How to Download YouTube to Android for Free

Downloading videos from YouTube on your Android phone or tablet is easy, whether you pay for the privilege or not.

The official way to download YouTube is by subscribing to YouTube Premium, which isn’t actually available in the UK yet but is coming soon at a cost of £11.99 per month. We hope that it will also offer a free trial. Once available, YouTube Premium will let you use the Download icon that appears below any currently playing video to download it to your device for later offline viewing.

Meanwhile, there’s also a slightly more stealthy, free way to download YouTube videos, which involves using a free third-party app like TubeMate. As long as you’re not using the video for commercial purposes or redistributing it it’s not illegal, but it does violate Google’s Terms of Service, so don’t expect them to be happy about it.

How to download YouTube videos without YouTube Premium subscription

Google naturally scowls when you download videos from YouTube, so TubeMate is not allowed in the Google Play store. Instead, you can download it from using the browser on your phone or tablet. Click on any of the download links provided to download the latest version.

Chrome will prompt you to access your phone’s storage before it can download the file, so click Continue. Then click Allow when it asks to access photos, media, and files on your device.

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a pop-up warning that APK files can harm your device. This is because when you’re downloading apps outside of Google Play, you don’t always know what you’re installing (sometimes you have to pay to install an antivirus app that can scan for downloaded files for malware). We’ve used TubeMate before and believe it’s fine, so if you’re satisfied, go ahead, press Ok.

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This pop-up will now confirm that the APK file has been downloaded. Click Open to start installing the file.

If this is your first time downloading an app on your Android phone, you will be warned that by default your phone is not allowed to install unknown apps from this source. Click the Settings link provided in the pop-up, then switch to the slider next to ‘Allow from this source’.

It’s disappointing when exiting this screen, you may not be taken back to the installer, but you’ll still see a notification in the pull-down bar at the top of the screen or you’ll find the APK itself in the Downloads Folder down. Tap either of these to continue with the installation.

Follow the prompts to install TubeMate, and once it’s installed, click Open. You need to agree to the Terms of Use, which warns you that you should not download YouTube videos for commercial use or redistribution. Also, click Ok to accept the necessary permissions – one of these is to solicit other apps, which requires you to enable the physical switch instead of just clicking Allow, but TubeMate will guide you through all the necessary steps.

Once setup is complete, you have two options: download YouTube videos in the TubeMate app; or access TubeMate from within the YouTube app.

How to download YouTube videos in TubeMate

Download YouTube videos in TubeMate

At the top of the window is a magnifying glass icon, which you can use to search for a specific video on YouTube, or you can scroll down the page to see suggested videos and tap the Trending tab to watch a video. popular.

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Select the video you want to download and when the video starts playing you will see a red Download button appear on the screen. Click here, then choose your preferred export quality and tap the red Download icon to start the download.

You’ll get a notification at the top of the screen when the download is complete, and tapping on this will take you to the Downloads list (also accessible via the small white Download icon in the blue bar). at the bottom of the screen). Tap the three dots next to any video to access options to play the video or move it to another folder on your device.

How to download YouTube videos in the YouTube app

Download YouTube in YouTube

Launch the YouTube app and browse to the video you want to download. Tap Share, then select TubeMate from the list. This will open the video in TubeMate and give you various export options. Select your desired resolution and tap the red Download icon. As before, this video will then download to your Downloads list, where it can be played or moved to a different folder on your phone.

Read next: Is YouTube download legal?

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