Solved! How to Download YouTube with VLC Without Problems

Megan Charles
May 05, 2023 Preview 5.4K Preview 0
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VLC is widely known as a useful and open-source media player that can play almost everything on cross platforms for free. Actually, it also provides some other practical functions, such as converting various digital files, ripping unprotected DVDs and downloading videos from YouTube. Recently, we found that some people have problems in downloading YouTube videos with VLC.

So we are here to show people how to download YouTube with VLC, help them how to solve VLC YouTube download not working and even introduce the best alternative to VLC. If you are bothered by the same problem, follow us to get your best solution.


How to Download YouTube Videos with VLC?

At the beginning, let’s start with how to download YouTube with VLC. There are 2 methods for the public to make it. Below are the detailed guides for your reference.

Method 1. Download YouTube with VLC using video information

  1. Visit YouTube with your browser and copy the URL of the video that you want to save.
  2. Open VLC, click on “Media > Open Network Stream...” on the top toolbox. (For Mac, click on “File > Open Network...”.)
    go to stream network function on vlc
  3. Paste the URL into the blank Network URL filed of the popped-up window.
    paste url on windows
  4. Click on “Play” button (Click on “Open” for Mac). Wait for analyzing and playing the video.
  5. Tap on “Tools > Codec Information” on the top toolbox. (On Mac, click on “Window > Media information”.)
  6. On the Current Media Information window, copy the content from the “Location” box on the bottom.
  7. Switch to the opened browser, paste the copied content into a new tab and tap enter on your keyboard.
  8. Then, you will see the video that you want.
  9. Now, right-click on anywhere of the playing video, and select “Save video as...” on the popped-up options to download YouTube video with VLC right away.

Method 2. Download YouTube with VLC using the built-in stream feature

On Windows

  1. On the opened VLC, click on “Media > Open Network Stream” on the top menu bar.
  2. On the new window, paste the copied URL of a YouTube video into the “Network Protocol” section for entering network URL.
  3. Move to the bottom, click on the drop-down icon of the “Play” button to select “Stream”.
    another way to download youtube with vlc
  4. On the Stream Output window with Source dialogue, click “Next”.
  5. On the New Destination section, tap on “Add”.
  6. Then, fill in a name and click on “Browse” button to choose a suitable destination. Once done, tap on “Next” to go on the next step.
  7. On the “Transcoding Options” part, tick out “Activate Transcoding” box and select a favorite format from the drop list of “Profile”. Click “Next”.
  8. Click on “Stream” button to save the online video to your appointed place.

On Mac

  1. Run VLC, click on “File > Open Network” on the top toolbox.
  2. On the Network section, paste the URL of the YouTube video that you want to save into the empty box.
  3. Tick out the box of “Stream output” at the bottom left corner.
  4. Then, the “Settings” box will appeal in the right side, click it to make more specific output settings.
    activate stream settings dialogue
  5. On the popped-up window, you can set the storage location, output format, codec, etc. Once done, click “OK” to save the adjustments.
    make detailed stream settings
  6. Click “Open” to start to parse out the video and download video from YouTube with VLC.

Q: How to download YouTube video with subtitles via VLC?

  1. Open the YouTube video.
  2. Move to the right corner below the playing video, click on three-dot icon and then click on “Show transcript”.
  3. All transcript content will show on the right side of the video, select all content, copy them and save them as a TXT file on your device.
  4. Then, look for an available website that can convert TXT to SRT. Upload the TXT file, convert it to SRT format and download it.
  5. Open the YouTube video that you have just downloaded through VLC.
  6. Click on “Subtitle > Add Subtitle File” on the top menu bar to upload the created SRT file with relevant subtitles.
  7. Now, use VLC to play the video with subtitles.

How to Solve VLC YouTube Download not Working?

The root cause for VLC that doesn’t work on downloading YouTube videos is that it fails to open the YouTube videos with the prompt “your input can’t be opened”. To sum up, there are 2 main situations where people encounter such issues. One is that some YouTube videos can’t be downloaded because of age-restricted. The other is because of the regional restrictions or the wrongly YouTube scripts.

There is no way to break the former. But for the latter, there are 6 accessible ways for people to try.

Solution 1. Update VLC Media Player

The old version may miss some necessary codecs for analyzing the URL from YouTube. To avoid this factor, download the latest version of the program to try it again.

On Mac: Click “VLC Media Player > Check for Update...” on the top menu bar
On Windows: Click “Help > Check for Update...” on the top

If the program makes no response, go to the official website of VLC and re-download and re-install the latest version to your device. Upon finishing, try to download video from YouTube with VLC to test this solution.

Solution 2. Reset Preferences: Disable Cookies Forwarding Setting

Disabling cookies is also helpful to fix the issue. But this solution may result in a security attacking to your computer.

  1. Go to the Preferences setup window.
  2. On the lower left corner of the interface, Windows users select “All” under “Show Settings”. And the Mac users just click on “Show All”.
    solution 2 to fix vlc not working with youtube
  3. Target on the left pane of the new window, click on “Input/Codecs > Access modules > HTTPS”. Then, deselect “Cookies forwarding” on the right side.
  4. Hit on “Save”. Then, you can try downloading YouTube with VLC to check whether it works.

Solution 3. Replace the Existing youtube.lua File

Youtube.lua file plays a vital role in playing YouTube videos with VLC. You can also re-install it in case of the existing one has been corrupted. In doing so, you just need to delete the existing youtube.lua file, and re-download youtube.lua file from the official VLC download link. But for Windows, there is a specific pathway to store it, so you can follow the address below to find the original one and put the new one in it.

For 64-bit operating system: C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\lua\playlist
For 32-bit operating system: C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\lua\playlist

Solution 4. Rename the youtube.lua File

For youtube.lua file, you can also try to rename it with youtube.luac. For Windows users, follow the address mentioned above to locate the youtube.lua file, right-click on it to rename the file end with .luac extension

Solution 5. Utilize the Recording Function of VLC

If the upper solutions make no effects, you can turn to record YouTube video with VLC, which can also save the YouTube on your computer. However, recording requires smooth playback without issue, and people have to wait in the side of the computer. If you don’t mind, below are the detailed steps.

  1. Open VLC Media Player, click "View > Advanced controls" on the top line to activate the recording settings on the main intnerface.
  2. Tap on "Media > Open Capture Device" to launch the recording setup dialogue.
  3. Select "Desktop" on the "Capture mode" section. If needed, set the frame rate or more settings based on your mind.
    solution 5. record youtube video with vlc
  4. Tap on "Play" to start to record your screen.
  5. Move to YouTube and play the video that you wish to save.
  6. Once the playback is over, click on the “Stop” icon to finish the task.

Solution 6. Use Other Powerful Alternatives

The last but not least solution to fix VLC not working with YouTube is to switch help to a powerful and simple alternative, which is the easiest solution as there are countless excellent YouTube video downloaders accessible on the market for people to choose from.

The Best Alternative to VLC

After rigorous testing, Cisdem Video Converter is the best alternative to VLC Media Player, which is also a multipurpose program available on Windows and Mac. It offers a fast speed and a wealth of advanced features to convert videos and videos, digitize all DVDs and download videos. For downloading, it supports downloading videos from more than 1000 websites including YouTube. It is easy to use and can batch download 4K YouTube videos safely without damaging quality.

Steps on how to download YouTube videos with VLC alternative

Step 1. Download and install App

Download the latest version of the program based on your device system and install it.

Free Download   Free Download

Launch it, you will see the conversion interface by default. Move to the download interface by clicking on the top.

download interfaceStep 2. Copy the YouTube URL

Go to YouTube website, look for the video that you like, right-click on it and copy its link address.

Step 3. Paste URL

Return to Cisdem interface, paste the URL into the bottom field for adding URL, press “enter” to extract the video.

paste url If you want to download multiple YouTube videos, repeat the steps. If you are Mac users, you just need to click “File > Input URLs...” on the top menu to fill in the URLs of those videos that you want to download. Each line inputs one URL.

Step 4. Choose output format or quality (Optional)

After completing the analysis process, all videos will be displayed on the main interface with each video thumbnail. It will choose the highest resolution of the video format by default. If you want other resolutions or audio-only format, click on the according box on the video thumbnail to make adjustment.

choose output format and quaityStep 5. Batch download YouTube videos

Once done, hit on “Download” icon on the bottom right corner to start the batch downloading process. After downloading, tick out the “Checkmark” icon to find them on your local device.

batch download youtube videos with cisdem

Moreover, you can drag and drop them to the conversion interface and convert YouTube videos to MP3, MOV, MKV or any other formats you want. Also, you can use the embedded editing features to modify the videos according to your minds.


After reading this article, I hope that you fix all your problems when you download YouTube with VLC. To be honest, it is a bit complex to use VLC to download YouTube videos, especially for novices. Plus, it has the high possibility to encounter unexpected issues during the download process. Hence, if you are willing to download additional programs, it is recommend to download YouTube videos with VLC alternatives, which is easier, faster and ensures a smooth downloading process.

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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