Videos are easy to download when you see a button for download. Unfortunately, most video sharing sites do not allow downloads, usually to protect copyrights or because there isn’t a high demand for their videos. However, there are tools and tricks that can be used to download videos even when there isn’t a download button.

Perhaps you want to download a video from a news website or save a YouTube video to your computer. You should download a video if you’re watching a free movie online and want to save it to watch later on an airplane.

Important: Be aware of the website from which you download the video and of all copyright laws which you may violate. Many videos are not downloadable because the owner does not allow you to do so.

Download a Video With a Downloader Tool

When there is no clear download button, the most easy way to download a video from a website is by using a video downloader tool. These are programs or Web applications specifically produced to search for and extract web pages from videos.

One of the best out there is Catch.tube. It works completely free on popular websites such as Twitter, CNN, Tumblr, YouTube and Facebook etc. You only want to visit the Web site and paste the URL of this free video downloader.

catch.tube free video downloader website

Some other video downloaders you can try include Catchvideo.net, Savethevideo.com, RipSave, and the Chrome extension Video Downloader.


Download a Video from your browser

Videos loaded by a desktop web browser differently from a mobile one so the idea here is to tell your desktop browser to order a YouTube video as if it was on a mobile device. A special download link is visible once your browser loads a page, but only if the source of the page is revealed.

  • Open a new tab and find the video you want to download.
  • Start the video and let it play for a few seconds. If there’s an ad, let that finish first.
  • Right-click the video and choose Inspect Element.
  • In the new window that opens, find <div id=”player” and click the arrow to its left to expand it, and then do the same for <div id=”movie_player” below it, and <div class=”html5-video-container” below that.
  • Below that is a long URL following src=”. Double-click that to see the full URL, right-click it, and then choose Copy.
  • Open a new tab in Firefox (or any browser) and enter that into the navigation bar. 
  • Right-click the video in that tab and choose Save Video As.

Download videoplayback.mp4 to your computer to save the YouTube video. You can rename it if you want.

Another example is that CNN weather videos don’t have the surface download, but the source shows a simple MP4 downloading link by turning Firefox into mobile mode and refreshing the page.

Good Luck!