We all know that YouTube does not allow users to download videos directly, because of the piracy and copyright protection. That’s why all the third party apps named something like “YouTube downloaders” have always been removed from App Store.
Recently, YouTube’s offline feature allows users to save videos to their device for later viewing. But this feature is not applied to all videos, it only happened in the form of YouTube Red, an ad-free subscription service.
Fortunately, you can still do a trick to download your favorite YouTube videos by using a free app available on App Store and a website. It’s very easy and moreover, the method can be used to download any videos to your iPhone, not just Youtube videos. And if you’d like to use your Mac or Windows PC, there is also a free software that let you download and transfer YouTube videos directly to your device with much greater ease.
Let’s dive right in. I’ll cover it all!
Using Documents 5
Step 1. Install and launch the app
You’ll first need to download the app called Documents 5. It is now available for free on the App Store. Documents 5 is actually used for document management on iOS devices. It also has a built-in web browser, which allows users to save files directly from file URLs. We’ll use this browser to download YouTube videos.
Once you’ve installed the app, open it and you’ll see a small icon that looks like the Safari icon located on the bottom-right corner of the app interface. Tap on that icon to launch the built-in browser.
When you’re in the web browser, type ‘http://en.savefrom.net’ into the address field and hit Go to access the website. This website helps you get the direct video link for downloading.
Step 2: Copy the YouTube video URL
If you’re using the YouTube app on your iOS device, the simplest way to get video URL is to use the app to copy it from sharing function. Launch your YouTube app and search for the video you want to download. Then tap on the Share icon (an arrow beside like/dislike section) > Select Copy link.
Step 3: Download your YouTube video to Documents 5
Return to the Documents 5 app, paste the video URL into the field on the website.
Now you should see a thumbnail of the video followed by a green Download button. You can also change the video quality before downloading. Once you’ve selected the video quality, hit the green download button and then follow the prompts to complete the save.
Step 4: Move your downloaded video to Camera Roll
After the download process is done, you can watch your video from within the Documents 5 app, or move it to the Camera Roll if you want to.
Here is how to move your videos to Camera Roll: Within the Documents 5 app, switch to document management interface, you’ll see a new Downloads folder. This is where your downloaded videos are hosted. Tap and hold the video icon then drag it up to top left corner (where it says “Drag here”). Keep holding until the view switches to the folders screen. Drag the icon to Photos, keep holding to open this folder, then drag it to All Photos and now release your finger.
Now you’re done. Go to the Photos app and enjoy your video!
Also Read: How to save and view GIFs on iPhone
Using jailbreak tweaks
If your device is already jailbroken, there are some jailbreak tweaks you can install to add video downloading feature directly to the YouTube app. This saves your time and makes things easier.
After sifting through several jailbreak tweaks from Cydia for YouTube video downloading, I’ve found two of the best ones. Let’s take a look at how these tweaks work and pick one for yourself.
- Cercube 3 (Free) Compatible with iOS 7, 8 and 9. Here are some of its best features:
- Add a video download button to the YouTube app’s playback screen
- Download videos in all available qualities or music only
- View, manage and share downloaded videos using the integrated download manager
- Block in-app video ads
- Export downloaded videos to the stock Videos app and the Music app
- Play videos in the background
- YouTube++ (free) Compatible with iOS 7, 8 and 9. You can add this Cydia repo to install YouTube++ for free: (http://beta.unlimapps.com/). Just like Cercube 3, this tweak makes it easier for users to download videos while having some of the most needed features such as background playback, support for videos download, in-app web browser, disable age restrictions, and many more. Once you’ve downloaded a video using this tweak, you can store it inside the download manager or save it directly to Camera Roll.
Using Mac or Windows PC to download YouTube videos
You first need to install an application named YouTube Converter from Softorino. There are many services out there allowing you to copy and paste and download YouTube videos. But I recommend you to use this tool because it’s quite simple, easy and …free, just requires a few click and no iTunes touching.
Now, head over to their website and download the compatible version. After installing, you’ll need to activate the software. Just launch it and when prompted, enter your email address. You’re going to receive an email containing the activation key, copy and use it to unlock the software.
Softorino YouTube Converter makes it easy to download and sync YouTube videos to your iOS device without the need to import them into iTunes. Let’s follow our tutorial to know how to use it.
Step 1: Connect your iPhone to your PC/Mac via USB cord. You’ll need to ‘Trust’ the computer and the program.
Step 2: Find your favorite video and copy the link of it. The program will automatically detect and add your video to the download list. You can also copy more video links and add them to the list.
Step 3: Once you’re done building up the download list, select video quality, select the iPhone logo and finally click the ‘Convert and Transfer’ button. Now the application will start downloading videos. You can see how the downloading process is going through the progress bar.
Once the download process is done, your videos will be transferred to your iPhone automatically. Open the Videos app and there you will find your videos.