How to Download YouTube Videos for a Mac

by ContributorUpdated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Safari Internet browser

  • VLC media player

YouTube's millions of videos offer political clips, music videos, homemade films, cartoon clips, vacation footage, sports clips and cooking lessons. There are several methods for downloading your favorite YouTube videos to your Mac, but this is one of the easiest.

Download Safari from the Apple website. Then, find and download the VLC media player software.

Find and play the YouTube video you want to download. While it plays, click on "Window" in the Safari toolbar. Scroll down the list and click on "Activity." The video title should appear in the Activity window.

Click the arrow in the window to the left of the video title to reveal a list of items underneath. Click on the one that has the words "get video" in the description to download the video from YouTube.

Find the downloaded video on your computer and rename it with the extension .flv. Open the video with VLC and watch it play on your Mac.


If the description of the item doesn't fit in the window, "get video" may not be visible in the title. Expand the window until you can read the whole thing. The .flv videos also work with a QuickTime media player if you have Perian installed on your Mac. You can use iSquint, a free utility, to convert your downloaded videos to an iTunes-compatible format.

More Articles