YouTube is FINALLY testing a way to download videos on desktop browser to watch offline. Call your friends! Call your mum! Tell everyone you know! You can finally binge-watch lengthy YouTube videos without chewing up all of your data. I mean, talk about a game changer.
If you’re able to test the feature and are using a supported browser (an up-to-date version Chrome, Edge or Opera), you should see a ‘download video’ button while watching content on YouTube. Clicking this button will download the video and add it to your ‘Downloads’ menu.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t export the content out of YouTube – although, there are third party apps that will do this for you. However, it does mean you will be able to watch content offline, or with a laggy connection.
It is, however, worth noting that the YouTube webpage still requires an internet connection to access, so it is unclear whether you will be able to view downloaded content without at least some sort of internet connection.
YouTube tells TechCrunch that downloaded videos will be a cached version of the clip, so we can expect it work similarly to downloading Netflix shows and movies to watch offline.
Additionally, The Verge reports the testing software is pretty buggy right now, so don’t expect flawless performance just yet.
Regardless, this could be a game changer when you’re working on an unstable connection, or are hotspotting your internet from a mobile device and are particularly worried about chewing up all of your data.
There is no word on when the rest of us could access this feature, or if it will ever be available for those of us who don’t pay for YouTube Premium, but it’ll be an interesting story to follow.