[Tutorials] Top 7 Ways to Download YouTube Videos (HD/4K) on Mac for FREE

Posted by Bella to YouTube download | HD videos | Last Updated on Aug 7, 2017

The desire to free download YouTube videos on Mac fuels the growth of software, apps, adds-on and online tools, partly because some users give no heed to pay $9.99/month for Google's new subscription service YouTube Red which lets users watch/play YouTube videos with no ads at all, though. Here in this article, standalone tools and tutorailss for doing exactly in case you need to download YouTube videos on Mac freely are shared.

YouTube allows you to watch, upload and share various videos including HD videos with other internet users. It is said 500 hours of video are uploaded to the site per minute nowadays. However, YouTube only allows you to do such things when you connect to internet and YouTube doesn't allow 4K streaming in Safari. What could you do if you wanna save your HD videos on Mac or what if you are in a place, e.g. on a plane, where you cannot access to network? Hold on, we just gather up the top lists of free YouTube downloader for Mac software, browser extensions and YouTube downloader online services targeted for Mac users to deal with downloads of YouTube videos on macOS freely.

How to Free Download a YouTube Video on Mac

Try MacX YouTube Downloader [100 Free and Safe]

It can free download videos (HD 1080p/720p, 4k/8K) in MP4, WebM, FLV, 3GP from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and 300+ online video sites, so that you can watch YouTube videos offline on Macbook Air/Pro, iMac, Apple TV, iPhone 8/76S/6S Plus, iPad Pro, etc without ads.

At a Glance
Top Ways to Download YouTube Videos for Mac

Solutions

Rating

Pros

Cons

MacX YouTube Downloader

★★★★★

1. Support download YouTube 4k videos for Mac.
2. Mac-style interface that makes it easy to download YouTube videos on Mac.
3. Come with video player to watch YouTube video immediately after download.

Less option for video format conversion.
But the YouTube to MP4/MP3 download option will satisafy almost all Mac users' needs.

Safari

★★★★★

No need any downloader or software intallation.

1. The downloaded YouTube videos won't play on Mac QuickTime, if in FLV format.
2. Safari occasionally crashes when downloading YouTube files.
3. You cannot download 4k video from YouTube to Mac as there is no 4k option in Safari.

FireFox

★★★★★

1. Work with most sites like YouTube, FB, Vine, etc.
2. Easy to use.

1. Each YouTube video to be downloaded is limited to 8 minutes.
2. It is only integrated with Firefox.
3. You cannot download YouTube videos on Mac with Firefox.

Chrome

★★★★★

1. Simple and easy interface.
2. Play videos on your TV with Chromecast.

1. Not stable in terms of YouTube download speed.
2. Unable to choose the quality for YouTube video downloaded on Mac or windows platform.

Keepvid

★★★★★

1. Support a massive list of online sites.
2. Have both desktop and online version.

1. Features of online version are limited.
2. You cannot browse YouTube videos when downloading on Mac.
3. Too many ads.

Zamzar

★★★★★

1. Easy to use.
2. More than 150 file formats.

1. Monthly subscription fee is required for advanced features.
2. File size is limited to 100MB for free users.
3. YouTube downloading time is pretty slow.
4. Download links are available for 1 day only.

5KPlayer

★★★★

1. Easy to Use.
2. Come with a free media player and AirPlay.
3. Support downloading online videos from YouTube and 300+ sites.

1. Video converting option is limited.

1. FREE Download YouTube HD Videos on Mac with MacX YouTuTube Downloader

MacX YouTube Downloader helps you out of the dilemma, letting you download YouTube videos (HD/4K) on Mac free, thus you can save and watch your favorite videos offline, even if you are thwarted by the lack of Wi-Fi, restrictive data plan or sudden video disappear from YouTube. The free YouTube video downloader for Mac has been highly awarded by big tech giants like CNET, receiving 3.5 stars. It stands out from the rest largely due to it's free, safe but powerful in downloading any kinds of online videos like 360 degree VR videos, 4K/8K UHD, 3D videos, HD videos, Blu ray movies, TV shows, music, etc in whateverformat (MP4, FLV, WebM, 3GP, etc.). Its user-friendly interface will guide you to download videos from YouTube on Mac without consulting any tutorials or user guide, no matter you are an experienced user or a newbie.

Why Choose MacX YouTube Downloader?

[Tutorial] How to Download YouTube HD Videos Free on Mac

Step 1: Free download YouTube video downloader on Mac iMac Pro, Macbook Air/Pro or Mac Mini and install it, copy the URL of the video page. find a video you'd like to download, then paste the URL and click "analyze" to load the YouTube video details. Or click "paste & analyze" button to automatically detect the YouTube video opened in browse.

download YouTube HD video on Mac Free

Step 2: Choose video format, resolution, codec and file size you desire.
Step 3: Click "Browse" button to specify an output folder on your Mac to save the output files.
Step 4: Click "Download Now" button to start downloading videos from YouTube free on Mac.

More Information
Besides free downloading YouTube HD videos on Mac (El Capitan/macOS Sierra incl.), MacX YouTube Downloader can also handle SD/HD/4K video downloads from Vimeo, Facebook, Vevo, Dailymotion, Metacafe, Pandora, etc, and enables you to take snapshots of the videos to be downloaded and automatically add the output MP4 YouTube videos to iTunes Library for further use.

