rg3 / youtube-dl

rg3 / youtube-dl

Command-line program to download videos from YouTube.com and other video sites http://rg3.github.io/youtube-dl/


youtube-dl - download videos from youtube.com or other video platforms


To install it right away for all UNIX users (Linux, OS X, etc.), type:

sudo curl -L https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -o /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

If you do not have curl, you can alternatively use a recent wget:

sudo wget https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl -O /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl

Windows users can download an .exe file and place it in any location on their PATH except for %SYSTEMROOT%\System32 (e.g. do not put in C:\Windows\System32).

You can also use pip:

sudo -H pip install --upgrade youtube-dl

This command will update youtube-dl if you have already installed it. See the pypi page for more information.

OS X users can install youtube-dl with Homebrew:

brew install youtube-dl

Or with MacPorts:

sudo port install youtube-dl

Alternatively, refer to the developer instructions for how to check out and work with the git repository. For further options, including PGP signatures, see the youtube-dl Download Page.


youtube-dl is a command-line program to download videos from YouTube.com and a few more sites. It requires the Python interpreter, version 2.6, 2.7, or 3.2+, and it is not platform specific. It should work on your Unix box, on Windows or on Mac OS X. It is released to the public domain, which means you can modify it, redistribute it or use it however you like.

youtube-dl [OPTIONS] URL [URL...]


-h, --help                       Print this help text and exit
--version                        Print program version and exit
-U, --update                     Update this program to latest version. Make
                                 sure that you have sufficient permissions
                                 (run with sudo if needed)
-i, --ignore-errors              Continue on download errors, for example to
                                 skip unavailable videos in a playlist
--abort-on-error                 Abort downloading of further videos (in the
                                 playlist or the command line) if an error
--dump-user-agent                Display the current browser identification
--list-extractors                List all supported extractors
--extractor-descriptions         Output descriptions of all supported
--force-generic-extractor        Force extraction to use the generic
--default-search PREFIX          Use this prefix for unqualified URLs. For
                                 example "gvsearch2:" downloads two videos
                                 from google videos for youtube-dl "large
                                 apple". Use the value "auto" to let
                                 youtube-dl guess ("auto_warning" to emit a
                                 warning when guessing). "error" just throws
                                 an error. The default value "fixup_error"
                                 repairs broken URLs, but emits an error if
                                 this is not possible instead of searching.
--ignore-config                  Do not read configuration files. When given
                                 in the global configuration file
                                 /etc/youtube-dl.conf: Do not read the user
                                 configuration in ~/.config/youtube-
                                 dl/config (%APPDATA%/youtube-dl/config.txt
                                 on Windows)
--config-location PATH           Location of the configuration file; either
                                 the path to the config or its containing
--flat-playlist                  Do not extract the videos of a playlist,
                                 only list them.
--mark-watched                   Mark videos watched (YouTube only)
--no-mark-watched                Do not mark videos watched (YouTube only)
--no-color                       Do not emit color codes in output

Network Options:

--proxy URL                      Use the specified HTTP/HTTPS/SOCKS proxy.
                                 To enable experimental SOCKS proxy, specify
                                 a proper scheme. For example
                                 socks5:// Pass in an empty
                                 string (--proxy "") for direct connection
--socket-timeout SECONDS         Time to wait before giving up, in seconds
--source-address IP              Client-side IP address to bind to
-4, --force-ipv4                 Make all connections via IPv4
-6, --force-ipv6                 Make all connections via IPv6

Geo Restriction:

--geo-verification-proxy URL     Use this proxy to verify the IP address for
                                 some geo-restricted sites. The default
                                 proxy specified by --proxy (or none, if the
                                 options is not present) is used for the
                                 actual downloading.
--geo-bypass                     Bypass geographic restriction via faking
                                 X-Forwarded-For HTTP header (experimental)
--no-geo-bypass                  Do not bypass geographic restriction via
                                 faking X-Forwarded-For HTTP header
--geo-bypass-country CODE        Force bypass geographic restriction with
                                 explicitly provided two-letter ISO 3166-2
                                 country code (experimental)

Video Selection:

