YouTube Go, now out of beta and launching in 130 countries across the globe, has become known as Google's official YouTube downloader. Its aim is not actually to enable you to download YouTube video for your own gains, but to optimise the app for use in countries where mobile data is expensive and connectivity poor. (Also see What is Android Go?)

For that reason, there are no plans to launch YouTube Go in the UK and US, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Germany or France. This means you won't be able to find the app within the Play Store from your Android device, and when using a desktop browser you will be told it's incompatible with all your devices. 

But even though connectivity is much better over here than it is in places such as India, where YouTube Go launched in beta last year, that doesn't mean some users won't be able to benefit from the app. Not everyone has unlimited data plans, and parts of the UK still struggle with mobile connectivity.

YouTube Go is attractive not only as a YouTube downloader, but because it allows you to preview videos before you play them, and then to choose the quality before you begin playing so you know exactly how much data is required. In fact the latter is hopefully more attractive, given that when we tried the app every video had the Download option greyed out. We're not sure if this was because of our location or the type of video we were trying to download.

Regardless, if you want to give it a try, below we explain step-by-step how to download, install and set up YouTube Go on any Android device right now.

(Also see: Is it legal to download YouTube video?)

How to get YouTube Go

  • Before you begin you will need to know what operating system your device is running. If you aren't sure, check Settings, About Device, Software Information
  • You will also need to enable to installation of apps from Unknown sources, which you will find in the Settings, Security menu
  • When you're ready, Google 'YouTube Go APK' and select an app repository from which you can download it. We're using APK Mirror
  • Look for the latest version of the app, then select the version appropriate for your operating system (either Android 4.1+ or Android 8.0)
  • Tap Download APK, then press OK in response to the warning that these type of files can harm your device
  • When the APK has downloaded, tap the confirmation notification to begin the installation. Tap Install, then Open
  • Click Next, then enter your mobile number. YouTube Go will send a verification code, which in our cases was automatically acknowledged by the app
  • Click Next, then Allow for the required permissions. YouTube Go wants to make and manage phone calls, access your device's location, access photos, media and files on your device, and access your contacts
  • Click Next again and the app is set up and ready to go
  • Use the search icon to find a YouTube video, then tap on it to access Preview, Download and Play options. You will be able to select between Basic, Standard and High Quality

YouTube Go

Read next: How to download YouTube video on any device