The Best YouTube Downloader Apps For PC And Mac

YouTube is a limitless platform that offers hours of entertainment and educational content. From music videos and gaming walkthroughs to DIY tutorials and product reviews, there is something for everyone. However, even with its great online hosting capabilities, in addition to a practical built-in media player, the videos are locked to the platform itself. If you were to lose your internet connection, so goes the ability to watch the video you're interested in. The same applies to those wishing to save, edit, or transfer content. You can view the video at any time, but you'll always be bound by the YouTube channel's chosen format.

This is where YouTube downloader apps for PC and Mac come in handy. These third-party apps allow you to download and format YouTube videos to your preferences. Whether it's to save a video for offline viewing or convert a file to audio only, these apps give you the freedom to do what you want. The following are the best YouTube downloader apps currently available, including both free and paid options.

Any Video Converter

An app advertising a free version of its services can cause a sense of hesitation. Fortunately, Any Video Converter is legitimately free and useful. The app is loaded with multiple features in an easy-to-understand interface that is complemented by unique tools such as "VideoConverter, VideoCutter, VideoCropper, VideoMerger, AudioFilter, and VideoDownloader."

As the name suggests, the "converter" tool lets you convert any video to MP4, MOV, MKV, M2TS, MPEG, ASF, M4V, WMV, WEBM, OGV, or other formats. At the same time, the "cropper" can adjust the height and width of a video, essentially resizing it, so as to remove unwanted portions and highlight specific areas. Moreover, the "merger" tool lets you combine multiple videos into one, removing the need for additional editing tools. As for downloading from YouTube itself, simply paste the URL in the "downloader" and you're ready to go.

Any Video Converter is ideal for those looking to download, convert, and edit YouTube content without the fear of ads or malware. If you want even more features, you could sign up for their paid "Ultimate" and "Pro" versions which retail for $39.95 and $49.95, respectively. These come with bonuses such as 30x faster conversion speeds, 4K UHD video conversion, and the ability to burn videos directly to DVD. But once again, if you're solely after a YouTube downloader, the free version is sufficient.

EaseUS Video Downloader

EaseUS Video Downloader is a swift tool that allows users to download videos to their PC or Mac device. The app has a modest appearance with three main headings including "Quick Search, Downloader, and Video to MP3." In the first "Quick Search" tab, you'll be prompted with two courses of action: copy the video URL into the search console, or, search the name of the video using the built-in browser. EaseUS supports multiple video hosting sites, so ensure you've selected YouTube should you click the built-in search option.

Once you've found the YouTube video you're looking for, move to the "Downloader" tab, where you'll be able to choose a video format and custom resolution. These options can range from MP4 @4K UHD to WEBM @360p. Depending on the video source, you'll even have the option to add subtitles and select a language of your choice.

EaseUS Video Downloader includes a video-to-MP3 converter. Bear in mind the MP3 feature will first require you to download the entire video first, and then convert it to audio-only. You'll therefore need to save the video under 1080p and then convert it to MP3 at a desired bit rate of 128 to 320 kbps. EaseUS Video Downloader is available in both a trial and paid version. The trial does not include 4K UHD downloads and limits the total number of videos you can save. The paid Windows version is also cheaper at $12.99 a month, whereas Mac options start at $19.99.

4K Video Downloader

4K Video Downloader is another straightforward YouTube downloading tool that lets you save your favorite videos but in a much larger capacity. You can even copy entire YouTube playlists and channels. Similar to EaseUS Video Downloader, other video sites are also supported, but the real value is found within the YouTube platform. Once you've chosen a YouTube playlist, not only will you be able to save the exact videos you want, but you'll also have the option to choose each video's individual format and quality. In other words, there's no single output setting for grouped videos.

If there's an album you'd like to listen to, you can directly convert and download said playlist into MP3, M4A, or OGG. You'll simply need to paste a link to the playlist, click the "Download Video" field, and select "Extract Audio." Once you've chosen the exact songs you want, followed by the format and audio quality, you're ready to go. There's no additional conversion step needed.

