You can save the YouTube videos on your Mac so that you can watch them offline. If you don't mind waiting while the video plays, you can save it with QuickTime's screenshot tools. If you are in a hurry and ready to download a third-party app, you can use VLC Media Player and ClipGrab (both of which are free) to download the videos.
Method 1 of 3: Use QuickTime
Step 1. Open the video you want to save to YouTube
Do not start playing the video yet. Just let it show on the screen.
Step 2. Open QuickTime on your Mac
It's the gray and blue Q-shaped icon on the Launchpad and in the Applications folder.
Step 3. Click on the File menu
File is located at the top left of the screen, in the menu bar.
Step 4. Select New Screen Recording
This option is in the menu and opens the screen recording window.
Depending on which version of macOS you're using, you may have a toolbar with multiple icons instead
Step 5. Choose Internal Microphone from the menu
The menu is the downward facing arrow to the right of the red circle in the center of the window. Click on it to make sure the app is capturing the audio from the video.
- If you don't see this menu, click on Options.
Step 6. Click on the red circle button
You will see some quick instructions on how to select a part of the screen to record.
Step 7. Drag the pointers over the video
QuickTime will only capture the video, not the entire screen.
Step 8. Select Save
Then start playing the video. If the sound is not turned on, remember to turn it on first.
Step 9. Stop recording at the end of the video
In the menu at the top of the screen, click on the black circle icon with a white square inside. QuickTime will stop recording the screen and display the resulting recording. The video will be saved to your Movies folder.
- If you want to crop the beginning or the end of the recording, click on the menu Editing then select Prune. You can then drag the yellow cropping bar to select the part of the video you want to keep and then click on Prune to save your changes.
Method 2 of 3: Use VLC Media Player
Step 1. Install VLC Media Player on your Mac
If you don't have this popular media player on your machine yet, you can download it from this page. To download the file:
- Click on the button Download VLC then save the DMG file to your Mac;
- double click on the downloaded DMG file in your Downloads folder;
- Drag the VLC icon (the orange and white cone) to the Applications folder.
Step 2. Copy the address of the YouTube video
If you haven't already, open the video in your favorite web browser. To copy the URL, click the address bar to highlight it and then press Command + C to copy its contents.
Step 3. Open VLC Player
Once you install it, you will find the VLC application in the Applications folder.
On first launch, you may need to give the app permission to launch
Step 4. Click on the File menu
This menu is located at the top left of the screen.
Step 5. Select Open Network Stream
This will open the “Open a feed” window.
Step 6. Paste the address of the YouTube video
Click on the box Url then press Command + V to paste the YouTube address inside.
Step 7. Click Open
This button is located at the bottom right of the window and allows you to add the video to your VLC playlist.
Step 8. Right click on the video on the playlist
Then select Media Information. If the video starts, right click on it and select Media Information in the menu that appears.
Step 9. Copy the video address
Highlight the Location URL and then press Command + C. This is the address at the bottom of the window. This manipulation allows you to copy it to your clipboard.
Step 10. Paste the URL into your browser
To paste the URL, return to your web browser, click on the address bar, press Command + V, then press Return. The video will launch in your browser.
Step 11. Right click on the video
Then select Save video as to save it. You can give the video any name you want. Once saved, it will be downloaded from YouTube. The downloaded video can be viewed on your Mac whether you are logged in or not.
Method 3 of 3: Use ClipGrab
Step 1. Go to this page
Click on Show all available versions, and then on Download ClipGrab for the Mac. ClipGrab is a free application for Mac that allows you to save YouTube videos to your computer. It's a good alternative to QuickTime because you don't need to let the video play while you record it. Just enter the URL and the app will do the job.
Step 2. Open the ClipGrab installer file
You should be able to click on its name at the bottom of your browser. If you don't see it, double-click the installer file in the Downloads folder.
Step 3. Drag the ClipGrab icon to the Applications folder
Step 4. Open ClipGrab when the installation is complete
You will find ClipGrab in the Applications folder.
Step 5. Go to the Downloads tab in ClipGrab
This tab is at the top of the window.
Step 6. Copy the address of the YouTube video
If you are not yet signed in to YouTube, do so and select the video you want to download. Copy its URL by clicking on the address bar and then pressing Command + C.
Step 7. Paste the copied URL into ClipGrab
Go back to the ClipGrab window, click on the text field, then press Command + V to paste the URL.
Step 8. Select MPEG4 from the Format menu
If you have another video file preference, choose it instead.
Step 9. Click Download this video
This option is under the URL you pasted in the empty field. ClipGrab will download the YouTube video to the default download folder on your computer.