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How Do I Download a Web Video

Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Download a Web Video
Web videos are everywhere. Some of them are garbage, but some of them are useful. When you find a good one, there doesn't seem to be a way to download it to use in your class. Luckily, there are a few handy and free web sites that make that process easy.

You will need

  • Access to the Internet
  • An email account
  • A video you want to convert

Get the Video

  • First, get the URL of the video you want to convert. Highlight the URL, right-click and choose copy.

Youtube Screen Shot

Go to a Conversion Web site

Convert Online Video

Settings for a Video in a PowerPoint on Windows PC

  • Under "Convert to," click the triangle to browse the long list of video formats. If you are inserting the video into a PowerPoint presentation on a Windows PC, you must use Youconvertit.com and the Windows Media Video (WMV) format. 

You Convert It Settings

 Settings for a PowerPoint on a Mac

  • If you are inserting the video into PowerPoint on a Mac, use Zamzar.com and the MPG format.
  •  If the video won't be used in a PowerPoint, MPEG-4 video is a good standard, compatible on both Macs and Windows machines.

Zamzar settings

Downloading the Video

  • When the video is converted, they will send you an email with a link to the download your file.
  • Open the email, click the link and download it to an appropriate folder.

Convert Video Already on Your Computer

  • These Web sites also work with video files you have on your computer. With Youconvertit.com, Click on "Convert file(s)", enter your email address, click browse to find the file you want to convert.
  • Under "Convert to" select the desired format from the list. Click "Convert it." Just sit back and wait for the email with the download link.


There are a few downsides: Conversion times can very...anywhere from instant to hours. And you don't have any control of the quality of the conversion. You're stuck with the default settings.

Extra Tip

Need to convert a video that's not on Youtube. Zamzar works with many other video sharing sites, including MySpace, TeacherTube and Revver.

The Center for University Teaching and Learning has been using both ZamZar and Youconvertit without noticeable increases in spam. As with all Web-based applications, be sure to review the Terms of Service for each application before proceeding.
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