Is there a way to download just audio from YouTube?

YouTube is primarily a platform for watching videos, but many users want to download just the audio from YouTube videos to listen to offline or transfer to an audio player. There are several reasons why downloading only the audio can be useful:

  • Saves storage space on your device since audio files take up less storage than video files
  • Allows you to listen to YouTube audio offline when you don’t have an internet connection
  • Makes it easy to transfer to MP3 players, smartphones, or other audio-only devices
  • Avoids watching the video when you only want to listen to the audio

This article outlines different methods for downloading audio-only from YouTube videos and their pros and cons. Methods covered include online converters, browser extensions and add-ons, desktop apps, and mobile apps. Instructions are provided for downloading individual videos as well as full YouTube playlists.

Why Download Just Audio from YouTube?

There are several benefits to downloading just the audio from YouTube videos rather than the full video:

  • Saves storage space on your device since audio files are much smaller than video files
  • Allows you to listen to YouTube content as an alternative to podcasts, music, or audiobooks by converting videos to audio-only files
  • Frees up bandwidth if you only want to listen and don’t need the video
  • Lets you listen to content while multitasking or when only paying audio attention
  • Convenient for learning languages or following tutorials where you don’t need visuals
  • Avoids distracting or irrelevant video when you only care about the audio content

Downloading YouTube audio can be useful for having music playlists, learning or language content, listening to talks or speeches, entertainment podcasts, audiobook readings, or any other type of content where you don’t necessarily need or want the video component.

YouTube’s Terms of Service

According to YouTube’s Terms of Service, users are generally prohibited from downloading content from the platform without YouTube’s express consent. Specifically, the terms state:

“You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content. You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content.”

The only exception is for content that YouTube has explicitly allowed downloading for via a download link. So for most videos, downloading is prohibited. However, YouTube does allow downloading videos that you as a user have uploaded yourself.

Additionally, according to plain English summaries of YouTube’s terms, downloading content is permitted when authorized by the copyright holder via a “download” link.

So in summary, YouTube’s terms prohibit downloading videos from the platform in most cases, with the main exception being content you have uploaded yourself. Any third-party tools or sites that allow downloading videos could be considered in violation of YouTube’s terms.

Online YouTube to MP3 Converters

Using an online YouTube to MP3 conversion tool or website is one of the easiest ways to download just the audio from YouTube videos. Some popular options include YtMp3, OnlyMP3, and Wave.Video.

These online converters allow you to simply enter the URL for a YouTube video, then they will extract and convert the audio into an MP3 file format. The MP3 file can then be downloaded to your computer. Most online YouTube to MP3 converters are completely free to use without needing to register an account.

However, keep in mind that downloading copyrighted content from YouTube without permission goes against YouTube’s terms of service. These online converters should be used appropriately and legally.

Browser Extensions and Add-ons

Browser extensions and add-ons provide a convenient way to download just the audio track from YouTube videos. Some of the top browser extensions include:

Video & Audio Downloader – This Chrome extension adds a toolbar button that lets you download video and audio files from many sites, including just the audio from YouTube.

Audio Downloader Prime – Available for Chrome, this extensions downloads audio from YouTube and other sites in formats like MP3 and M4A.

These extensions work by detecting the audio stream in a YouTube video and saving it directly instead of the full video. They provide quick access right from your browser toolbar without needing to visit another site or install additional software.

Desktop Software Options

Many desktop software solutions exist for downloading audio from YouTube.

One popular option is 4K Video Downloader. This is an application designed specifically for downloading audio, video, and subtitles from YouTube and other sites. You can select audio-only downloads or convert video files to MP3 format after downloading. The software works on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Another option is MediaHuman YouTube to MP3 Converter. This is a Windows-only program that focuses specifically on downloading and converting YouTube videos to MP3 audio files. It allows batch downloads, preserves ID3 tags, and outputs high-quality MP3 files.

There are many other options like YouTube Music Desktop App, which provides a free cross-platform desktop player for listening to YouTube Music content without ads or distractions. While this doesn’t allow downloading, it’s useful for audio-only listening.

The benefit of desktop software is not having to rely on an online service. The download and conversion process happens locally on your own computer. Desktop apps also often provide advanced options for managing metadata, output quality, playlists, etc.

Mobile Apps

There are several useful mobile apps for downloading just the audio tracks from YouTube videos on both Android and iOS devices. Some top options include:


NewPipe ( – An open-source Android app that allows downloading audio and video from YouTube and other sites. It’s lightweight, customizable, and doesn’t require logging in.

Snaptube ( – A popular proprietary app for Android that makes it easy to download audio and video files from YouTube and Facebook. It has options for different audio formats and quality levels.

Videoder – Another Android app with a built-in audio extractor and converter. It can download multiple YouTube videos at once and has Chromecast support.


Documents by Readdle – A capable file manager for iOS that includes a built-in browser and downloader for various sites like YouTube. The audio extractor allows saving just the audio track.

Insight – A dedicated YouTube downloader app for iOS that can extract audio-only files and supports playlists and channels. It also includes an integrated music player.

So in summary, Android users have more options, but iOS users can still easily download YouTube audio tracks using some dedicated apps.

Downloading Audio Only Playlist

Downloading entire playlists or channels on YouTube with only the audio can be useful if you want to listen to the audio files conveniently offline or create playlists of podcasts, music, or other YouTube audio. There are a few methods to download full playlists as audio files:

Use a dedicated YouTube playlist downloader website that extracts only the audio. Sites like Playlist Downloader and YT2Down allow entering a YouTube playlist URL and downloading the full playlist as MP3 files.

Install a browser extension that downloads YouTube playlists. Extensions like YouTube Playlist Downloader for Chrome extract and save playlist audio.

Use desktop software like 4K YouTube to MP3 which can identify full playlists and channels and convert them to audio files. This works for very large playlists.

The advantage of these methods is they avoid having to download the video files first and then convert them. They directly save playlists as MP3 audio files for convenient offline listening and audio enjoyment.

Converting Downloaded Video Files

If you’ve already downloaded a YouTube video and now want to extract just the audio, you can use a free video to MP3 converter like Here are the steps:

  1. Open the YouTube to MP3 converter
  2. Click “Choose Files” and select the YouTube video file from your computer
  3. Click the “Convert” button to start extracting the audio
  4. When the conversion finishes, click “Download MP3” to save the audio file

Another option is to use desktop software like Freemake Video Converter, which is free and lets you extract audio from video files. Simply add your downloaded YouTube video, choose MP3 as the output format, and convert. The software saves the extracted audio file to your computer.

Converting a previously downloaded YouTube video can be quicker than downloading just the audio directly from the site. And it gives you more control over the specific video you want to get audio from.


In summary, there are several methods to download just the audio from YouTube videos:

  • Using online YouTube to MP3 conversion websites is quick and easy, but be aware of potential malware risks and YouTube’s terms of service (source).
  • Browser extensions like VideoDownloadHelper allow downloading audio easily while browsing YouTube (source).
  • Desktop apps like 4K Video Downloader provide robust options for downloading audio playlists and channels (source).
  • Mobile apps give you on-the-go ability to save just audio locally or to music libraries.

The key takeaways are to understand the legal considerations, choose a method that fits your needs and technical skills, and always cite copyright appropriately if reusing content.

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