How to Download YouTube Videos to Your iPhone

Keep your favorite videos and watch them on the go

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When you want to watch YouTube videos on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, point a web browser to YouTube.com or download the free YouTube app from the App Store, find a video, and view it. If you want to watch your favorite YouTube videos over and over again — even when you're not connected to the internet — download YouTube videos to your iPhone or iPod touch using one of the available tools.

Instructions in this article apply to devices running iOS 10.2 or later. For instructions if you're using Android, consult How to Download YouTube Videos on Your Android Device.

Software for Downloading YouTube Videos to iPhone

Several tools are available that save YouTube videos. Some are websites, some are programs that run on a computer, and others are apps that run directly on an iPhone. While this list is far from comprehensive, here are some options to look into.

Read reviews before you pay for an app or service.

  • ClipGrab: Software for Windows, Mac, and Linux (free).
  • KeepVid: A web-based tool with a desktop version available (free).
  • Replay Media Catcher: Software for Windows and Mac (paid).
  • Zamzar: A web-based tool (free).

How to Download YouTube Videos

The exact steps required to download videos depend on which program you use. These instructions roughly apply to most tools that download videos.

  1. Choose a tool from the list above or search for another option at the App Store or online.

  2. Install the tool and open it, then go to YouTube (either in the app or in a web browser) and find the video you want to download.

    You may need to copy and paste the URL of the video into the download app.

  3. When saving a video, choose the MP4 video format. Some tools don't offer this choice but may offer the option to create a video for iPhone and iPod.

  4. After the video downloads, it will either be on the iOS device or computer (depending on which platform the download app uses). If it's on the computer, transfer the video to the phone or tablet through iTunes.

  5. Find the video file, drag it into iTunes, then sync the iPhone with the computer.

  6. In the Movies tab of the iTunes syncing screen, check the box next to the video you just downloaded from YouTube, then click Sync.

The YouTube video downloads to your device just like any other video, and you can watch it when and where you want. You can also view it in the pre-installed Videos app.

If you saved the video using an app, it might be in the app you used to download it. If so, you should be able to watch it there.

If the app didn't save the video, check the pre-installed Apple TV app. In it, you'll see all the videos on your device, including the one you just added. Tap it to watch the video.

Should You Download YouTube Videos?

When individuals or organizations post videos to YouTube, they want to share their content, but they may also want to make money. Many video creators get a share of the ad revenue generated by their videos. Some people make videos as a full-time job and depend on the ad revenue. When you save videos offline, those ads don't play, and the creators of the video won't earn money.

Besides the video creators, YouTube makes money from the ads. It has employees and expenses and both are paid, in part, with ad revenue.

You should only download videos for personal and private use. Otherwise, you risk violating the creator's copyright and could risk penalties under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

YouTube Videos on Older iPods

Some older iPods play video, but none connect to the internet or run iOS apps. If you want to watch video on those models, use a web-based tool or desktop software to download YouTube videos to a computer, then sync the videos to your iPod. The older iPod models that can play video are:

YouTube isn't the only place to download videos. Watch Netflix offline by downloading videos there.