How to download YouTube videos to iPhone or iPad

YouTube might have made it harder, but it's still possible to download videos from YouTube using an app on your iPhone or iPad. Here's a step-by-step guide which will work for you.

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  • Intro 1
  • Documents 5 2
  • Go to YouTube 3
  • Download 4
  • Move the video 5
  • Download via PC 6
  • Download 7
  • More stories
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Step 1 of 7: How to download YouTube videos to iPhone or iPad

Apple has cracked down on apps which overtly claim to download YouTube video to your iPhone or iPad. However, it is still possible in iOS 9. Our step-by-step guide will show you how to download YouTube video to iOS. 

YouTube promised to introduce offline watching, but this has only happened in the form of YouTube Red, which is an ad-free subscription service that's only available in the US at the moment.

Update 21 March 2016: With the release of iOS 9 the Video Downloader Super Lite app we previously recommended using has been removed entirely from the UK app store and has not returned. You can use Documents 5 instead.

Alternatively, if you are happy to use a PC or laptop, we'll show you how to use a free utility to download a video and transfer it straight to your device's Videos app with just one or two clicks.

See also: Is it legal to download YouTube videos?

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Next Prev slideshow image

Apple has cracked down on apps which overtly claim to download YouTube video to your iPhone or iPad. However, it is still possible in iOS 9. Our step-by-step guide will show you how to download YouTube video to iOS. 

YouTube promised to introduce offline watching, but this has only happened in the form of YouTube Red, which is an ad-free subscription service that's only available in the US at the moment.

Update 21 March 2016: With the release of iOS 9 the Video Downloader Super Lite app we previously recommended using has been removed entirely from the UK app store and has not returned. You can use Documents 5 instead.

Alternatively, if you are happy to use a PC or laptop, we'll show you how to use a free utility to download a video and transfer it straight to your device's Videos app with just one or two clicks.

See also: Is it legal to download YouTube videos?

Step 2 of 7: How to download YouTube videos to iPhone or iPad

On your device, go to the App Store and search for "Documents 5" which is free.

Once installed, launch it and tap the bottom-right icon that looks like the Safari icon (a compass).

This will display a web browser where you can search for 'savefromnet' without the quote marks.

Tap on the 'en.savefrom.net' link in the search results.

Step 3 of 7: How to download YouTube videos to iPhone or iPad

You need to get the URL - the address - of the YouTube video that you want to download. One of the easiest ways is to launch the YouTube app on your iPhone.

Find the video you want and wait until any advert has finished playing and the video starts. Tap on the video to show the controls and then tap the share icon (an arrow pointing right).

You can then tap Copy Link.

Now return to the Documents 5 app, and tap in the white box to select it. Tap again to bring up the Paste option and tap that to paste in the URL you copied from the YouTube app.

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Step 4 of 7: How to download YouTube videos to iPhone or iPad

Tap the green tick and you will see a list of various resolutions, so you can choose the quality you want. 

Tap the green Download link next to your preferred quality and rename the video if you want to. Now tap Done amd the video will download. It's best to only do this via Wi-Fi as videos can quickly use up your monthly 3G or 4G data allowance.

Step 5 of 7: How to download YouTube videos to iPhone or iPad

Once downloaded, you'll see the video in the Downloads section of the Documents 5 app.

You can save this to your iPhone or iPad's Camera Roll (not the native Videos app, unfortunately). To do this, tap and hold on the video and drag it up until you see the folder list. Keep holding and drag it into Photos and then into Camera Roll.

Now you can just head to the Photos app and watch the video.

Step 6 of 7: How to download YouTube videos to iPhone or iPad

If you don't like the hassle of copying and pasting links and switching between apps then there's an easier way if you have a PC (or a Mac) using Softorino's YouTube Converter.

Head to the YouTube Converter website and download the version you want - Windows or Mac. Launch the app after installing it and when prompted, enter your email address to get an activation key sent to you. Paste this in and the software will unlock.

Connect your phone or tablet to your PC and tap the 'Trust' option if asked.

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Step 7 of 7: How to download YouTube videos to iPhone or iPad

Now, head to a web browser and copy the URL of a YouTube video you want to download. The video will automatically appear in the YouTube Converter program. You can copy more URLs and build up a list of videos to transfer to your iPhone or iPad.

You then need to choose the quality for the videos. Although you can select 4K, it's more sensible to choose 720p or 1080p as no iPhone or iPad yet has a 4K screen, and your chosen video may not even be 4K.

Click the Convert and Transfer to iPhone button and the videos will be downloaded and transferred to your iPhone's Videos app. It can take a while, so do this well in advance of needing the videos.

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