If you want to copy YouTube videos to your computer, you have a variety of online options. There are actually too many to know which ones are better and more trustworthy than others.
We’ve previously shown you a few sites that help you download videos and playlists, but that includes using other people’s servers, checking the page source, finding obscure download links, and dealing with endless NSFW popups on other people’s domains.
Why bother with all this when you can rip YouTube videos quickly and effortlessly using the software application that most people have already installed on their computers? I mean VLC Player of course.
This example was done on a macOS laptop, but the Windows method is very similar.
- Go to the YouTube page with the video you want to copy and copy the URL of the video.
How to rip YouTube video using VLC player
- Go to the YouTube page of the video you want to copy and copy the URL of the video.
- If you haven’t installed VLC Player yet, grab it from the website and install. It’s free.
- When it’s installed, open it and select “File” – “Open Network”. On Windows, this is Media – Open Network Stream.
- In the pop-up window, paste the URL of the YouTube video you want to copy.
- YouTube videos will now stream in VLC.
- If you are on a Mac, click Window – Media Info. On Windows go to Tools – Codec Information.
- At the very bottom of the screen is a very long link in the Location field. Highlight the entire link, right-click and select “Copy.”
- Go to your browser and into the URL bar paste the long link from the Location field in VLC. The YouTube video should now start playing automatically in the browser. Right-click the video and select “Save Video As”.
- By default, the video will be saved as a video for playback (no format). So give your file a name and try with mp4 format first. If that doesn’t work, try avi.
- Your file will now be downloaded to your computer exactly as the original bootloader provided it. Therefore, the picture and sound quality will differ.
Given how easy it was to rip YouTube videos, who needs online converters and sourcing website pages? Of course not.