--playlist-start NUMBER          Playlist video to start at (default is 1)
--playlist-end NUMBER            Playlist video to end at (default is last)
--playlist-items ITEM_SPEC       Playlist video items to download. Specify
                                 indices of the videos in the playlist
                                 separated by commas like: "--playlist-items
                                 1,2,5,8" if you want to download videos
                                 indexed 1, 2, 5, 8 in the playlist. You can
                                 specify range: "--playlist-items
                                 1-3,7,10-13", it will download the videos
                                 at index 1, 2, 3, 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13.
--match-title REGEX              Download only matching titles (regex or
                                 caseless sub-string)
--reject-title REGEX             Skip download for matching titles (regex or
                                 caseless sub-string)
--max-downloads NUMBER           Abort after downloading NUMBER files
--min-filesize SIZE              Do not download any videos smaller than
                                 SIZE (e.g. 50k or 44.6m)
--max-filesize SIZE              Do not download any videos larger than SIZE
                                 (e.g. 50k or 44.6m)
--date DATE                      Download only videos uploaded in this date
--datebefore DATE                Download only videos uploaded on or before
                                 this date (i.e. inclusive)
--dateafter DATE                 Download only videos uploaded on or after
                                 this date (i.e. inclusive)
--min-views COUNT                Do not download any videos with less than
                                 COUNT views
--max-views COUNT                Do not download any videos with more than
                                 COUNT views
--match-filter FILTER            Generic video filter. Specify any key (see
                                 help for -o for a list of available keys)
                                 to match if the key is present, !key to
                                 check if the key is not present, key >
                                 NUMBER (like "comment_count > 12", also
                                 works with >=, <, <=, !=, =) to compare
                                 against a number, key = 'LITERAL' (like
                                 "uploader = 'Mike Smith'", also works with
                                 !=) to match against a string literal and &
                                 to require multiple matches. Values which
                                 are not known are excluded unless you put a
                                 question mark (?) after the operator. For
                                 example, to only match videos that have
                                 been liked more than 100 times and disliked
                                 less than 50 times (or the dislike
                                 functionality is not available at the given
                                 service), but who also have a description,
                                 use --match-filter "like_count > 100 &
                                 dislike_count <? 50 & description" .
--no-playlist                    Download only the video, if the URL refers
                                 to a video and a playlist.
--yes-playlist                   Download the playlist, if the URL refers to
                                 a video and a playlist.
--age-limit YEARS                Download only videos suitable for the given
--download-archive FILE          Download only videos not listed in the
                                 archive file. Record the IDs of all
                                 downloaded videos in it.
--include-ads                    Download advertisements as well

Download Options:

-r, --limit-rate RATE            Maximum download rate in bytes per second
                                 (e.g. 50K or 4.2M)
-R, --retries RETRIES            Number of retries (default is 10), or
--fragment-retries RETRIES       Number of retries for a fragment (default
                                 is 10), or "infinite" (DASH and hlsnative
--skip-unavailable-fragments     Skip unavailable fragments (DASH and
                                 hlsnative only)
--abort-on-unavailable-fragment  Abort downloading when some fragment is not
--buffer-size SIZE               Size of download buffer (e.g. 1024 or 16K)
                                 (default is 1024)
--no-resize-buffer               Do not automatically adjust the buffer
                                 size. By default, the buffer size is
                                 automatically resized from an initial value
                                 of SIZE.
--playlist-reverse               Download playlist videos in reverse order
--playlist-random                Download playlist videos in random order
--xattr-set-filesize             Set file xattribute ytdl.filesize with
                                 expected file size (experimental)
--hls-prefer-native              Use the native HLS downloader instead of
--hls-prefer-ffmpeg              Use ffmpeg instead of the native HLS
--hls-use-mpegts                 Use the mpegts container for HLS videos,
                                 allowing to play the video while
                                 downloading (some players may not be able
                                 to play it)
--external-downloader COMMAND    Use the specified external downloader.
                                 Currently supports
--external-downloader-args ARGS  Give these arguments to the external

Filesystem Options:

