Tech Notes: Saving YouTube Videos

I love technology.  Many of you who know me already know that.  People often ask me, “What’s your area of expertise?”  My answer is usually, “Nothing.”  I realize I’m probably selling myself short, but when people know you as a computer guy, they will hand you any sort of technology problem and expect you to fix it.  My motto as a person in the computer field is “Familiarize yourself with everything.”  Breadth is more important than depth.  If I said I can only fix computers of Type A and a customer comes in with Type B and C, then, to them, my knowledge is of little value.

Another thing I like is to accomplish tasks using the simplest possible methods.  If you can complete a task in 5 steps, the next step is how to complete the same task in 4 steps.  You get the idea.  For the next several blog posts, I would like to share with you tasks that involve just a handful of steps to complete.

In today’s world, YouTube is widely accepted as the Internet’s Video Library.  With over 4 billion videos, you can find things like funny cats ( ) to get you through the day, to old TV commercials ( ), to instructional videos to help you repair a leaky faucet ( ), and literally everything in between.  The way YouTube works, you sign up for a free account and then can upload and share video clips. The video is always accessible online.


What if the person who uploaded it deletes their YouTube account or removes the video?  Or, less likely, what happens if YouTube’s video library is wiped out?  For most of us, it wouldn’t affect us.  The sun would still come out tomorrow ( )  But, every week I deal with customers who have some important file that they have lost and need to recover.  We don’t often think about videos online – assuming they will always be there at a moment’s notice.  Let’s say you want to save an online video to your computer for safekeeping – for whatever reason – here’s the simple steps you’ll need to do.

  • Find the video on YouTube. Look for the “Share” button. Highlight and Right-Click & Copy the link that shows up.
  • Now, in your web browser, go to this website
  • Right-Click & Paste the link in the big box at the top. Click Download.  If asked which file format to Save the video as, MP4 is usually the best format for playback on nearly any device.
  • The file should begin to download. That video clip will be saved locally to your computer’s hard drive – and forever preserved! (That is, if you regularly backup your computer!)

Four steps.  I like it!  Now, this may not be a skill that you’ll need too often, but keep it in your computer arsenal.  Discuss your skills amongst dinner- Impress your friends!

Stay tuned in the future for more useful tips.

-Submitted by Chad Droze
Post & Computer Center – Freshfields Village

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