YouTube first started showing funny cat videos to the world all the way back in 2005, and since that debut, the site has come to utterly dominate the online video world. YouTube has become synonymous with video-based entertainment for billions of people around the world. More than 5 billion videos are watched on the service every month, with a seemingly infinite variety of content, from music, films, gaming, to how-to videos on every subject. YouTube doesn’t run out of things to entertain its users, from funny animal videos to online pranks. There is content on YouTube to satisfy just about every taste or interest, and that’s what has made the service so attractive to its users.
One of the most annoying things about YouTube is that downloading videos to one’s local computer or device is not natively supported on the site’s free version. All that content, and you can’t grab a local copy to watch offline! People want this feature for many reasons. Some users like to take their videos on the go, for when they’re out of range of cellular connections or WiFi hotspots. Other users like to use content from other videos to make remixes, reviews, and other new content of their own. Unfortunately, YouTube and its owner Google don’t appear to care for the idea of users taking content offline. It is possible to subscribe to YouTube Premium, which for $11.99 a month will allow you to download content, but a YouTube Premium account doesn’t allow you to use those videos in any creative way outside your own mobile device. Allegedly, 1.5 million people subscribe to the Premium service…but I’ve never met one.
Of course, this is technology, and that means there are always ways to get what you want. There are standalone programs that have the ability to download YouTube content. One of those programs is VLC, and we created an article on using VLC to download YouTube videos  to your computer. There are many apps and websites that will download YouTube videos for you; we wrote an article covering many of those apps and sites  as well. But what if you want to just use your Chrome browser to grab videos from YouTube? Are there extensions or plug-ins that will let you do this?
Well, of course, there are. There are Chrome browser extensions for everything, and downloading YouTube videos is no exception. In this article, we’ll present several of the best extensions that we’ve researched. We’ve found these extensions work well, and we’ll make sure to keep our eye on this list every few months to make sure all of them are still reliable. (If one of our recommendations isn’t working, let us know in the comments below. YouTube and Google are constantly working to block extensions like this from functioning, so don’t be surprised if one fails to work unexpectedly following a major YouTube upgrade.)
Note that none of these extensions or plug-ins can be found on the Chrome store, and none of them are officially supported by Chrome. In fact, you should be careful about installing browser add-ons like these, because the potential for malware is real. That is why we have researched these and believe them to be safe. Don’t just install random add-ons that you find online; make sure that they have been tested and found safe first.
Here are our recommendations for downloading and saving YouTube videos with Google Chrome extensions.