-a, --batch-file FILE            File containing URLs to download ('-' for
--id                             Use only video ID in file name
-o, --output TEMPLATE            Output filename template, see the "OUTPUT
                                 TEMPLATE" for all the info
--autonumber-start NUMBER        Specify the start value for %(autonumber)s
                                 (default is 1)
--restrict-filenames             Restrict filenames to only ASCII
                                 characters, and avoid "&" and spaces in
-w, --no-overwrites              Do not overwrite files
-c, --continue                   Force resume of partially downloaded files.
                                 By default, youtube-dl will resume
                                 downloads if possible.
--no-continue                    Do not resume partially downloaded files
                                 (restart from beginning)
--no-part                        Do not use .part files - write directly
                                 into output file
--no-mtime                       Do not use the Last-modified header to set
                                 the file modification time
--write-description              Write video description to a .description
--write-info-json                Write video metadata to a .info.json file
--write-annotations              Write video annotations to a
                                 .annotations.xml file
--load-info-json FILE            JSON file containing the video information
                                 (created with the "--write-info-json"
--cookies FILE                   File to read cookies from and dump cookie
                                 jar in
--cache-dir DIR                  Location in the filesystem where youtube-dl
                                 can store some downloaded information
                                 permanently. By default
                                 $XDG_CACHE_HOME/youtube-dl or
                                 ~/.cache/youtube-dl . At the moment, only
                                 YouTube player files (for videos with
                                 obfuscated signatures) are cached, but that
                                 may change.
--no-cache-dir                   Disable filesystem caching
--rm-cache-dir                   Delete all filesystem cache files

Thumbnail images:

--write-thumbnail                Write thumbnail image to disk
--write-all-thumbnails           Write all thumbnail image formats to disk
--list-thumbnails                Simulate and list all available thumbnail

Verbosity / Simulation Options:

-q, --quiet                      Activate quiet mode
--no-warnings                    Ignore warnings
-s, --simulate                   Do not download the video and do not write
                                 anything to disk
--skip-download                  Do not download the video
-g, --get-url                    Simulate, quiet but print URL
-e, --get-title                  Simulate, quiet but print title
--get-id                         Simulate, quiet but print id
--get-thumbnail                  Simulate, quiet but print thumbnail URL
--get-description                Simulate, quiet but print video description
--get-duration                   Simulate, quiet but print video length
--get-filename                   Simulate, quiet but print output filename
--get-format                     Simulate, quiet but print output format
-j, --dump-json                  Simulate, quiet but print JSON information.
                                 See --output for a description of available
-J, --dump-single-json           Simulate, quiet but print JSON information
                                 for each command-line argument. If the URL
                                 refers to a playlist, dump the whole
                                 playlist information in a single line.
--print-json                     Be quiet and print the video information as
                                 JSON (video is still being downloaded).
--newline                        Output progress bar as new lines
--no-progress                    Do not print progress bar
--console-title                  Display progress in console titlebar
-v, --verbose                    Print various debugging information
--dump-pages                     Print downloaded pages encoded using base64
                                 to debug problems (very verbose)
--write-pages                    Write downloaded intermediary pages to
                                 files in the current directory to debug
--print-traffic                  Display sent and read HTTP traffic
-C, --call-home                  Contact the youtube-dl server for debugging
--no-call-home                   Do NOT contact the youtube-dl server for


--encoding ENCODING              Force the specified encoding (experimental)
--no-check-certificate           Suppress HTTPS certificate validation
--prefer-insecure                Use an unencrypted connection to retrieve
                                 information about the video. (Currently
                                 supported only for YouTube)
--user-agent UA                  Specify a custom user agent
--referer URL                    Specify a custom referer, use if the video
                                 access is restricted to one domain
--add-header FIELD:VALUE         Specify a custom HTTP header and its value,
                                 separated by a colon ':'. You can use this
                                 option multiple times
--bidi-workaround                Work around terminals that lack
                                 bidirectional text support. Requires bidiv
                                 or fribidi executable in PATH
--sleep-interval SECONDS         Number of seconds to sleep before each
                                 download when used alone or a lower bound
                                 of a range for randomized sleep before each
                                 download (minimum possible number of
                                 seconds to sleep) when used along with
--max-sleep-interval SECONDS     Upper bound of a range for randomized sleep
                                 before each download (maximum possible
                                 number of seconds to sleep). Must only be
                                 used along with --min-sleep-interval.

