To be honest, as I'm sure any right-minded individual would agree, downloading videos from YouTube for personal gain is wrong.  However, there are occasions when it is arguably reasonable and possibly even legitimate to do such a thing.

It could be that you wish to use a video in a presentation and can’t rely on internet connectivity or just feel "safer" presenting the video offline for fear of an embarrassing spinning buffer wheel of doom!

Over the years, a market opened up for online YouTube downloading services (often accompanied with their complimentary malware and/or questionable adverts).

Many of these "services" have since become unusable. 

There is however, a quite wonderful solution – albeit requiring Linux.

No fear, with the WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) on Windows 10, you are just a few steps away from seamless (at the time of writing) YouTube downloading – of course for reasonable and legitimate purposes!


You will need Windows 10 WSL enabled (this link will walk you through that process).

  1. Open a command prompt and enter wsl
  2. Enter sudo apt-get update
  3. Enter sudo apt-get upgrade
  4. Enter sudo apt-get install python-pip
  5. Enter sudo pip install youtube-dl 

Aside from the occasional checking for update, you shouldn't need to perform the above prerequisites again.

To download a video

  1. Enter sudo youtube-dl (change the url as appropriate to the video required)
  2. The video should download and save to a location accessible from Windows - this can vary, but a good place to start is your "user" folder within Windows.

If you experience issues, you can clear the cache by typing sudo youtube-dl -rm chache-dir

As noted as the top of this post, you should only use this process for reasonable and legitimate purposes.