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download videos off websitesCopy the link, paste it into a single program and download a video. That simplicity is what makes ClipGrab, a cross-platform program for downloading web videos to your computer, a pleasure to use. But it’s the support for multiple video sites, including Vimeo, CollegeHumor and – of course – YouTube, that makes this versatile tool an essential part of your kit.

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ClipGrab is different because it works on almost every computer – Linux, Mac and Windows – and you can download videos off a wide variety of web sites. If this sounds useful to you let’s take a look at what it can do.

Using ClipGrab

Using this program couldn’t be easier. Simply copy the URL of any video you want to download and you’ll see a notification:

download videos off websites

This pop-up means you can download the video. Go ahead and open your ClipGrab window and paste your video link in the main window. Click the “grab” button and you’ve started the process.

download you tube videos

Just like that your download is started; you’ll even be able to save the file wherever you please. Naturally, there are a few things you can configure. Click the “Settings” tab to explore the options. You can set a default download location, of course, and configure whether downloaded MP3s retain ID3 tags. Of real interest to me, however, is this tab:

download videos off websites

Change that option and the video URL you copy will be automatically downloaded – assuming ClipGrab is open, of course. This can be very useful if you have a number of videos you want to download quickly and without fuss, so try it out.

Supported Sites

The sites officially supported by ClipGrab include:

  • YouTube
  • Clipfish
  • Collegehumor
  • Dailymotion
  • MyVideo
  • MySpass
  • Sevenload
  • Tudou
  • Vimeo

Remember, though: other sites may work in theory. Try copying a given link and ClipGrab will let you know whether it can download that video with the previously mentioned pop-up. Also remember that the list of supported sites may change, so consult the ClibGrab info page if you’re wondering about a particular site.

Supported Output Formats

ClipGrab supports outputting to a number of formats:

  • MPEG4 (video)
  • WMV (video)
  • OGG Theora (video)
  • MP3 (audio only)
  • OGG Vorbis (audio only)

As with supported sites, supported formats may change. Keep up using the ClibGrab info page.

Get ClipGrab

Getting ClipGrab couldn’t be much easier; just head over to the ClipGrab download page. Windows users will find the standard executable for installation, while Mac users are required to do the drag-and-drop dance native to that operating system.

Linux users will find packages for Ubuntu, Suse and Arch, as well as source code and a pre-compiled version which may or may not work on your system. There’s also a portable version over at PortableLinuxApps, a site offering portable software that works on every Linux distro Portable Linux Apps Which Work With Any Linux Distro Portable Linux Apps Which Work With Any Linux Distro Read More . This is a great way to try the program out: it will even work on a live CD.


There are a lot of video downloading tools out there, but most focus on a few sites. ClipGrab works on a number of different ones, and as such is worth having around. Sure, it can’t download from protected sites such as Hulu, but support for that may be coming. This being an open source project, of course, anything could happen.

Got a better tool for downloading web videos? Share it in the comments below. Also feel free to share what kinds of videos you’ve been downloading to your computer.

  1. Ferhana
    December 7, 2015 at 10:17 am

    i can't play the videos downloaded through clipgrab :( but previously it was very good before but don't know what happened all of a sudden :(

    • Justin Pot
      December 7, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      It's been five years since I wrote this up, Google could have made all sorts of changes since then. Sorry about that. :(

  2. tim-G
    November 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm


  3. Vera10172
    November 12, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    family filtter shit on dailymotion im deleting this program

    • jhpot
      November 12, 2010 at 7:05 pm

      Ah, yes. I imagine a program like this will be thrown off if watching a certain video requires logging in. Guess you'll have to download your adult content with a different tool...

  4. ramses
    November 12, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    i can't download shit from daily motion

    • jhpot
      November 12, 2010 at 6:52 pm

      Perhaps Daily Motion changes update might fix this later. Sorry about the frustration!

  5. Agatto2
    October 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    need one that lets me autodownload at night

  6. Jeff Thomas
    October 14, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Looks like is out of commission!

  7. Someone
    October 14, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    It looks pretty good, but there's no AVI support. Still might be useful to some people though.

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