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By Clive Norman
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YouTube downloading using WSL

| Tags: WSL Linux Quicktip

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).

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

To download a video

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.