Finally a Free, Flexible Youtube Download That Works

The web, not to mention my email inbox too, is awash with programs that claim to be able to download Youtube videos and convert them to various formats for offline watching and viewing.  In my experience, though, most of them don't work too well, and aren't worth the trouble of downloading.

So, for a change, here's one that's actually rather good.

It's called Freemake Video Downloader.  You can get it from  It works on Windows XP and above and the download is a 1.2 MB file (although be aware that it'll download another 12 MB during installation).

The offline setup of the program can be downloaded from this link :

VirusTotal reckons that the program is free from malware and viruses.  However, be aware that it uses the OpenCandy system, which means that it will offer to install one or 2 additional programs for you.  Pay attention during the installation process, and simply tick the "no" boxes unless you want those extra offerings.

Once installed, using Freemake is very simple indeed.  When you access Youtube in your web browser, a new "Download" button appears above the video you're watching.  Press the button and Freemake springs into action, and displays the options shown in the screen shot below.  Choose your desired output format, press the Convert button, and you're done.  Not only can you download videos in this way, but you can also extract the audio in MP3 format so you can listen offline.




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by Perras on 13. October 2013 - 12:46  (111456)

I've been using this program for a while now:
Youtube Downloader HD

It's simple to use and has worked perfectly for me so far.

by MidnightCowboy on 13. October 2013 - 13:32  (111458)

Caution! Youtube Downloader HD is bundled with OpenCandy. It will attempt to download unwanted components and change your system settings. Please read our information page linked below and pay careful attention during installation. MC - Site Manager.

by Perras on 13. October 2013 - 14:36  (111461)

Thanks for the warning, but are you sure you are talking about the same program?
There are other programs with similar names, for example HD Youtube Downloader Free.

The Youtube Downloader HD program I use isn't installed. You only extract the exe file and the ini file from the downloaded zip, and I scanned before and after and no other files or registry keys were created when I run the exe file.
I'm using version (not the latest one).

The homepage says:

Youtube Downloader HD for Windows is a completely FREE Software. It contains absolutely NO ADWARE, NO SPYWARE, NO REGISTRATION, NO POPUPS, NO MALWARE or other unwanted software.

by mr6n8 on 13. October 2013 - 14:41  (111462)

I just downloaded from your link and when opening the installer, there is an Open Candy end user license agreement.

Sounds like your are talking about the portable version. There are two downloads at your link - the installer and a portable. As far as I can tell, the portable does not have Open Candy. The installer definitely does have Open Candy.


by Perras on 13. October 2013 - 15:00  (111463)

I downloaded from here:

And yes I'm using the portable version!

I wouldn't have agreed to install anything with Open Candy!

But how can they say the software contains "NO ADWARE, NO SPYWARE, NO REGISTRATION, NO POPUPS, NO MALWARE or other unwanted software" when Open Candy comes with the installer!

by mr6n8 on 13. October 2013 - 15:25  (111464)

Unfortunately, not everything on the internet is the truth. We here see lies all the time when searching for new freewares - softwares that say they are free when they are not, being a big one.

My question would be - Why use a software that lies?

I am hoping that Snapfiles offers only the portable to avoid the Open Candy install. If so, then good for them.


by HarrisvilleFinn on 26. March 2013 - 7:27  (106542)

.NET Client 4.0 is required and offered during installation.

by JM on 16. January 2013 - 15:20  (104517)

um, seems this one has stopped other downloaders stopped working on youtube anyway, so just installed this.....doesn't work in chrome or firefox 'No downloadable video' i guess youtube have done soemthing to stop it?

by Tyler W (not verified) on 1. December 2012 - 5:11  (103151)

I wish to extract the audio portion of downloaded YouTube videos so that I may transfer them to CD. Which program is recommended to do this? Also what program is recommended to transfer the actual downloaded video from my hard drive to DVD? Something simple! Thank You

by MidnightCowboy on 1. December 2012 - 5:38  (103154)

We are unable to respond to support requests in the comments. Please register and post your query here in our forum.

by Tyler W (not verified) on 1. December 2012 - 5:26  (103153)

Sorry I was unclear-I did not mean exclusively YouTube but my intention is to have a program that will function for other video sites as well.

by Nodrog (not verified) on 9. October 2012 - 7:56  (100530)

It seems that the 1-click youtube download button(in both Firefox and Chrome)only works as intended in an administrator account. If you try it in a standard user account it only opens the main video downloader program, leaving you to copy/paste the URL as before to complete the download.

If you want to use it in a standard account you must first open the main program using the "run as administrator" option, then the 1-click function works.

Also if it is being used in different user accounts on the same machine remember to change the destination folder if you want downloads to be saved in the account being used.

by Dave-w (not verified) on 4. October 2012 - 10:12  (100244)

Hi - I've been looking for a Youtube downloader that will download a whole playlist for you. There are quite a few that say they do - but in reality I have been unable to find one that does. Can anyone help? Freemake doesn't appear to - perhaps Youtube prevent this from happening?

by Anupam on 29. November 2012 - 13:04  (103057)

Freemake have informed us via email that with the latest version of Freemake Video Downloader, it has the ability to download YouTube channels, and playlists too.

