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Three Methods to Free Download YouTube Videos on Mac

There is no doubt that YouTube is definitely the most popular video-sharing website. People post and watch all kinds of short videos and funny clips from their lives on YouTube, even HD movies and MVs are available on YouTube. YouTube has truly become a part of our daily lives.

However, as an online streaming video community, there is a critical shortcoming for YouTube. That is, people can't watch YouTube videos offline, which will cause so much inconvenience. If you find a YouTube video that you want to watch, but doesn't have an Internet connection at the time, or you just want to collect the video on your Mac, you may need to consider downloading YouTube videos on your Mac. Unfortunately, YouTube encourages people to upload videos, but rejects people downloading from the website.

Download YouTube Videos on Mac

Download YouTube Videos on Mac

Well, don't worry. In the following, I'll show you three feasible methods to free download YouTube videos on your Mac.

Method 1. Download YouTube Videos on Mac with Browser extensions

Browsers are more powerful than ever now that we can add various extensions to help us, including extensions which allow us to free download YouTube videos for Mac.

For Safari

Safari is the built-in browser of Mac OS X. There is no obvious command to capture YouTube videos on Safari, but you can download it as a flash file. To save YouTube videos with Safari, you can first open the target video on Safari, when it starts to play, press Command-Option-A to open Activity window, in which you'll see the name of the YouTube video. Find the link that represents your YouTube video, double click it and the downloading will begin.

With this method, you don't need any plug-in. FLV file can be played by video players. However, Safari cannot download MPEG-4 files, and there are some other limitations.

For Firefox

For Firefox users, extension is needed. Among all the extensions, DownloadHelper extension is highly recommended. Install the extension first, and a DownloadHelper icon will appear in Firefox's address bar at the top of the browser window. Then, start playing the YouTube movie and click the extension's icon. You'll see one or more listings for the YouTube video with FLV or MEPG formats. Choose the proper formats and you can download a YouTube video on Mac.

YouTube Downloader Mac Firefox

It is worth mentioning that the YouTube video downloaded by this extension are limited to 8 minutes. You may need to click the extension twice if the video is more than 16minutes.

For Chrome

Downloading YouTube videos on Mac with Chrome isn't as easy as using Safari and Firefox because of the restriction from Chrome Store. But you can bypass the Google Web store and install the FastestTube directly. After the installation, find the YouTube videos you want to save. The extension puts a "Download This Video" on any YouTube page you load with all the formats and options on display, so that you can easily complete the downloading process.

YouTube Downloader Mac Chrome

Method 2. Free YouTube video downloader for Mac

Even if browsers are very convenient to copy YouTube videos with no need to add any downloader app, browser extensions tend to overload Chrome or Firefox. The security and privacy issues are worth considering. Besides, it's hard to control download speed and it is bound to be annoying with so many ads from the browsers.

To avoid problems mentioned above, it is better to adopt a reliable YouTube video downloader. Following the steps:

Step 1 Install Free Mac YouTube downloader

Download and launch Free Mac YouTube Video Downloader.

Free YouTube Downloader

Step 2 Enter URL and download the YouTube video

Click "Paste Url", and enter the URL of the target video, then click "Analyze" to load the YouTube video info. All video details, including format, resolution and file size are listed. Choose the one you prefer and then click "OK" to start the downloading process.

Enter the URL

Step 3 Convert YouTube video

After downloading, click "Downloaded" on the main interface to check your videos, you could also convert your downloaded YouTube videos or local videos to other video formats.

Convert YouTube Videos


For downloaded videos, you could complete the conversion process before downloading by clicking "Automatically Convert to" and choose the wanted video format.

Click Automatically Convert to

As you can see, the biggest advantage of this YouTube video downloading app is its multifunction, which supports you to not only download videos on Mac with high speed and quality, but also convert YouTube videos to other popular video formats and play on different mobile devices. Plus, this YouTube video downloader is free. Download it now and explore the best way to save YouTube videos on Mac by yourself.

Method 3. Save YouTube video on Mac with video recording tool

Apart from all the methods above, you could also use a screen recorder to capture YouTube video and audio in real time. In fact, Mac provides a built-in screen recorder, QuickTime Player, which can satisfy your needs.

Step 1 Launch QuickTime Player in your Applications folder.

Step 2 Click "File" from the top menu, and then "New Screen Recording" on the drag-down menu, or you could just press Control-Command-N. After this, a small screen recording window will disappear.

Find New Screen Recording

Step 3 Click and drag a section of the screen to select YouTube video area.

Choose Recording Area

Step 4 Play the YouTube video. Click the little triangle on the right of the window to select audio source. Then, click the red spot to start recording YouTube video.

Interface of Screen Recording Controllor

Step 5 After the recording, click the stop button that appears in the menu bar, then you'll be told to save the YouTube video on Mac.

Preview and Save Video

This may not be the best way, but recording YouTube video could avoid the downloading process, which could be endless sometimes. Also, with an excellent YouTube recording tool, you can get captured video whose quality can be as good as downloaded YouTube videos.

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May 14, 2018 13:55 / Updated by to YouTube

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