How to Download YouTube Videos 1080P in Original Quality: 4 Methods

Megan Charles
December 05, 2023 Preview 47.7K Preview 1
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YouTube offers a popular source of Full HD (1920 x 1080) videos and movies. I believe everyone loves to watch YouTube videos in 1080p, as they display higher resolution than 720p, SD, or lower ones. But if you have an unstable or slow Internet connection, YouTube won't allow you to stream YouTube 1080p videos. Now we're going to discuss full step-by-step tutorials on how to download YouTube videos 1080p on Mac and Windows.


Which DASH Formats to Choose for YouTube 1080P Videos

Video posts on YouTube occupy storage space, prompting YouTube to prioritize applying more advanced compression techniques. The chart compares YouTube 1080p video codecs (also known as DASH formats).

  AVC1 VP9 AV01
Applied to 1080p and lower 1080p and above 1080p and above
Quality level May contain pixelation and artifacts Best for 1080p and 4K Best for 8K
Compatibility High Moderate Moderate (QuickTime can’t open it)


Different YouTube 1080p videos are encoded in different DASH formats. In my tests, I found that 1080p videos encoded with VP9 had higher bitrates and clarity.

Most HD YouTube videos with VP9 encoding have high views, or come from official or private uploaders with a devoted fan base. If you want your 1080p YouTube video to be encoded by VP9, you can convert it to 4K or 1440p before uploading. While it doesn't improve video quality, it forces YouTube to use the VP09 codec.


How to Check the Codecs Used in 1080P YouTube Videos

Way #1 Open a 1080p YouTube, right-click it, and click "Stats for nerds". From the top left side of the video, you can codecs.

Way #2 Use Cisdem Video Converter app or yt-dlp to analyze the link. Click the link to see exactly how they work.

Way 1 can only showcase the codec currently in use, and occasionally only as AV01, even if VP9 is included. Way 2 is superior, as it provides a comprehensive display of the video's codecs and tracks.


1080P YouTube Downloaders Test Results: 4 Different Methods

Having mastered the essentials, it is now time to dive into the topic. We tested 4 methods to download 1080p videos from YouTube. Below is a brief comparison.

  Method 1 Method 2 Method 3 Method 4
Can discover all codecs × ×
1080P supported codec VP9, AV1, AVC1 AVC1 AVC1 VP9, AV1, AVC1
Output quality Original Lossy Lossy Original
Speed Super fast Slow Slow Fast
Difficulty Super easy Easy Super easy Difficult


Method 1. Download YouTube 1080P Videos on Mac/PC with App

As a time-tested app with over a decade of history, Cisdem Video Converter is the safest bet. It stands out for its powerful features yet easy-to-use working flow. And it is ideal for beginners or pros that want to download high-resolution videos in bulk without sacrificing quality.

This YouTube 1080p downloader for Mac and Windows can download 1080p/8k/4k videos from YouTube simply with URLs. It delivers fast processing speed and just takes several minutes to download a one-hour full movie.

Since Cisdem Video Converter is an all-in-one toolbox, it offers more benefits, including the ability to convert videos to iPhone, iPad, or other portable devices, personalize the video, and more.

How to Download YouTube Videos 1080P on Mac or PC:

Step 1. Install Cisdem Video Converter

Download and install the free trial version on your computer.

Free Download macOS 10.12 or later Free Download Windows 11/10/8/7

Step 2. Copy YouTube URL

Visit and find the HD 1080p video that you wish to download. Then, copy its URL.

copy video url

Step 3. Paste YouTube URL

Launch Cisdem Video Converter. You will see an intuitive interface. Go to the third tab for YouTube 1080p downloads.

Paste the URL to the bottom text box. Click “+” to parse it.

paste url to download ui

Step 4. Download YouTube 1080P Mac/Windows

As soon as the video source is retrieved, the video thumbnail, along with its basic information - video format, definition, duration, and size, will appear.

Choose a format and 1080p resolution. Click download icon icon at the right bottom corner.

start the download

Tip 1: The software can detect all DASH formats containing in a YouTube video, such as mp4 (vp09) 5739k 1920 x 1080, mp4 (av01) 5515k 1920 x 1080, webm (vp09) 4329k 1920 x 1080, and so on. Quality and resolution are arranged from high to low. Choose any 1080p option you want.

