Recently we’ve reviewed YouTube-to-MP3 converters, and since the topic of YouTube downloading and converting is quite popular we decided to find the best free YouTube downloaders for our readers. However, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We wanted to surprise you guys with a long list of decent, effective and nice looking programs to download YouTube videos with, but we can only offer you a list of 3 items. Hard to imagine, but the list of programs we didn’t include is 3 times longer; there are as many as 9 programs that we don’t recommend or that are not free. So, please accept the fact that this list is short not because we are too lazy to make it longer, but because we tried hard and still didn’t find anything better to offer. So here it is – our modest list of the best free YouTube downloaders for Windows.
Free YouTube Download
Free YouTube Download is an extremely easy-to-use YouTube grabber. You can drag the URL into the program’s main window or click the Paste button after you’ve copied the required URL in your browser and the selected the YouTube video that will be added to the conversion queue. This program supports downloading videos in HD, and in addition to that you can not only download a video but convert it to MP4, AVI and MP3 formats (both in original and economy qualities of your choice). As for the cons, there is an ad in the bottom of the Free YouTube Downloader window (which can be removed for $9.95 USD), and you have to be attentive during the installation process (simply choose not to install 360 Total Security and AVG PC TuneUp).
YouTube Downloader HD
Using YouTube Downloader HD to download YouTube videos is quite easy: select video quality and format (MP4 or FLV that you can simultaneously convert to MP4 or AVI), paste the YouTube URL into the corresponding tab, select the destination folder for the video and hit the Download button. The interface is highly intuitive, plus this YouTube downloader supports saving videos in HD and even Full HD. The cons are again a careful set up process to avoid our recently mentioned friends 360 Total Security and AVG PC Tune UP, and the inability to download YouTube videos in bulk.
Any Video Converter
Any Video Converter is actually much more than a regular YouTube downloader. It offers a whole bunch of formats and many devices are supported. It also has a built-in video player, the option to editi downloaded videos, taking snapshots and even adding subtitles. The great thing is that users can add multiple URLs to download and select various output formats for each of them. If you download YouTube videos quite often and you’re looking for a powerful program that lets you track and organize everything, Any Video Converter will do. The shortcoming is again the installation – get ready to uncheck 360 Total Security.
Free YouTube Downloaders: Summary
|Free YouTube Download||YouTube Downloader HD||Any Video Converter|
|Output formats||MP4, AVI, MP3||MP4, AVI, FLV||Multiple|
|Easy to use||10/10||10/10||8/10|
|Size||115 Mb||29.65 Mb||117 Mb|
YouTube downloaders we didn’t include:
4K Video Downloader – when we installed and ran this downloader it seemed nice, however it turned out that it does download YouTube videos, but only some. The video we were using for testing the other programs wasn’t downloaded, however some YouTube videos were actually grabbed (as you can see on the screenshot). So you can use 4K Video Downloader only if you consider yourself lucky and you believe that videos you’ve selected are considered by this program as the chosen ones.
JDownloader – first of all, the installation process took literally forever. Also, you should be super careful during the installation process and press the ‘Decline’ button in order not to install Opera and other useless software on your PC. Unfortunately we couldn’t download YouTube videos by means of this software as it required us to install third party software (FFmpeg), which we did, however it didn’t really help. In the end there was a YouTube error anyway. If we couldn’t use this software to download a video, do you really want to try? In addition to that, the weight of the software is 267 MB!
Houlo Video Downloader – this software has a 5-day trial period, plus it only downloads YouTube videos to webm format. It does has a built-in video converter, but it’s not that convenient to download and convert rather than simply download.
VCatcher – this YouTube grabber has a 30-day trial limit in its usage.
Free Video Downloader by 33 download.com – we couldn’t download any video as we got a 403 error for each video that we tried to download from YouTube.
Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate – not only does this YouTube converter have a 30-day trial period, it also puts its watermark on the downloaded videos.
Xilisoft YouTube Video Converter – we have reviewed their YouTube-to-MP3 converter before (which was free) and were surprise to find that this YouTube downloading software is a paid one.
MediaHuman YouTube Downloader – this situation is the same as with Xilisoft — to download YouTube videos by means of MediaHuman software you’re obliged to pay.
Orbit Downloader – when you go to the Download section on the official website, there’s the one and the only download button that leads to the Brothersoft website. When you try to download it from there, you’ll receive an error. If you take a closer look you’ll notice that this site hasn’t been updated since 2013.
We all know that downloading YouTube videos is a tricky issue and hopefully we have managed to help simplify it. Make sure you are not violating any copyright laws while using any of the reviewed free YouTube downloaders.