How to Download Videos from YouTube and view them offline

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How to Download Videos from YouTube
and view them offline for educational purposes

by Neil MacQueen

YouTube standard doesn't make it easy to view their videos offline (like in a classroom). That's why I strongly recommend you have an internet connection (such as through your cellphone, see links above) so that you can connect to YouTube in your classroom without worrying about downloading.  Your other option now is to subscribe to YouTube Premium which allows you to download content.

When as an educator you NEED to teach with content offline in a classroom, you can legally download the content using one of a number of download/converter websites or utilities.

Free Services that Download Videos from YouTube and Vimeo

I've been using See my HOW TO below with the cautions.

TechRadar recommends the free 4K Downloader Utility. is great for non-musical videos. Videos with copyrighted music, however, may be rejected by clipconverter for conversion.  See screenshot help below. 

  Lately, I've been using  

  1. All you need is the URL of the YouTube video you want to copy and download.
  2. Copy that URL from YouTube's website and PASTE that URL into the download site's interface.
  3. Then select the MP4 video format and preferred download size, and convert/download it.
  4. After the file is converted, the service will download the file to your computer. DONE.

 Two "advertise-y cautions" to be careful of: 

(1) The ads which run on the y2mate page can be blush-worthy.

(2)  When you click "download" -- the download starts (watch for it in your taskbar) but then they also show you a "download this app" button which you do not need.  

Just pay attention and don't click on any 'ads' or "download app" buttons for other software they may try to push at you. 

Note: Some services no longer allow you to download videos with music in them. Others do.

Viewing or downloading YT videos for personal or teaching use is not piracy

YouTube's business model is to share the ad revenue with the copyright holder of record. That's why you see ads. When you click a music video, the rightful owner of that song gets a cut of the ad revenue. How do they do that? YouTube's technology can detect the digital fingerprint of every song and video. It's like the "Shazam" app. When someone uploads a song or video, YouTube takes its fingerprint and then looks to see whether or not the publisher has an agreement with YouTube to allow their content to be uploaded by fans. MOST DO.

The problem is that YT doesn't like you taking their videos OFF their site --even if you have a legitimate and perfectly legal right to do so. Converting content to a viewable format (such as downloading) for non-commercial TEACHING USE is protected by US Copyright Law (sec 101). All the YouTube and FBI warnings in the world can't change Federal Copyright Law.

As an educator, you have the right to convert the format of material you want to teach with from one format to another  (from online to downloaded file, for example, or from paper to projection on the screen). This is the same "right to copy" behind the perfectly legal practice of making a CD copy of your favorite music to play in your car, or putting a Bible book on the church copier to make a few copies of a certain part of the content for easier handling in our classroom.) 

That said...
IDEALLY, YOU ARE watching the video on YouTube via an internet connection in your classroom. Having access to the internet in your classroom here in the 21st century is the equivalent of having an electricity back in the 20th century. Do it. At the very least, you can use your smartphone to set up an internet hotspot that your laptop or smart tv can connect to. Read "how to set up a wifi hotspot using your phone."

How is it that many Bible movies and Animated Bible Videos are on Youtube?

In many cases, the copyright holder has posted them.  Superbook, for example, gives their away for free, or you can buy the DVD. In some cases the online version is lower resolution. In many cases, the copyright holder did not post them, but tolerates their online existence because they are getting a share of the ad revenue from YouTube.

Youtube makes it extremely easy for a copyright holder to have their content removed from Youtube, and movie houses/publishers are generally vigilant about such things. Thus, if it is posted, the owner may have an ad-revenue agreement with Youtube. ...which is why the content has not been removed.

In general, however, you should not be trying to TEACH with full-length copies of Christian videos (or any commercially produced video) on Youtube without knowing whether or not it's bootlegged. And here's the sign: The bootlegs often are low resolution and have the credits cut off.  The publishers may permit their existence on YouTube BECAUSE they are low resolution -- hoping you will buy the real thing. And you should.


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Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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