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download youtube videosI have been professionally blogging about software for over two years now, and The Man With No Life is hands-down the best name for an app I’ve covered so far. It has absolutely nothing to do with what the application does, and couldn’t be farther than traditional SEO wisdom. In a nutshell, it’s a free YouTube downloader for Windows.

When you open the app, you’re greeted with a huge, intrusive banner and Facebook friends area:

download youtube videos

Fortunately, that can quickly be fixed simply by resizing the window (thanks for not disabling the option to resize the window, Man With No Life). After resizing the window, the interface looks much saner:

download videos from youtube

That’s more like it. There isn’t even a scroll bar. Next, let’s switch over to the Search window. This is no more than an embedded browser with Google as its default search (yes, Google rather than YouTube, for some reason). You can also paste in the full URL for any video you wish to download:

download videos from youtube

As soon as you see the title (“Did you hear a click?” in this case) in the top-left text box, you can click Download. You are then taken to the Transfers tab, where you can watch the video download:

download youtube

… or fail miserably, if the title happens to have a question mark or other strange characters. In that case, just drop the special characters and hope for the best. It worked for the video above, as you can see. Once the download is complete, you can switch over to the My Library tab so see your video. Sadly, the context menu is not very informative, and the file path is not listed.

download youtube

To see where your files actually get saved, you’ll need to switch over to the Settings tab.

download youtube videos

Here you can see the default path for the files, as well as the quality setting. This is a bit of a simplification, as YouTube offers MP4-compressed files in multiple resolutions, so saying MP4 is “Highest quality” is not completely accurate.


Is the Man With No Life the best way to download YouTube videos? Definitely not. To be honest, the main thing it’s got going for it is the name. The interface is simple, which is good, but novice users may have trouble figuring out where their download went. There are several other services you can use if you want to download videos off YouTube. My personal favorite is JDownloader, which is a Java-based solution so it’s quite heavy (but can do lots more other than download YouTube videos).

If JDownloader is a bit too heavy for you, you might be interested in an online alternative such as Keep Tube. It couldn’t be simpler to use: All you need to do is edit the URL for the video in your browser put the word keep right before youtube. So to download a video with a URL like you would just need to change it to . Keep Tube also uses Java, but as a browser plug-in, and is very lean and fast. It doesn’t have a crazy name like The Man With No Life, but it’s very usable.

What’s your preferred way to download videos off YouTube? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Aibek
    August 1, 2011 at 7:27 am
  2. Meena Bassem
    July 30, 2011 at 12:08 am

    I like IDM " Download this Video " Button
    but if i don't want the video the way it is ( want a better qualitly, convert it or trim it) i use  bookmarklet
    it's really awesome, you should give it a try :D

  3. jello
    July 29, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    I prefer Orbit downloader with the Orbit Getit button enabled in my browser for catching/downloading Youtube and other media.

  4. Manutd31
    July 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    if you haven't checked umplayer, ( ) please try it..

    its not only a downloader, but it is also a youtube viewer ( and can be used for regular videos just like vlc) and has the ability to select all the available quality of video..

    more over it works in windows, linux and mac..

    • Tina
      July 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Manu!

    • Meena Bassem
      July 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      Actually, i have checked it before. but i don't like the idea of the online installer. and there was a bug with some subs (Arabic ones)
      other than that. it can actually beat any other media player i've ever seen

  5. Vi @ Travel Tips
    July 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I am using DownloadHelper plugin in Firefox. It allows to download any stream video on internet, not only from youtube.

  6. William Alan Robinson
    July 29, 2011 at 8:24 am

    I recently noticed JDownloader's cool ability to grab every available quality from YT so it's become my latest tool of choice. I used to use YouTube Video Download (for GreaseMonkey) before, but it's too cumbersome to visit each page to grab videos when you can just copy the links to JD and pick your quality...

    I have to say that I'm confused as to why this was 'reviewed' when every aspect of the app is met with apparent derision. Was it meant to be in Geeky Fun?! (",)

    • Anonymous
      July 29, 2011 at 8:44 am


      "Derision" is a strong word... The app is something people could make use of -- not all apps are for everyone: I use JDownloader too, but it's really heavy and complex, and may not be a great fit for novice users. And as I said, I really liked the name, too. ;)

      Now, re JD: I've had some problems with its format conversion (got some pretty poor results), but as a video grabber it's excellent. I just need to remember to disable its "auto clipboard" feature, because then it tries to grab every URL I happen to copy (which is lots).

  7. Mohammed
    July 29, 2011 at 5:57 am

    i prefer freemake video downloader with it's browser extension

  8. ravenclawwit
    July 29, 2011 at 3:11 am

    If you have Firefox the best way is the Firefox addon Easy YouTube Video Downloader -

    It adds a simple button underneath every YouTube video for downloading. The button is a drop down menu that lets you download vids as mp4, flv, and in HD 720 or 1080p if available.

  9. Leszek Cyfer
    July 29, 2011 at 12:36 am

    I use Chrome YouTube Downloader - Chrome extension which adds download button on the bar below movie on the Youtube page.