How to Download YouTube Videos Without Any Software: Easy Guide

Published May 12, 2019

There are so many YouTube downloaders out there nowadays (like this one, and this one). However, they require you to download their software, which is overkill if you just want to easily download a few videos. Don’t worry, because I’m about to show you how to download YouTube videos without any software.

The Fastest Free Youtube Downloader

After testing out many of the online tools available, I’ve found that the fastest free YouTube downloader is QDownloader. As a bonus, it supports a lot more sites than just YouTube, so you can download videos from pretty much anywhere using this tool.

Simply go to the website, paste in the URL of the YouTube video you’re trying to download, and click “Download.” Then, your video will be available in multiple formats and qualities.

How to download YouTube videos without any software: QDownloader main page
QDownloader finished downloading

It really is that easy. You can also download videos without sound too if you want a smaller file size or just don’t care about sound. For some reason, if QDownloader is down, here are some alternative services you can use:

How to Download YouTube Videos With Subtitles

This is a little trickier than just downloading the YouTube videos themselves. The services I linked to above don’t also download subtitles along with the video. The good news is that there is still a way to download YouTube videos with subtitles, without downloading any software (at least specifically for converting videos).

For this, I use SaveSubs. Like QDownloader, just copy and paste your YouTube video URL:

SaveSubs

You will want to download the SRT file of whichever subtitles you want to include in your video.

Next, you will have to download VLC Media Player, a free and open source video player, to embed the subtitles in the video you just downloaded. This is my default video player anyway, and I highly recommend it since it’s so powerful and easy to use.

Once you have downloaded and installed the latest version of VLC, go to Media -> Stream.

VLC main screen

Next, click Add and find the video you downloaded earlier. After that, make sure Use a subtitle file is checked. Click Browse and find the SRT file you just downloaded from SaveSubs. Click Stream.

VLC open media

Now, click Add to tell VLC where to output your new video file with subtitles.

VLC stream output new destination

Give your new video a name, and then hit Next.

VLC stream output destination setup

Simply hit Next here too.

VLC stream output source

Depending on whether you want 1080p or 720p, select either Video for MPEG 1080p TV/device or Video for MPEG 720p TV/device. Make sure Active Transcoding is checked. Now, click on the wrench icon to change some settings.

VLC stream output transcoding options

Leave the Encapsulation tab as it is. This is not important.

VLC profile edition encapsulation

You shouldn’t have to touch the Video codec tab either. Just make sure Keep original video track is unchecked.

VLC profile edition video codec

Make sure you check Keep original audio track. You don’t want to mess with the audio here, just the video.

VLC profile edition audio codec

Make sure Subtitles and Overlay subtitles on the video are both checked. Hit Save.

VLC profile edition subtitles

Simply click Stream here

VLC stream output option setup

Voila! You should get back to the main VLC screen where the bottom will act as a progress bar for your video with embedded subtitles. Wait until it is completely done and then close VLC.

VLC conversion in progress

Now, you should be able to enjoy your video with subtitles!

So you can see there are several ways to download YouTube videos without any software. You don’t need to download or pay for any video downloading or video conversion software to enjoy YouTube videos offline, even with subtitles. If you’re having any issues with my methods, or have any questions, let me know in the comments.

About the Author

Tyler Sanderson

I'm a Canadian who is currently working at Google's NYC office as a software developer. I love board games, cooking, and learning about all things tech related.

Comments

    1. Author

      Thanks! Yes, youtube-dl + ffmpeg is good option too, but it still requires you to download something so I didn’t include it here.

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