[HOW TO] Download YouTube videos and watch them offline

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YouTube Red introduced the ability to download videos and watch them without an internet connection on mobile devices. It comes with two large problems, however: a $10 (R142) charge every month, and the fact that it isn’t available to us in South Africa.

Luckily, Google and YouTube have brought us this feature, for free, in the form of YouTube Offline.

All you need is a mobile device (phone or tablet, iOS or Andriod) with the YouTube app downloaded and installed.

Step 1: Make sure you have the latest version of the YouTube App

On Android: Go to Play Store -> Search “YouTube” -> Either download or update the first result.

On iOS: Go to App Store -> Search “YouTube” -> Either download or update the first result.

The rest of the steps are identical for the Android and iOS versions of the apps.

Step 2: Find a video you want to download

Either tap a video you want to watch or type in its name.


Step 3: Tap the download button


Step 4: Choose the video quality

Remember that a higher quality will mean a larger file size; keep that in mind if you’re using a cellular data connection.


During the download, the download button will turn blue.


Step 5: Go to your account

Hit the back button until you arrive on the app’s main page, and tap the account button.



Step 6: Tap “Saved Videos”


Step 7: Choose the video you want to watch

If you’ve saved more than one video, a list will appear here. We only have one: the Captain America trailer we downloaded earlier.


Step 8: Watch your video offline

If you want to make sure you’re not using any data here, you can put your phone into airplane mode, and you’ll still be able to watch all the saved videos.


Just remember that not all videos are available for download, and that saved videos will only stick around for 48 hours.

And that’s it, this is all you need to know in order to download YouTube videos for offline viewing.

Maybe it’s time for a new memory card?

Clinton Matos

Clinton Matos

Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of htxt.africa.