How To Download an Embedded Video From Any Website
Online video has become an enormous industry over the past few years. On YouTube alone, more than a billion hours of video are watched every day, and YouTube is far from being alone in providing large quantities of video content via the Internet. Not only are the giant aggregator sites thriving, but almost every website, large and small, produces its own video content now. There are reviews and interviews, features and how-to vids, and behind-the-scenes looks, unboxings, and playthroughs of just about every kind of game and entertainment. There is so much content available now that it can be difficult to find the time to watch it all.
YouTube does have a “Watch Later” list, which lets you bookmark videos for later consumption, but for a lot of people, online access isn’t a 24/7 thing. Some of us only have wifi at work, or conversely, have Internet at home but not on the job. And sometimes we’d like to download video content to watch it offline, either because we have no Internet access or because we don’t want to use up our data when we’re away from a wifi connection. Plus, although many sites allow you to directly download video content, others (like YouTube) put barriers in the way of doing that smoothly and easily unless you pay them for the premium service level.
Fortunately, there are a lot of options available for downloading embedded video. It’s not always easy, but it usually is. In this article, I’ll show you several different ways of getting embedded video downloaded to your local device so that you can watch it whenever you feel like. I’m going to show you how to use a browser extension to download embedded video, how to use the VLC media player to download video, how to use web-based tools to download video, and (as a last resort) how to use screen-capture software to download video. Why so many different approaches? Well, as mentioned above, there are a lot of different video websites out there, and the tools that work for one might not work for another. So it’s best to have a wide variety of options so that you can get the video you want.
Downloading with a Browser Extension
- Downloading with a Browser Extension
- Downloading with a PC-Based Tool
- Downloading with an Online Tool
- Capturing Video with a Screen Recorder
- Downloading for Specific Sites
Browser extensions are one of the most straightforward methods for downloading video. By installing a browser extension, you can usually download embedded video with the touch of a button. By far, our favorite way for users to download content from any embedded video is through a number of extensions available on browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and more. Generally speaking, Chrome and Firefox tend to have the widest variety when it comes to using an extension on your device, though this isn’t always true when it comes to finding extensions that allow you to download content. Still, we’ve found that extensions offer the most use and flexibility when it comes to saving content on your device. Let’s take a look at two of our favorite extensions for downloading and saving content, Flash Video Downloader and Video DownloadHelper. These two extensions work on a huge variety of embedded video sites; unfortunately they don’t work on YouTube, so we’ll also look at FastestTube and YouTube Video Downloader, extensions that work specifically on YouTube.
Flash Video Downloader (Firefox)
Flash Video Downloader is a great option for Firefox or Chrome. You can download the Chrome version here, and the Flash version here. There’s also a Safari version for the Mac-inclined in the audience. With an average rating of 4.1 stars from over 5,500 reviews, this is a trusted source if you’re trying to download content to your device from a whole range of sites and sources online. The site has a whole range of content it can download from, and the extension makes it easy to tell when an embedded video is able to be downloaded and saved to your device. When installed within Firefox, a small arrow in your browser’s taskbar turns blue that allows you to click on the extension and save the video. Like most methods, this won’t work on every site, but it does generally work in our experience.
Video DownloadHelper (Chrome/Firefox)
Video DownloadHelper was created as an extension for Firefox in 2007, with a Chrome extension having been made available in 2015. There’s a Mac version as well for Safari. Both platforms have been regularly maintained and updated to ensure the most amount of capability between the two platforms. Video DownloadHelper has a full list of sites it works on, ranging from well-known sources like YouTube and Vimeo to lesser-known offering that host a variety of content across the web.
Both FastestTube and YouTube Video Downloader require a bit more installation finesse than the above-referenced extensions, because they aren’t supported in the Chrome store. Google (which owns YouTube) is downright persnickety about letting people bypass their premium model within the Chrome store, so you’ll have to install these extensions manually. Fortunately it’s not difficult, and there are complete instructions provided.
FastestTube works on Chrome or any Chromium-based browser, and is also available for Mac and Linux.
YouTube Video Downloader
YouTube Video Downloader is available for Firefox, Chrome, and Linux (sorry Mac). YouTube Video Downloader has more bells and whistles than FastestTube but either extension is a solid way to grab YouTube videos.
