A Quick Guide to Downloading YouTube Videos on a Mac

Whether you’re stocking up on videos for a long trip without Wi-Fi or hoping to download tutorials or essays for work or personal projects, knowing how to download YouTube videos onto your Macbook is a useful skill. Rather than having to constantly rely on an internet connection while you’re on the go, you can simply plop down wherever you are, boot up your Macbook, and start watching.

Now, YouTube does have a feature that will allow you to download videos straight onto your iPad or iPhone, but there’s a catch – you’ll need to be subscribed to YouTube Premium. The same can be said about other streaming services like Disney, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. If you’re like me and don’t want to commit to yet another subscription service, this is the place for you.

What do you need to embark on this journey of downloading YouTube videos on a Mac? Well, it’s quite simple, and chances are, you already have everything you need:

  • A MacBook
  • Screen recording software

The beauty of this method is that you won’t need to download or purchase any additional software or apps. Ever since Mojave, macOS has had a built-in screen recording feature, which makes this process a breeze.

Youtube on mac
photo: YouTube

Step-by-Step Guide

Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of downloading YouTube videos on your Mac:

  1. Find the YouTube video of your choice: Start by loading up your chosen YouTube video on your Mac. Ensure that the video quality is set to your desired resolution and that it’s in full-screen mode for the best results.
  2. Activate screen recording: Here’s where the magic happens. Press Command + Shift + 5 on your keyboard. This key combination will open up the screen recording menu.
  3. Begin recording: In the screen recording menu, click on the “Record Entire Screen” button. Now, press the play button on the YouTube video or simply hit the space bar to start playing the video. Your Mac is now recording the screen, capturing the YouTube video in the process.
  4. Stop recording: Once you’ve recorded what you want, click on the stop button at the top of the screen, or you can press the same key combination you used to start recording (Command + Shift + 5). Your recording will stop, and you’ll have successfully captured the YouTube video.

There you have it! It’s a straightforward process that doesn’t require any additional software or subscriptions. You’ve just learned how to download YouTube videos on a Mac using the built-in screen recording feature.

But, if you’d rather have an app do the downloading for you, there are options available as well. Some apps like EaseUS Video Downloader or Downie offer 14-day free trials and relatively affordable pricing plans if you want to explore this route. However, it’s worth noting that most free YouTube video downloaders aren’t of very high quality, carry the risk of viruses, or plaster watermarks all over your downloaded content.

In the end, whether you choose the built-in screen recording method or opt for an external app, the power to download YouTube videos on your Mac is now at your fingertips. So, whether you’re preparing for a tech-free journey or just want to keep some entertainment handy, you’re all set to build your offline video library.

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