An additional feature is the ability to download private, 3D, and 360° videos. You can even download YouTube Subscriptions automatically, so you never miss a video from your favorite creator. In terms of costs, the amount will vary per package. The "Free" edition is fairly limited, while the "Pro" edition includes all of the above features and more for a lifetime one-time fee of $45.

VideoProc Converter

If you're a content creator looking at advanced video processing, add VideoProc Converter to your list. The software transcends the simplicities of basic YouTube downloaders and functions as both a converter and editing tool, as well as a capture instrument. Available on both Mac and Windows, VideoProc Converter's $39.95 lifetime license offers incredible value for those on a budget. VideoProc incorporates more than 370+ input formats and 420+ output formats. From standard inputs such as YouTube URLs to actual DVDs, you can output any file type to MP4, AVI, HEVC, WMV, MKV, FLV, and more. Tou'll be able to watch them on practically any device. and there's also an option to upscale or downscale videos from 720p to 4K.

Fairly unique is VideoProc Converter's implementation of level-3 hardware acceleration, powered by your graphics card. This means faster video processing, less CPU strain, and more image preservation from the original source for the best video-quality output. So, should you decide to download a YouTube video in 4K and downscale it to 1080p, it's going to maintain a lot of that UHD crisp.

Conversion is just the beginning, as VideoProc also includes a full editing tool. Once you have downloaded your YouTube video you'll be able to cut, crop, merge, rotate, stabilize, speed up, slow down, or watermark your project. You can add effects such as filters or increase the brightness and contrast. Finally, there's the screen recording tool to capture a live YouTube recording or make your own content.

aTube Catcher

The best features for YouTube downloaders are often locked behind their paid versions. Some apps may restrict the number of downloads, the quality of videos, or the available formats, aTube Catcher is a free tool that allows you to download videos from thousands of sites including YouTube. While aTube Catcher has been free for over 14 years with 200 million downloads, they do unfortunately try to lure you into adware, namely a browser toolbar extension. Therefore, when installing the app, make sure you have not selected any add-ons.

Now that aTube Catcher has been installed, the first thing you'll notice is its plain interface. Under the "Downloader" tab, simply paste the YouTube URL of the video you'd like to save, click "Download," and you'll be presented with a range of video formats and resolutions, including the option to save the audio only.

Unlike other apps on this list, there isn't a quick selection setting for each video resolution, sound quality, or format. Keep scrolling until you find your ideal conversion format. It takes some time, but it's a small sacrifice for a free service. Alternatively, you can download the video in its original format and use the "Video Converter" to reach your desired file type. A few surprising features include a "Screen Recorder" and a "DVD,/BluRay/CD Creator." While not as refined as something like VideoProc Converter, it's a welcomed addition for those who want to create content.

Airy YouTube Downloader

The Airy YouTube Downloader app is the easiest way to save your favorite YouTube videos. Its bare-bones interface is an empty YouTube URL, format selector, and a download button. With no further complications, everything you see on the surface of the app is all you'll need to successfully download a YouTube video. Among its proposed resolutions, you'll find options ranging from 144p all the way to 8k. Keep in mind that Airy cannot upscale a video, so whatever maximum resolution your chosen video has will also be the highest quality Airy will present for downloading. You can, however, change the format before your download begins, M4P, MKV, MP3, and 3GP are all accounted for.

With Airy YouTube Downloader's simplicity, the available formats are not as broad as other apps on this list. For example, when choosing MP3, you will not be given the choice of bitrate or proposed audio quality. The MP3 file's quality will be limited to the specifications of the original video, and you'll need an additional converter should you want to make any further audio adjustments.

With somewhat limited formats out the way, the Airy YouTube Downloader shines in terms of overall efficiency. Users can download videos of any length, download as much as they want, save entire playlists, and access age-restricted or private content (granted you have the URL link). Download speed is based on your internet connection. Airy comes in both a $19.95 personal license and a $39.95 family license.


ClipGrab is a free video downloader that lets you save videos from YouTube and other streaming sites. While it only supports MPEG4, WMV, OGG, FLV, WebM, and MP3 formats, the app itself is well-structured and available on both PC and Mac. Once installed, users will simply need to paste their desired YouTube video link into the URL bar, select the format, decide on the video quality, and click "Grab this clip!"

