So I'm trying to download an entire youtube channel using youtube-dl. I know that if you use the -F command, it gives you a list of the quality type of the videos. My question is this: how to download the best quality of all the videos so the download doesnt default to 460p or something low like that.

up vote 29 down vote accepted

This answer won't work on older versions of youtube-dl. You need to update youtube-dl to the latest version. You can either install the latest version of youtube-dl locally inside a Python virtual environment (virtualenv), or you can download the latest version of youtube-dl and install it globally (sudo apt install python-pip && sudo pip install youtube-dl). youtube-dl is also a snap package. To install it type:

sudo snap install youtube-dl-casept

Open the terminal and type:

youtube-dl -f best -ciw -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s" -v <url-of-channel>

...where <url-of-channel> is replaced by the URL of the channel.

Note: If you are downloading a lot of videos, you should change directories to the directory where you want to save the videos before you start downloading them.


-f, --format FORMAT
    video format code. The special name "best" will pick the best quality.

-c, --continue                   
    force resume of partially downloaded files

-i, --ignore-errors              
    continue on download errors, for example to skip unavailable videos in a channel 

-w, --no-overwrites
    do not overwrite files

-o, --output
    Output filename template, this example functions similarly to the old --title option

-v, --verbose
    print various debugging information
  • That was a good answer. Maybe if you just want to update it because I applied that command and I got this warning WARNING: --title is deprecated. Use -o "%(title)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s" (but your command worked successfully despite the warning) – Billal Begueradj Jan 28 at 11:00
  • @karel since the channel that i wanna download contains ,many videos thus i can't download them in one sitting. What to do in such case? – Vicrobot Jul 18 at 14:34
  • @Vicrobot I don't know if this is exactly your question, correct me if I'm wrong, but sometimes I download an entire series of programming tutorials from YouTube and I need to start it from the terminal, lock the screen, and leave it until it finishes. My other favorite source of knowledge is Leo Wattenberg who is YouTube Contributor, Google Top Contributor, YouTube Certified in channel growth and content strategy. Leo Wattenberg is also the top all time answerer of questions tagged with youtube at Web Applications Q&A. – karel Jul 18 at 14:39
  • @karel I have a channel that contains about 250 videos. Now i want to download it. Is there any direct way to do these downloadings in partitions? – Vicrobot Jul 18 at 14:42
  • Are they all in one channel or all in one playlist, then you can download the entire channel or playlist. Or else you can copy all the YouTube video links to a text file, each link on a separate line and download them all like this. – karel Jul 18 at 14:47

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