Downloading Youtube Videos in Firefox

YouTube is perhaps the largest video library online today with lots of music, lectures and movies. The problem is that it does not make it easy to download these videos offline: they have to be used while you are connected to the internet. In other words, YouTube is meant to be a streaming service and not a file sharing portal.

In today's tip, we are going to discuss how to download videos without problem using Mozilla Firefox.

The Problem

YouTube is a useful source of online information, especially for students. It has got many channels where one can subscribe. Doing this means that whenever a new video is posted, you will be notified in your email.

In fact, if you can, you must frequent YouTube for some solutions to other problems you might have not only with your homework, but even for entertainment and live broadcasts of some major news outlets. So YouTube can be thought of as an internet within an internet.

The problem is that its limitations of not leting people download videos online inhibit those who do not have reliable internet connection.

The Solution

Use Mozilla Firefox web browser. Firefox has a concept of adding addons, that are miniprograms that run within the browser.

While Firefox is open, go and download an addon called Video Download Helper from this page.

Just click on the link labelled, "Add to Firefox", and the addon will be installed into your browser.

After the installation process is complete, you can do the following to download a clip from YouTube:

  • Go to YouTube and search for whatever content you like. For example, "Using NVDA".

  • When the results page comes up, you can

    • Press the Enter key to open the YouTube clip. Then when the clip opens, press the Applications key and find video download helper. You can choose to download the clip using its provided dimensions.
    • You can just highlight the result without opening it. And choose Video Download Helper submenu. Then press "Download Selected Media".
  • When you download a clip, it is often saved in your profile folder in the subfolder called "DWHelper".

  • Open that folder to find all your clips you've downloaded.


To highlight with a keyboard

Either press the Applications key or Shift+F10 which will bring up a context menu. This action is the same as right-clicking by a mouse.

By the way, typing "Using NVDA", I got the following as one of my early results. Try downloading it:


There are many Youtube downloaders you will find on the Mozilla Firefox addons page. Some will let you download clips as MP3, useful if you want to get a music file and play it in your media player. This tip only gave you one out of many.

While there are some desktop solutions out there, I often feel comfortable working with a browser addon as it does not require you to fiddle with your registry. Anyway, if you find them useful, by all means use them.

I hope this tip helped you. Thank you for reading this post!