How to download music from YouTube

Anita George

YouTube offers plenty of tools you can use to discover new music, save your favorite songs, and make playlists. However, YouTube doesn’t offer a way of listening to music offline. This can be frustrating, and YouTube music-ripping websites aren’t always trustworthy or easy to use.

Read on if you want to find out how to easily download audio from YouTube. We’ll go over an online method and a desktop alternative you can use to save music from YouTube.

It’s also worth mentioning that some of the YouTube ripping sites out there use moneymaking practices like cryptomining. While we do our best to recommend services that don’t engage in such activities, if you notice that your system is running hotter or harder than usual, you should make sure that you don’t stay on those sites for too long.

Step 1: Copy video URL

This method can all be done in the browser (here are our favorites) without having to download any special applications or jump through any hoops. This also means it’ll work on Windows, Mac, or even a Chromebook.

The first step is to head over to the YouTube video you want to rip the audio from. Highlight the URL from your browser’s address bar, and copy it to your clipboard.

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Step 2: Go to YTMP3

Open a new tab and go to the YTMP3 homepage. There are a number of online tools for ripping the audio from YouTube videos, but YTMP3 is our current favorite. It has a simple, easy-to-use interface and converts videos to MP3 fairly quickly.

Step 3: Paste Your URL Into the Search Box

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Once you’ve loaded up the site, just paste your YouTube URL into the blue and white search box. The default mode for this converter site should already be set to MP3, but if you find that you also want to download a copy of the video as well as the audio from that YouTube video, you can toggle to MP4 by clicking on the MP4 button under the search box.

Once you paste your URL into the box, the site should then recognize your video, populate the name of your video, and begin the process of converting the video to an MP3 audio file. It’s worth noting here that YTMP3 can only convert videos “up to a length of 2 hours.”

Step 4: Download your audio

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Once the conversion has been completed, you’ll then be presented with three options: Downloading your new audio file directly to your computer, sending the new file to your Dropbox, or converting your next video file. Hit the Download button to download the new audio file to your computer.

Note: When you hit the Download button, you may see a pop-up ad (in the form of a new browser tab) that may appear asking you to “download Flash” (or it could be a general ad for something else) — this pop-up appears to be harmless, but you still shouldn’t click on it or interact with it. Just close the tab. This kind of pop-up ad seems to be common with a number of YouTube converter sites. And while YTMP3 seems to work fine for now, you should always exercise caution when using it or other sites like it. If something seems off, leave the site immediately.

Desktop alternative

Online services are great at downloading and converting YouTube videos, but because of YouTube violations, they tend to get taken down from time to time, leaving you trying to find other alternatives. Desktop applications don’t have that problem, and our favorite of them all is 4K Video Downloader. Although its name might suggest otherwise, this tool isn’t just for downloading high-quality videos—it can also be used for ripping audio from them as well.

The instructions are fairly similar to the steps above, except that you’ll be doing it within a traditional desktop program, rather than a browser window. 4K Video Downloader is available for use on Windows, MacOS, and Ubuntu.