How to download YouTube videos on Mac?

Download YouTube Videos on Mac

Since its creation, Youtube has allowed its users to enjoy videos of all kinds for free. However, to access it requires an Internet connection.

Indeed, unlike the largest video streaming services, the YouTube platform does not have an offline viewing feature, unless you pay for a Premium subscription.

Be aware that solutions exist for you to download your favorite videos, however, please note that this process is against YouTube’s terms of service.

The company clarifies that you are not allowed to extract content unless the content offers a download link.

Also, it is obvious, but it seems necessary to remind it, that all videos are protected by copyright. Because of this, you cannot use them to feed your personal channel or to promote your business.

If these restrictions don’t scare you off, then read on to learn how to save YouTube videos to your Mac.

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Subscribe to YouTube Premium

As we said previously, YouTube has a Premium subscription with which you can record videos on your smartphone.

This service costs €11.99 / month, or half the cost for students, and it has advantages such as removing ads or even accessing YouTube Music Premium at no additional cost.

However, YouTube Premium has its limitations and it only allows downloading of videos and music to mobile devices, not to PC or Mac.

Either way, it is still the most legal way to save YouTube content.

On the other hand, if you do not want to pay for this privilege, then turn to other free or cheaper solutions.

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Save YouTube Videos to Your Mac for Free

On the web, there are many tools capable of recording YouTube videos on your Mac, some free and some paid.

In our opinion, free applications are potentially dangerous and can be the source of a virus or scam, especially when they ask you to install Flash.

Luckily, there are other free ways to try on your Mac, without having to go through a third-party app.

macOS Mojave: Command + Shift + 5

Since the release of macOS Mojave, you can take advantage of a built-in video screenshot feature. For it:

  • Press Command + Shift + 5 .
  • Select the part to record.
  • In the window at the bottom of the screen, click Save.
  • Start playing the video.
  • Stop the video whenever you want.
  • To stop recording the screen, click on the circle with a square that appears next to the WiFi icon.

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Before Apple merged recording and screenshot tools on macOS, the QuickTime utility was in heavy demand. Besides, it still works, at least for now. Here’s how :

  • Open Spotlight with the Command + Space shortcut.
  • Type QuickTime Player.
  • Go to File, then New Screen Recording.
  • Go to Options, then choose a microphone.
  • Click the red button icon.
  • To start recording the full screen, click anywhere on the screen.

When finished, click the icon in the menu bar to stop recording.

Your video will then appear in a window, select File → Save.

QuickTime is without a doubt the best way to record YouTube videos on Mac for free.

Download a YouTube video: the best software

To save a YouTube video on your Mac, you can use paid software, for example.


iTubeDownloader is a paid utility but it offers a free trial, it may be sufficient depending on your needs.

It looks like a browser in appearance, in reality, it automatically directs you to the YouTube home page.

On it, click the download button next to the URL bar to grab the video you’re watching.

iTubeDownloader is easy to use, however its free version adds watermarks and only offers small resolutions …

Parallels ToolBox

Parallels ToolBox has designed 30 tools to simplify a number of tasks on your Mac.

Install Parallels Toolbox, a toolbox icon appears in the menu at the top of your screen. Above you will access several options, including Download Video.

Click on it, a small window will open on your screen. Copy the URL of your YouTube video and paste it into it.

An arrow will indicate while the video is loading, its speed will be determined by your internet connection.

Finally, you will find the video file in your Download folder. It will be saved as an MPEG-4 movie, and it will open in QuickTime.

Parallels Toolbox is $ 19.99 / year, before you get started, it offers you a free 7-day trial version.

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