YouTube Video Downloader (youtube-dl.exe)

UPDATED for youtube-dl.exe 2011.10.19 and Youtube-Downloader GUI

YouTube video downloader is a windows standalone version of famous script. It  doesn’t need a python installation. youtube-dl.exe allows downloading of Videos from YouTube in different formats. This tool is basically youtube-dl for windows.


  YouTube Video Downloader (2011.10.19) (5.6 MiB, 19,441 hits)
YouTube Video Downloader GUI and youtube-dl.exe version 2011.10.19

  youtube-dl.exe 2011.10.19 (3.8 MiB, 6,235 hits)
Windows standalone version of (2011.10.19). This contained only a command line version of the script as windows executable. Suitable only for advanced users.

SUPPORTED SITES [Only youtube-dl.exe]

  • playlists (playlist URLs in “view_play_list” form).
  • searches, using the special keyword “ytsearch” as a form of URL, as in “ytsearch:cute kittens”. Do not forget the quotes if you want to include spaces in your search. Other variants are “ytsearchN” to download more than the first result, with N being a number, and “ytsearchall”.
  • user videos, using user page URLs or the specifc “ytuser” keyword.
  • Google Video.
  • Google Video searches (“gvsearch” keyword).
  • Photobucket videos.
  • Yahoo! video.
  • Yahoo! video searches (“ybsearch” keyword).
  • Dailymotion.
  • DepositFiles.
  • vimeo.
  • The Daily Show / Colbert Nation.
  • The Escapist.
  • A generic downloader that works in some sites.


The program is usually invoked as youtube-dl followed by options and the video URLs. Listing all the options here would make this text too long, so you can run youtube-dl –help and get a summary of them. From that point on you can start experimenting with the different options yourself. The most common ones are -t (or -l) to include the video title in the file name, and either -f or -b to download a high quality version of the video. Also, the -o option can specify the output file name and path. It allows special character sequences that can be used as templates to be replaced.


My friend Janny found it’s bit tough to run in windows. She asked me some help to install and configure. Finally I made a standalone windows executable out of this python script. Later, another friend Vijoy asked me to provide a simple GUI. Right now I’m working on an update for the GUI, with more options.


  YouTube-dl GUI-1.5.1 SOURCE (554.7 KiB, 1,880 hits)
YouTube-dl GUI 1.5.1 SOURCE

Photo by Jonsson, used with CC2.

If you like my softwares and you find them useful, then consider buying me a Coffee.

Discuss - 62 Comments

  1. Ayhan_Abdul says:

    selam nishad mate,

    first i would like to thank you for the brilliant youtube-dl
    you could still pack an and pages with in youtube-dl
    sorry my english is not perfect


  2. orschiro says:

    Nice port to Windows. Thanks for that portable downloader. It works as expected and can easily handle the download of whole playlists.

    Way better and easier than this highly promoted Windows crap such as Orbit Downloader and others.


  3. mwomwo says:

    ERROR: RTMP download detected but “rtmpdump” could not be run

  4. furkan says:

    GOOD Thanks

    youtube-dl can using GUI and cli

  5. Deng Zhengyu says:

    Thanks for your effort. but how to specify the output file path?
    I use YouTube-dl -o E:\researchRelated\MMRelated\code\YouTube-dl

    error: unable to open the file

  6. root says:

    Is this GPLv3?

  7. RASOY says:

    It is really a gread jobs. thanks!

    I want to built this progrom with C#, but I cannot read Python.

    Can you make the youtube-dl with C# version? Or give some reference and tips?

    Thanks a lot!

  8. ron says:

    youtube-dl has been updated again.

  9. cda says:

    Why does this program require administrator permissions to run? It doesn’t seem to be installing anything.

  10. naglieri says:

    Windows version give this error:
    “ERROR: no fmt_url_map or conn information found in video info”

    On web (
    I have seen that youtube has change something
    New youtube-dl have fix this problem, but I don’t know how use pythom version.

    Can you recompile new windows version?


  11. damian says:

    Dear Nishad, it seems there is a problem with the .exe file I am getting this error most of the time, is it possible to post a new .exe with the fix? ERROR: no fmt_url_map or conn information found in video info.

