How to Download YouTube to iPad & iPhone for Offline Viewing

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The ability to enjoy YouTube videos in high definition on your iPad and iPhone is all you need to unleash your entertainment experience. We take a look at why you would want to download YouTube videos for offline viewing in the first place, and why the 3rd-party YouTube downloader is the right tool for the job.

The entertainment industry has been evolving for more than a century now, ever since motion pictures took to the big screen. Although cinemas have been an iconic part of popular culture, and cable TV has reached the far ends of the world, the traditional form of video enter   tainment is quickly changing. Ever since the cable companies collectively tightened their grips over the content viewers can and cannot enjoy, the community has been collectively working towards a cord-cutter entertainment era. Ever since 2005, YouTube has been at the forefront of bringing video entertainment to the masses for free.

Home to millions of hours’ worth of user-generated content every month, YouTube is single-handedly the largest video sharing platform, encompassing content of all shapes and forms. YouTube has convinced more than 80% of all internet users to create their very own account, showcasing entertaining, musical, educational, and downright funny content from all around the world. A large chunk of the YouTube userbase belongs to the mobile space, including iPad and iPhone users that tune into the YouTube app for some high-quality videos.

[ Related: Is the iPad Pro Able to Play YouTube Videos in HDR? ]

YouTube App for iPad – Far from Perfect

For years, YouTube has remained a web-only video sharing service that requires you to have an active internet connection to operate. The ability to watch videos online only was also ported to the YouTube app for Android iOS, which only recently allowed YouTube users to save videos for offline viewing. However, the feature has been designed with a list of limitations well in place, and here are some of the ones we encountered:

  • The available video quality to save video offline on the iPad is limited to 720p only. There is no support to download and watch videos in 1080p Full-HD resolution or higher.
  • All of the videos are saved within the YouTube app and can only be viewed through the app. There is no support to either share or play saved YouTube videos.
  • Depending on the region you reside in, the type of YouTube videos available for offline viewing is somewhat restricted.
  • Some videos labeled “Shows & Movies” can only be downloaded in regions such as India and South Africa only with the YouTube Premium membership.
  • Once downloaded, a YouTube video can only be played offline for up to 48 hours, after which you will need to connect to a Wi-Fi network to view it.

The core design of the free-to-use YouTube app for iPad and other mobile devices is built so that it promotes the use of YouTube Premium for offline viewing. However, paying a charge of $11.99 each month for the added features might not seem appealing to most users, especially when there is a way around it.

The Easy Way: Use a Dedicated App (Softorino YouTube Converter 2)

YouTube has reported that around 70% of the video-sharing platform’s total traffic is from mobile users. The ability to enjoy all sorts of YouTube videos in high-definition on the iPad’s Retina HD screen is just what you need for a surreal entertainment experience. The only thing that could make it even better is being able to watch those videos offline. To enjoy the best of YouTube on iPad without being tied down by a monthly subscription fee, Softorino YouTube Converter 2 (SYC 2) is here to save the day.

Launched in 2016 as a standalone app for macOS that allows users to download and transfer YouTube videos directly to iPad and iPhone, the tool is now available for Windows. Designed to be a one-stop solution to saving high-quality YouTube videos, the app actively converts videos into audio files and ringtones too. SYC 2 improves on its predecessor with the added feature of wireless connectivity, offering compatibility all the way to the original Apple iPod from 2001.  

Note: YouTube terms of service explicitly state that it does not allow downloading, sharing, or distributing content from the video-sharing platform in any way. Since the act cuts out the revenue YouTube (and YouTubers) make from the advertisements, downloading YouTube videos unofficially is generally looked down upon. We review SYC 2 to educate the readers on how the tool works, with no intent to promote or advertise the sharing of copyright content.


  • Support for Windows 7 and newer, along with macOS Mavericks 10.9 and newer.
  • Works with iPadOS and iOS 5 and higher, along with every version of the Apple iPod.
  • Apart from YouTube, video downloader supports more than 70 different websites.
  • Supports downloading video content even in 4K Ultra-HD format.
  • It comes with the ability to download 60FPS videos along with subtitles from the YouTube video.
  • Wireless connectivity allows transferring downloaded YouTube videos wirelessly to the iPad and iPhone.
  • The bulk download feature gives you the ability to download multiple videos from YouTube and other platforms at once.

