Editor’s note: After a new round of testing, we’ve added SYC Pro, the new upgrade version of SYC 2, as our top pick.
Over the past decade, YouTube has become the go-to entertainment destination for most people. It features a broad collection of video content, including but not limited to funny videos, video blogs, documentaries, movies, etc. Probably the only problem? YouTube still does not allow downloading videos for offline access — until you are ready to pay premium charges.
Sure, we live in a world almost always connected to the internet. But there are still some reasons you should download YouTube videos.
Why do we need to download YouTube videos offline?
Here are a few scenarios where you need an offline version of YouTube videos.
- You have a slow internet connection.
It can be a nightmare when you try to watch full-HD and 4K videos. But when the internet connection drops, so does the fun. By saving your favorite YouTube videos for later, you can watch YouTube videos start-to-finish anywhere without any pesky obstacles like WiFi or restricted data plans.
Imagine you don’t want to spend all your time on the Internet. So, when you come across a good YouTube video, you may want to keep it offline. That way, you will be able to watch it whenever you want. It may be a good option for those lengthy flight journeys.
You may be an artist or a content creator. You need to use some YouTube videos for a project of yours. Quality is essential for you this time, and you need the maximum you can get. So, keeping a timely backup of your videos is a good idea.
There could be more reasons, but these make the mark.
Fortunately, you can use YouTube downloaders for Mac to download your favorite YouTube videos for offline access. And we have been trying some YouTube downloader tools so that we can pick the best ones.
RELATED: YouTube Video Editor – Tips and Best Alternatives
Our favorites: top 3 YouTube Downloaders for Mac
Softorino YouTube Converter Pro, better known as SYC Pro, is a newly-launched YouTube downloader from a trusted developer. It happens to be the upgraded version of SYC 2, a popular YouTube downloader app for Mac.
SYC Pro is the best option when you need a professional yet intuitive way to download YouTube videos for offline access. It comes with a stunning UI that makes things easier. For example, you can download a single YouTube video or an entire playlist by pasting a URL. The best part? SYC Pro can help you convert and transfer these videos to your iPad or iPhone.
In terms of speed, SYC Pro is six times faster than SYC 2. It means you can download your favorite YouTube videos faster than ever. It supports YouTube to MP4 downloading with a quality of up to 4K 60fps. You can use the app to convert YouTube videos to MP3/AAC and download them. Once you are done, you can copy all these media files directly to your iPhone/iPad media library.
The developers behind SYC Pro (read our full review here) are also working on some features like Facebook support. It already works in sync with YouTube Shorts and Vimeo. You can also count on features like subtitle downloads and a universal search bar. It’s also convenient that SYC Pro has been designed and optimized for macOS and iOS. So you don’t have to worry about compatibility while transferring data.
We also love that you can use SYC Pro to download video and audio files directly to the TV and Music apps on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or even Android. Last but not least, this professional YouTube downloader is also ready for macOS Ventura.
You can get SYC Pro in two ways:
One, you can pay a monthly subscription fee starting at $1.17, giving you access to 15 other apps from Softorino.
Two, if you need a single-time purchase, you can get the entire package for $120. You will still have access to the whole collection.
SYC Pro offers a one-day free trial as well.
- Incredibly intuitive User Interface
- Powerful features and downloading speeds
- Integration with iOS and iPadOS devices
- The free trial could be longer
PullTube is another excellent option when you want to download YouTube videos to your Mac. We’d say it can offer a balanced experience compared to our other favorites. For instance, while it is not as simple as SYC Pro, it offers you with video trimming features.
The UI of PullTube may not be the simplest at first look. That is because the media downloader packs a fantastic set of features inside. However, if you just want to fetch details and download a YouTube video, it will take only a few seconds. The fact that you can use this single tool to download videos from multiple websites is just amazing indeed.
You can use PullTube to trim videos. You can cut the video to your desired length by feeding the timestamps or dragging through the video timeline for a preferred part of the video. This tool is excellent when you want an audio/video file converted into another format. There is also an option to stitch multiple video parts together to have a single file.
