Top Mac Apps to Download 4K YouTube Videos (and How)

Utilities • March 16, 2021

Have you ever wondered about how to download great videos on your Mac? One of the most common questions that we see Macbook users questioning is the process of downloading 4K YouTube videos on their Macs. However, this is one of the most simple questions to answer. We’re going all out to push aside any complexities and show you the direct method of downloading all the videos you want from YouTube on your Big Sur Mac in 2021.

There may be numerous reasons why you should download videos from YouTube. The ability to watch them on the go or while traveling, for instance, or if you wish them to be the highest quality possible without an internet connection, which is fantastic for keeping yourself entertained during the long traffic and trips to places without a reliable internet connection could be the reason. Thankfully, the process is dead simple, and well, which software should you use could lead you down to a spiral. However, there are various excellent applications for your Mac that we would recommend, but before taking a look at the following to get your priorities where they should be.

What are 4K and UHD?

4K is a standardized spec and counted in pixels 4096 x 2160 and is supposed to be four times 2K, or 2048 x 1080. UHD or Ultra High Definition is the step-up resolution standard from FULL HD (1920 x 1080). UHD quadruples the resolution of FULL HD, which becomes 3840 x 2,160. Technically it’s not the same as 4K but almost every TV or Display you see advertised as 4K is UHD.

You would be surprised to know that YouTube brought 4K UHD content to its web platform all the way back in 2010, when the display resolution was still catching on. Today, depending on the resolution supported by the computer or mobile phone you are using, watching 4K content on YouTube is easier than ever. Even if the app or web version of YouTube does not automatically switch to 4K video resolution, you can switch to it manually by pressing the Settings icon, selecting the Quality tab and then picking 2160p (4K) resolution.

Why should you download instead of streaming?

The simple answer is that downloading videos can provide a lot of freedom and deliver a better experience. However, let’s get you up to speed and know a little more about the benefits you may receive by downloading videos.

  • A better media experience – Downloaded videos don’t need to buffer and provide a much cleaner video watching experience.
  • Connectionless Playback – This is a big yes for people with lousy connectivity or anyone who is looking to travel with something to keep them occupied.
  • Better reliability – Videos on YouTube are prone to deletions or copyright strikes, and hence the saving or downloading your favorites becomes the sole option.
  • Minimal hit on performance – Streaming high-quality 4K videos can take a hit on your Mac’s performance as buffering and decoding 4K videos take a lot of CPU processing. Hence, downloading and playing them can be a better option.
  • Fast access rates – This depends on your internet connection speed, and if you are having trouble buffering and streaming with lags or stops, then download and don’t let buffering ruin your experience.
  • Cheaper than streaming – Streaming can take a lot of your data cap, which could be taxing on your wallet if you have a limited data cap network connection.

In Short, if anything above meets your fancy, then downloading videos off of YouTube is the perfect solution for you. Let us now jump straight ahead to the applications that you can use.

Our favorite apps to download 4K YouTube videos on Big Sur

Note: This site makes use of affiliate links, which may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

4K Video Downloader

Pricing: Starter – Free, Personal – $15, Pro – $45

4K Video Downloader stands out from the competition as it is not like any other online service that promises you to download videos from YouTube and not deliver. However, it is a comprehensive desktop application that gets the whole job done for you.

How to guide

  1. After you have installed “4K video downloader”, the app will be launched, and you will see the UI.
  2. Now, you can go to YouTube and copy the link of the video you want to download.
  3. When you copy the video’s web link from YouTube, 4K video downloader will automatically detect it and enable the paste button. This will let you paste the link and start parsing the video.
  4. Once the clip is ready for download, you will be presented with a wide variety of options such as “Download Video” or “extract audio”. You can also choose the format and the quality of the video from 4K, HD, SD, or any other resolution.
  5. After this, click on the “Download” button to start downloading the video.
  6. Once the video is downloaded, you can either play it, remove it or even extract the audio.

Pros:

  • Easy to get started with a fantastic user experience
  • Fantastic UI with subtitle support
  • Excellent performance with playlist download support

Cons:

  • The free version of the app limits the number of playlists and videos to be downloaded
  • It is not available on mobile platforms
  • Advertisement in the free version
Softorino YouTube Converter 2

Pricing: Free, Premium – $25

Softorino is another loved application on the web that many users highly recommend for its fast downloading speeds and excellent compatibility. We enjoyed using it to download playlists off of YouTube, and it also supports other websites making it one of the best tools that you can have in your arsenal.