The main advantage of ClipGrab is that all its features are available for free from the get-go. There isn't any paywall or trial period, but the available features are far from perfect in terms of output quality. Choosing any format besides the "Original" format may decrease the quality of your video. This will apply even if you have selected the highest resolution available. The same downgrade in performance also applies to MP3 conversions. Users must ensure that "Original (audio only)" has been selected for the best possible sound. Somewhat confusing is also the absence of bitrate information. Instead, users will need to choose audio quality based on video resolution. ClibGrab, therefore, advises 480p at minimum, if you decide not to go with "Original (audio only)."

The app has an advanced recognition system that can detect and download videos from streaming sites that are not "officially supported" by ClipGrab. The bloat-free app is therefore a welcomed change compared to most free-downloading apps that offer similar features.

Are you allowed to download YouTube videos?

Strictly speaking, according to YouTube's Terms of Service under "Permissions and Restrictions," users may not download any videos without the express consent of the company itself. If you were somehow found guilty of a breach, the consequences could range from an account ban all the way to a civil lawsuit brought against your name. According to United States copyright law and in many countries across Europe, it is illegal to make copies of content you do not own without the permission of the copyright owner. As a result, any copyrighted movies, music, or content you download from YouTube, can put you at risk of both a criminal and civil lawsuit. While the chances of actually being punished for downloading copyrighted YouTube videos are slim, you are essentially still breaking the law.

However, you are allowed to download content that has no exclusive intellectual property rights. These are often videos that are free to the public or where an artist has given permission to retain, reproduce, or distribute their work.

In summary, proceed at your own risk, while always considering the copyright rules of your own country. Most if not all YouTube downloader apps issue a warning of copyright infringement while using their services, and will advise against it. Once you hit the download button, the liability falls on your end as the user who presumably got permission from both YouTube and the artist.

YouTube downloading apps vs. online YouTube downloaders

YouTube downloading apps are not the only way to save your favorite videos. If you're not keen on the idea of installing an app onto your PC or Mac, then there's the alternative of using a website for a direct download. These sites tend to come with drawbacks, however.

Presentation: Most YouTube downloading apps offer a clean and easy user interface. Since the best ones are often paid versions, or trial-limited, there's no need to surround the platform with unnecessary content. On the contrary, since online YouTube downloaders are usually free, these sites make their money via ad revenue. This means that their website presentation and user interface are often overshadowed by unnecessary pop-ups and false redirect buttons.

Fewer formats and features: While you may find the most popular MP4 and MP3 formats, it's rare to come across various audio bitrates and resolutions. Furthermore, the video will be downloaded as is. There's no editing option to crop, cut, or edit the final product. Online YouTube downloaders also work via single video URLs only, without the option to save entire playlists or channels.

Download speed: Online YouTube downloaders are capped by a remote server and your own data connection. You'll find that they take much longer to download YouTube videos compared to an optimized app installed on your PC or Mac. This can be frustrating should you want to save multiple videos, while still being limited to single downloads on the website.

How do YouTube downloader apps compare to YouTube Premium?

YouTube actually has its own download feature. Certain videos will have a "Download" option beneath them, and you'll be able to save them for later. Similar to downloading apps, users will be able to watch their favorite videos offline. However, there are restrictions. For starters, downloading videos via YouTube isn't the same for everyone. If you live in the United States, you'll have to sign up for YouTube Premium in order to access this feature. Other countries may allow you to download for free, but content may be locked to specific videos. And, the videos you download on the YouTube app will be locked to the app itself. YouTube Premium or its "Download" feature will not function as a conversion tool or a permanent means of access. You can choose the video quality but will not be able to separate audio from video and save files in an MP3 format. Moreover, if you do not keep an active internet connection for 30 days, you'll eventually lose your saved videos. 

YouTube downloading apps offer fewer restrictions, allowing you to download any video, at any resolution, onto the device itself with the freedom to separate it from the YouTube platform entirely (granted you have been given permission to do so). The choice is therefore an easy one if downloading is your primary goal without YouTube's Premiums cost of $11.99 a month.