How to Download YouTube Songs

By David Weedmark

Learn how to download a YouTube video and extract the music from the video on your Windows computer.

If you've uploaded your own music videos to YouTube, you can download and extract that music at any time.

Downloading music or videos from YouTube for piracy purposes is explicitly against the YouTube Terms of Service. There are only two reasons to ever download music from YouTube:

  • Recovering a song you yourself uploaded if the original music or video file has been lost.
  • As part of fair use, like a review on your blog. For example, if you want to include an animated GIF to point out a detail in the video, you may need to download that video to make the GIF. However, downloading for fair can be tricky to prove. Consider embedding a video into your blog or website instead. Alternatively, request a copy of the music or video from the original creator.


Some YouTubers include download links of their music in their video descriptions for viewers to use. If the video you want includes such a link, feel free to use it.

Downloading Your Video

Log in to YouTube and click the Menu located beside the YouTube log. Select My Channels. and click the Videos tab under your Cover Image. Click the video to download.

Click the Video Manager button located below the video.

Click Video Manager.

Click the Arrow beside the Edit button for the video you want to download. Select Download MP4. The video file is automatically saved to your Downloads folder.

Video Download Services

If you are legally entitled to download a video from a website, there are several free online services that let you do this without installing extra software or adding another plugin to your Web browser. Just copy the video's URL from the Web browser address bar while the video is playing and then go to a site like KeepVid, or ClipConverter. When you paste the URL into the appropriate text field, the service allows you to download the video to your computer.

"You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content." YouTube Terms of Service.

Extracting Songs From a Video

Most Windows computers come with Movie Maker, a free video editing app from Microsoft. If you don't have Movie Maker, you can use VLC from VideoLan or Adobe Premiere Pro to extract audio from video files.

Locate the video file in the Downloads folder using File Explorer. Right-click the file and select Movie Maker.

Open the video file with Movie Maker.

Edit the length of the video file if desired. Click the File menu and select Save Movie.

Select Save Movie from the File menu.

Scroll down through the Setting Options. Click Audio Only.

Select Audio Only.

Select a destination folder, click the Save as Type menu and specify if you want the audio saved as an M4A or WMA file.

Save the file in M4A or WMA format.