Entertainment iPhone and iPad

How to Download YouTube Videos to Your iPhone Camera Roll

Ben Stegner Updated 31-01-2020

Because YouTube uses so much data, saving YouTube videos to your iPhone is a good idea. But watching offline is tricky business. If you don’t mind paying, you can subscribe to YouTube Premium to watch without ads and download videos for offline viewing.

But this still requires you to watch the videos in the YouTube app. What if you want to save the videos and watch them in your Camera Roll? We’ll show you how, and it doesn’t require jailbreaking or anything else shady.

How to Download YouTube Videos to the iPhone Camera Roll

Unfortunately, the iPhone apps that let you download YouTube videos directly don’t last long. Thankfully, it’s still pretty easy with a small workaround.

First, install the free app Documents by Readdle. It’s a file manager with an integrated web browser, which makes it easy to download and transfer YouTube videos.

Next, browse to the YouTube video you want to download. You can use the official YouTube app to do this—open the video, tap Share, then choose Copy link.

Once you have the link, head back over to the Documents app. Tap the icon in the bottom-right corner to open its built-in browser. Browse to a website that can download YouTube videos, such as BitDownloader.

Saving the YouTube Video to Your iPhone

Long-press inside the Enter the video link field, and choose Paste to add the link to your YouTube Video. Then tap the Download button.

After a moment, the site will generate download links for your video. Scroll down (be careful to avoid advertisements that look like download buttons) until you see the Download Video with Sound header. Tap the Download button next to the quality you’d like to save.

Next, you’ll see a prompt to save the file. If you like, change the Name to something shorter or more descriptive. The default save location of Downloads is fine; tap Done to save it. You can uncheck the slider if you want to save future downloads to the same folder every time.

While you wait, tap the Downloads button on the bottom toolbar to check its progress.

Moving the Video to Your Camera Roll

From here, you just need to move the video into the Camera Roll folder. Tap the Folder icon at the bottom-left corner of the app to leave the web browser and go back to the file manager.

Next, open your Downloads folder. Press the Ellipsis icon below the file you just downloaded, then choose Move. On the Move to page, you should see a Photos folder under My Files. Tap Photos to check it, then hit the Move button at the top-right.

You’re done! Open the Photos app on your phone and you should see your new video. It will appear alongside your most recent photos. You’ll also find it on the Albums tab if you scroll down to Videos under the Media Types header.

Other Ways to Download YouTube Videos to Your iPhone

We covered the Camera Roll method above because many people want to save YouTube videos right to that folder. But this isn’t the only way to download YouTube videos to your iPhone or iPad.

As we alluded to earlier, YouTube Premium has several benefits. One of the biggest is that you can download videos offline to watch anytime you like. If you regularly watch videos offline on your iPhone, the monthly cost is worth it for the convenience. Plus, this is an official method, so you aren’t risking any rule-breaking activity.

If you don’t want to pay, you can use a bulk YouTube downloader The 5 Best YouTube Playlist Downloaders to Grab Videos in Bulk Want to watch YouTube videos offline? These YouTube playlist downloaders let you download entire YouTube playlists quickly. Read More on your desktop and transfer the files to your iPhone over a USB cable or using wireless methods.

Failing that, you can use the clumsy but doable workaround of recording your iPhone screen when playing the video. However, this requires you to play through the whole video, which isn’t ideal.

Download YouTube Videos and Watch Anywhere

With these methods, you can save YouTube videos to your iPhone so you aren’t dependent on YouTube to watch them. The Camera Roll method is the best for most people, as it makes them easily accessible and you don’t need to transfer any files.

Before you do this, though, you should consider the legality of downloading YouTube videos Is It Legal to Download YouTube Videos? Is it legal to download YouTube videos? Lots of people do it, but that doesn't mean it's right. Read More . Once you’ve done that and still want to go ahead, here’s how to share that YouTube video on Instagram How to Post a YouTube Video on Instagram In this article, we'll show you how to post a YouTube video on Instagram using either your mobile device or desktop computer. Read More .

Related topics: Download Management, iPhone Tricks, Online Video, YouTube, YouTube Premium.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Ewelina
    July 16, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    Omg! Thank you so much for this 🙏😘

  2. Mrguy
    May 22, 2020 at 6:57 am

    Not free 50$ a month!!

  3. Che
    February 24, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks.. I am sooo happy tonight! I’ve been looking for the way to download it from YouTube to my phone but only tonight that I find the way.. 🥰

  4. Che
    February 24, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks! I am soo happy today.. I successfully saved the video!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    It’s been 2 days and I succeeded of finding the way rock download just tonight..

