How to Download YouTube Videos

Can you download YouTube videos?

You can download videos from YouTube, but only if they're your own, and only under specific circumstances.

Why you can't download other people's YouTube videos

There are several websites and programs out there that allow you to download other people's YouTube videos, or at least the audio from them.  However, they are all more-or-less illegal, or at least in violation of YouTube's rules, for at least two reasons.

First of all, downloading someone else's YouTube video means that you're taking control of something that someone else made.  With that control, you could modify the video and/or pass it off as if you made it, all without the original author's permission.  That's stealing, or more specifically, copyright infringement.

Secondly, almost all of the content on YouTube is free because YouTube is supported by advertising revenue (see our How Does YouTube Make Money article).  By downloading music or videos off of YouTube, you're taking the advertisements out of them, which deprives YouTube of the money it needs to keep itself free to use for the majority of its users.

Therefore, it is our recommendation that you avoid using these third-party downloading services.  Otherwise, you run the risk of suffering consequences for breaking YouTube's rules, or infringing on someone else's copyright (which is a criminal offence).

When can I download my own videos from YouTube?

You can download MP4 file versions of your own YouTube videos, but only under the following circumstances:

  • Your video has not been removed from YouTube for breaking YouTube's rules.

  • Your video does not contain a copyrighted song that YouTube has made available for users to use in their videos.

  • Your video does not contain other copyrighted material that you are being allowed to use under "fair use" rules.

  • You have not downloaded more than one video in the last hour, or the same video more than four times in the last 24 hours.

Basically, these rules make sure that you're downloading YouTube videos only for legitimate purposes, such as replacing the original files on your computer if you accidentally deleted them.

How to download YouTube videos

  1. Go to in your web browser and log in.

  2. Click on My Channel in the left-hand menu (click the icon beside the YouTube logo if you can't see this menu).

  3. Click on Video Manager in the top-left corner.

  4. Click the small arrow beside the Edit button next to the video that you wish to download, and then select Download MP4 from the drop-down menu.

  5. A save prompt will appear.  Click the button beside "Save File", and then click OK.

  6. An explorer window will appear to let you choose where you want to save your file.  Navigate to the location and then click Save.

    (NOTE: Sometimes, if you haven't set your web browser up to manually choose where to save Internet files, they will automatically be sent to your "Downloads" folder.)

  7. Now, simply find the location where you downloaded your video to, and double click your video to play it!

That's pretty much all there is to downloading videos from YouTube!

How to Delete YouTube Videos

Did that video that you uploaded to YouTube not turn out to be as popular or appreciated with YouTube’s users as you thought it might be?  If you don’t want one or more of your videos on YouTube any more, you can delete them.

You can also ask YouTube to delete other people’s videos if you believe that they break YouTube’s rules.  For example, if a video is deliberately offensive or defamatory, or it violates your intellectual property rights (e.g. they copied your video and claimed it as their own and/or modified it without your permission), you can ask YouTube’s staff to look into it.  If they think you have a case, they will remove the video (or at least age-restrict it).

How to delete a YouTube video

Deleting your own videos

  1. Go to in your web browser and log in.

  2. Click My Channel in the left-hand menu (click the icon beside the YouTube logo if you can’t see this menu).

  3. Click Video Manager in the top-left corner.

  4. Click the small arrow beside Edit next to the video that you wish to delete, and then click Delete in the drop-down menu that appears.

  5. You will be asked to confirm that you really want to delete this video.  Click Yes, Delete if that’s what you want to do, or click Cancel to back out.

  6. If you want to delete multiple videos at once, click the check boxes beside each video that you want to delete to select them (or click the check box at the top to select all of your videos at once).  Then click Actions, and then click Delete.

    Again, you will be asked to confirm that you wish to delete the current videos.  Click Yes, Delete if you’re sure that you want to delete these videos.

Reporting other people’s videos for removal

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, you can’t just arbitrarily delete other people’s videos on YouTube.  However, you can report videos to YouTube if you feel that they violate YouTube’s community guidelines (such as if they are overly sexual or violent in nature, coach people to do dangerous or illegal activities, or are stolen from you or someone else).  If YouTube feels that your complaint is justified, they will remove the video, or at least restrict it so that it can only be viewed by people of a certain age.