Video Format Options:

-f, --format FORMAT              Video format code, see the "FORMAT
                                 SELECTION" for all the info
--all-formats                    Download all available video formats
--prefer-free-formats            Prefer free video formats unless a specific
                                 one is requested
-F, --list-formats               List all available formats of requested
--youtube-skip-dash-manifest     Do not download the DASH manifests and
                                 related data on YouTube videos
--merge-output-format FORMAT     If a merge is required (e.g.
                                 bestvideo+bestaudio), output to given
                                 container format. One of mkv, mp4, ogg,
                                 webm, flv. Ignored if no merge is required

Subtitle Options:

--write-sub                      Write subtitle file
--write-auto-sub                 Write automatically generated subtitle file
                                 (YouTube only)
--all-subs                       Download all the available subtitles of the
--list-subs                      List all available subtitles for the video
--sub-format FORMAT              Subtitle format, accepts formats
                                 preference, for example: "srt" or
--sub-lang LANGS                 Languages of the subtitles to download
                                 (optional) separated by commas, use --list-
                                 subs for available language tags

Authentication Options:

-u, --username USERNAME          Login with this account ID
-p, --password PASSWORD          Account password. If this option is left
                                 out, youtube-dl will ask interactively.
-2, --twofactor TWOFACTOR        Two-factor authentication code
-n, --netrc                      Use .netrc authentication data
--video-password PASSWORD        Video password (vimeo, smotri, youku)

Adobe Pass Options:

--ap-mso MSO                     Adobe Pass multiple-system operator (TV
                                 provider) identifier, use --ap-list-mso for
                                 a list of available MSOs
--ap-username USERNAME           Multiple-system operator account login
--ap-password PASSWORD           Multiple-system operator account password.
                                 If this option is left out, youtube-dl will
                                 ask interactively.
--ap-list-mso                    List all supported multiple-system

Post-processing Options:

-x, --extract-audio              Convert video files to audio-only files
                                 (requires ffmpeg or avconv and ffprobe or
--audio-format FORMAT            Specify audio format: "best", "aac",
                                 "flac", "mp3", "m4a", "opus", "vorbis", or
                                 "wav"; "best" by default; No effect without
--audio-quality QUALITY          Specify ffmpeg/avconv audio quality, insert
                                 a value between 0 (better) and 9 (worse)
                                 for VBR or a specific bitrate like 128K
                                 (default 5)
--recode-video FORMAT            Encode the video to another format if
                                 necessary (currently supported:
--postprocessor-args ARGS        Give these arguments to the postprocessor
-k, --keep-video                 Keep the video file on disk after the post-
                                 processing; the video is erased by default
--no-post-overwrites             Do not overwrite post-processed files; the
                                 post-processed files are overwritten by
--embed-subs                     Embed subtitles in the video (only for mp4,
                                 webm and mkv videos)
--embed-thumbnail                Embed thumbnail in the audio as cover art
--add-metadata                   Write metadata to the video file
--metadata-from-title FORMAT     Parse additional metadata like song title /
                                 artist from the video title. The format
                                 syntax is the same as --output, the parsed
                                 parameters replace existing values.
                                 Additional templates: %(album)s,
                                 %(artist)s. Example: --metadata-from-title
                                 "%(artist)s - %(title)s" matches a title
                                 like "Coldplay - Paradise"
--xattrs                         Write metadata to the video file's xattrs
                                 (using dublin core and xdg standards)
--fixup POLICY                   Automatically correct known faults of the
                                 file. One of never (do nothing), warn (only
                                 emit a warning), detect_or_warn (the
                                 default; fix file if we can, warn
--prefer-avconv                  Prefer avconv over ffmpeg for running the
                                 postprocessors (default)
--prefer-ffmpeg                  Prefer ffmpeg over avconv for running the
--ffmpeg-location PATH           Location of the ffmpeg/avconv binary;
                                 either the path to the binary or its
                                 containing directory.
--exec CMD                       Execute a command on the file after
                                 downloading, similar to find's -exec
                                 syntax. Example: --exec 'adb push {}
                                 /sdcard/Music/ && rm {}'
--convert-subs FORMAT            Convert the subtitles to other format
                                 (currently supported: srt|ass|vtt)


