How to Download YouTube Videos in 4K for Free

We are rapidly entering the 4K era as a standard fix, and new 4K content is available on YouTube every day. Unfortunately, you cannot watch these videos offline with full resolution using the standard YouTube options.

YouTube Premium members ($ 12 / month) can save videos and music to play offline on their phones, but with a maximum resolution of 1080p. YouTube creators can download MP4 versions of their uploaded videos, but with a resolution of only 720p.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to download YouTube 4K videos to watch offline, however. There are third-party applications that allow you to download YouTube videos, in full, at their highest possible resolution – including 4K and 8K.

The most reliable of these apps I have come across is the 4K Video Downloader for desktop.

It’s free to download on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and has been proven to be virus-free. All versions can download videos up to 8K resolution (depending on traditional video resolution, of course), and can extract subtitles for non-captioning videos. You can even line up a complete playlist to download.

The free version has a few limitations to be aware of, however. You can download only 30 videos a day, only five videos per day on one channel, and only 10 videos per playlist. It is also ad-supported. Ads do not block, but you will see permanent banners for other products in the app.

Premium users open an ad-free app with unlimited daily downloads and can download up to three videos at a time for $ 15 / month. There is also a “Pro” tier of $ 45 / month that increases the simultaneous download limit to seven and adds to many other features for businesses. However, unless you absolutely need extra daily allowances, I would suggest you stick to a free version of the app.

Wait, is it legal to download YouTube videos?

Before we can show you how the app works, we need to specify the legitimacy of ripping YouTube videos. While YouTube may not be able to determine if anyone has downloaded the videos, this is against YouTube’s terms of service.

However, if you just make an offline backup for private viewing, you may not get into trouble. YouTube and Google still have to fight against downloading apps for YouTube and websites, and they have never been reprimanded or threatened with action by users of apps.

What will get you into trouble is streaming or re-downloading downloaded video without proper permission or proper credit, or stealing copyrighted content. The size depends on the video license.

Most YouTube content is downloaded under a standard YouTube license, which means that the video is only allowed to be viewed on YouTube via a website or mobile app. You are not permitted to download, reload, or redistribute most of YouTube’s content without the permission of the uploader. This applies to most of the content on YouTube. However, using a short clip for someone else’s uploads as your video images may fall within the limits of fair use. It is better to ask for permission first, and, at least, give them full credit. The original creator can still legally ask you to download the video, however, especially if you are monetizing a video containing the recording.

Some YouTube channels upload their videos under a Creative Commons license that allows people to freely access, broadcast, and produce their content without having to download the original uploader. These videos are very safe to download. YouTube search filters include the Creative Commons option if you need help finding videos.

This guide contains more information on the standard YouTube license, Creative Commons, and the differences between them.

Finally, there is a selection of premium content available on YouTube. It is illegal to download copyrighted content that you have not yet purchased, such as music, movies, or YouTube Premium content – and you may not re-upload or distribute this content. In fact, many of these videos cannot be downloaded by third-party applications.

So: The bottom line: Downloading YouTube videos for private viewing is against the law, but as long as you don’t upload or share content without permission – and you don’t steal premium videos and music – you’re probably right. Well, with all that information covered, here’s how to use 4K Video Downloader.

How to download YouTube videos with 4K Video Downloader

  1. First, download and install 4K Video Downloader on your computer.
  2. Open YouTube in the browser. YouTube PWA is also active.
  3. Find the video you want to download.
  4. Copy the video link from the URL bar, or on the “Share” button in the video player controls.
  5. Open the 4K Video Downloader and click on “Paste link.”
  6. The application will analyze the video data. This usually takes a few seconds, but may take longer depending on the size of the video.
  7. Select “Download video” in the first drop-down box. You can also select “Extract audio” just to download audio from the video.
  8. Select the video format and quality you want (available video quality options depend on traditional video editing).
  9. Use the “Download subtitle” drop-down box to select subtitles if you want them.
  10. Click “Download.”
  11. Wait for the download to complete. Like the data split in step 6, the download time will vary by video size and your internet speed. Most 1080p videos will take a few minutes to download (depending on length), but 4K videos may require 30 minutes or more.

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