  5. Marius
    October 29, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    thanks! very accurate step-by-step explanation.

    • thomastina96
      February 3, 2020 at 2:58 am

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  6. Julie
    September 21, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    This is awesome! Thanks for this.

  7. Gavin Thomas
    August 11, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    This guide is awful. The video downloader only downloads in 360p.

  8. JP D
    July 6, 2019 at 1:52 am

    Does not work. The video file will not “move” to photos. File format not supported.

    • Liz Steenbeeke
      July 26, 2019 at 9:58 pm

      Won't work for me either. I have an iPhone 7. I wonder if it works on an iPhone 8? So frustrating.

      • Erin
        December 17, 2019 at 9:33 pm

        I have the iphone 11 and receive the same error. Is there a work around?

  9. Akshay trank
    June 6, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Great, Nice post thanks for sharing. I would like you to recommend Ytbconverter. You can try this. While you using this video converter and downloader you don't need to have to install any software or extension. With the help of this converter, you can download YouTube videos on Iphone into Mp3, Mp4, AVI and other available formats. It is very simple and easy to use.

  10. G
    June 1, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you!

  11. G
    June 1, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Done! Thank you!!

  12. Erin K.
    May 31, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    This worked like a charm! Thank you!!

  13. Daniel H
    April 15, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    This doesn’t work. I paste the YouTube link and then tap download.
    Then my Apple Music app opens in the background and I get a message that says you are already a member of Apple Music.

  14. Aoun Kazmi
    February 3, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    You can also use the official Website SaveVid.org to do Download Youtube Video. Use This Website for Next Generation Fastest Downloading.

  15. Kaila
    January 30, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    I’m not able to get this to work. I can open Qdownloader in Safari but it won’t open in Documents. It gives “Error 502”. Is this working for anyone else now? Thanks!

  16. a
    January 28, 2019 at 3:33 am

    very useful ..it works

    • Kaila
      January 30, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      Did you use Qdownloader? I can’t get it to load. I’ve tried other ways and it’s just not working for me.

    • Kaila
      January 30, 2019 at 2:16 pm

      Okay, my bad.. it finally loaded Qdownloader and it worked! Thank you so much! This is perfect!!

      • Daham
        April 25, 2019 at 2:11 am

        i doesnt work in my 6s .someone pls help

  17. andy
    January 28, 2019 at 3:32 am

    thanks for the help ..its really works in my iphone 8plus ..now i can save anything in my gallary .

  18. M
    January 10, 2019 at 7:03 am

    There’s no prompt to save the file when I tapped on “Download” after choosing the quality I wanted. Instead the video I chose just popped up and started playing

  19. N
    December 25, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Dear Ben Stegner!
    We are grateful to you, and, your Team, for creating the helpful “How To Download And Save YouTube Videos On iPhone” article!
    We are appreciate your investment into your work, and, into helping us, in the midst of your hectic, busy, schedule!
    Thank you,
    Kind regards,

  20. zillah
    December 15, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    Very useful article ,,,,I tried many others and it didn't help me

  21. Yanaset
    December 3, 2018 at 9:26 am

    I just tried doing this today and unfortunately the App no longer downloads like this. I tried it on my iPhone. I thought I should let you know

  22. William Jonathan
    November 15, 2018 at 10:12 pm


  23. wesdavid
    October 21, 2018 at 6:36 am

    This is the best youtube video downloader: hdvsave.net

  24. marie
    September 24, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    very useful and well explained. thanks!

  25. Epeli
    September 16, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Thank you so much. saved my day.

  26. Jessica
    August 26, 2018 at 1:38 am

    Thank you so much!!

  27. C
    August 19, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Thanks a tonn your article is working

  28. KG
    May 23, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    you suck but WinCDEmu sucks even more, F'd up my computer beyond belief, time to reimage now, thanks ass.

  29. G
    May 23, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    WinCDEmu jacked up my computer big time!!! Thanks for referring me to such a piece of crap program.

    • Ben Stegner
      May 23, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      Hi, did you mean to comment on another article?

  30. Stephen Woody
    May 22, 2018 at 2:31 am

    good help finding like e mail in gmail, but one bugaboo, gmail only allows you send these emails to ONLY your inbox !!!!!!!!!! WTF !!!!!

    • Ben Stegner
      May 22, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean?