How to Install YouTube-dl on Mac

youtube-dl is an Open Source command line tool that lets you download video from YouTube (and many other videos sites). It’s often considered better than those paid video downloaders. In our previous article, we saw how to use youtube-dl to download videos on Android terminal. Even Windows has a YouTube GUI client, there are no such resources available for macOS. So, in this article, we’ll give you a walkthrough on how to install youtube dl on mac. Let’s begin.

Read: 5 best ways to Password Protect folders on mac

youtube-dl Installation

1. To install, youtube-dl, you need to install Wget first. And in order to install Wget, you need to install homebrew first. So, copy paste the following command on your Mac’s terminal (press cmd + space and type in terminal). Once you run the following command, you Mac will download Homebrew master file from Github. You may have to enter your Mac’s password several times. The whole process will take 10-15 minutes depending on your Internet speed.

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)" 

install youtube dl- brew install

2. Once you have downloaded Homebrew, you are ready to install Wget. Type in the following command and also enable OpenSSL for TLS support.

brew install wget --with-libressl

install youtube dl- install Wget

3. Now that we have Wget to download packages from the internet, we will use it to download and install Youtube-dl package. Type in the following command and press enter.

sudo wget https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -O /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl 

install youtube dl- install youtube dl

4. You have now successfully installed youtube-dl on your Mac, however, it won’t work yet. To check you can type youtube-dl on your terminal and it’ll throw a permission error. To fix this, you need to give the right permissions, type in the following command and press enter.

sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl 

install youtube dl- change permission

5. And that’s it, now you should be able to download YouTube videos (or any videos from youtube-dl supported sites) by simply typing youtube-dl [video-link]. For example, to download one of my videos from YouTube, I’ll type in the following command.

youtube-dl https://youtu.be/LxTcvc4cgCY

install youtube dl-download videos

6. You can find the downloaded video in your home folder on your mac. To bring up the home folder simply go to Finder > Go > Home or press the keyboard shortcut CMD + Shift + H. 

install youtube dl-home folder

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Download 1080p video using FFmpeg

By default, FFmpeg will download the second highest resolution. You may have to install FFmpeg to get the highest quality video. Without FFmpeg, you will likely get the second highest which in our case was 720p. To install FFmpeg, type in the following command.

brew install youtube-dl ffmpeg

download ffmpeg-downlaod this for full HD videos

Also Read: 5 ways to transfer files from mac to mac

Wrapping Up

So, this is how you use youtube-dl to download videos using your terminal. The app works exactly as advertised, yet not many people know about it. Anyway, if you wish to change your download location or download different resolution of the video, you can check out youtube-dl command line parameters on Github.

About Mrinal Saha

Mrinal is a tech geek who spends half of his day reading and writing about tech. While the nights are spent on shooting or editing YouTube videos. Feel free to geek out with him on-