How to convert YouTube videos to MP3 files

Save the audio from your favorite videos

YouTube is an enormous source of music videos and podcasts, which are great when you have time to watch them on your phone, but less so if you’re busy and can’t afford to give them your full attention. Often, the audio is all you need, so why not strip it out and save it as an MP3?

YouTube to MP3 converters let you download videos from YouTube and save the sound in MP3 format, so you can listen to them offline whenever you like. We recommend using desktop software rather than online tools because it typically processes files much faster and let you convert several videos in a single batch.

Are YouTube to MP3 converters legal?

You should only download videos when you have the copyright holder’s permission. This should be quite easy in the case of video podcasters, as they usually provide contact information in their video descriptions. YouTube's terms of service explicitly prohibit unauthorized downloading. 

There are lots of online and desktop tools that can strip audio from YouTube videos, but we recommend Any Video Converter Free for speed and convenience

1. Get the right software

For this guide, we’ll be using Any Video Converter Free – a free tool for Windows that lets you download and save videos from YouTube, Vimeo and a host of other sites. It doesn’t come with any extra toolbars or spyware either – just download it free, then run the installer, accept the default options, and launch it.

Copy the URL of a video from your web browser and paste it into Any Video Converter to prepare it for conversion

2. Find and download videos

Any Video Converter Free can convert files stored on your PC, on CDs, or from the web. Click the drop-down arrow beside ‘Add URL(s)’ and select ‘Download music files’. Open your web browser and find the video you want to download, then copy its URL from the address bar.

Go back to Any Video Converter Free, click the plus icon and paste the URL into the box provided. You can add several videos at once – just click the plus icon again for each one.

Videos are processed and saved quickly in the destination of your choice

2. Convert YouTube videos to MP3

Once you’ve got all your videos lined up, click ‘Start download’ and the videos will be analyzed and saved to your PC (this might take a minute, so be patient). Now make sure the checkbox beside each video is ticked, select ‘MP3 Audio’ from the list of file formats at the top right, and click ‘Convert now’.

The converted MP3s will appear in your Videos folder, but you can change this using the settings menu, which can be accessed via the cog icon at the top right.