In this post, I will outline how to download a video from Youtube – without having a Youtube Premium subscription. This is a step-by-step guide that will walk you through exactly what’s needed to download the video.
1. Go to the YouTube URL
Go to the URL of the video you want to download in a modern web browser on a desktop or tablet computer.
2. Pause the video
Let the video play for a few seconds to establish a data stream, then PAUSE the video so that it is not playing anymore.
3. Open the Browser Dev Tools
There are many ways to open Dev Tools in modern web browsers like Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and MS Edge. Here are a few of those ways:
Command + Option + J
Control + Shift + I
Or you can right-click on a blank area of the page and select “Inspect”
You can also click “Show Developer Tools” from the web browser menu, normally under More Tools > Developer Tools
4. Select the “Network” tab
In the developer tools, at the top, select the “Network” tab and also make sure “All” is selected under the data filter.
5. Open link “videoplayback?expire…”
In the Dev Tools, on the Network tab, the requests are shown in the boxes in the middle of the page. Look for a request name called:
Find the one that is closest to the bottom of the list. If you don’t pause the video, this list will continue to populate. Be sure to pause the video to make this easier. Right-Click on the name “videoplayback?expire…” and select “open in a new tab”
Tip: Step #5 and #6 need to be done as quick as possible. If the video does not appear after doing these steps, try clearing the cache, refreshing the page, or an incognito browser.
6. Remove everything starting at “&range=..” to the end of the URL
In the URL of the new tab, delete the last few variables and parameters of the URL. The URL variables that need to be removed are “&range, &rn, and &rbuf“. It will look similar to this in the URL:
7. Download video
Click enter to visit the new link. There will be a 3-dot menu on the video player where you can select download the video.
The video will download as a .webm file format which is a widely used HTML5 audiovisual media file format and is what youtube serves its videos. You can then open and view the video!