    Thanks for your help,
    best regards.

  12. Vincent81 says:

    Can you tell me how to create a standalone executable with py2exe. I did, but I do not know how to incorporate the DLL and PYD..
    I make :
    from distutils.core import setup
    import py2exe
    and create youtube-dl.exe :
    python.exe py2exe

    It’s work, but too many files in dist path.

    • Markos says:

      I agree with the person upstairs :)

      Could you please share the methodology of creating the .exe file from the .py one?


  13. StevenW says:

    Nishad… implementation of your Youtube-dl -( seems to be Dead…

  14. shirish says:

    Hi there,
    Saw and tried on a friend’s machine. Is good, the only issue with this version seems to be no way to get subtitles. Also there should be a way to have some default download parameters decided by the user. This also seems to be missing.

  15. StevenW says:

    Greetings and salutations Nishad
    … congratulations on an intelligent effort!
    Maybe a bug…
    If HTML Code #47 (/) is in the title of download and you use -l (Literal)…
    Eg – CUSTOM PSP/PS1 Superstar Dance Club
    one movie with forward slash in Title…
    (youtube-dl.exe -l -b -w -c

    The file completes downloading… but the HTML CODE#47 (/) in the title
    changes to HTML CODE #35 (#) and the .PART remains at the end of
    the files name.
    End results are thus…
    CUSTOM PSP#PS1 Superstar Dance Club-3AYrTVQkPAw.mp4.part

    Thanks Nishad …you deserve an Espresso Percolator .

  16. james says:

    Thanks for the program, but it does not work with dailymotion, could you have a look?

    [dailymotion] xh48fc: Downloading webpage
    [dailymotion] xh48fc: Extracting information
    ERROR: unable to extract media URL

  17. tom says:

    hey! thx for executable version of this project.
    are you going to update to the latest youtube-dl version – 2011.01.30 ?

  18. Nash says:

    What youtube format values are you using for “Normal”, “Best” and “HD” ?

    Thank you

  19. Filippo says:

    Hello nishad,

    first I want to thank you for your good job, it is a very nice tool

    I write to let you know that today when I tried to download the URL below with
    youtube-dl.exe, I got the following error:

    E:\DOWNLOADS>youtube-dl.exe “”
    [youtube] Setting language
    [youtube] FZCFyZzMEgU: Downloading video webpage
    [youtube] FZCFyZzMEgU: Downloading video info webpage
    [youtube] FZCFyZzMEgU: Extracting video information
    ERROR: unable to download video (format may not be available)

    Is it an expected behaviour of the tool ?
    Thanks alot for your answer


  20. KJ says:

    Could you please make a Windows executable for nicovideo-dl? This site is basically the Japanese YouTube, and there’s a Python script for this too. Thanks!

  21. migawka says:

    hi, is it possible you prepare _youtube-dl.exe_ as there is new version 2010.12.09 ?

  22. hello says:

    hello plese check recent youtube changes, they changed video formats and download dont work now.

  23. Nick says:

    Some users are reporting that youtube-dl no longer works due to a recent YouTube change. Can you review?

    Thanks so much.


  24. DJ Shyn3 says:

    I cannot download this video from youtube for some reason can you tell me why?
    I can download all other videos but that one. Check it out for yourself and let me know


  25. ofn says:

    Great job,man
    Thank you very much!

  26. Mateus says:

    THANKS !

  27. Jack says:

    It is a great GUI but is it possible to do batch URL’s from You Tube so I can download muliple files with there original filenames from a text file with a list of URL’s. Can the code below be incorporated for a standalone?

    import os, sys

    f = open(sys.argv[1])

    for line in f.readlines():
    if “” in line:
    cmd = “youtube-dl –title “+line


  28. Nick says:

    Wow! What a great tool! I can think of lots of interesting ways to use it.

    Thanks so much for sharing this tool and for all the work you do to keep it up-to-date. It is much appreciated.