You must be logged into YouTube in order to report a video, but YouTube will not reveal to the video’s creator that you were the one who reported their video.

  1. Go to in your web browser and log in.

  2. Find the video that you wish to report to YouTube, and begin watching it. 

  3. In the information panel underneath the video player, click More, and then click Report in the drop-down menu that appears.

  4. Under “What is The Issue?”, click the button beside the reason that you feel the video breaks YouTube’s community guidelines.  Depending on which option you choose, a drop-down menu may appear that allows you to select a more specific issue.

    You can also click the boxes under “Timestamp Selected” and type in the hour, minute, and/or second mark (or move to a specific point in the video by using the player) where you believe the violating content can be found within the video.  You can also click in the box labelled “Please Provide Additional Details” and type in a short explanation of why you feel this video doesn’t follow YouTube’s rules.

    When you’re done, click Submit.

That’s how to delete your own videos from YouTube, and how to report other videos for deletion!

How to Upload YouTube Videos

If you followed our last tutorial, you should now have a channel set up on YouTube.  Now comes the good part: it’s time to start uploading videos to your YouTube channel!

Note that, initially, you can only upload videos that are less than 15 minutes in length and less than 20 gigabytes in memory space.  If you need to, however, you can increase this limit by submitting a request to YouTube, and then verifying your YouTube account with a phone number.  (We’ll cover this in our “YouTube Account and Privacy Settings” article.)  Then, you can upload videos that are up to 11 hours long and up to 128 gigabytes in memory space!

How do I upload a video to YouTube?

  1. Go to in your web browser and log in.

  2. Click the Upload button in the top-right corner.

  3. On the next screen, click Select Files to Upload.  This will open an explorer window that will let you search for the file that you wish to upload.  When you find it, click on it to select it, and then click Open.

  4. You will have to wait for your video to upload and process before you can publish it.  In the meantime, you can fill out some basic information about the video.  We’ve marked important areas on the screenshot below with red numbers; the corresponding captions below the screenshot have more information on what you can do at each point.

    YouTube video upload options

    1. Video Name – Click in this box and type in a name for your video.

    2. Description – Click in this box and type in a short paragraph or two on what your video’s about.

    3. Tags – Click in this box and type in key words that describe the topic of your video.  This can make your video easier to search for. Click some of the words under “Suggested Tags” to quickly add them to your video.

    4. Video Thumbnails – Click on a frame from your video to make it the cover picture that represents your video to other YouTube users.

    5. Privacy Selector – Click this drop-down menu and select whether you want your video to be Public (anyone can see it), Unlisted (others need a link to the video to see it), or Private (others need a YouTube account AND a link to the video to see it).

    If you choose Public, you can add a message to your video and share it on Google Plus or Twitter.  If you choose Private, you can choose whom you want to share your video with (if anyone).

    6. Add to Playlist – You can click here to select a playlist that you want to add this video to, or create a new playlist based on this video. 

    See our how to make a YouTube playlist tutorial for more information.

    7. Advanced Settings – Click here for additional options, like whether or not you want to allow people to rate or comment on your video, what category your video shows up in, or whether or not you want to restrict viewing of your video to a certain age group.

  5. If you want to upload more videos to YouTube besides this one, click Add More Videos in the bottom-right corner and repeat steps 3 and 4.  Otherwise, click Publish (or Done) in the top-right corner.

  6. If you are uploading multiple videos at once, you can click the Privacy Selector drop-down menu at the top of the screen to set the privacy of all of your videos to Public (anyone can see them), Unlisted (others need links to the videos to see them), or Private (others need YouTube accounts AND links to the videos to see them) all at the same time.

    You can also click Publish All (or Done With All) to finish making changes to all of your videos at once and put them up on your YouTube channel.

That’s a quick demonstration of how to upload videos to YouTube!  So what are you waiting for?  Post your creations today, and see how many fans you can get!

How to Make a YouTube Channel

In our last tutorial, we explained what a YouTube channel is and how to subscribe to one, so you can keep up with all of the latest videos posted by the channel's creator.  But what if you want to post your own videos?  For that, you'll need your own channel!  This tutorial will show you how to set one up.

Like most things on YouTube besides simply watching videos, you will need to be logged in to create a channel.

How do you make a YouTube channel?