You can configure youtube-dl by placing any supported command line option to a configuration file. On Linux and OS X, the system wide configuration file is located at /etc/youtube-dl.conf and the user wide configuration file at ~/.config/youtube-dl/config. On Windows, the user wide configuration file locations are %APPDATA%\youtube-dl\config.txt or C:\Users\<user name>\youtube-dl.conf. Note that by default configuration file may not exist so you may need to create it yourself.

For example, with the following configuration file youtube-dl will always extract the audio, not copy the mtime, use a proxy and save all videos under Movies directory in your home directory:

# Lines starting with # are comments

# Always extract audio

# Do not copy the mtime

# Use this proxy

# Save all videos under Movies directory in your home directory
-o ~/Movies/%(title)s.%(ext)s

Note that options in configuration file are just the same options aka switches used in regular command line calls thus there must be no whitespace after - or --, e.g. -o or --proxy but not - o or -- proxy.

You can use --ignore-config if you want to disable the configuration file for a particular youtube-dl run.

You can also use --config-location if you want to use custom configuration file for a particular youtube-dl run.

Authentication with .netrc file

You may also want to configure automatic credentials storage for extractors that support authentication (by providing login and password with --username and --password) in order not to pass credentials as command line arguments on every youtube-dl execution and prevent tracking plain text passwords in the shell command history. You can achieve this using a .netrc file on a per extractor basis. For that you will need to create a .netrc file in your $HOME and restrict permissions to read/write by only you:

touch $HOME/.netrc
chmod a-rwx,u+rw $HOME/.netrc

After that you can add credentials for an extractor in the following format, where extractor is the name of the extractor in lowercase:

machine <extractor> login <login> password <password>

For example:

machine youtube login myaccount@gmail.com password my_youtube_password
machine twitch login my_twitch_account_name password my_twitch_password

To activate authentication with the .netrc file you should pass --netrc to youtube-dl or place it in the configuration file.

On Windows you may also need to setup the %HOME% environment variable manually.


The -o option allows users to indicate a template for the output file names.

tl;dr: navigate me to examples.

The basic usage is not to set any template arguments when downloading a single file, like in youtube-dl -o funny_video.flv "http://some/video". However, it may contain special sequences that will be replaced when downloading each video. The special sequences may be formatted according to python string formatting operations. For example, %(NAME)s or %(NAME)05d. To clarify, that is a percent symbol followed by a name in parentheses, followed by a formatting operations. Allowed names along with sequence type are:

  • id (string): Video identifier
  • title (string): Video title
  • url (string): Video URL
  • ext (string): Video filename extension
  • alt_title (string): A secondary title of the video
  • display_id (string): An alternative identifier for the video
  • uploader (string): Full name of the video uploader
  • license (string): License name the video is licensed under
  • creator (string): The creator of the video
  • release_date (string): The date (YYYYMMDD) when the video was released
  • timestamp (numeric): UNIX timestamp of the moment the video became available
  • upload_date (string): Video upload date (YYYYMMDD)
  • uploader_id (string): Nickname or id of the video uploader
  • location (string): Physical location where the video was filmed
  • duration (numeric): Length of the video in seconds
  • view_count (numeric): How many users have watched the video on the platform
  • like_count (numeric): Number of positive ratings of the video
  • dislike_count (numeric): Number of negative ratings of the video
  • repost_count (numeric): Number of reposts of the video
  • average_rating (numeric): Average rating give by users, the scale used depends on the webpage
  • comment_count (numeric): Number of comments on the video
  • age_limit (numeric): Age restriction for the video (years)
  • format (string): A human-readable description of the format
  • format_id (string): Format code specified by --format
  • format_note (string): Additional info about the format
  • width (numeric): Width of the video
  • height (numeric): Height of the video
  • resolution (string): Textual description of width and height
  • tbr (numeric): Average bitrate of audio and video in KBit/s
  • abr (numeric): Average audio bitrate in KBit/s
  • acodec (string): Name of the audio codec in use
  • asr (numeric): Audio sampling rate in Hertz
  • vbr (numeric): Average video bitrate in KBit/s
  • fps (numeric): Frame rate
  • vcodec (string): Name of the video codec in use
  • container (string): Name of the container format
  • filesize (numeric): The number of bytes, if known in advance
  • filesize_approx (numeric): An estimate for the number of bytes
  • protocol (string): The protocol that will be used for the actual download
  • extractor (string): Name of the extractor
  • extractor_key (string): Key name of the extractor
  • epoch (numeric): Unix epoch when creating the file
  • autonumber (numeric): Five-digit number that will be increased with each download, starting at zero
  • playlist (string): Name or id of the playlist that contains the video
  • playlist_index (numeric): Index of the video in the playlist padded with leading zeros according to the total length of the playlist
  • playlist_id (string): Playlist identifier
  • playlist_title (string): Playlist title

