Google recently announced YouTube Go, an app that will allow you to easily save your favorite videos for offline viewing. As is often the case when anything mobile-related gets announced by Google, the actual release date remains a mystery, and as it stands the app is only available to testers in India.
You can still get your hands on it anyway, but at the time of writing, I can’t save any videos using the app, presumably because most content creators don’t yet have the option to allow their videos to be downloaded.
So to be on the safe side, I’ll also give you another method you can use to watch YouTube offline.
Download YouTube Go APK
You don’t need to be a flashy, rooty hacker to know that the Play Store isn’t the only place you can download apps from. There are plenty of sites where you can legally download APKs (app installer packages), the best of which – in my opinion – is APK Mirror.
You can download the APK for YouTube Go from APK Mirror directly to your phone. Scroll down the page until you see the “DOWNLOAD APK” button. (You’ll need to have downloads from “Unknown Sources” enabled on your device. To do this, go to “Settings -> Security” then enable “Unknown sources.”)
Ignore the download warning, download the APK, then open/install it when prompted.
Congratulations, you’re now a (sort of) unofficial beta tester!
Open YouTube Go, and you’ll be presented with a simple interface with “HOME” and “SAVED” at the top. Under the Home tab, you’ll find suggested videos to download based on your YouTube viewing habits. You can also search for videos you want to download using the magnifying glass at the top-right.
Once you’ve found the video you want, tap the thumbnail, choose whether you want to download it in basic or standard quality, then tap “Save.” (It may be greyed out for now because as I mentioned earlier YouTube Go options are yet to be made available for content creators.)
To remove videos from appearing in your “Home” tab, tap the three-dotted menu icon beneath a video, then tap “Remove video.” This will also help YouTube learn your viewing habits and not show you similar videos in the future. (Click here for my guide on training YouTube about your viewing habits.)
Another Way to Watch YouTube Offline
If YouTube Go isn’t working for you yet, then there are other methods of going about this.
One of them is TubeMate, an app that you won’t find in the Play Store but that you can download from Download.com so long as you have “Unknown sources” enabled on your device.
Once TubeMate is downloaded, open it and browse to the video you want to download, then tap the green arrow at the top of the screen.
You’ll see a load of different download options here. Select the one you want and click Download. You may now see a request to download something called “MP3 Video Converter.” While requests to download apps from within apps may seem suspicious, this is a perfectly good, popular and very useful app that you need to complete the process. Download MP3 Video Converter, then return to TubeMate and go through the steps to download your video again. (You can change the video download location under “Preferences.”)
Obviously, the less apps are required to watch YouTube videos offline, the better, so rather than using TubeMate, you may just want to wait until YouTube Go is fully up and running before pulling everything YouTube has to offer down onto your device. If you can’t wait any longer, though, then TubeMate – like a true mate – is there for you if you need it.