  1. Go to in your web browser and log in.

  2. Click your profile picture in the top-right corner, and then click the YouTube Settings icon.

  3. Under the Overview section (which you should automatically be taken to), click Create New Channel.

  4. Click in the box labelled "Name Your Channel" and type in a name for your channel.  Then click the drop-down menu underneath that and select the purpose of your channel (Product or Brand; Company, Institution, or Organization; Arts, Entertainment, or Sports; or Other).

    Click the check box here to say that you agree to Google and YouTube's rules about having a channel (click Pages Terms to read these rules).  Then click Done.

  5. Congrats!  Your new YouTube channel is set up!  But it's looking a little dull.  Let's fix that by adding some personality.  First up is the icon that represents your channel.

    Move your mouse over the blank icon in the top-left corner and click the Edit icon (it looks like a pencil).  A message will appear saying that your channel's icon is linked to the one on its matching Google Plus page (which was created at the same time as your channel).  Click Edit on Google Plus.

  6. You probably don't have any pictures on the Google Plus page for your YouTube channel yet, so the easiest option is probably to Upload one (which should be the default option selected).  Click Select A Photo From Your Computer and use the explorer window that pops up to find a picture on your computer that you want to use (note that it must be at least 250 pixels in both height and width).

    After that, you can crop and rotate the photo as you wish, or even add a caption to it.  Click Set as Profile Photo when you're done.

    (NOTE: A window may appear asking you to share something about your new photo.  Just click Cancel to ignore it.)

  7. Now, let's try adding some cover art for your channel.  Go back to your YouTube channel and click Add Channel Art in the top-middle.

  8. Like with your channel icon, you can upload your own photo to use for your cover art (click Select a Photo From Your Computer and use the explorer window to find one that you want, and then click Open), or you can use a photo already on your Google Plus account. 

    However, cover art is a little bit tricky in terms of dimensions, so you may want to click Gallery and click on a preset piece of cover art provided by YouTube.  Whatever your choice, click Select when you're done.

    (NOTE: You may have to click Cancel or the "X" in the top-right corner to get back to your channel page.)

  9. Let's finish off by adding some extra details to our channel.  Click the About tab underneath your channel's header.

    Here, you can click the Channel Description button and type in a short introduction to what your channel is about.  Or, click the Email button and type in an email address that people can use to get in touch with you if they have questions.  You can also click the Country drop-down menu and select which country you live in.

    You can also click the Links button and add hyperlinks that people can follow to, for example, your personal website.  You can even have some of your links appear right on your channel's cover art!

Alright!  Your channel's pretty much set up now.  All that's missing are your videos!  We'll show you how to upload your videos to YouTube in our next tutorial!

How to Delete Your YouTube History

YouTube keeps track of the videos that you watch and the terms that you search for, so that you can easily get back to them later.  Also, based on your watch and search history, YouTube will also give you suggestions of what you may want to watch next.

However, there are times when your YouTube history is no longer useful, and/or has skewed YouTube’s recommendations for you too far away from what you really want to watch.  In that case, it may be time for you to delete your YouTube history.  This tutorial will show you how to do just that.

To delete your viewing history on YouTube:

  1. Go to in your web browser and log in.

  2. Click History, either in the left-hand menu (click the icon beside the YouTube logo to show it if it’s hidden) or at the bottom of the screen.

  3. By default, YouTube will take you to your Watch History, which is a record of all of the videos that you’ve watched on YouTube with your current account.

    Click Clear All Watch History to remove all watched videos from your history, or click the “X” beside a video to remove it individually. 

    You can also click Pause Watch History to have YouTube stop keeping a record of videos that you’ve watched.  This button will change to Resume Watch History if you do so; click this to have YouTube start keeping track of what you’ve watched again.

  4. You can also delete your YouTube history for terms that you’ve searched for.  Click Search History to get started.

    Like when deleting your watch history, you can click Clear All Search History to delete the record of everything you’ve searched on YouTube for with this account.  Additionally, you can delete searches individually by clicking the three dots beside one and then clicking Remove from Search History.

    Finally, you can click Pause Search History to tell YouTube to stop keeping track of what you search for on the website.  This changes the button to Resume Search History; click this if you want YouTube to start saving your search terms again.

That’s how to delete your YouTube history if you need to!