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[Tutorials] Top 3 Ways to Download YouTube Videos (HD/4K) on Mac for FREE

The desire to free download YouTube videos on Mac fuels the growth of YouTube downloader software, browser extension and add-ons, 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, a standalone app and detailed tips for doing exactly in case you need to download YouTube videos on Mac 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?

100% Safe and FREE to Download YouTube HD Videos on Mac - Most Recommended

Take it easy. 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 stands out from the rest largely due to it's free, safe but powerful in freely downloading 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 without consulting any tutorials or user guide, no matter you are an experienced user or a newbie.

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Secure Download

How Does MacX YouTube Downloader Outperform Other YouTube Downloaders for Mac?

[Tutorial] How to Download YouTube HD Videos Free on Mac (El Capitan/macOS Sierra included)

download YouTube HD video on Mac Free

Step 1: Free download YouTube video downloader on Mac-based iMac 5K, 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.

Step 2: Choose video format, resolution, codec and file size you desire.

Step 3: Click "Browse" button to specify an output folder on your computer to save the output files.

Step 4: Click "Download Now" button to start downloading videos from YouTube freely 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.

Other Feasible Ways to Download YouTube Videos on Mac Computer

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 and online video download tools, to save YouTube videos to your Mac device.

1. Take Advantages of Browser If You Want to Directly Download YouTube video for Mac OS X from YouTube Page

* Download YouTube Videos with 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.

download YouTube videos on Mac with Safari

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

Note: Generally, the files you download using Safari are saved in .flv. If you need to play the downloaded YouTube clips using Mac's 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.

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5-Star Solution: MacX Video Converter Pro
All-in-one YouTube video downloader and converter that can download 1080p/720p/4k videos from YouTube and 300+ other sites and convert the downloaded YouTube videos to MP4, AVI, WMV, MKV, etc with 400+ readymade profiles for latest mobile devices.

* Download YouTube Videos with Firefox's Add-on - 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.

download YouTube videos on Mac with Firefox

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

* Download YouTube Videos on Chrome directly on Mac - To 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.

download YouTube videos on Mac with Chrome

1. Install FastestTube on your computer. The extension automatically skips the store and has an installer for Chrome;
2. Find the YouTube videos to be downloaded;
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;
4. Choose the video format and quality you prefer, after which the download will begin.

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.

2. Make Use of Online Video Download Tools to Save YouTube Videos on Mac, If You Are Lazy and Don't Want to Install any Software.

There are many online video download tools available in the market. The most well-known web services are Keepvid and 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. Take Keepvid online YouTube HD downloader Mac or Windows for an example, here are three steps to finish HD YouTube video download:

Download YouTube Video Mac Online

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

Well, no matter what means you take to download YouTube HD video free on Mac, you need an extra step to copy downloaded videos from Mac to mobile devices. MacX MediaTrans is competent enough to transfer videos from Mac to iPhone iPad without format incompatible issues, since it auto converts iPhone iPad unsupported videos to MP4 during the super fast transferring process.

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