I recently attempted to download a YouTube video using youtube-dl (i.e. the terminal version) and the following was displayed in the terminal window:

[youtube] 8_Ik8elX96w: Downloading webpage [youtube] 8_Ik8elX96w: Downloading embed webpage [youtube] 8_Ik8elX96w: Refetching age-gated info webpage ERROR: This video may be inappropriate for some users.

This is the url of the YouTube video I tried to download:


There is nothing inappropriate about the video, and it is certainly not inappropriate for this user. I'm guessing it has been flagged by the SJWs at YouTube/Google as racist (though there is no racist content at all) and Ubuntu is detecting these flags and enforcing them on Ubuntu users. However, the video has obviously not been actually blocked or deleted by YouTube. I'd like to know if there is a work-around for whatever is causing this.

  • 3
    It is an age-restricted video, so you must sign in before you can access it. youtube-dl cannot handle these requests I believe. (the uploader of the video has put the age-limits on the video; youtube handles it via sign-in)
    – guiverc
    Jun 2 at 11:08
  • 4
    You need the --cookies (and a path to a cookie) option See for instance this video youtube.com/watch?v=XgnwCQzjau8 "Ubuntu is detecting these flags and enforcing them on Ubuntu users" Sorry?! Ubuntu does nothing here. It is youtube.
    – Rinzwind
    Jun 2 at 11:10
  • @guiverc I was signed in to YouTube/Google when I tried downloading it.
    – Allan
    Jun 2 at 11:18
  • 3
    youtube-dl doesn't download via your browser; it goes to youtube directly; so you need to sign in via youtube-dl which is something it currently can't handle (or couldn't last time I tried to use it, which was awhile ago & looked through the docs/code etc) Refer to @Rinzwind's comment... it maybe possible (it's been >12 months since I last tried; maybe longer & it'll have changed)
    – guiverc
    Jun 2 at 11:19
  • @alan then you need to find the cookie set and supply it through command line.
    – Rinzwind
    Jun 2 at 12:02

The policy issue is with YouTube, rather than with Ubuntu or the YouTube downloader. To answer the technical part of the question:

youtube-dl -u 'youtube-username' -p 'youtube-password' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hicC53AhZ6Y

Ensure you are running the latest version.

Not ideal but it works.

  • 1
    I tried using that line and got the response: [youtube] Downloading login page [youtube] Looking up account info WARNING: Unable to look up account info: HTTP Error 400: Bad Request (Followed by the same lines that I quoted in my question above.)
    – Allan
    Jun 10 at 13:07
  • 1
    @Allan paste the exact command you used, and the version of the downloader you are using. Obviously obfuscate your own YouTube username and password. Jun 10 at 19:00
  • Here it is: youtube-dl -u username -p password youtube.com/watch?v=8_Ik8elX96w I also tried it with the single quotes you used, since I wasn't sure they are supposed to be in the actual command: youtube-dl -u 'username' -p 'password' youtube.com/watch?v=8_Ik8elX96w
    – Allan
    Jun 12 at 6:56
  • Sorry - I didn't include the version of the downloader. It's youtube-dl, terminal version, version 2021.01.16
    – Allan
    Jun 13 at 8:01
  • @Allan try to upgrade to the latest version 2021.06.06 at the time of this writing. Jun 14 at 11:21

Looks like youtube-dl doesn't support the latest Youtube changes in age restrictions. However, there are multiple websites that allow you to view and download such videos without logging in. Instead of youtube.com?watch=id go to for example youtubensfw.com?watch=id (you can download simply by right-clicking on the video), genyoutube.com?watch=id or ssyoutube.com?watch=id (with these two, download links are directly on the page). There are lots more of such sites. Myself I don't see the need to use youtube-dl at all when sites like this are available.

Update: currently the only way to view age-restricted videos seems to be via using the Invidious network. All other methods seem to not work anymore. The main server of the Invidious network can be accessed by replacing youtube.com by yewtu.be in the video URL. You can also use the FreeTube application, that can use Invidious servers internally. After installation, the application adds support for freetube:// type links - if you prefix the entire Youtube video link with freetube://, it will open in the application.

  • NSFW didn't download the video. It says "No video with supported format and MIME type found." and "YouTube has changed some codes in their back-end. Your videos might not work here. We will fix it soon. Don’t worry!!!" The "gen" site has pop-up ads to porn sites and clicking on "Generate Download Link" is actually a link to a porn ad. The "ss" site says "Download link not found" when I click on "Download".
    – Allan
    Jul 25 at 8:40
  • @Allan Use an ad blocker, I wonder why anyone would use a web browser without an ad blocker? With an ad blocker, I don't see any ads on the mentioned sites.
    – raj
    Jul 25 at 9:18
  • I never needed an ad blocker because most websites don't have porn ads. The genyoutube site didn't just have porn ads, it sent me to a porn page when I clicked on the "Generate Download Link" for downloading the YT video. The other two sites you mentioned don't have porn ads but they also didn't download the videos, so something seems wrong with those sites as well.
    – Allan
    Jul 25 at 10:09

youtube-dl -u 'YoutubeLOGIN' -p 'App password' --cookie "youtube.com_cookies.txt" 'YOUTUBE URL LINK'

I used the plugin for chrome called Get cookies.txt and exported the txt file and since i had first age restrictions and after that HTTP errors not using both cookie and login i used both now and app password. Worked with VPN + WebRTC Blocking + HTML5 Geo blocking etc (Not sure if that matters but im a rookie when it comes to this.

First cookie file did not work at all and for some reason my command line was like this when it worked, with 2 factor login enabled.I was logged in having the video right in front me of me if that matters idk.

I didnt use 'or " other than for cookie, and mock me, i don't know why and when to use really but i learned rather use it than not. I opened the PowerShell from the folder i just extracted/downloaded the cookie txt file from and used with help from the thread creator something that worked, thanks. I'm close to buying something like 4k downloader, but it's a fight against the system we take here, ain't paying. Im happy i got the 60 fps vp9 version been trying so long. My video was blocked worldwide, private etc.

thanks community, i still don't know what im doing im copying a bit from everybody until a problem is fixed. so again if someone thinks "hes stupid" you are right i figured there must be more people like me struggling so if i can help i try.

Sherlockholmesguessing here but the age restriction is the main problem not the cookie if i have to guess.

youtube-dl -u EMAIL -p APPPASSWORD --cookie "youtube.com_cookies.txt" YOUTUBE-URL


For those still unable to make it work, despite using the file retrieved from the "Get cookies.txt" extension, because of the AttributeError: 'bool' object has no attribute 'split' error you can also try using Python 3.x with the following command (I've added the --verbose flag in case of debugging):

python3 /usr/local/bin/youtube-dl -f bestvideo+bestaudio \
    --all-subs --cookies $PWD/youtube.com_cookies.txt \
    "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIDEO_ID_HERE" --verbose

Make sure to do the following first:

  • Ensure the python3 command is working and actually runs a version of Python 3.x.
  • Make sure that the path to your cookies file is correct.
  • Make sure that you have the latest version of youtube-dl installed (youtube-dl --version).
  • Ensure the absolute file path for the youtube-dl binary or installation (In a UNIX-like terminal use which youtube-dl).

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