How to Download YouTube Videos using VLC Media Player

Well, almost every one uses VLC media player. Also known as the Swiss Army Knife of Multimedia players. Considering that you can do a lot of stuff with VLC. One of the cool stuff you can do is download YouTube videos right from the Video Player. This is the best manual way to download YouTube videos if you don’t want to use any software or any third party plugins.

Well, talking about doing things manually, let’s have a programmatic view on downloading YouTube videos. You might be thinking how these software and websites would be downloading the YouTube videos from Google’s server? (Well, it’s illegal to download video from YouTube without owner’s permission. But, who cares.)

So, there should be a specific link to that video. And there is. You just need to find it. The video link starts with /videoplayback. If you open the source of YouTube video page and search for “videoplayback” you’ll find many links with it. These are the links to video URL. Well, I’ll explain this in some other article. For now, let’s see how you can download YouTube video from VLC Media Player. But, VLC and other software do the same stuff as I explained above.

Downloading YouTube Videos using VLC Media Player

STEP – 1:

Copy YouTube link from your browser. And open VLC media Player.


STEP – 2:

In VLC Media Player, go to Media > Network Stream. We are going to stream the video in VLC in order to download it.


STEP – 3:

In the Network Tab paste the YouTube URL you just copied and Hit Play.


STEP – 4:

Let the video buffer and play a little. Now, open tools > Codec information. You can alternatively press Ctrl+J. 


STEP – 5:

Meaning of Codec is to Code and Decode. Also called Compressor and Decompressor. This makes the transmission of video much faster as it compresses the video as you stream. So, the codec tab will show you the actual link where the YouTube video is stored. Copy the link given in the Location field. Right Click the link area and Select all. Selecting with mouse won’t work. And copy it.



STEP – 6:

Now paste the link in your web browser and hit enter. The video should load up with default HTML5 media player of your browser. Now just right click on the video and hit save video. Else, you can just hit Ctrl + S. Save the file and the download should start.


This is the best manual way to download YouTube Videos. Well, you don’t get options here to download in a particular format but it’s an easy way.

  1. Great guide. I don’t know VLC can download video. In my mind, it’s just a good video player. Thanks for sharing your experience. I used to save online videos to my laptop with Acethinker Video Downloader, It is a free online tool that lets you download video right from the browser. Share it here as an alternative to VLC player.

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