Have you ever wanted to download videos from your favorite streaming or on-demand service? We’re willing to bet the idea has crossed your mind at some point.
After all, it’s nice to stream content whenever you please, but it’s sometimes even better to just download the content and watch it whenever. The problem is that many video services don’t want you to download videos. It’s better for them if you stay on their site – or app – while you watch.
While some sites are nice enough to offer in-app downloads, others make you rely on more…creative alternatives. Still, if you’re determined to download videos from your favorite sites, then there’s almost always a way to to do.
From YouTube to Netflix and Instagram, here’s how you download videos to your favorite device.
Download Anything With Screen Recording Software
Screen recording software is the – more or less – universal way to save or “download” any video. After all, such programs simply record the screen you are viewing. Watch any video, record the screen, download/transfer the recording, and you’re set.
The problem with screen recording software is that it’s restricted pretty heavily on iPhone. Trying to use the official iPhone screen recorder to record Netflix, for instance, triggers an error.
Recording on a desktop tends to work easier. Programs like Apowersoft Free Online Screen Recorder, FRAPS, and OBS have various ways of letting you record what you’re watching on your desktop. After you’ve recorded it, just transfer the file to your desired device.
As always, just be sure that the program your using is reliable and protected.d Using a VPN while recording certainly doesn’t hurt.
Download Videos From YouTube
YouTube is the most popular video hosting service in the world. Unfortunately, that also means that it’s one of the toughest to download videos from. YouTube/Google are very protective of their hosted content and don’t want you to download it.
That is unless you have YouTube Premium. Previously known as YouTube Red, this $11.99 a month service is YouTube as it was meant to be. That means no ads, listening to videos with the app closed, and the ability to download videos.
Doing so is quite easy. You just hit the download button below the video, choose your preferred video quality, and you’ll soon be able to view your video in the library on your phone.
This is by far the easiest way to download YouTube videos, but it comes with a couple of catches. First off, you’ve got to be in a country that supports YouTube Premium. You also technically must stay subscribed in order to access them. Some content is also made unavailable when you go back online if creators choose for it to work that way.
The biggest catch to Premium, though, is the cost. Do you really want to pay a streaming service fee for YouTube conveniences? If you use YouTube as your primary entertainment source, that might not be a bad thing. Otherwise, consider other options.
Just Use a PC/Mac
This is one of the most frustrating techniques, but also the most practical. While reliable YouTube download apps are hard to come by on iTunes, there are a ton of them available for PC and Mac. Seriously, we can’t even begin to list them all here. Instead, we’re going to point you right to 4K Video Downloader.
4K Video Downloader is the best overall YouTube download service for desktop and laptop computers. All you have to do is download the service, copy the link of the video you want to download, paste it into the app, and you’re set. From there, you can always transfer the files from your computer to your mobile device via cables or clouds.
Granted, it’s not the most convenient way to get YouTube videos on your phone, but there are few better options in terms of overall reliability. Plus, 4K Video Downloader offers an excellent suite of settings that let you set video resolution and even download entire playlists.
Documents by Readdle
Documents by Readdle might not sound like a YouTube video downloading app, but it’s secretly one of the best.
The program is actually a file hub. It’s a one-stop shop for your media and other digital content. It’s also a service that has a built-in web browser that lets you save media by following these steps.
Open the Documents browser.
Go to the YouTube video you want to download.
Open the “Documents” section of the browser and choose the “Save File” option.
The file will be available via the downloads section of the app once it is available.
From here, it’s possible to move the file to the app’s photos section. The upside of doing so is that you can then access the file from your camera roll rather than the app. This makes it easier to view and protects it from accidental deletion.
Even if all of this sounds like a hassle, Documents by Readdle is a useful enough app to recommend even if you don’t use its stealth download features.
A Native YouTube Video Downloader
At this point, you’re probably wondering if there is just an app that lets you download YouTube videos directly to your iPhone or mobile device. There are. Actually, there are quite a few of them.
The problem is that they are notoriously unreliable. Even if you find one that is actually currently working – which is tricky – many of them are loaded with adware and other malicious programs.
The point here is that it’s almost impossible to recommend a direct download service that is reliable, safe, and will be available by the time that you read this. You’re better off with an alternative approach.
Download Videos From Dailymotion
Truth be told, the methods for downloading Dailymotion videos are similar to the methods for downloading YouTube videos.
For instance, you should be able to use Documents by Readdle for Dailymotion about the same way that you use it for Youtube. There are also a host of sites that you can access through your desktop or laptop that will let you download the video and transfer it as you see fit.
So far as Dailymotion specific methods go, there aren’t many out there. Just about any service that will let you download a YouTube video will let you download a Dailymotion video via relatively similar methods. In other words, you’ve got options.
