ExpressBasics: How to Save YouTube Videos Offline to Watch Later

YouTube has a cool feature that allows premium members to save a video to their phone storage to watch later. This is useful when you have access to data/WiFi for a limited time before crossing an area with a patchy network or catching a flight.

Saving a YouTube video offline is helpful in such scenarios because even when there is no connectivity, you can still go back and watch the saved videos. It works even when your phone is in airplane mode. Users can also choose the image quality in which they want to record videos, giving them more precise control over the storage space occupied and the amount of data used.

How to save videos offline

To get started, you’ll need an Android or iOS smartphone with an active YouTube Premium subscription. The offline video recording feature is part of the subscription and will not work without it.

Go to the YouTube app and open a video you want to save offline. Look for the Menu button below the video where you will find a number of options. Look for the “Download Video” option here. Alternatively, you can also find this option directly from YouTube search results by clicking on the three-dot menu next to the video title.

Once you click on the “Download Video” option, you may come across a few settings asking you to choose a quality – usually from Low (144p) to Full HD (1080p). There will also be an option to remember your settings so you don’t have to choose it every time. However, the resolution of the downloads can be changed later in the settings.

When you’ve chosen your settings, click the blue “Download” button at the bottom to continue and start downloading your video. This video is now saved offline in your phone memory.

How to Access Videos Offline

The next time you open the YouTube app without a Wi-Fi or mobile data connection, you’ll automatically be in the offline mode of the app, where you can’t search for new videos but can access any you’ve saved offline . You can then just click on any of the offline videos to watch them.

Note that not all videos support offline recording. If you come across a video that doesn’t show a download button while you have a YouTube Premium subscription, the video may simply not support offline viewing. Also note that videos saved offline through the YouTube app are not encoded in popular media formats like MP4 and hence can only be viewed and played on the YouTube app.

Shirley K. Rosa