A point worth mentioning is that the app supports playlist downloading as well. If PullTube detects that the video is part of a playlist, it will offer to download the entire collection. Similarly, the app also has a wonderful level of browser integration. It works well with Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. PullTube lets you use shortcuts and gestures and set up custom proxy/socket choices for easy control.
There are a few seemingly simple but useful features in the PullTube package. For instance, you would be able to download auto-generated subtitles when you download a YouTube video. In short, it brings such a balanced package of features.
The standard license of PullTube is available for $14.99, but you can use the free trial for 14 days.
You can also check out its Family Bundle, which gives you a 15% discount.
PullTube is also available as a part of the Setapp subscription.
- A balanced set of features
- Built-in conversion engine
- Useful video editing features
Downie is another perfect choice if you need a simple yet effective way to download YouTube videos to your Mac. Unlike SYC Pro, Downie does not offer a lot of features. However, it integrates well with Mac, and you can get the best download speeds.
A simple UI is perhaps the best thing about Downie for Mac. Everything is kept simple, and you can see a minimal list of the running and completed YouTube video downloads. In addition to the fully-fledged window, Downie also has a menu-bar interface. You can use this menu bar widget to track the progress of current downloads.
Like SYC Pro, Downie also lets you download YouTube videos at the highest possible quality. You can get videos that perform well on your 4K displays. Regardless of the quality of the video, Downie ensures the best downloading speed and format conversion speed. This YouTube downloader app supports a wide variety of websites other than YT. The list of these supported websites keeps growing.
The simplicity of Downie does not hinder the overall customizability, either. For instance, there are options for automation. You can set up Downie to choose the best possible quality every time you download something. This YouTube downloader can also download the corresponding subtitle along with the video. You can even select subtitles. Downie also has some Parental Control and Proxy customization options.
We should also remember that Downie works with more than 1200 video websites. The list includes country-specific websites and versions as well. Considering how light the package is, it is pretty amazing what this app can do.
You can purchase Downie 4 with a single-time payment of $19.99. It is also part of the Setapp package.
You can try this app using its free trial option.
- An incredibly simple User Interface design
- It offers the best downloading speeds from YouTube
- You get support for over 1200 video websites
- Postprocessing options could be better
Other options you can consider
Here are some other YouTube downloaders for Mac that you can consider.
AllMyTube from Wondershare is an all-in-one YouTube downloader you can check out. You should consider Wondershare AllMyTube if you want to download multiple videos without a fuss. Unlike the other YouTube video downloaders we checked out, Wondershare AllMyTube has a reliable and well-built option for converting videos.
You will be able to convert not only downloaded videos but also the other videos you have on your device. In addition, Wondershare AllMyTube packs a built-in Recorder utility to record screens. On the other hand, Browser is a fantastic way to explore popular sites without leaving the program.
AllMyTube has a limited, free version, but you need to pay $29 for the full version.
As the name says, 4K Video Downloader is a tool that allows you to download YouTube videos in 4K quality. Of course, almost all the tools we have listed above can do this. However, 4K Video Downloader does a great job since we are talking about a dedicated tool. Once again, the process is straightforward, and the download tool can pick up the YouTube URL from the clipboard.
There are some cool features, though. For instance, Smart Mode lets you download videos with a single click. On the other hand, the subscriptions feature will download newly-uploaded videos from channels you have subscribed to. However, the lack of editing/converting options is a big problem, indeed.
4K Video Downloader is available for Mac and is free to use. You can upgrade to premium for extra features.
If you need a video processing suite that can download YouTube videos, VideoProc may be a good option to choose. You can use the same app to convert the videos you downloaded into a format of your needs. MP4, MP3, AVI, and MKV are some formats supported by VideoProc. The app also comes with some useful utilities, like a DVD ripper.
In terms of compatibility, VideoProc does a great job. It supports downloading videos from more than 1000 websites, including Instagram and Facebook. You can use the tool to record and download live streams from these websites. You will miss some advanced control features, though.
VideoProc offers a trial version with limitations. If you want access to all features, you need to pay $39.95.
Airy is a popular, minimalist tool for downloading videos from YouTube. It works for YouTube videos and not for other video platforms. Starting from the User Interface, Airy is just simple. You will be able to start everything in seconds. It comes with a straightforward YouTube download process as well. Like many other tools in the list, Airy helps you download just the MP3 file of a YouTube video.
Despite having a minimal software footprint, Airy integrates very well with browsers on Mac. You can place a bookmarklet that allows you to download any YouTube video in a single click. It can be a lifesaver when you want to download different videos one by one.
Airy has a free version, but it is limited. If you want top features like 8K downloads, you need to pay $19.95.
ClipGrab for Mac is one of the very few free YouTube downloaders for Mac. Of course, being a free tool, it has some downsides, but they don’t matter much. You can use ClipGrab for Mac to download videos up to full HD quality. In addition, an integrated Search feature makes it easy to find and download videos. You can simply enter some search terms, and relevant YouTube results appear.
There aren’t many fancy features to talk about in ClipGrab for Mac. However, you can control the download and conversion process to the maximum. You can even manage the Metadata of the file. Considering that it has some advanced features, this free video downloader is worth it.
ClipGrab for Mac is completely free to use. It’s available for Windows and Linux as well.
YouTube-dl is a command-line method to download YouTube videos to your PC or Mac. You can launch the command-line terminal app for your system and follow the instructions from the YouTube-dl official website. You will be able to download YouTube videos without installing anything on your system.
We recommend this method when you need an effective, free, and quick way to download YouTube videos. But the learning curve may be more steep than most Mac software.
Important: is it legal to download YouTube videos?
Here’s what YouTube’s official support page says about this matter.
You can download videos that you’ve already uploaded. If you haven’t uploaded the video yourself, you can’t save it to a computer. You can download videos from the YouTube app to your mobile device only.
In strict legal terms, you must not download YouTube videos. However, you do not have to worry about this warning if you download YouTube videos for personal use. On the contrary, you may have to worry about doing it for commercial needs.
YouTube offers an official way to access YouTube videos offline: YouTube Premium.
YouTube Premium: an official method with a catch
YouTube Premium is a paid subscription that offers additional features like an ad-free YouTube experience, background playback, and offline downloads. You can use these features to download your favorite YouTube videos to your smartphone or PC.
However, there are some huge caveats.
- You need to continue paying a monthly subscription fee of $11.99, which adds up to $120 a year. It may not be an affordable option for many.
- The YouTube app will store all videos encrypted. Unfortunately, it means you cannot use third-party media players to access these videos.
- The YouTube apps for Mac and PC still need a lot of work. As a result, you can expect a subpar offline YouTube video playback experience.
- YouTube Premium does not allow you to download content at 4K or 8K quality. In 2022, it does not make sense to be restricted to 1080p playback.
After considering these points, you may think YouTube Premium is not worth it. You are not alone!
Can I download YouTube videos to my Mac computer with YouTube Premium?
Yes, you can download YouTube videos to your Mac computer with YouTube Premium. However, there is a catch. You can play these videos using the YouTube app or a web browser like Chrome or Firefox. You can’t use third-party media players to access these videos. It happens because YouTube stores all these videos in an encrypted format.
How do I download YouTube videos on my Mac for free?
You can use a dedicated YouTube downloader to download YouTube videos on your Mac for free. You can choose between free and paid YouTube video downloaders based on the features you need. Then, you can paste the YouTube video link and download it in a few seconds.
How do I download audio from YouTube to my Mac?
YouTube downloaders come with an option to download audio from YouTube to a Mac. You will have to pick one of the suitable audio formats from the available options. In most cases, you can download content in MP3 or AAC format.
Bend YouTube to your will
While choosing the best YouTube downloader, focus on your priorities.
If you need a YouTube downloader that offers the best speed and iOS-based features, Softorino YouTube Converter Pro seems to be the right shot, any given day.
On the other hand, when you want a simple way to download videos from not just YouTube but also other apps, we recommend going for Downie, a Setapp option.
Nevertheless, sometimes you need something like PullTube, especially if you want to do more than directly download the video.
Except for the three tools we mentioned last, every YouTube downloader here indeed packs some additional features. And these features would come in handy if you are a content creator or someone who compiles different types of media from YouTube.