How to Download YouTube Videos on a Mac

Use a YouTube Premium account to watch videos offline

What to Know

  • The only legal way to download videos to your Mac is with a YouTube Premium subscription.
  • YouTube Premium: Click Download under any YouTube video. Downloaded videos can be accessed offline through the Downloads tab.

This article explains how to download YouTube videos on your Mac with a Premium subscription.

How Do I Download YouTube Videos to My Mac Without Software?

The best way to download YouTube videos to your Mac is through the platform itself. With a YouTube Premium subscription, every video has a download button below the video player which is used to download the video.

With an active Premium subscription, follow these steps to begin downloading videos:

  1. Navigate to YouTube in your browser and open the video you’d like to download.

  2. Select Download below the video player.

    The Download button highlighted when logged into a YouTube Premium account.
  3. Once the video has finished downloading, click the menu icon (3 horizontal lines) in the top left of the screen and select Downloads.

    The Downloads tab highlighted in YouTube Premium.
  4. Your video should now be available for offline viewing (you can test this by turning off your Mac’s Wi-Fi and checking if the video begins playback).

    Your downloaded video library in YouTube Premium.

    In some countries, while offline, you can still navigate to and access your downloaded videos for up to 48 hours.

  5. To change download quality, click Downloads > Download Settings and select your preferred resolution. 

    Download settings highlighted in YouTube Premium.
  • How do I download music from YouTube?

    Your YouTube Premium account will also let you download tracks from the YouTube Music app. The same rules apply: Once you download a video or song, you can access it offline as long as you've accessed the site with your account within the past month. The background listening feature of YouTube Premium also means that you won't have to keep the app open to listen to playlists you create.

  • How do I download a YouTube video to an iPhone?

    With your YouTube Premium account, you can also download videos through the iOS app. Once you've signed into your account on the YouTube app, go to the Watch page and then below the video select Download. Because YouTube links the videos and music you download to your account, you can view all of your downloaded items regardless of platform as long as you're signed in.

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