Downloading with a PC-Based Tool
A lot of us like to use our own tools on our own machine to get things done, and we get it – controlling the platform is important. You never know when an online tool is going to stop working, or when Google will crack down on a Chrome extension, even one that isn’t in the Chrome Store. Luckily, there is an amazing tool you can install to your own computer to download embedded video. You probably don’t have to install it, because you probably already have it – VLC, the media player that pretty much owns the Windows and Mac desktops. Don’t have VLC yet? You can download it for free right here.
We have an article that really goes into detail on using VLC to grab embedded video from YouTube (it will work other places too), but I’m going to give you a quick tutorial here because it’s really quite simple. First, navigate to Media->Open Network Stream (or just hit Ctrl-N).
Then in the Network tab of the resulting dialog, enter the URL of the video you want to download, and hit “Play”.
Now go to View->Playlist (or just hit Ctrl-L) to bring up your playlist.
In the playlist, right click on the video you want and select “Save”. Another dialog will appear asking for the format to save the video in and asking you to choose a location for your file; enter that information and hit Start and within seconds or minutes (if it’s a long video) your video will be on your hard drive.
Downloading with an Online Tool
You might not want to use a browser extension. You may be on a computer at school or work, for example, where adding browser extensions is frowned upon, outright against the rules, or actually blocked by your IT department. Have no fear! There are a wide variety of website-based tools that will do the work for you; all you have to do is provide a URL.
TechJunkie YouTube Downloader
TechJunkie has your back – we created this YouTube-specific download tool just for our readers. It’s as simple to use as we could possibly make it – just copy the URL into the box, hit “Process” and then hit “Download Your File”. Presto!
TechJunkie Instagram Downloader
Similarly, we have a tool for grabbing Instagram videos quickly and easily. Same deal – copy the URL, hit “Process” and hit “Download Your File”. We also have a whole article on the specifics of downloading Instagram videos.
TechJunkie Facebook Video Downloader
You didn’t think we’d forget about Facebook, did you? Check out our Facebook video download tool.
Savefrom.net is a very useful website that works with many popular video websites including YouTube. It also works on other web pages with embedded video. Capture the URL of the page, paste it into the page and select search. The page processes and identifies the video if it can and then provides options for quality. Select the quality you want and hit Download.
VideoGrabby does much the same thing. Once you get over the garish yellow color scheme, the site works well. Paste the page URL into the box and hit Go. The extractor will identify the video if it can and offer quality options. Select your desired quality and download.
Both of these sites are free to use and work well. They occasionally slow down at peak times but that is to be expected. Otherwise, both work well across a huge range of websites.
Capturing Video with a Screen Recorder
There is a last-resort option in the unfortunate eventuality that none of the above methods will work for a particular site. If worst comes to worst, you can always use a screen recorder to capture the video as it plays on your screen, and record it to your computer. This is, of course, a suboptimal solution, especially for videos that are hours long. Like using a DVR, you’ll need to record the video in real-time, allowing the video to playback on your PC with the sound on in order to properly capture it as it records on your device. Still, for short videos or for videos you simply must have saved, it’s an easy way to capture content to playback any time in the future, regardless of your internet connection.
We have, of course, written an entire article about screen recording software, or you can check out the video just above. However, probably the best solution for a desktop is Open Broadcaster Software, or OBS. OBS is an open-source client for recording and capturing your content on any modern operating system, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. Using the platform is surprisingly easy, as setting up the screen capture can be done in just a couple clicks before syncing your PC and hitting recording inside OBS. Once it’s recording, you’re free to start the video and let it play, as the content will record straight to your videos folder. You can review the video when you’ve stopped recording, or you can edit the video to trim out the parts before and after the recording. Make sure your computer’s volume is turned up, or you likely won’t be able to hear the audio when you play the video back.
Downloading for Specific Sites
Some websites have particular formats or systems for handling video that break some or all of the tools above. Twitch and TikTok, specifically, have presented difficulties in the past for users wanting to download videos from those sites. We created articles specifically about downloading from Twitch and downloading from TikTok to cover those sites.
Whew! As you can see, there are a lot of options available and you should be able to find a workable method for downloading the videos you need. Do you have other suggestions for sites or software for downloading embedded videos from web pages? Please share them with us in the comments below! We’ll continue to update this article as new solutions become available.