YouTube Premium users get experimental video downloads on desktop

If you're a YouTube Premium subscriber, you get access to upcoming (and still experimental) features before the company releases them for everyone. One of the latest additions to the experimental features list is support for video downloads on desktop, offering the same offline playback opportunity that has been available on mobile for quite a while.

Users have been able to download videos from YouTube for as long as the service has been available, but this process often involves less than ideal third-party websites that, at times, blast you with advertisements or download malware instead of the video you selected. Premium offers an official way to download videos, assuming you're willing to pay.

The Premium download feature is, it seems, heading to desktop browsers — it is now listed as an experimental feature available to Premium subscribers now through October 19, at which point it will be removed. Assuming you're a subscriber who is accessing YouTube from Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Opera browser, you'll see a download button and the option to download videos via the triple-dot menu.

As with other experimental features, there's no guarantee the browser download option will be available to everyone once it leaves the experimental roster for Premium users. In the case of some past feature tests, it has taken a while for the new functionality to roll out to everyone.

Though many people now consume videos using their mobile device, there are instances where it may be useful to have the feature on desktop. Someone who is, for example, planning to work on a school project or get some tasks done on their laptop while away from WiFi may find it useful to download the videos they'll need before leaving.