How To Copy & Edit YouTube Videos On Your Computer

YouTube YouTube is the biggest video sharing site on the planet. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a review of the latest gadget, or a simple walking tour of a historical site, chances are you’d find it on YouTube.

Most videos uploaded to YouTube are made by amateurs like you and I, usually with modest video making equipment. It’s not a surprise that you’d find a lot of the videos lacking in quality and/or content.

Now, quality is something that you can’t do much about but if it is the content that is bothering you and you have the inclination and enthusiasm to make some changes, we’ll tell you how to go about it.¬† Maybe one particular scene in a video really bothers you and you want to take it out.¬†¬† Well here’s one way to go about it.

If you want to know how to copy Youtube videos and edit¬†them, it¬†typically involves three steps. Since you can’t edit the videos on YouTube online, the first step is to actually download a copy of the video locally to your computer.

How to Copy YouTube Videos to your computer

There are a couple of different ways that you can¬†copy YouTube videos to your computer¬†and we’ve talked about a few in the past, see 18 Free Ways To Download Videos.¬†So we won’t dwell too much on this part. Searching MakeUseOf for "download youtube videos" will bring you plenty of options.

Which brings us to the second step in the process.

Converting FLV files to Windows Media Video Files (WMV)

There are dozens of software available all around the web that could potentially help you do this conversion, but why bother with all that searching when we have the coolest open source solution for the job, ffmpeg. If you’re comfortable with the command line, you can use ffmpeg directly or download and install the excellent WinFF utility, which is basically a graphical wrap-around for the app.

Launch WinFF and click on the add button to add the FLV file you just downloaded. Select “Microsoft“¬Ě from the Convert To drop down and select the WMV2 Generic option from the Device Presets drop down. Choose a location to save the converted file to and click on convert. WinFF will launch ffmpeg which will do the conversion for you without you having to use any command line kung fu.


Editing Videos using Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker is a free software bundled with Windows which can be used to edit and enhance videos and it has built-in support to read WMV files. Mark has previously written two excellent articles on editing movies using Windows Movie Maker and those should be enough to get you started.

Windows Movie Maker

Use WMM to remove the offending scene(s). Use the preview window to view the results of your artistry as soon as you’re ready.

When you’re done with editing the video, click the Publish Movie button and export the movie using one of the many choices given, including burning the movie to a DVD or writing a new WMV file to the disk for playing on a computer.

Do you know of any better ways how to copy and edit a YouTube video?  If so, let us know.

15 Comments - Write a Comment



After the youbute has allowed downloading some of the videos in FLV, 3GP, MP4 and HD, it has become really easy to download them and now thanks for you tip to convert them



well, I use ( iSkysoft video converter to make YouTube video compatible with movie maker. It’s deeply needed if you download YouTube video in HD and want to import it into editing softwares.


eq plat

Very useful! Thanks for providing this!


Hani Mourra

Excellent article. But I like to think the content (your message) is MUCH more important than the editing itself. As long as people can see and hear you, you are in good shape. This is what I teach my friends that want to use video to promote their businesses online. I’ve put together 7 free videos on my site on how to create YouTube videos to market you business online for anyone who is interested.


Matches Malone

Not everyone uses Windoze√Ę‚Äě¬Ę, and for the most part, those that are creating content on YouTube are using a Mac. I would’ve liked a cross platform article….


Hani Mourra

Good point Malone. A quick summary of how to do this on Mac just for you :)

1. Download a free software called MPEGSTREAMCLIP:

2. Download YouTube video as per article above. Alternatively, MPEGSTREAMCLIP has the option to open a YouTube URL directly as well (File->Open URL).

3. Click on File->Export to DV (or to quicktime or mpeg4 if you prefer)

4. Use iMovie to edit the DV file.

Gotta Love Macs! :)

By the way…MPEGStreamclip is also available for PC. You must install Quicktime before you run it.

I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other video converting/editing questions. I’d love to help.

Unleash the Power of Video for Your Business

Matches Malone

Tnx!!! I have mpegstreamclip, actually. never tried open url command, will give that a shot.



Very useful. Thanks for sharing. I’d like to use ( Movavi Video Editor to edit youtube video. It’s totally free.



Thanks for the tip! I have been looking for a solid solution for awhile.



Thanks for this tip, it really best






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I like to use youtube downloader Hd

and Then edit the videos in TrakAxPc Pro

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