If you see a video online that’s so good you want to keep it, downloading it is the safest option as it can be hard to find it again in a social media feed.
Here we’ll show you how to save videos from sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and more.
How to download embedded videos to your PC
There are a few different ways to capture embedded video, but by far the most straightforward is to use Firefox with the Video DownloadHelper add-on on your PC.
The add-on is available for the Chrome browser too, and the process is pretty much the same, but as Google owns YouTube it doesn’t allow users to download from there. In fact, if you’re trying to save those videos specifically, read our dedicated guide which explains how to download YouTube videos.
We’re using Firefox here and the first thing to do is click on the three lines in the top-right corner and select Add-ons. Then in the Find more add-ons box at the top of the next page type video downloadhelper and press enter.
From the results that appear, select Video DownloadHelper (it should be the one at the top), and then click the Add to Firefox option and confirm your decision.
In the Firefox menu bar now you should see the three overlapping circle icon for Video DownloadHelper which you will use to capture videos.
Now, in Firefox, go to the web page that contains the video you want to download. This could be any site hosting video as the add-on supports a whole variety of different streaming formats.
When the page has loaded, click the Video DownloadHelper icon in the top bar and you should see the name of the video displayed, along with options for the quality you want the download to be.
Obviously, the higher the quality, the longer it will take to download and more space it will occupy on your hard drive. If there are adverts before the video, you may see a couple of different videos listed with the same name, so just check the length to discern which is which.
Select your chosen resolution and the download will begin. Should you be prompted to download an accompanying app, this is normal. It is an open source app which is managed by the add-on. So, install the required software and continue.
(It’s a very good idea to install antivirus software to check any downloads and keep your PC safe, however.)
Downloads can take a while, especially if the file size is large, so let the process do its thing while you get on with any other tasks you want to complete, checking back regularly to see how things are progressing. Once the download is completed, the file will be stored in the dwhelper folder on your hard drive.
You’ll notice that there is a QR code in the top left corner of the video, this is due to the fact that you’re using the free version of the app.
If you want to upgrade to premium then the QR code will disappear and you’ll also have access to tools that can convert the video into audio files, as well as support. This is a one-off payment that costs £17/€18.50/$28.50.
Depending on the format used to embed it on the website, you may also find it’s not compatible with some of your other devices. You can see above that the video has been downloaded in webm format, but ideally you’ll want it in .mp4 in order for video player apps to be able to play it.
Should this be the case, you can either try downloading again and selecting .mp4 if that option is available, or you can read our guide on how to convert a video to MP4 and other formats.
How to download embedded videos on your Android device
The Google Play Store has a wide range of apps that allow you to download videos to your Android smartphone or tablet. One of the most popular, with over 50 million downloads, is Video Downloader by InShot Inc. This is free, easy to use and does a fine job, which is all we ask of an app.
Install this on your device then launch the app. Video Downloader’s interface is essentially a browser, so add in the box marked Search or Type URL enter the address of the web page that contains the video you want to download.
When you’re on the page, you’ll see a red circle with a download symbol inside. Tap this, select the quality of video you want, then tap the Fast Download button.
The app will now start the download. When it’s complete, you’ll see a notification on the Finished folder at the bottom of the app’s main screen. Tap this and your video should now be inside.
How to download embedded videos on an iPhone or iPad
Apple has a few more restrictions when it comes to what apps can do, but there are still plenty that will be able to capture videos and store them on your device. Read how to download YouTube videos to iPhone & iPad for a guide to the various methods and software available.