Convert and Download a YouTube Video Using Zamzar

I am asked this question frequently, “How can I download a video from YouTube?”  The answer is you cannot do it directly.  You need to use a file conversion program and one of the best ones out there on the web is Zamzar.  YouTube videos are in a special Flash format and will not play directly without conversion to a standard Windows format.

Zamzar is free and you only have to register if you want to manage your converted files.  You can do many types of file conversions at Zamzar not just YouTube videos.  What can it do? 

How about:

  1. Convert files you already have on your computer to a different format
  2. Rip just the music off of a video
  3. Convert a movie or Youtube video to an avi format for use in MovieMaker
  4. Convert and download a YouTube video in a wmv or mpg format for use with Windows
  5. And more ….

But our question was Youtube videos that you would like to use in class but want to have them readily available on your drive.  This is a multiple step process:

  1. Go to YouTube and find your video
  2. Copy the video URL (address)
  3. Go to
  4. Click the tab that says Download Video
  5. Paste the copied URL into the window where it says Step 1
  6. Step 2 – select the movie file type for the movie conversion – I like mpg because the file sizes are smaller
  7. Step 3 – Put in a valid e-mail address
  8. Step 4 – Click Convert

Wait for Zamzar to e-mail you that the file has been converted and is ready for download


Here is a link to a YouTube video on how to use Zamzar if this better suits your learning style.  Zamzar Tutorial