How to Download Any YouTube Video to Your Hard Drive

    Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

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    How to Download Any YouTube Video to Your Hard Drive

    YouTube hosts millions of videos but several hundreds are also removed daily for violation of copyright and other reasons. Most times when these videos are uploaded, they are done so without permission and so only remain up for a number of days (or even just for a number of hours) before they are removed.

    How can you see these brilliant, salacious, sometimes downright controversial videos before they are removed? By downloading them directly to your own computer! Most people do not know that you can easily download any video from YouTube to your own computer. It is as easy as adding "ss" in front of "youtube" in the URL for the video.

    For example:

    If you want the YouTube video found at:

    Just enter the letters "ss" into the URL before "youtube" like this:

    You will automatically be taken to a download page that will give you a number of options for downloading the file (high-res, low-res, etc.). You needn't download any software or anything, just click on the download link.

    John Szot

    Awesome! Thank you! I did not know that and wondered how to do it for a while now.

    November 10, 2016

    Jeevan Sivasubramaniam
    Jeevan Sivasubramaniam

    John, no problem--it's so easy, isn't it?

    November 10, 2016
    Denise Moran

    Downloading video from youtube is easy but in most cases till youtube finds out video violates copyright it is already seen by millions of users. Plagiarism and copy right violation legislation as put it should be unique for the whole Internet world.

    January 19, 2017

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