Tip 2: It empowers you to tackle multiple video downloads concurrently. So you can continue to add 1080p YouTube videos to the download list. Preferably, go to “File” > “Input URLs” to paste all links at once.

paste multi urls

Tip 3: Convert the downloaded YouTube 1080p videos to specified formats. Click tick icon to locate the videos. Drag them to the first tab. Open the format list and choose the desired output format for each video.

convert 1080p youtube to other formats


  1. Download, convert, rip, edit, and merge videos
  2. Download HD 1080p videos from the widest sites with one action
  3. Convert video to any SD & HD video formats for compatibility with various devices
  4. Edit the video for better effects, or take a snapshot of your favorite video image, etc.


  1. No mobile-based version


Bonus: free YouTube 1080p downloader app for desktop

A major benefit of freeware is that it does not require payment, but it's not as good as paid software in features, performance, easy of use, and other aspects. Here are 2 free programs, you can learn about them.

#1 YouTube Downloader HD (Windows)

The app has been designed to ease the process of video downloads. It ensures you to download YouTube videos 1080p and convert them to AVI or MP4 video formats. You can high-quality videos from YouTube, but the software comes with unsatisfactory speed and provides no more advanced settings.

Youtube Downloader HD interface


  1. Free
  2. Support YouTube playlist download
  3. Download YouTube subtitles
  4. Click integrated bookmark in browser to save videos


  1. Can’t convert videos in batch
  2. No video editing option
  3. Only support YouTube download

#2 FreeTube (Mac, Windows, and Linux)

FreeTube is a open-source YouTube HTML5 player that stores history locally and does not send it to Google. There are no Google login required and no ads. You can switch to use DASH formats, legacy formats, or audio formats.

It also helps you download videos, playlists, audio, and auto-generated VTT subtitles. Yet, it’s unable to download YouTube videos in 1080p with audio. To save the entire YouTube, you can only choose 360p.

freetube interface


  1. Free
  2. No toolbars, no adware, no malware


  1. High requirements for computer performance
  2. Limited output formats
  3. Download 1080p YT with video only


Method 2. Download YouTube Videos 1080P with Online Service

Want to download YouTube 1080p videos on Mac and PC without any software? You can have a shot at free web-based tools.

Clip Converter is a great YouTube 1080p downloader online, allowing you to convert nearly any audio or video URL to 8 formats, including MP3, M4A, AAC, MP4, 3GP, etc.

If you enter the URL, it will quickly detect the media file and records the media file to its servers. You have the power to convert the downloaded videos to several common formats, but not for all popular formats.

How to Download YouTube Videos 1080P Online via

  1. Visit
  2. Copy the 1080p video URL from YouTube, and paste it into the input field placed on Clip Converter.
  3. Select “YouTube Video High Definition (1080p)” from the detected media options.
  4. Put in the name of the file.
  5. Choose a conversion output format.
  6. Click “Start”.
  7. When it shows you “Conversion successfully completed”, you can click “Download” to save the YouTube 1080p video.

download youtube videos 1080p online


  1. Easy to operate
  2. Can be used for conversion


  1. Maximum downloaded file sizes within 100 MB
  2. Can’t download videos that contain music


Bonus: more online YouTube 1080p downloaders tests

When newbies choose a YouTube 1080p video downloader, you may be more interested in online tools. Because they are free, do not require installation, and are simple to use. Thus, we tested 5 other top-level online YouTube downloaders for you.

  Pop-ads Support music video Result × Download 1080p video without sound × No 1080p option × Download 1080p video without audio Download AVC1 1080p video × Need pay to download 1080p


Method 3. Download YouTube 1080P Videos Using Browser Plugin + User Script

Due to YouTube's copyright and terms of service restrictions, few browser plugins support direct YouTube video downloads. But you can run a user script, which is a program written in JavaScript, to modify an HTML page and enable 1080p video download from YouTube. To begin with, you should install a reliable user script manager. The combination of Tampermonkey and Local YouTube Downloader works great on Chrome and Firefox.