Downloads from Hulu have also been fixed.

by catwhowalksalone on 6. October 2012 - 12:42  (100366)

I use ByTubeD - Bulk Youtube Video Downloader - which is a Firefox addon (not sure if it is available for Chrome or IE). It is well maintained and, although not fully automated, just simply seems to work (i.e., only took developer a day or so to update this to work perfectly again after Youtube's last "facelift" in September - and even before the update, it was still able to capture most video links, which no other Youtube downloader I use was able to do). ByTubeD puts an icon on your toolbar (if not, just customize the toolbar and the icon should be one of those available - just drag it on the toolbar). When you are on a YouTube page or in a YouTube playlist, just click on the ByTubeD icon and it will pull links for every video referenced on the current page and you can choose to download all or just some (typical control-click and shift-click functions for selecting) - wish the program would just then download at that point, but instead ByTubeD generates a page of links, one for each video you selected - you have to click on a link to start the download for that video. Like I said, only semi-automated. Still quicker and easier than any other option I've tried so far. Will check out Freemake too.

by msram (not verified) on 17. October 2012 - 11:51  (100900)

Did you try using BYTubeD along with DownThemAll? After generating links, invoke DownThemAll on the generated-links-page and select all videos to download.

Also, if you want it to just download right after clicking Start, set the "What to do?" option to "Enqueue for Download"; but this will slow down your browser.

by Freemake (not verified) on 4. October 2012 - 12:09  (100246)

Youtube allows to download playlists and channels. Freemake new version will be able to download it, it's programmed and in tests. We estimate a release in a week or 10 days. If you can't wait, look at dvdvideosoft freeware. Their software is able to download youtube channels as far as I know

by Dave-w (not verified) on 4. October 2012 - 18:09  (100280)

Thanks for that - I think I will wait for Freemake! I checked out dvdvideosoft and their Youtube downloader is called "Freeyoutubedownload". Beware- it has some very bad feedback concerning malware!

by Anupam on 4. October 2012 - 12:14  (100248)

Appreciate your help here, and also the fact that you recommend software from other developers. That's a first I have seen, and it's in good spirits. Keep up the good work, we love your software :).

by Freemake (not verified) on 4. October 2012 - 7:25  (100227)

Rob, thanks for the review, we are really glad to have us tested. One thing we'd want to add is a cool feature we integrated just about 3 days ago - this is a tab "download" which is integrated just above the video player on youtube and by clicking this tab you get your video link already pasted in the software and downloaded on yr PC. This fully automates the process. More importantly it works for Chrome, FF and IE. We don't know any other tools which properly do it for IE.

For those who look for downloads for Hulu, wait news from us, freemake already can download from Hulu but now is tested inhouse for bugs. Should be released at the end of this month.

by apatt on 4. October 2012 - 3:18  (100216)

This Freemake Video Downloader just hijacked my browser's start page, there is no option to avoid this. Easily fixed in the browser's settings of course but it's still presumptuous of them and annoying as hell.

EDIT: The default search engine is also hijacked. This is a hateful program!

(Haven't tried the actual video download yet)

by Jorpho (not verified) on 9. October 2012 - 3:57  (100514)

Ugh, I had a terrible time with the last thing that tried to OpenCandy my Firefox installation. I'm going to backup with MozBackup first.

It looks like running the installer from the command line with the /NOCANDY switch works in this case.

by apatt on 9. October 2012 - 4:20  (100515)

I didn't know you can do that. Thanks for the tip.

I have done some video downloading on it and it works quite well. I really dislike the hijacking though.

by Anupam on 4. October 2012 - 6:14  (100222)

It's been clearly mentioned in the article that you should be careful during installation. Options are definitely there to avoid the extras with the software.

by apatt on 4. October 2012 - 6:29  (100223)

I did read all the setup options carefully (forewarned is forearmed I thought) and even deselected the option to install some additional software. As far as I could tell there is no option for disallowing the two hijacks I mentioned.

by Anupam on 4. October 2012 - 7:11  (100224)

I just installed the software on my computer.. and during installation, all I got was the recommendation of two software on two different screens, with "Accept" and "Do not accept" options. I chose "Do not accept" for both, and after that, I did not get anything extra.
Custom installation was offered after that, but that included selecting shortcut icon for desktop, and to install plugins for the browsers. I did not select the plugin option, because I didn't want that. But still, I don't think the browser hijack for home page and search engine might have come from that.

So, I do not see how browser hijack and search engine change could come from Freemake.

There are two software being offered during installation on two different screens...both of them extras, and both of them recommended from OpenCandy. But, both of them had "Do not accept" button. I hope you did not accidentally miss one of them.

Also, no one else has complained of such a change, and many have installed the program.

Can you tell what was the start page changed to? Also, the search engine that was changed.

by apatt on 4. October 2012 - 7:21  (100226)

> But, both of them had "Do not accept" button. I hope you did not accidentally miss one of them.

Nah, I don't think I did, I checked in my Win XP's Start / Program menu, there's nothing new there except the Video downloader.


by Anupam on 4. October 2012 - 7:31  (100228)

Well, can't see then where the start page and search engine change came from.

by apatt on 4. October 2012 - 7:55  (100231)

I used the "off-line installer", I wanted to do it all in one go. May be it's something to do with that?

by Anupam on 4. October 2012 - 8:03  (100232)

I used the offline installer too, and ran the setup on computer :)

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