How To Watch and Download YouTube Videos Without Tracking or Restrictions is an alternative front-end to YouTube. You can search for Youtube videos using keywords, or by pasting a Youtube URL into the search bar. Videos are downloadable via a “Download” button on each video page. is an instance of Invidious — free proxy software for Youtube access. It does not make use of official YouTube APIs, it scrapes the Youtube website instead. See full Invidious documentation here.

If goes down you can find a list of alternatives here and here.


FreeTube is an open source desktop YouTube player that uses the Invidious API.

FreeTube avoids tracking via using cookies or JavaScript. Your subscriptions, history, and saved videos are stored locally on your computer and never sent out.

FreeTube is available for Windows, Mac & Linux.

FreeTube also has these features:

  • Make API calls through the Tor network
  • Subscribe to channels without an account
  • Local subscriptions, history, and saved videos
  • Export & import subscriptions


Youtube-dl is a free, public domain tool for downloading Youtube videos. It’s easy to use and quite reliable.

It is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. The program is command-based — it runs in a terminal window.

It has a number of useful features including:

  • The ability to download entire YouTube playlists
  • The ability to download videos in several formats such as MP4 or WebM
  • The ability choose the quality of the video being downloaded — if the video is available in 4K, you can download it in 4K, 1080p or 720p
  • The abillity to download videos from hundreds of sites besides YouTube (see the full list here)
  • Automatic pausing and resuming video downloads
  • The ability to bypass YouTube geo-restrictions

A Few Notes On Operating Youtube-dl

If the video URL has an ampersand (“&”) in it, you must put the URL in quotes

Use this format for downloading entire playlists:

youtube-dl -cik –yes-playlist VIDEO_PLAYLIST_LINK

Here’s what the command line arguments mean:

The “c” means to resume partially downloaded files. The “i” means to ignore any errors. The “k” means to keep the video on the disk after the post-processing is finished. The “–yes-playlist” portion affirms that the URL points to a video playlist.

Youtube-dl requires the Python interpreter. Python is pre-installed on all Macs. The developers also provide a Windows executable that includes Python.

6 thoughts on “How To Watch and Download YouTube Videos Without Tracking or Restrictions”

  1. VLC is free
    1. Copy youtube URL
    2. Open VLC, click media -> open network stream, paste URL, click play
    3. Click Tools -> media information
    4. Copy everything from the Location field at the bottom
    5. Past this new URL into your browser. This will start the video streaming in your browser
    6. Select the download or save file option in your browser and save the resulting .mp4 file

  2. Another method is to copy and paste the YouTube playlist url to
    Allavsoft and click Download button. It has both Mac and Windows version

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