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YouTube Offline Videos in iOS: Here’s How To Save YouTube Clips Legally

Last updated: August 26, 2015 at 22:38 pm

Everyday after college, I used to sit in front of my computer, launch and look at funny videos and movie trailers. And then, to save bandwidth (because I was on a limited broadband connection back then), I downloaded selected videos on my computer that were worth watching again.

To download, we had to use either softwares or online downloaders. Softwares were basically bloatware filled with viruses, etc. And even these online downloaders were broken. Some of them couldn’t download videos on your computer because YouTube changed their algorithms.

This went on for a couple of years…

Until recently, YouTube decided to launch a new feature called “offline” watching. And it allows you to legally download videos on your smartphones.

All the devices, including Android and iOS, can take advantage of this feature. And in this beginner’s tutorial, I am going to show you how even you can save and download your favorite videos right away. Let’s get started.

Important Note

Before we begin, here’s what you need: Your iPhone / iPad with iOS 8 installed. You can have any firmware – we are using iOS 8.4.

Next, you need to have the YouTube app installed on your device. It’s a free app that you can get from the iTunes store (link here). Make sure you also have the latest version of YouTube as they keep on adding new feature (like 720p60 and 1080p options).

Lastly, you need a stable Internet connection to download these videos. To give you an example, if a movie is 2 hours long, and you are on a 2Mbps connection, then it will take you less than 30 minutes to take the video offline at 360p/480p quality.

Steps To Save YouTube Videos Offline From Your iPhone / iPad

For saving videos off YouTube, you have to follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the YouTube app and search for the video you want to save. We are picking up a random video here.

Step 2: Open the video and tap on the “offline” icon.

Round button with “download” icon saves YouTube clips offline

Step 3: Select the video quality.

Downloading a video with medium (360p) quality

Step 4: Go to the offline section.

YouTube Offline menu can be accessed by swiping to the left from YouTube app
YouTube offline menu showing the video we have just downloaded

That’s it! It’s that simple. You can save 360p, 480p, 720p, or even 1080p high-quality videos on your iPhone / iPad.

Final Thoughts

One big advantage is that you don’t need any other video player to play these videos. You can simply go to YouTube again, hit the Offline menu and playback the saved videos. You can downloaded unlimited clips.

Disadvantage, however, is that these videos are stored in your device’s local memory. So if you have an iPad or iPhone with 8GB free storage, and you decide to download a high definition movie, then you are storing 1GB of file on your app.

This video file cannot be converted into 3GP, MKV, or FLV. In fact, forget converting, it cannot be transferred to another iOS devices or computer. In short: you cannot make multiple copies of the video you just downloaded.

Of course, this is a deliberate move from YouTube to avoid copyright infringement.

Note: Articles written at are valid for every Apple device running iOS 8.0, iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, iOS 8.3, iOS 8.4 / 8.4.1 firmware