How to Download Music from YouTube: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2023

YouTube is home to just about any song you could imagine. But is it legal to download YouTube music? What‘s the easiest way to save YouTube songs for offline listening?

In this 2,300+ word guide, I‘ll answer those questions and more by showing you exactly how to convert YouTube videos to MP3s and store them on your computer.

Let‘s dive in!

Is Downloading Music from YouTube Legal?

Before showing you how, it’s important I make one thing clear:

YouTube‘s Terms of Service prohibits downloading videos without permission.

They state you can‘t download content "unless permitted by the Service".

So technically downloading and converting YouTube videos could be considered copyright infringement or piracy.

However, YouTube has yet to penalize individual users for converting videos for personal use. Millions download music daily with no repercussions.

Just avoid sharing downloaded content publicly or uploading pirated songs to music services like Spotify.

As long as you keep your YouTube song downloads for personal, private enjoyment in compliance with YouTube’s ToS, you should be fine. But downloading songs does carry some minimal legal risk.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the easiest ways to save YouTube music to your computer.

Method #1: Use a Safe Online YouTube Converter

Online converters allow you to paste in a YouTube link, convert it, and download the audio without installing any software. This makes it quick and convenient.

However, you have to be careful which site you use. Many shady converters are filled with malware and annoying pop-up ads intended to trick you into clicks.

After testing dozens, I recommend using YT5S. It‘s my top pick because:

  • It‘s 100% safe and virus-free
  • Hasn‘t let me down after hundreds of downloads
  • Saves songs in high 192kbps quality MP3 format by default
  • Allows downloading videos in MP3, MP4, and other formats
  • Works quickly with minimal annoying ads

Let‘s go through how to use YT5S to convert and download a YouTube video step-by-step:

Step 1: Copy the YouTube Video Link

Find the song or music video on YouTube that you want to convert to MP3.

Click the "Share" button below the video‘s title:

YouTube Share button screenshot

In the share menu, copy the video URL:

Copying YouTube video URL

You‘ll need this for the converter.

Step 2: Paste the Link Into YT5S

Go to and paste the YouTube video URL into the search bar:

Pasting video URL into YT5S

Hit enter and the page will populate with conversion options:

![YT5S conversion options]( NHNHZ/image.png)

Step 3: Select MP3 Format and Quality

By default, YT5S selects MP3 192kbps audio quality. This provides great sound while keeping file sizes small.

If you‘re an audiophile, they offer up to 320kbps quality MP3 downloads. But higher quality means much larger file sizes.

You can also select M4A or other formats if needed.

Choosing MP3 quality on YT5S

In most cases, the 192kbps MP3 default is perfect.

Step 4: Click the "Convert" Button

Once your file format and qualities are selected, click the grey "Convert" button to start processing the download:

Clicking the YT5S Convert button

A window will appear showing the video conversion progress:

YT5S conversion in progress

Conversion typically takes under a minute. The exact time depends on the length of the video.

Step 5: Click "Download"

When the conversion finishes, YT5S will display a preview window with a green "Download" button:

YT5S download button

Go ahead and click it.

This saves the audio directly on your computer as an MP3 file.

By default, it will save to your computer‘s Downloads folder.

Step 6: Find and Play the MP3!

Navigate to your Downloads folder, right-click the YouTube video‘s MP3 file, and select "Open with…"

Choose your preferred music player app:

Opening MP3 file in Apple Music

Then sit back and enjoy your new piece of legally questionable music!

Method #2: Use a Desktop YouTube to MP3 Converter

Alternatively, you can use dedicated converter software installed directly on your computer.

This gives you more robust options compared to web-based solutions:

  • Convert videos faster without relying on internet speeds
  • Download entire YouTube playlists
  • Save MP3 files automatically to custom folders
  • Configurable quality, metadata, ID3 tags
  • No annoying pop-up ads or cluttered interfaces

Our Top Pick: 4K YouTube to MP3

After evaluating 18 different desktop converters for features, efficiency, safety and ease of use – I recommend 4K YouTube to MP3.

Here‘s why it stands above the pack:

  • Clean, intuitive interface – perfect for beginners
  • Blazing fast conversion speeds
  • Downloads entire playlists with one click
  • Free basic version has all essential features covered
  • Channel subscription support stays organized
  • Safe certified download with no adware or malware

Let‘s walk through how fast and easy it is use step-by-step:

Step 1: Download and Install the Software

Go to and click the "Free Download" button:

4K YouTube to MP3 homepage

Install the software like any other program on your computer.

