YouTube first started showing funny cat videos to the world all the way back in 2005, and since that debut the site has come to utterly dominate the online video world. “YouTube” has become synonymous with video-based entertainment for billions of people around the world. More than 5 billion (with a “b”) videos are watched on the service every month, and YouTube hosts a seemingly infinite variety of content, from video game playthroughs to how-to videos on every subject, from funny animal videos to online pranks. There is content on YouTube to satisfy just about every taste or interest, and that’s what has made the service so attractive to its users. There are billions of videos on the site and more than 300 hours of new video are uploaded every minute.
One of the most annoying things about YouTube is that downloading videos to one’s local computer or device is not natively supported on the site’s free version. All that content, and you can’t grab a local copy to watch offline! People want this feature for many reasons. Some users like to take their videos on the go, for when they’re out of range of cellular connections or WiFi hotspots. Other users like to use content from other videos to make remixes, reviews, and other new content of their own. Unfortunately, YouTube and its owner Google don’t appear to care for the idea of users taking content offline. It is possible to subscribe to YouTube Premium, which for $11.99 a month will allow you to download content, but a YouTube Premium account doesn’t allow you to use those videos in any creative way outside your own mobile device. Allegedly, 1.5 million people subscribe to the Premium service…but I’ve never met one.
Well, of course there are. There are Chrome browser extensions for everything, and downloading YouTube videos is no exception. In this article, we’ll present several of the best extensions that we’ve researched. We’ve found these extensions are to work well, and we’ll make sure to keep our eye on this list every few month to make sure all of them are still reliable. (If one of our recommendations isn’t working, let us know in the comments below. YouTube and Google are constantly working to block extensions like this from functioning, so don’t be surprised if one fails to work unexpectedly following a major YouTube upgrade.)
Note that none of these extensions or plug-ins can be found on the Chrome store, and none of them are officially supported by Chrome. In fact, you should be careful about installing browser add-ons like these, because the potential for malware is real. That is why we have researched these and believe them to be safe. Don’t just install random add-ons that you find online; make sure that they have been tested and found safe first.
Without further ado, here are our recommendations for downloading and saving YouTube videos with Google Chrome extensions.