Steps to Download YouTube Videos on iPad with SYC 2

Now that you know everything that the SYC 2 tool has to offer, it is time to look into the steps to use it. Although the YouTube downloader is a premium tool, you can get your hands on the app’s trial version and take it for a spin before putting your money on the table.

  1. Download and install the latest version of Softorino YouTube Converter 2 (Download Link).
  2. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer. For Windows users, you will need to install iTunes from the official Apple website, and not the Microsoft Store.
  3. The YouTube downloader is free to use for 24 hours to try before you go ahead and buy it.
  4. Using a Lightning USB cable, connect the iPad to the computer. You can also connect the iPad to Softorino YouTube Converter 2 via Wi-Fi.
  5. Head to www.youtube.com and Copy video URL of the video you want to download and watch on the iPad.
  6. The copied link will automatically be picked up by the Softorino search bar, with the video preview available on the screen.
  7. Select whether you want to convert the YouTube link to Video, Audio, or a Ringtone.
  8. Additionally, select the resolution (for video) and the file format (for audio). You can also download the video as a ringtone in either full size or as a 30-second clip.
  9. Select the iPad from the devices available and press Convert & Transfer to iPad to begin.
  10. The video download from YouTube will now begin, and you will be able to see the download status at the bottom of the app window and hear a notification bell once the download is completed.
  11. Head to the Videos or Apple TV app on your iPad and find the YouTube video downloaded there.

Note: The videos you download to the iPad will always be saved to the Apple TV app. If you choose to convert a video into an audio file, it will be saved in the Music app. Finally, if you chose to save the YouTube video on the iPad in ringtone format, you can find it in the Settings – Ringtone section.

The Command Way: Use YouTube-dl

YouTube-dl is a free and open-source command-line program for Windows, macOS, and Linux. You can use it to download videos from YouTube.com and a few more sites.

Steps to download YouTube with YouTube-dl

  1. Download and install the YouTube-dl.exe file on Windows. You can also fetch the installer for macOS and Linux from the official website.
  2. Go to www.youtube.com and fetch the URL of the video you want to download.
  3. Since the YouTube-dl tool does not have a dedicated UI, you will need to open the Windows command line, macOS Terminal, or Linux shell to launch it.
  4. Launch the terminal window and navigate to the folder where you have downloaded the YouTube-dl file.
  5. Type in youtube-dl and hit the space button. Paste the YouTube video URL and press Enter to run the command.
  6. The YouTube video will be downloaded to the current folder, in its highest available video quality.
  7. Additionally, to download just the audio of the YouTube video, you can add -f 140 before the URL. Ex: youtube-dl -f 140 https://youtu.be/YVJZQHNzhsM

After you have downloaded the YouTube video, you will need to move it to the iPad using the iTunes on Windows or Finder on macOS Catalina and newer.

Final Words

Being the largest video sharing platform in the world, there is no shortage of YouTube downloader tools. While Android users have it easy, the Apple ecosystem’s closed-loop nature makes it a pain to watch YouTube videos on the iPad. The traditional route (including YouTube-dl command line above) require you to download the YouTube videos first and then individually sync them to iTunes, before the videos can be transferred to the iPad.

If this lengthy, and frankly nonsensical ordeal isn’t what you want to experience, Softorino YouTube Converter 2 is the way to go. In our trial run, the YouTube iPad downloader was not only able to push out 4K UHD content in record time, but it did so with minimal load on the system. To push the software’s bulk download capabilities limits, we tested a playlist of 50 videos. Impressively enough, the Softorino YouTube Converter 2 allowed us to download the entire lot in a single swipe.

The price of $19.95 per year subscription fee seems worthwhile, comparing how expensive, yet grossly insufficient the YouTube Premium membership is. We’d like to know your thoughts on the Softorino YouTube Converter 2 in the comments section below.  

[ Related: How to Fix Slow YouTube Streaming on iPad ]

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