YouTube has been allowing official downloads of videos in the smartphone app for some time, and is now also testing the ability to download content on computers. You can turn it on now.
The ability to download YouTube videos on smartphones is one of the features available in the YouTube Premium subscription. In the case of mobile devices, it makes sense, because we can download selected materials on the home Wi-Fi network, and then watch them on the road, regardless of the lack of coverage or Internet package limits. As a YouTube Premium user, I regularly use this option and I am very satisfied with it.
Now YouTube has decided to extend the ability to download videos to desktops. It works in a similar way, so from the level of a computer browser (Chrome, Edge or Opera) we can download YouTube videos to memory. You will be able to play them on the new Downloads subpage , but – as in the case of smartphones – there is no simple possibility of copying the movie file to watch it outside of YouTube.
How to enable YouTube video download ?
Currently, downloading videos is a test feature available only to YouTube Premium subscribers. If you are such a user, you must enable the download function on the experimental features subpage . Testing for this feature runs through October 19, but it is not known what will happen after that date. The video download feature may exit the experimental program and join YouTube permanently, or it may disappear altogether.
Unfortunately, however, there is a catch that iOS users won’t like. It turns out that you can only test one experimental feature at a time, and I suspect that most people who have an iPhone and a YT Premium subscription at the same time already use the Picture in Picture (PiP) function . Enabling the download feature on the desktop will disable PiP mode on the iPhone.
How to download a YouTube video ?
After enabling the video download feature, we will see a new button on the YouTube video playback screen. This will be the all-in-one “Download” button that appears between “Share” and “Save” (watch later).
As I mentioned, downloaded videos cannot be easily pulled from the browser. It’s a pity, because it would be useful, for example, to people who edit video materials, use official materials shown by producers, as well as, for example, from movie trailers.
Unfortunately, in order to download such materials as separate files, you still have to use external programs with a very suspicious reputation.