Last Updated: April 14, 2014
Anyone can watch YouTube videos on the iPhone and iPod touch using the free YouTube app (Download at iTunes). Just tap the app, search for what you're interested in, and you'll be watching video in no time (keep in mind, though, that watching a lot of video over a 3G or 4G wireless connection can eat up your monthly bandwidth limit pretty quickly).
But what about your favorite YouTube videos? What if you want to watch them over and over again – even when you're not connected to the web (this is especially important on the iPod touch, since it only has a Wi-Fi connection and you can't get on Wi-Fi everywhere)?
In that case, you need a way to save the videos to your device. Luckily, there are a number of tools that make this a simple task.
Time Required: A couple of minutes
You can do this either on your desktop computer using a downloadable program or a website, or using apps on your iPhone or iPod touch. Begin by finding the video you want to save at YouTube.
Then download any one of the tools that allows you to save YouTube videos to your desktop. While by no means a comprehensive list, there are some of the tools that can help include (I haven't reviewed any of them, so it's a good idea to check what others are saying before you buy the paid tools):
The exact steps required to download the video will depend on what tool you're using. Different programs have different settings, but it's generally a safe bet that when you're saving a video you should choose to save it in MP4 format or to create a video for iPhone/iPod. When you've done that, click the start/save/download button (depending your tool).
When the video is done converting, you can download it to your desktop or your iOS device. If you downloaded the video on an iPhone or iPod touch, you're done and can skip to step 6. If you downloaded the video on a computer, drag the video into Movies section of iTunes to add it to your iTunes library.
Next, sync your iPhone or other device with your computer. In the Movies section, you should see the video you just downloaded from YouTube. Check the box next to it and then hit the Sync button in the bottom right corner of the screen.
The YouTube video is now saved on your device just like any other video – and you can watch it whenever, and wherever, you want.
To watch it, tap the Videos app (in early versions of the iOS, this feature was built into the iPod app, but it's been a standalone app for a few years). You'll see a listing for all the videos on your device and the one you just added will be among them. Tap it to watch the video.
- iPod Classic and some iPod nano models – These iPods can play video, but neither of them can connect to the Internet and thus can't run the YouTube or YouTube downloader apps. Like with music, the only videos you can add to the iPod Classic or third-generation or higher iPod nano are those in your iTunes library that you sync to them. So, if you've got a YouTube video you want to watch on these models, follow the steps above for downloading videos to your desktop computer.