How to use Offline feature of YouTube?

Youtube has always been the top platforms to watch videos. But patchy Internet connectivity plays spoilsport most of the times with the pleasure of watching YouTube videos. How to watch YouTube videos offline? Is there any option to do the same? Well, yes - that's precisely what we will discuss in the current article.

We love email watching videos on our smartphones, and on our laptops. But, given the sorry state of Internet connectivity that turns snail speed, it could ruin the pleasure of watching videos. Most of us always try to find a way to view YouTube videos offline. You need not worry anymore - YouTube has launched the offline feature on its apps.

What is Offline feature on YouTube?

Google has been aware of the problems of spotty Internet connectivity faced by YouTube lovers. The offline feature is aimed at such situations where a slow Internet plays havoc with your viewing pleasure. It lets you watch your favourite YouTube videos even when you have no working Internet connection.
The feature has been launched in 2014. The offline feature lets you save YouTube videos so that you can watch them later without any data consumption.

The videos of your choice can be downloaded using mobile data or WiFi. To make it profitable, the feature is made ad-supported. You need to wait for a minute with the ad before you can begin watching your video. Better than having to pay a hefty subscription fee, right?

How does the feature work?

Well, you do not need to be a rocket scientist to understand how it works. The feature is available on the Android and iOS apps of YouTube. Here are the steps to use the offline feature -
  • Launch the YouTube app on your Android or iOS smartphone ( or tablet, as the case may be).
  • Visit the video you would wish to view offline. You may search for them as you would normally do. Or if you know the file name, you can directly search for it more easily.
  • Look for the Add to Offline icon. It will resemble the standard download icon that appears like downward arrow.
  • Click on it and your video will begin to download.

That's it - you can use this method to download as many videos as you would wish to.

Alternatively, you can choose the context menu in the list of videos. The context menu is represented by three vertical dots. Tap on it and then tap on Save offline.
Once you tap on the download button using any of the methods above, the YouTube app will ask you to specify the resolution of the downloaded video. You can choose between Low, Medium and HD resolutions. Please remember that a lower resolution will consume less space on your device. Besides, it will also consume less data. Once you specify the resolution, the video will download to your device.

Note this down before proceeding

There are a few conditions that govern the offline feature though. It would be advisable to pay attention to them.
Please note that all the videos are NOT available for download. Such videos will sport a crossed download button. However, most of the popular videos are available for download.
The downloaded videos can be played back only up to 48 hours. After that, if you still need the video in offline mode - you will need to sync with an active Internet connection.
You will not be able to share the videos as you would do with your other offline videos. The downloaded videos will only be available only from within YouTube app.

What the future holds?

Well, YouTube has stated that it is coming up with new features added to the offline functionality. Soon, you can select a video to download and then set a time to download it. Maybe you prefer it to download in the background, or you may choose it to download overnight.
Google is yet to specify the exact time frame for the implementation for the same. There are a few more additions which are still under wraps.

Can the downloaded videos be transferred to other device?

Well, sadly - no. Google uses the EXO file format for saving these videos. The format is used normally for system files and as such a regular video player app will not be able to recognise the file. Even if you extract the file from the YouTube app, you will not be able to play it on any other app except YouTube's own apps.

Parting thoughts

Capability to download the YouTube videos and being able to view them later at your convenience is indeed a blessing in disguise. That is true especially with the patchy net connectivity in India. Let us just hope that the feature clicks in and YouTube makes more videos available for offline usage.

Article by Timmappa Kamat
Timmappa Kamat is a technology enthusiast. He has an active interest in newer technological developments. He is fond of new gizmos & gadgets. He loves to share his knowledge through tech-savvy websites as a freelancer. A Mechanical Engineer by profession, he is equally interested in blogging, with his own blog. He wants to carve a name for himself in blogging arena one day! If you need any clarifications about his articles,please respond here below or get in touch with him through his profile.

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