Download YouTube or other videos for offline viewing

Does anyone know of a way to download videos to view later on? I know that it is frowned upon due to the content creator not getting the hits and I normally wouldn’t want to do it. However my internet is painfully slow and it’s limited now that I’m in the boonies. Ideally I’d like to automate a download at night when I have more free high speed, which is from 2-8am, so I’m not eating up my limited data during the day. So is there anything that’s not going to have malware or viruses that I can do on a schedule? Or perhaps there are other solutions I haven’t thought of?


I use a command-line utility called youtube-dl. It can download individual videos or entire playlists. It also works with a huge number of other sites besides YouTube.

On my Mac, I installed HomeBrew using the Terminal command on Then I installed youtube-dl with

brew install youtube-dl

Then I can type youtube-dl to download a video.


Does it work in Windows?


To delay the download, you can specify a number of seconds to delay using the sleep command. To delay two hours:

sleep $((60*60*2)) && youtube-dl

Because this is a very simple method, it requires you to keep the terminal window open until it finishes. Use ctrl-c to cancel it.


I think to make this work on Windows, you’d need to install the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which Microsoft provides for free with Windows 10.


Thanks - something to try.


I’m sorry it’s so arcane. I’m a programmer by trade, and this is what comes most simply for me.


I don’t consider it arcane to not use a UI as much as I consider it just being self suffieicent,

What browser do you use?

You may have the option to install, add-ons or extensions

This used to be much simpler, many people created open source downloaders, mp3 converters, etc etc

Now with code changes the old ones don’t work, new ones may be deemed security risks, it is more work for sure

sort by date when searching, old ones are pretty much guaranteed to not work with an updated browser, keeping an old browser as backup, set to not update can be helpful for some stuff like this


I have used this in the past, but primarily for MP3 downloads. It does have an mp4 downloader as well.


I use Freemake video downloader in Windows. It’s really easy to use and they do a good job of keeping it updated.

The same company makes conversion software and it’s all freeware.


Omg, I figured out the secret that is making people go nuts. ITS MICROSOFT!!! I went from completely calm to chanting “ I f-ing hate you!” in just a few minutes! We have to kill Microsoft! That’ll solve everything!

But seriously, I’m going to shoot my computer if they ask me to sign in one more time.

I installed the thing and got Kali Linux from the
Store. But it won’t let me install it. I don’t have any applicable devices linked to my Microsoft account. Wtf does that mean?


Lucky for us Bill gates is now into healthcare :roll_eyes:


Okay, got it to recognize my device. Had to reset the store and restart. But now it’s downloading and will be for some time. I will pick up this endeavor again tomorrow.


I finally got through that part and have Kali installed. I was able to download and install youtube-dl, too. Went to jay test it out by checking the version and it want python. Great. So I downloaded the latest from and trying to extract it didn’t work.

`sudo curl -L -o Python-3.8.3.tar.xz`

That downloaded a file that is 17MB to the current directory. Then I typed

`tar -xvf Python-3.8.3.tar.xz`

And I get errors


I don’t have Kali, but in Debian-based Linuxes most programs are installed using apt. This is a package manager that automatically handles dependencies for you. It goes something like this.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install youtube-dl

Yeah I got the youtube-dL Okay. Now it’s python that I can’t seem to get working. I used
apt-get install python3 And it went through the motions and did not throw any errors. However, if I type python it says No such file or directory



In Linux, the most complicated part of installing anything is making sure it and all its dependencies are installed in the place all the other pieces expect, and that the versions are compatible. Trying to do all this manually is a rough introduction to what’s known as dependency hell. The difficulty is compounded when it comes time to update a piece of this puzzle.

If possible, it is best to manage your system using package managers like apt or homebrew. I highly recommend resetting to a stock setup, and trying again using apt. It can take days or weeks otherwise to sort problems out.


Well, it turns out I’m stupid. Typed python3 and there it is. But youtube-dl was looking for ‘python’ according to the error it was giving me.

I went and did the install again for youtube-dl and it still doesn’t work

Says /usr/bin/env: ‘python’: No such file or directory.


On the above second install, I did use apt.