Worried that your favourite YouTube videos will vanish, or be unavailable when you can't access the internet? We show how to download and save any online video to your iPhone or iPad for offline viewing
Downloading a YouTube video to your iPad or iPhone is actually pretty easy once you know how, and essential if you want to watch clips offline. Plus, it’s incredibly annoying when something good gets removed from YouTube, and you’ll be glad you saved a copy.
There are several ways to download YouTube videos directly to your iOS device, generally using third-party apps. It should be noted, however, that such apps often don’t last long on the App Store; search for ‘YouTube download’ to see the latest options, but check the reviews to make sure they’re legitimate.
In this tutorial we’re going to take a slightly different approach, using a more general file-management app called Documents (which is on its sixth version, and is unlikely to be removed from the store any time soon) and using an online service to do the actual downloading.
These methods should work on most iOS devices, and we can confirm that they work in every version of iOS from 8 to 12. (Note, however, that the Documents method – while it still works in the UK – may not work for US readers.) If you’d rather save those clips to your desktop, take a look at
How to download YouTube videos to your Mac.
Note that, since the launch of iOS 11 in 2017, you can record the screen of your iPhone or iPad and anything that is playing, including YouTube video. If you prefer this simpler, albeit more limited method, read
How to record your iPhone or iPad screen.
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David has loved the iPhone since covering the original 2007 launch; later his obsession expanded to include the iPad and Apple Watch. He offers advice to owners (and prospective owners) of these devices.