Download Videos From Vimeo
Vimeo isn’t nearly on YouTube’s level in terms of popularity, but it’s still a widely used service. In an ideal world, Vimeo’s high-quality videos and upload system would be more of a challenger to the YouTube behemoth. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Still, if you do love Vimeo, then there are ways to download your favorite Vimeo videos.
The bad news is that there aren’t a lot of apps that let you download videos directly to your device. Again, if you do find an app that claims it lets you do this, then we would advise that you be highly suspicious of it.
Instead, the methods we recommended for YouTube and Dailymotion remain the best available options. On top of that, we highly recommend the website qdownloader.net. That site lets you just enter a Vimeo video’s URL, download it, and transfer it as you will. It’s also formatted especially well for downloading Vimeo videos.
Download Videos From Veoh
Veoh is somewhat similar to the other sites we’ve covered above, but it can actually be a little more difficult to find general video downloaders that support Veoh downloads.
That being the case, be sure to check out downloadvideosfrom.com. It’s one of the few downloaders out there that lets you easily save Veoh videos to your computer in an MP4 format. Tubeoffline.com is another great site that makes it relatively easy to save and transfer files.
Finally, videograbber.net seems to be a pretty versatile tool that specifically lists its Veoh support. As far as transferring those videos go, there’s always IoTransfer.
IoTransfer is a great solution for easily transferring download videos to your device. The only drawback is that you do need a Windows PC to use it. You’ll also need to pay for the premium version to use some of its features.
If that’s no problem, then IoTransfer is a pretty clean way to download videos, transfer downloaded videos, and send them to your device however you wish. You don’t technically need the service to use those features, but it’s the easiest way to perform those functions if you’re interested.
Download Videos From Netflix
There was a time when the idea of saving Netflix videos to your mobile devices was something straight out of a book of black magic. You had to rely on shady services, complicated methods, and apps that basically bricked your phone. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case.
Now, Netflix has a fantastic download system available through their mobile app. Just go to the “Downloads” section of the app, choose what movie/show you want to download and save it offline. You can also just choose the download button next to the program you are watching. Netflix can even automatically download future episodes of a show for binge watching.
The only catch is that you can only download the content Netflix allows you to download. That means you can download quite a bit…but not everything. If you want to download anything else, you’re pretty much out of luck. The few Netflix download programs that once existed have been wiped out by legal teams.
Truth be told, it’s best not to trust any app or program that says it will let you download anything from Netflix. There are some “back alley” ways to do that, but we’ll talk about them in the following section.
Download Videos From Hulu
Hulu plans on releasing an official way for you to download videos from your Hulu app, but it’s not out yet. That being the case, you’re going to have to turn to some alternate solutions. One of the better alternatives is AceThinker Video Keeper
Video Keeper is one of the best tools out there for when you need to download a video from hundreds of sites. This program lets you easily record, download, save, and convert videos from Hulu and many other places. You can even record directly from your iPhone.
The downside is that Video Keeper’s basic service will set you back about $35 (when it’s on sale). That might be worth it to you, but we recommend you check out the free trial first.
Download Videos From HBO Go/HBO Now
Sadly, HBO doesn’t offer an official download option for HBO Go or Now. What’s worse is that it doesn’t look like they plan on offering that option anytime soon.
That means that anyone looking to download HBO videos is pretty much reduced to screen recording and similar methods. We’re sorry to say there aren’t many better options.
Download Videos From Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime Video is another service that thankfully offers downloads directly from the native app.
Just go to the video you want, choose the download option, and you’re set. Remember that you can also set the quality of the download via the software’s settings.
As with Netflix, not all Prime content is available to download. For any unavailable titles, you’ll have to rely on screen recording or third-party download websites.
Download Videos From Snapchat
We covered this subject in-depth here, but the gist of the message is that it’s tough to cleanly save Snapchat videos. You can use a screen recorder, but the video uploader will be notified. You can also use third-party programs to record from a desktop, but they’re pretty clunky.
Basically, either be prepared to notify the video uploader that you’re recording or be prepared to navigate some cumbersome programs.
Download Videos From Instagram
Saving your own Instagram videos is easy enough. You can enable the feature right in your settings.
Saving other people’s Instagram videos is a little trickier. There used to be a great iOS app called Repostly that let you save content, but that feature has since been removed.
That means you’re going to have to rely on the desktop to mobile method. So far as that goes, postgrabber.com is a fairly easy-to-use site that lets you save content from Instagram and transfer it to your device however you see fit.
There’s also gramblast.com (formerly InstaSave) which works about the same way as Post Grabber. Just be sure to sure to format the downloads in a way that your mobile device will recognize.
Download Videos From Twitch
Again, saving and downloading your own Twitch streams is pretty easy. Just enable a setting in your streamer profile, and you’re good to go. Downloading other people’s videos is where things get tough.
The best option we could find is Savieo. This website lets you download videos from a variety of sites using just the video’s URL. It doesn’t always work as well as you’d like it to, but it’s still better than most of the competition.