Step 2: Run the Program and Log In

You have the option to create an account when first opening 4K YouTube to MP3.

I recommend doing this because it allows syncing your downloads, playlists, and subscriptions between devices.

4K YouTube to MP3 login

If you don‘t care about that though, you can skip ahead by clicking "Start without an account".

Either works fine.

Step 3: Copy and Paste the YouTube Link

Like with the online converter method, you need to copy the share link of the YouTube video first.

After you copy it, paste the URL into the search bar in 4K YouTube to MP3:

Pasting video URL into 4K YouTube to MP3

Step 4: Customize MP3 Download Preferences

On the right side panel, you can configure exactly how you want the audio file saved:

4K YouTube to MP3 download settings pane

For example, you can:

  • Change the download format (MP3, M4A, etc.)
  • Select audio quality up to 320kbps
  • Organize exactly where MP3 files are saved
  • Automatically embed ID3 tags like song title, thumbnail art, etc.

Tweaking these settings ensures the downloaded songs will seamlessly integrate with your existing music library.

Once your preferences are dialed in, click the "Download MP3" button at the bottom right to start ripping audio from the YouTube video:

Clicking the 4K YouTube to MP3 download button

Files download lightning fast thanks to multi-threaded accelerated conversion speeds.

Step 5: Find and Play Downloaded MP3s!

By default, 4K YouTube to MP3 saves files to C:/Users/[YOUR_USERNAME]/Videos/YoutubeMp3.

Navigate to that folder, right-click your new MP3 download, and select "Open file location" to play it instantly in your computer‘s default media player application.

Or if you set custom save locations, navigate there.

Either way, enjoy your premium quality YouTube song offline on any device!

Pro Tip: How to Download Full YouTube Music Playlists

What if you want to rip an entire playlist or channel worth of YouTube videos for listening offline?

No problem! Both 4K YouTube to MP3 and YT5S support batch downloading multiple videos in sequence.

To download a full YouTube playlist:

  1. Go to the playlist page and copy the URL
  2. Paste it into your converter of choice
  3. Click convert – and it will sequentially download every video in order!

This makes it easy to grab entire albums or discographies with just a couple clicks.

FAQs and Troubleshooting Downloading YouTube Music

Here are answers to some common questions about converting YouTube videos to MP3:

Why Does the Converted Song Have Weird Artwork or Metadata?

By default, downloaded YouTube MP3s use the video thumbnail and title for cover art and ID3 tag data.

Sometimes video creators don‘t enter this correctly.

To fix, simply right click on the file, select Properties > Details, then edit the metadata fields how you want after downloading.

How Do I Split Downloaded MP3s Into Multiple Tracks?

Try using MP3Cut if you need to divide a long downloaded video into separate song files. It‘s free web-based software that makes it easy.

Why Are My Downloads Taking Forever / Stalling Out?

Try setting your converter to save MP3s at a lower 192kbps bitrate, limiting download speed throttling, downloading 1 file at a time, and disabling multi-threading.

This resolves 90% of stalled out conversions due to maxing out resources.

Is There Risk of Getting a Virus Downloading YouTube Videos?

As long as you use a legitimate converter like the ones recommended here – no. Both desktop programs and vetted sites like YT5S are 100% clean. Just avoid random sketchy online converters found via search engines.

Wrap Up: Start Listening to Downloaded YouTube Music Offline

As you can see, downloading MP3 music from YouTube videos is convenient and accessible for just about anyone.

Whether you utilize an online converter or dedicated desktop app – it just takes a few minutes to start expanding your offline listening library.

Just be mindful that technically you‘re expected to use this music for personal enjoyment only due to YouTube‘s Terms of Service. Respect creators‘ works by avoiding mass distribution of pirated tracks.

But otherwise, now that you know exactly how to convert those videos – go on and save your favorite obscure b-sides, live concert rips, remixes and long lost gems before they disappear!

What YouTube song or album do you plan on downloading first? Let me know in the comments!

Did you like those interesting facts?

Click on smiley face to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

      Interesting Facts
      Login/Register access is temporary disabled