How to download 1080p YT video via plugin and user script on the browser:

  1. Go to the Chrome web store or Firefox add-ons marketplace, search Tampermonkey, and install it.
  2. Head to, find Local YouTube Downloader uploaded by maple3142.
  3. Click “Install this script”. Confirm that Tampermonkey is installed, and proceed to install the user script.install script
  4. Open an HD YouTube video. Between the video and the description, the text "Download high-resolution mp4 in one click" will appear, click it to with high resolution

Note: The "Download high-resolution mp4 in one click" link will help you download YouTube videos in original quality, so if the video is 4k, you can only save it in 4k, not 1080p.

Alternatively, you can click “Show/Hide Links” to expand other output options. It is only possible to download YouTube videos in 360p with audio. If you choose 1080p MP4, no sound will be included in the download.

other output options


  1. Totally free
  2. Quite convenient, the download button is right there on the page


  1. Can’t save a 4k video as 1080p with sound
  2. The video downloads at a snail's pace

Method 4. Download 1080p YouTube via Python-based Command-line Program

yt-dlp is an open source command-line tool that lets you download YouTube videos from the terminal. It's able to download complete playlists, extract audio from YouTube, bypass YouTube geo-restrictions, and more. It is highly configurable, allowing you to specify the final vcodec, acodec, resolution and file size. In addition to being a YouTube 1080p downloader, it also works with 1000+ other video streaming sites, including some that are NSFW (not safe for work).

We put this method to the end because it is difficult. yt-dlp does not have a graphical interface, which discourages novices. For those who do not understand code, we still recommend using Cisdem Video Converter. This software uses yt- dlp in the background.

How to Download YouTube 1080P Videos on Windows with yt-dlp:

1. Download yt-dlp and install it to your computer.

The installation is also difficult. On different OS, if you install different package manager, the command lines will also be different. Check the link to install.

If you don’t know how to install yt-dlp on Window, you can directly drag and drop yt-dlp.exe to terminal for use. This way doesn't work on Mac, but you can see how to download with Homebrew.

2. Add yt-dlp.exe to Windows command-line tool - Command Prompt (CMD), PowerShell, or Windows Terminal.

Make sure you run the command in the same folder where the exe file is saved, otherwise it will show “YouTube-dl.exe is not recognized as an internal or external command”. You can use cd folder name to specify the location.

3. Enter yt-dlp.exe --list-formats youtube url or yt-dlp.exe -F youtube url to display all available formats.

check all formats 01

check all formats 02

4. Type the ID of the file to download specific formats, e.g. yt-dlp.exe -f 312+140 youtube url. Then, press “Enter”.

The command line will merge and download 1080p YouTube video to MP4 format, which is encoded with avc1 and 129k m4a.

download with yt-dlp

Tip: If you don't specify formats, and just use yt-dlp.exe youtube url to download from YouTube directly, it will automatically combine the video and audio formats with the highest bit rate. The final video might be 4K in WebM, MP4, or 3GP instead of 1080p.


  1. Free and open source
  2. Download videos from a large amount of video sharing websites
  3. Support multiple formats


  1. Hard to get started


Based on YouTube Terms of Service 5B, it said:

You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content.

And in the United States, copyright law stipulates that it’s illegal to copy content without the permission of the copyright owner.

But it’s feasible if you download YouTube 1080p videos that are:

  • Created by your own
  • Public domain videos
  • Creative Commons videos
  • Unprotected by copyright
  • Offered with “download” buttons


Final Thoughts

Above are the different types of YouTube 1080p downloaders picked for you, any of which are workable. This article covers too many points. In short, if you wish to download YouTube videos 1080p in original quality on a daily or weekly basis, choose Cisdem Video Converter (for beginners and pros, also support any output format) or yt-dlp (for code experts).

Megan Charles
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Megan has an impressive deal of experience with Mac software and has the ability to explain tech stuff in a simplified, straightforward and easy to understand way.

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  • John Lavallee

    I've been using online downloaders to save youtube videos, but the quality is significantly dropped, more blurry, pixelation increased, etc. Your recommended software gives me outstanding results.

    2 years ago commonReply

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