The main goal of this guide to help me & others understand the
fundamental skill of using this powerful tool. I think the official documentation is too big, and useful tips are hard to find (not really, but people are lazy).
I’m aware there’s few decent GUI version out there, but by using and learning CLI version gives more flexibility and new idea in my opinion.
By creating this guide, I hope I can master the program entirely, which is helpful to me if I want to
contribute to the project someday.
- This is not a wiki. I try to cover everything but also I won’t explain it all.
- Documented in a newbie perspective.
- I believe every person has different preferences.
- Package Manager is a must.
Installing Youtube-dl & Ffmpeg
1. Run Windows PowerShell as Admin
Win + X ⭢ Windows PowerShell (Admin)
User Account Control pop-up comes up.
2. Install chocolatey package manager
Copy & paste the following command into
Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force; iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))
You can refer official install guide here.
3. Install youtube-dl & ffmpeg package
Enter this command into
choco install youtube-dl ffmpeg -y
4. Install aria2 package (Optional)
For faster dowload speeds, I recommend you install aria2 download accelerator.
choco install aria2 -y
Creating the configuration file
1. Navigate to User’s Folder
Win + R ⭢ Type %HomePath% ⭢ Enter
2. Create youtube-dl.conf file
Create a new text file and rename it to
Notepad and paste this code in it:
-o "C:\example\videos\%(upload_date)s-%(uploader)s_-_%(title)s.%(ext)s" --external-downloader aria2c --external-downloader-args "-j 12 -s 12 -x 12 -k 5M"
3. Change the download location
C:\example\videos\ in first line of code above, you can change it with your
desired download location.
Now every videos/audio you downloaded wil be placed into this folder.
Downloading the video
Windows PowerShell and type this command:
video_url to your youtube video links you want to download.
Youtube-dl will start download the video from the link you provide at the best quality available.
Selecting a different video quality
In addition to downloading the highest quality, you can show all available video formats by typing this command:
youtube-dl -F video_url
For example, you will get something like this:
Pay attention to numbers on the left,
43 are the ones with video and audio. Others are video and audio separately.
Example, to download this video in
720p just type:
youtube-dl -f 22 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKmzyj-ovkg
Selecting a specific video quality
If you want a very specific video & audio quality you have to
combine two numbers together.
Example, to download a
mp4 video (397) and
128kbps audio (140).
All you need to type is:
youtube-dl -f 397+140 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKmzyj-ovkg
Tips when selecting a specific video quality
For best results, you want to look for a video with
av01 codec and
mp4a.30.2 codec for audio as it offers the best video quality to file size ratio.
Downloading multiple videos from a list
You can create a text file with youtube video links (or any of the other 800+ supported sites), one line at a time using youtube-dl to download a multiple video without having to do it manually. Example:
youtube-dl -a "D:\download_list.txt"
- FAQ section later.
- Add my own video quality & size comparision into #tips-when-selection-a-specific-video-quality section
- More configuration.
- You tell me..