If you live in certain parts of the world or have a YouTube Premium subscription, you can download YouTube videos within the app so that you can watch them offline. Unfortunately, the same functionality isn’t available on Windows platforms, but you can perform a YouTube download in Windows using BlueStacks.
In case you didn’t know, BlueStacks is a popular Android emulator. It allows users to run Android apps on their Windows computers, often with a better level of performance than most phones can manage. But BlueStacks is not the only “app player” you can get. However, it’s popular, easy to use, and free, so it’s the perfect starting point for this workaround.
The premise is simple. By running the YouTube Android app on BlueStacks, we can use the download feature as usual. This means you can download those videos on your Windows computer and watch them later. Of course, you need to live in a part of the world where YouTube allows downloading in the app for free or have an active YouTube Premium subscription.
How to use the YouTube download feature on Windows with BlueStacks
- Download and install BlueStacks
- Run the BlueStacks installer
- Perform the initial setup
- Install YouTube from the Play Store
- Search for your video
- Download your video
- Play the video offline
1. Download and install BlueStacks
The first thing you’ll want to do is head over to the BlueStacks downloads page.
Pick the version that’s right for your computer. In this case, I’m going with the 64-bit version. The download should be quite fast, since this is just a web installer. The installer itself will fetch the rest of the data.
2. Run the BlueStacks installer
After downloading the installer, run it.
The rest of the software should download now. At the time of writing it was around a 650 MB download.
3. Perform the initial setup
Just as with a real Android device, the first time you start up BlueStacks, you’ll have to do an initial setup. Just follow the prompts and, when asked, log into your Google Account.
4. Install YouTube from the Play Store
Now that your copy of BlueStacks is ready to roll, you need to install the YouTube App from the Play Store. This works exactly as it does on any Android device. By default, BlueStacks takes you straight to the Play Store the first time you start it up.
Open the Play Store, search for YouTube, and then install it.
5. Search for your video
Open the YouTube app in BlueStacks and then search for the video you’d like to download.
6. Download your YouTube video with BlueStacks
To download the video, just click this download button underneath the player window.
Remember that you either have to be a YouTube Premium subscriber to have this function enabled. It’s also worth remembering that YouTube Music subscriptions include YouTube Premium as well.
You’ll be asked at which quality level you want to download the video, and if you’d like to set this every time, uncheck the box to remember your preferences.
7. Play the video offline
With the video downloaded, you can play it without an internet connection. Simply go to the “Library” section of the app.
Then go to “Downloads” and you’ll find the video there.
Just click on it to start playback.
Other uses for BlueStacks besides a YouTube download
Now that you have BlueStacks installed, there are other cool things you can do with this application. BlueStacks was designed with Android games in mind, but you can also run apps like Instagram (or anything else, really) right there on your Windows PC. On the Android games front, it’s one way to get a bit of an unfair edge against players using touch controls, but we’d never condone that sort of unsportsmanlike behavior. However, having a virtual Android device on your Windows system can turn out to be more useful than you’d think, so why not give it a try?
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