, but over 1,000 video sites.

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