How to guide

  1. Get the software up and running, which will present you with an interface with a huge text box for the web link.
  2. Now, you can copy and paste the link to the YouTube video you want to download.
  3. As the video gets ready for download, a wide variety of choices, including format selection and the video’s quality from 4K, HD, SD, etc., becomes available.
  4. Now, click on “Download” to start the downloading process.
  5. After the video is downloaded, you can start watching it or can proceed with other features such as audio extraction.

Pros:

  • Completely free
  • It doesn’t have any ads
  • Provides a fast and clean user experience

Cons:

  • Can sometimes provide an error with videos from certain websites
Wondershare AllMyTube

Pricing: Trial – Free, 1-year subscription – $19, Lifetime Licence – $29

Wondershare AllMyTube is an excellent 4K video downloader that makes it extremely easy to download, convert and optimize YouTube videos. There are two ways to start downloading videos using Wondershare AllMyTube, the first being the default copy-pasting URL way and the other using the browser plugin. If you find something you like, you can click on the download button on top of the video.

How to guide

  1. Run the app and copy the link to the video you want to download.
  2. Now paste the link to the YouTube video that you want to download.
  3. After the video parsing is done, select the format and quality of the video.
  4. Select the “Download” button to start the downloading process.
  5. As the video is downloaded, you can change its directory or directly play it from the application itself.

OR

  • Just use the browser plugin to download the video you’re watching.

Pros:

  • Allows fast downloading of playlists and videos
  • It has a browser plugin so that you can directly download the video from the webpage itself
  • Has subtitle downloading support

Cons:

  • 4K videos can sometimes feel choppy
  • It has a high price tag which is not friendly for budget users
MacX YouTube Downloader

Pricing: Basic – Free, Premium – $29.95

If you are an avid Mac user and need to download YouTube videos, MacX YouTube Downloader for Mac is an excellent option to go for. The free version supports downloading YouTube videos in all resolutions available, such as 720P, 1080P, 2K, 4K, and more with MP4 or WebM formats. Integrated with a clean interface and easy-to-use process, MacX YouTube Downloader makes it one of the ultimate choices for you to download popular videos & music at a fast internet speed.

How to guide

  • Run the app and wait for the interface to load up
  • Copy and paste the link in the textbox to the video that you want to download
  • As the link is parsed for a video, you will be presented with a variety of options for format and quality selection
  • Now, get on by selecting the format and quality and then click on download to begin the downloading process
  • Ensure your file is downloaded and play it to see everything works perfectly

Pros:

  • An excellent UI
  • Batch downloading and playlist download support
  • You can also download the audio and subtitles

Cons:

  • Sometimes the resolution isn’t of the perfect quality
5KPlayer

Pricing: Free

You can use any of the applications listed above to download YouTube videos on your Mac. 5KPlayer is, in our testing parameters, one of the best on the internet. The interface looks and feels great with easy access to many videos on YouTube and various other websites. However, it fails compared to some other desktop apps as downloading playlists can feel slow and unable to convert videos. However, downloading videos off of YouTube is very easy and accessible all around.

How to guide

  • Open the app.
  • Enter the link in the textbox to the video that you want to download
  • As the link is verified with a video, you will be presented with the options for format and quality selection
  • Now, select the format and quality you want and click on download to begin the downloading process.

Pros:

  • Provides a great user experience with playback support
  • Fast accessing and downloading rates
  • Ad-free and a simple UI

Cons:

  • Requires constant internet to work
  • Cannot pause and resume downloads

FAQs

Is downloading videos from YouTube legal?

Yes, it is entirely legal. However, you cannot use that video for commercial purposes or reupload it before getting permission from its creator.

How do I play 4K videos on my Mac?

Playing 4K videos on Mac is as simple as left-clicking twice. The process is straightforward, and you need to browse to the file and double-click it to play it directly on the default player.

Are YouTube video downloaders safe?

Yes and No. The downloaders listed above are tried and tested for safety and data security. However, we can’t guarantee the same for other downloaders on the market.

Can I play 4K video on MacBook Air?

Yes, all 4K videos are entirely playable on the MacBook Air. In fact, the new M1 Macbook Air has the same chip as its larger brother, the Macbook Pro, which means you can expect the same performance and features.

Enjoy your videos

Now that you’ve downloaded your favorite video(s), it’s time to spice them up and make them your own assets. Remember – you can always use Softorino YouTube Converter 2 and 4K Video Downloader to grab the perfect 4K YouTube videos to enjoy offline.

Meanwhile, here are some other articles that you might enjoy: