Watching YouTube video is one of our favourite pastimes on an Android phone or tablet, but doing so out of range of a Wi-Fi hotspot can place a heavy burden on a mobile data connection. Thankfully, you can use an app such as Tubemate to download YouTube videos for offline watching.
Because Google doesn't exactly approve of you bypassing its platform for watching video (also see is it legal to download YouTube video?), you won't find Tubemate in Google Play. Nevertheless, it's a free app that we will show you how to sideload on your phone or tablet.
In publishing this tutorial we do not advocate the downloading of copyrighted videos from YouTube, and in our examples we are using only video from our own YouTube channel.
Best app for downloading YouTube: Tubemate
• Open the Settings menu on your Android phone or tablet and go to Security, then enable Unknown sources. This will allow you to install apps from outside Google Play; that it is disabled by default is to protect you, so we recommend disabling that toggle once you have installed Tubemate
• Now open your web browser and head to tubemate.net. You want to install the latest version of the app (currently 2.4) from one of the verified sites listed here. This is because in downloading apps from outside Google Play you risk potentially downloading something malicious that is masquerading as a genuine app
• Also note that because you are sideloading the app it won't be automatically updated along with the other apps on your phone when a new version is released. So if Tubemate ever stops working for you, return here and install the update if one is available.
• We've chosen Android Freeware. Click on the link, then press the blue Install app button. You'll be warned that this type of file can harm your device, but go ahead and press OK anyway
• Once the file has downloaded you'll see a notification in the drop-down bar at the top of the screen. Tap on this notification and your device should open the Downloads folder on your device
• Tap on the download listed youtube-tubemate.7.07.apk and choose Install when prompted. Click Open when the download completes and agree to the T&Cs
• You can either use Tubemate to download YouTube videos from directly within the app, or you can do so within the YouTube app itself. To download a video from the YouTube app, launch the video, then tap Share and choose Tubemate. You'll be prompted to choose a resolution, then tap the green download button
• Alternatively, open the Tubemate app and use the search function to find a video. To download the video just press the green arrow at the top of the screen, choose a resolution and again tap the green download icon