Quick Ways to Fix “YouTube-dl Very Slow” Issue

“youtube-dl very slow: alternative ways?: I have to download dozens of lecture videos. youtube-dl seems downloading much slower like < 100KB/s. I also tried its fork, yt-dlp, same speed. What are the other ways/tools to download them?”

YouTube-dl should not be strange for those who frequently download large amount of online videos. It’s been a quite useful online video downloader tool that helps you easily download online videos for free. In this guide, we would like to make a brief introduction to what is YouTube-dl and alternative ways to fix “YouTube-dl very slow” issue. Check the content below.

Part 1: What is YouTube-dl & Is YouTube-dl safe?

Created in 2006 by Ricardo Garcia, youtube-dl is a free and open-source download manager for video and audio from YouTube and over 1,000 other video hosting websites. It is released under the Unlicense software license. 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 macOS.

youtube-dl slow

Initially, only YouTube was supported. But as the project grew, it began supporting other video sharing websites. As of September 2021, youtube-dl is one of the most starred projects on GitHub, with over 100k stars. According to libraries.io, 308 other packages and 1.43k repositories depend on it. Numerous forks exist of the project, including yt-dlp, with over 21k stars.

Is youtube-dl safe?

Yes, it is totally safe to install youtube-dl for downloading YouTube videos. Downloading videos from YouTube is a relatively safe bet, since it is unlikely to be carrying malware and you can view any video before you download it. You should use greater caution when acquiring a downloader program.

Part 2: How to use YouTube-dl?

Since YouTube-dl is a free and open-source command-line program for Windows, macOS, and Linux, it’s quite different for installing and using YouTube-dl. The below content will show you how to download, install and use YouTube-dl on Windows, Mac and Linux computer.

1. Install YouTube-dl on Windows:

Step 1: Open the project page at https://rg3.github.io/youtube-dl/, and click Download.

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Step 2: On the Download page, click the link for the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x86). You might already have this installed; these steps check and install it if necessary.

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Step 3: Clicking the link takes you to a page at Microsoft’s website. Click Download to download vcredist_x86.exe.

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Step 4: When the download is complete, open File Explorer, and go to the location on your computer where you downloaded vcredist_x86.exe. Double click the file to run it.

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Step 5: At the UAC prompt, click Yes.

Step 6: If you see the message “A newer version of Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable has been detected on the machine,” that means you already have it installed. You can click Close, and skip to step 8.

Step 7: Otherwise, continue with the installation, choosing the default options. When installation is complete, click Close, and continue to the next step.

Step 8: In your web browser, go back to the YouTube-dl Download page, and click Windows.exe to download the file youtube-dl.exe.

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Step 9: YouTube-dl now exists in the folder where you downloaded it. You can run it by opening a command prompt, changing to your Downloads directory with the cd command, and running youtube-dl.

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When you run youtube-dl, nothing happens unless you provide it with the URL of a video to download.

2. Install YouTube-dl on Mac:

If you have Homebrew, you can install YouTube-dl by opening a Terminal and running the command: brew install youtube-dl. Or, if you have MacPorts, run the command: sudo port install youtube-dl. Or, you can download the source code using git, and compile it yourself: “git clone https://github.com/rg3/youtube-dl/ && cd youtube-dl && make” and “sudo make install”. You can also download it using curl: curl https://yt-dl.org/latest/youtube-dl && chmod u+rx youtube-dl. Or with wget: wget https://yt-dl.org/downloads/latest/youtube-dl && chmod u+rx youtube-dl.

If you use curl or wget, youtube-dl is downloaded to your current directory. To run the program from anywhere else, move youtube-dl to a directory of your choosing, and make sure this directory exists in your PATH environment variable.

3. Install YouTube-dl on Linux

YouTube-dl is available as a packaged binary in many Linux operating systems. For instance, on Debian or Ubuntu systems, you can install using apt: sudo apt install youtube-dl.

On all Linux systems, you can also install it using the curl, wget, or git methods listed above for macOS.

With YouTube-dl successfully installed on your computer, you could now try to download video and audio files with YouTube-dl. Try the below content.

4. Download video with YouTube-dl

1. Go to a video on YouTube that you want to download. Select the text of the URL in the address bar, and copy it to your clipboard by pressing “Ctrl+C”. If the URL has a “&” in it (a playlist, for example), only copy the URL up to the & symbol.

2. Open a command prompt or terminal window. On Windows, you can open the command prompt if you press “Windows key+R” to open the Run box, then type “cmd” and press Enter. In macOS, open Applications, then Utilities, and choose Terminal. On Linux, your terminal program depends on your particular Linux distribution. Usually, you can press “Ctrl+Alt+T” to open a terminal window.

