YouTube tends to disallow downloading content from their service, but if you have rights to the content, then you may need to access it on your own computer.

Let’s talk about how to download from YouTube on your platform!

The Underlying Tool

In general, almost every tool that downloads from YouTube or similar websites uses yt-dlp underneath. This is a customizable tool you run in your terminal. It can download basically any media from most websites, including YouTube.

To get it, just download the package for your system. Here's the commands for some common systems:

  • Fedora: sudo dnf install yt-dlp
  • Ubuntu: sudo apt install yt-dlp
    • 20.04 needs backports: sudo apt install yt-dlp/focal-backports
  • macOS: brew install yt-dlp (if you don't have Homebrew, get it here)
  • Windows: winget install yt-dlp

If you're like most people, you'll only use one command. Just type: yt-dlp with your YouTube link to download it. Additional download options are available. To see some common ones, click here!

However, there are also some graphical tools you can use instead. These tools should be easier to use, like apps!


On Linux, I recommend using Tube Converter! It allows for easy configuration of the different qualities, file formats, captions, and other options from YouTube and many other sites.

You can get it from GNOME Software by typing "Tube Converter," or you can grab it from Flathub. If you don't have Flathub installed, click here and select your distribution.

Once you have it, you can get any video you'd like - pretty much anywhere!

a screenshot of the libadwaita application Tube Converter

macOS and Windows

For macOS and Windows (also Linux if you want), you can use Open Video Downloader, also known as youtube-dl-gui, to download videos.

You can download the installer for your system here.

Unfortunately, the app doesn't seem to support ARM Linux, so I can't show it off on my own computer. However, here's the official Windows Store screenshot!

a screenshot of YouTube Downloader GUI running on Windows


On Android, I have two suggestions! One is for newer phones, but the other will run on pretty much anything that turns on.


Seal is a modern, Material You wrapper for yt-dlp and aria2c. It should let you download pretty much anything you can think of! It has an easy-to-use UI and morphs its colors to your wallpaper, so it should look great on modern devices!

Most importantly, it has a Share button option. You can download any video as long as it can be shared, including on YouTube, but also with other social media apps like Twitter!

Here's how it looks:

a screenshot of Seal running on Android 12. It's using colors from my wallpaper due to Material You!


dvd is another yt-dlp wrapper on Android. Unlike Seal, it eschews the fancy UI and options. Instead, you can click the search bar, paste your link in, and download one of the (many) size options. Also differing from Seal, it can run on Android 5.0 - that's from 2014!

It doesn't look great, and GUI options are limited (though you can always add your config values through the command line options setting). Even so, it'll run on pretty much anything.

It also has a Share button feature!

a screenshot of the dvd app. It looks dated, with an original Material Design look. it uses a purple accent


On iOS, apps that download from services like YouTube are not allowed on the Apple App Store (see the App Store Review Guidelines, section 5.2.3). However, you are able to install a Shortcut that does this for you!

Tap here, then click "An iOS shortcut..." to install the script. When you want to download something, share it, then click the red youtube-dl icon in the listing.

While the script has been helpful at times, I've found that it tends to freeze often. (In fact, it froze when I took the screenshot below.) I suggest using the website instead.

a screenshot of the YouTube D L shortcut running on an iPhone.


If you can't use any of these other options, there's a website known as cobalt you can use as an alternative.

iOS users will love this site, as it provides a handy iOS shortcut!

However, it's worth noting that Cobalt doesn't support some websites that yt-dlp does. It spins its own parsers and doesn't use existing tools whatsoever. If that's alright with you, you'll love Cobalt!

a screenshot of the minimal downloader website.


In general, if you need to download a video or song from YouTube, you can be sure that there's a way to do it! If you have any suggestions for additional applications, please feel free to email me:!