  29. migawka says:

    > “youtube-dl.exe: error: no such option: -b”
    youtube-dl.exe v 2010.07.24

  30. Mauro says:

    i’d like to thank you so much for your software: i use it for very long time but because of changes in youtube site since a couple of days it doesn’t work anymore. i know there is a new version of (released on 07-22-2010) and now i’m using this with python interpreter for windows xp. i hope using again your software soon. thanks for sharing

  31. Alket says:

    Can’t wait for Linux version.

  32. [...] è molto semplice e alla portata di tutti. Se volete provarlo potete effettuare il download della versione per Windows o della versione CLI. Tag:CLI, open source, python, Youtube, youtube downloader « [...]

  33. [...] requires a Python interpreter to run. Luckily, a user who goes by the name of nishad created a standalone version for Windows and even added a neat GUI (pictured above) for users who are not comfortable with a CLI [...]

  34. [...] requires a Python interpreter to run. Luckily, a user who goes by the name of nishad created a standalone version for Windows and even added a neat GUI (pictured above) for users who are not comfortable with a CLI [...]

  35. End User says:

    Fantastic sofware…thanks VERY much!!

    Not sure if this is a bug, or just the way YouTube works, but….
    The -b video format option (–best-quality download the best quality video possible) does not appear to work correctly when the YouTube URL conatins an argument (ie ?feature= or ?embed= )

    For Example:
    youtube-dl.exe -b
    ends with the error:
    ‘hl’ is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    operable program or batch file.
    …and only downloads the .flv file

    youtube-dl.exe -b
    …downloads the higher quality MP4 without an errors.

    Thanks again,
    Some End User

  36. Aditya says:

    Excellent tool.

  37. [...] windows, linux and mac. But this time I will showing you download from windows using GUI.Go to on Youtube-dl GUI version and download about the software. Set option and you can go for it Note: dont close CMD popup that [...]

  38. lakshmanan says:

    Check out my latest project if you want to see the queue i said in the last comment. :)

  39. lakshmanan says:

    I was using youtube-dl script in ubuntu for a long time and generally wrote a bash script to download a series of videos one by one if i want to. You can implement a queue of URLs to be used in your software so that I can put a lot of videos in queue and the software would download all of them even if i am away from system.

    Nice effort though.

    • nishad says:

      Dear Lakshman,

      Batch download is already there in youtube-dl. You can use either
      -a FILE or –batch-file=FILE, FILE can be any text file containing URLs to download.

      Download list is not enabled in Youtube Downloader GUI 1.6, but youtube-dl.exe it’s available. It’s there in GUI 1.7 which I’m testing now, and will be published soon.

      GUI 1.8, can handle scheduled downloads and check for latest videos from play-lists. It’s in QT so will be working in Linux also.

      Thanks for the comment. Let me know your suggestions.

  40. Anand says:

    Excellent stuff. I have been looking for a tool to download loads of files from youtube. The -a option doesnt seem to work with the GUI but I could get it done using the .exe file. Kudos to you!

  41. PaoloF says:

    Thanks for your precious work.

    -On Core2 on Vista64bit

    >youtube-dl.exe URL
    ERROR:”no suitable InfoExtractor” URL

    Any suggestion?


  42. migawka says:

    ok, I manage to do this with youtube-dl.exe

  43. migawka says:

    I’m using YouTube Video Downloader GUI and I want to use the “-a” batch mode so I leave the place for URL empty and I put optional parameters “-i -s -b -g -a urls.txt” (txt file located in the same directory as YTVD) but I’ve got the error message (no URL found). I need a output of a file of final video URL. please help.

    • nishad says:

      Dear Mingawka,
      In GUI it validates URL entry with a valid Youtube URL pattern like “” If you want more advanced functions, you can try youtube-dl.exe.

  44. pinge says:

    Thank you for sharing your software.

    I’ve just downloaded it and so far it looking great. Best thing is you don’t have to convert it afterwards :)

    You rock man!

    Thank you!

    • nishad says:

      Dear Pinge,

      It’s not converting the file, It’s using default download options for downloading different file types.

      Thanks for using it.

      • pinge says:

        I don’t care…. it’s still a great software! I’m so glad I stumbled across it. I prefer it to 1click ‘s version.

        Once again thank you for sharing.

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