Available for the video that belongs to some logical chapter or section:

  • chapter (string): Name or title of the chapter the video belongs to
  • chapter_number (numeric): Number of the chapter the video belongs to
  • chapter_id (string): Id of the chapter the video belongs to

Available for the video that is an episode of some series or programme:

  • series (string): Title of the series or programme the video episode belongs to
  • season (string): Title of the season the video episode belongs to
  • season_number (numeric): Number of the season the video episode belongs to
  • season_id (string): Id of the season the video episode belongs to
  • episode (string): Title of the video episode
  • episode_number (numeric): Number of the video episode within a season
  • episode_id (string): Id of the video episode

Available for the media that is a track or a part of a music album:

  • track (string): Title of the track
  • track_number (numeric): Number of the track within an album or a disc
  • track_id (string): Id of the track
  • artist (string): Artist(s) of the track
  • genre (string): Genre(s) of the track
  • album (string): Title of the album the track belongs to
  • album_type (string): Type of the album
  • album_artist (string): List of all artists appeared on the album
  • disc_number (numeric): Number of the disc or other physical medium the track belongs to
  • release_year (numeric): Year (YYYY) when the album was released

Each aforementioned sequence when referenced in an output template will be replaced by the actual value corresponding to the sequence name. Note that some of the sequences are not guaranteed to be present since they depend on the metadata obtained by a particular extractor. Such sequences will be replaced with NA.

For example for -o %(title)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s and an mp4 video with title youtube-dl test video and id BaW_jenozKcj, this will result in a youtube-dl test video-BaW_jenozKcj.mp4 file created in the current directory.

For numeric sequences you can use numeric related formatting, for example, %(view_count)05d will result in a string with view count padded with zeros up to 5 characters, like in 00042.

Output templates can also contain arbitrary hierarchical path, e.g. -o '%(playlist)s/%(playlist_index)s - %(title)s.%(ext)s' which will result in downloading each video in a directory corresponding to this path template. Any missing directory will be automatically created for you.

To use percent literals in an output template use %%. To output to stdout use -o -.

The current default template is %(title)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s.

In some cases, you don't want special characters such as 中, spaces, or &, such as when transferring the downloaded filename to a Windows system or the filename through an 8bit-unsafe channel. In these cases, add the --restrict-filenames flag to get a shorter title:

Output template and Windows batch files

If you are using an output template inside a Windows batch file then you must escape plain percent characters (%) by doubling, so that -o "%(title)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s" should become -o "%%(title)s-%%(id)s.%%(ext)s". However you should not touch %'s that are not plain characters, e.g. environment variables for expansion should stay intact: -o "C:\%HOMEPATH%\Desktop\%%(title)s.%%(ext)s".

Output template examples

Note on Windows you may need to use double quotes instead of single.

$ youtube-dl --get-filename -o '%(title)s.%(ext)s' BaW_jenozKc
youtube-dl test video ''_ä↭