Two completely free YouTube Downloaders. The best of the best in 2020.

Below we'll consider two alternative YouTube Downloaders for Windows and you'll learn how to download from YouTube for free. And at the same time, you'll update your knowledge on how to use the Windows command line. Don't worry, it's easy.

The programs described in this review are totally free: no premium subscriptions, all program features are available for no cost. Simply use them and enjoy the video and audio download from YouTube and other video-sharing platforms!!!

YouTube Downloader #1

youtube-dl - a YouTube downloader with an open source code, written by a community of developers.

The websites are https://yt-dl.org/ and https://github.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl/releases

The direct download link is https://yt-dl.org/latest/youtube-dl.exe
1. Download youtube-dl.exe
You shouldn't install it or run. Simply download the app into the default Downloads folder on your PC.
2. Open youtube.com in your browser, find the video you want to download and copy its URL
You can do it by highlighting the link in the browser address bar, clicking on it with the right mouse button and choosing 'Copy' or by right-clicking on the video itself and then on 'Copy video URL'.
3. Open the text editor you like
After that I recommend you to use a text editor. The standard Notepad will be enough. You can find it in Start - All Programs - Accessories - Notepad. Or type 'notepad' in the Windows search bar and click on the appeared icon with a blue notepad.
To access Notepad easier, add it to the taskbar at the bottom of your screen. Right-click on the program icon and select 'Pin to taskbar' from the context menu.
4. Type youtube-dl.exe in notepad
Paste the copied YouTube video URL into notepad. You'll get the same as shown in the picture below.
Now highlight the whole line and copy it once again. Right-click on it and select Copy.
5. Open Command Prompt in Windows
Let's find this app in the Start menu > Windows System > Command Prompt or type cmd in Search and tap on the black icon.
6. You'll see a black program window with a command line. Don't panic!!!
You're now one step away from downloading videos from YouTube to your PC.

Tap on that window, then type cd downloads. Press Enter on your keyboard. Now right-click on the black window. You'll see the copied beforehand URL. In my case it is: youtube-dl.exe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQMbvJNRpLE. Press Enter once more.

The download process will begin and you'll be notified about the current status.
After a while you will see your video in the Downloads folder saved in MP4 or WebM format.

This YouTube Downloader has quite a few different parameters. To learn about them, check the detailed documentation on https://github.com/ytdl-org/youtube-dl/blob/master/README.md#description.

For example, with the parameter -f "bestvideo[height<=720]" you can download the best possible video quality, but not more than 720p.

Thus, the complete line you'll need to paste into the Command Prompt will look like this:

youtube-dl.exe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGoPU-OLQHE -f "bestvideo[height<=720]"

YouTube Downloader #2

VLC Media Player, developed by a non-commercial organization VideoLAN.

The website is http://www.videolan.org/

The direct download link is https://www.videolan.org/vlc/
1. Download the installer for VLC Media Player from the link above
You'll get the file vlc-3.0.11-win64.exe. Launch the file and fulfil all the steps required for its installation. As a result, you'll get a fairly powerful video player. But what is more important for us - it'll work as a YouTube downloader.
2. Copy the video URL from YouTube and launch VLC Media Player
Go to the Media Player menu > Open URL... or press CTRL+N on your keyboard.

Paste the link into the tab in the opened window.
Press the Play button.

If you did everything correctly, the video will start playing in your VLC media player.

But we want to download and save it as a separate file on our PC.
3. Download video to your computer
To download the video go to Tools > Media information.

At the bottom of the opened window find 'Location', then highlight and copy the link you see there.
This will be the direct download link we need. It'll look like this:
4. Go back to your web browser
Paste this long link into the browser address bar. Press Enter.

This will start the video playback in your browser. Click with the right mouse button on the video and select 'Save as'. I used Firefox (https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/) to do that.

Then save video with videoplayback.mp4 title by default.

Conclusion

Both methods described in this article look a bit confusing, but they work perfectly in 2020!

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