Download YouTube Videos on Mac Freely with Web Browser

Frankly, to save YouTube videos on Mac computer is not limited to MacX YouTube Downloader and other similar desktop software mentioned above, there are actually other feasible solutions, such as browser extensions, to free download YouTube videos to Mac or PC computer.

2. Use Safari

The web browser Safari can be served as a Safari YouTube downloader, which offers an easy way to download almost any video on YouTube as well as other web. And for a successful YouTube videos download on Mac OS X, please make sure you have the latest version of Safari. Follow the detailed guides and learn how to download YouTube videos on Mac using Safari.

Step 1. Launch Safari and find the YouTube video you'd like to download;
Step 2. Go into the window tab and press the button Activity;
Step 3. Navigate to a window with a video on it. Find the file that is the largest in the right hand corner;

download YouTube videos on Mac with Safari

Note: Generally, the files you download from YouTube using Safari are saved in .flv. If you need to play the downloaded YouTube clips using Mac QuickTime player, you need a HD video converter, such as MacX Video Converter Pro to convert YouTube videos to MP4, MOV or M4V format.

Updated: YouTube no longer supports 4K video player in Safari according to the feedback from Reddit users. This is because of the VP9 video codec problem that safari doesn't support. So Mac users won't access to 4K video on YouTube in native 2160p resolution until Apple updates Safari to support VP9 codec. Or they can turn to another 4k video player like 5KPlayer or YouTube downloader for Mac to capture the 4K videos for viewing offline.

3. Use Firefox

You can also use Firefox's free plug-in video downloader Mac DownloadHelper to fulfill your needs. Prior to the detailed YouTube video download guide, you need to keep one thing in mind. The time for each downloaded video is limited to 8 minutes and you'll need to click the add-on twice or more if there is a 16-min video or longer.

Step 1. Open the browser Firefox and go for Add-ons by hitting Tools in the menu bar;
Step 2. Search and install the plugin called DownloadHelper, then restart your Firefox;
Step 3. Navigate to the YouTube video to be downloaded, where you can find the icon of DownloadHelper spins;
Step 4. Click the icon to start download YouTube videos on your Mac/Win.

download YouTube videos on Mac with Firefox

4. Use Chrome

To free download YouTube videos on Mac computer using Chrome doesn't go the same smooth as on Safari or Firefox as such kind of extensions like vGet controlled by Google can only save streaming videos from any other site, not just YouTube, because the restriction of Chrome Store. But you can bypass the Google Web store to install the browser extensions.

Step 1. Install FastestTube on your computer. The extension automatically skips the store and has an installer for Chrome;
Step 2. Find the YouTube videos to be downloaded;
Step 3. Locate the Download button. The extension puts a Download This Video right on any YouTube page you load, with all the format options on display;
Step 4. Choose the video format and quality you prefer, after which the download will begin.

download YouTube videos on Mac with Chrome

Note: Browser extensions tend to overload Firefox or Chrome, are inconvenient to adjust download speed, malfunctional and display annoying ads frequently. So it's advise to download YouTube videos with software.

Free Download YouTube Videos on Mac with Online Tools

There are many online YouTube video download tools available in the market. It saves you from downloading any software on your macOS. The most well-known web services are Keepvid, Zamzar, Clipconverter, both of which work well with YouTube, MySpace, Dailymotion, Vimeo and other mainstream online video hosting sites. With them, you can easily download 1080P HD videos, 4K/8K UHD videos from YouTube to Mac.

5. with Keepvid

Take Keepvid online YouTube HD downloader Mac or Windows for an example, here are three steps to finish HD YouTube video download:

Step 1. Copy and paste your target YouTube video URL to the message box;
Step 2. Click "Download" to detect the video detals;
Step 3. Choose one with the proper resolution, size and click to start downloading.

Download YouTube Video Mac Online

6. with Zamzar

Zamzar is another easy solution of downloading YouTube videos on Mac and PC, with no additional software installation. Follow the guide below to freely download YouTube video on your computer here.

Step 1: Select the file or URL to convert. (The size of YouTube video to be downloaded is limited within 100MB).
Step 2: Choose the format to convert to.
Step 3: Enter your email address to receive the downloaded file.
Step 4: Click Convert to begin downloading and converting YouTube video file on your computer.

Download YouTube Video Mac with Zamzar

Free Download YouTube Videos on Mac with Media Player

If you are longing for a way to download YouTube videos and view them in Mac QuickTime, there is another free solution to do so - using a free media player, like VLC, 5KPlayer or so. Here are the steps that you need to follow to complete the job:

7. Via 5KPlayer

5KPlayer is an intuitive free media player integrating with an online YouTube video download for any Mac users, with feature to recognize video URLs quickly and easily. It can dwnload any youtube videos on mac for free with full support of any resolution in 720p, 1080p, 4k, 5k and even 8K, and make video download, e.g. from YouTube, in a fraction of seconds.

Step 1: Free download and install the YouTube downloader on Mac. Click YouTube button.
Step 2: Copy and paste the URL of YouTube video to the URL box.
Step 3: Click Download button to download YouTube videos on Mac at fast speed.

Download YouTube Video Mac with 5KPlayer

Best Free & Safe YouTube HD Downloader for Mac

Best-ever Mac YouTube video downloader freeware lets you free download HD videos from YouTube, Dailymotion, etc inwhatever format and resolution, like MP4 MKV AVI, 3D Blu Ray, 1080P, 4K 8K UHD. Download and save YouTube videos on Mac, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, etc for watching offline.

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Download 4K/HD Videos from YouTube on Mac for Free