3. Navigate to the folder where you downloaded YouTube-dl, using the cd command. (On macOS or Linux, if you installed using a package manager such as Homebrew or apt, you can skip this step. The youtube-dl executable is already installed to a directory in your PATH, so you can run it from any directory.)

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4. Type youtube-dl, followed by a space. Then, paste the URL you copied in step 1. (In Windows, place your cursor in the command prompt window and right-click to paste. In macOS, you can paste in the terminal using Command+V. In most Linux terminals, press Ctrl+Shift+V.) The command should look like this: youtube-dl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Op3QLzMgSY. Press Enter to run the command and start the download.

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5. The video is downloaded to the current directory. You can now view it using a media player such as VLC or Free Blu-ray Player.

5. Download audio with YouTube-dl

To download the audio of most YouTube videos, you can use the -f 140 option. For example: “youtube-dl -f 140 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ”. YouTube-dl extracts the M4A audio version of the video file, and save it as an audio file with the M4A extension. To properly save some audio files, you can make use of some audio converter software tools such as Video Converter to convert downloaded YouTube videos to MP3, WAV, AAC, etc.

Part 3: Validated ways to fix “YouTube-dl very slow” issue

Many people have reported that YouTube-dl becomes very slow in downloading YouTube videos and wonder if there are any validated ways to fix “YouTube-dl very slow” issue. Actually, we have collected 3 effective solutions.

1. Turn to yt-dlp

yt-dlp is a youtube-dl fork based on the now inactive youtube-dlc. The main focus of this project is adding new features and patches while also keeping up to date with the original project. You could think that yt-dlp is an updated version of YouTube-dl.

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2. Clear the caches

YouTube uses a mechanism to deter casual downloading of videos with copyrighted content and/or videos which triggers YT’s “content match” algorithms. 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. Clearing the caches will help improve the downloading speed.

3. Use a VPN

Sometimes your YouTube downloading speed is quite low is because of the internet connection state. You could try to use a VPN to improve your internet connection performance.

4. Try alternative YouTube downloader

Also, you could try to turn to another YouTube video downloader software tool that could help you download YouTube videos and audios to your computer, or make use of online YouTube downloader tools. There are quite a lot of wonderful YouTube downloader tools available, while CleverGet is one of the best YouTube downloader software tools.

CleverGet is a professionally designed online video downloader software that could perform more than YouTube-dl can do for you. It could download videos from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and 1000+ other video sharing sites. It could even download online live streaming videos from various Live streaming sites. It successfully solves the “YouTube-dl not downloading 1080P” issue, “YouTube-dl speed slow” issue, and other issues. It is similar to YouTube-dl, but performs better in both functions and operation.

  • CleverGet
  • CleverGet 8K Downloader

    Download 8K Video With 320 Kbps audio.
    Easily Download Live Streams Without Quality Loss.
    Download Live Stream Videos from YouTube Live and Other mainstream sites.
    Support Multi-tasking.
    Video Info Extractor Inside.

Part 4: How to download video from YouTube with the best yt downloader

As introduced above, CleverGet has been the best YouTube downloader to help you do what YouTube-dl does for you. How to download video and audio from YouTube with CleverGet? Is it complicated to download YouTube videos/audio files with the best yt downloader software? Check the below guide.

Free download and install CleverGet on your computer. Fire it up after installation completes. It’s totally free to install and try.

Step 1: Set download directory

On CleverGet, click the 3-dot icon on the top-right corner and then choose “Settings” option on the drop-down panel to set download directory in the “Save Video To” box on the “Settings > General” tab.

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Step 2: Input target YouTube video URL

Copy and paste the YouTube video URL into the address bar, or click the internal YouTube icon on the Home page of CleverGet and then log in to search for target YouTube video for downloading. Once you have entered the YouTube video URL, CleverGet will automatically analyze it.

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Step 3: Choose video/audio to download

Once the analysis is over, there will pop out a “Download” interface that provides all available video and audio download options of target YouTube video for you to choose. Once you have chosen which video option to download, click the “Download” button. The number on the “Download” button indicates how many videos/audios you have chosen and would like to download.

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Step 4: Check downloading and downloaded videos

Once you click the “Download” button, on the right, there will pop up a sidebar showing you the downloading progress. Once the downloading completes, you could open the Video tab to view the downloaded videos/audios.

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You could see that it’s really much easier for you to download YouTube videos/audios with CleverGet other than YouTube-dl.


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