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Use Safari’s Activity Window to Save YouTube Videos (and More)

  • Posted in Apple
  • Comments 35

Safari comes with an incredibly powerful tool called the “Activity” window, which can be used to download YouTube (or any other video site) videos, files from websites, MP3s from Last.fm or any other type of file present that can’t be directly downloaded, right to your desktop. There are many third party applications and services that allow users to download YouTube videos directly, but many people do not realize that this functionality is built right into Safari.

To illustrate this, I’m going to use YouTube videos as an example (.flv file format), but as stated previously this works with any online file.

Simply go to the YouTube video page where the video plays, click Window -> Activity and a window will appear similar to the one pictured below.

Download YouTube Videos From Safari Using Activity Monitor

We’re shown a range of different files in this list, but we’re looking for the flv video file, which will most likely be the largest file of the list (highlighted below).

Safari Activity Window

Select that file, hit copy and paste it into the Downloads window (Window -> Downloads), and the video will start downloading to your desktop. Note: With YouTube videos, the downloaded file will be called “get_video” with no file extension, you’ll need to rename it to “something.flv”, in order to be able to play it.

35 Responses to “Use Safari’s Activity Window to Save YouTube Videos (and More)”

  1. DISCO says:

    yes just realized that this would not work anymore and will download as “videoplayback”
    I think youtube changed much of its architecture!

  2. Excellent article! I was wondering how to save the file – I was able to play it by double clicking, but had no idea how to save it in a folder. Thanks for the great tip.

  3. Socrates says:

    @ DISCO. Just type “.flv” at the end of the file name to get the video to play. You can rename it whatever you like but I choose to just copy & paste the name of the video directly from youtube.

  4. Catherine says:

    @ Socrates. THANKS for the “just type flv” tip.

  5. SS says:

    Thanks a lot ! really helped !

  6. Well after the download of that video,add the ext “FLV” than find a video converter to convert you FLV file to MP4 or any other format.Be aware all those videos storing at any internet home page are in this format “FLV”.

  7. Clement says:

    I use Tube TV to convert the files. It converts it and can automatically place a copy in your iTunes library. Various conversion options are offered. As noted above, make sure that the file which is downloaded is given the flv suffice, ie add a period then flv that is, .flv.

  8. I am fortunate to have found this site. Keep up the excellent postings.

  9. Steven says:

    Manual Stimer – Thank you!

  10. calama says:

    I have the same problem as @DISCO. The downloaded file calls “videoplayback” and the extension is already .flv
    I tried iSquint to convert it but it keep showing the error “VIDEO_TS folders can’t be directly converted. Sorry.”
    Please help!

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