Downloading Private Youtube Videos

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This is how you can download or backup a youtube video which is private and shared specifically over email with you.

🍪 Extracting Cookies

First of all you need to be logged into Google Account in your browser with the same email you got the video shared over. Secondly, you need to install the cookie extractor browser extension.

Once the installation is successful, navigate to the Youtube Homepage and click on the extension icon and set export format to ‘Netscape’ & site to current (in case there is an option) and hit Export button. Note the download destination and the name of extracted cookies file.

💻 Setup Downloader

Install the video downloader utility, yt-dlp on your machine.

On Windows & Linux

Make sure you have Python & pip installed.

pip install yt-dlp


pip3 install yt-dlp

On MacOS

brew install yt-dlp

📥 Downloading Videos

Launch your terminal in the directory where you have cookies.txt file saved and run the following command to download the single private video:

yt-dlp --cookies cookies.txt VIDEO-URL

This will start downloading the video in your current directory. To download the video in best available quality run:

yt-dlp -f bestvideo+bestaudio --cookies cookies.txt VIDEO-URL

To write the auto subs into video:

yt-dlp --write-auto-sub --sub-format srt --sub-lang en --skip-download --cookies cookies.txt URL

Downloading Playlist

yt-dlp --yes-playlist --cookies cookies.txt VIDEO-URL

💭 Closing Thoughts

That is how you can download the private youtube videos locally with the help of corresponding cookies and yt-dlp. If you land into any issues while downloading chances are it is due to broken or improper format of cookies.

You can get in touch with me anytime regarding the same. If you found this post useful, consider sharing it with friends.

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