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How to Build Python Scripts for YouTube Viewing and Downloading

Published on 13.04.2024 by Tracey Chizoba Fletcher

YouTube is the most popular video-sharing platform, with over 2.4 billion monthly active users. The platform has different videos in various categories, such as education, travel, entertainment, and video gaming content.

While it is easy to watch videos on YouTube at the click of a button, downloading YouTube videos is pretty hard. However, in one of its latest upgrades, YouTube allows users to download videos and save them in an internal folder. You can save such videos later for offline viewing, as this is one of the latest YouTube trends. However, if you want to save them on your phone, this option will still not help you much.

This guide will help you understand how to use Python code to download YouTube videos. As you may already know, the biggest strength of Python is its large number of libraries and modules. Therefore, in this case, we will use the Pytube package to build the YouTube script. But before we do that, let's provide more insights on Python scripts.

What is a Python Script?

A python refers to a file with a set of short internal instructions. In other words, it has a wide range of codes to perform different tasks. They are referred to as scripts because they can be read and interpreted by Python, each line at a time, from the first to the last.

While creating a script of any length is possible, this isn't recommended. When you find your script getting very long, we recommend breaking it into different files. You can then import several short bits into the main files.

A Python script usually has the .py file extension. While you can give any name to your script, it's advisable to use a short and descriptive name that describes the role of the script. Also, avoid having some blank spaces in your Python script. Here is an example of a script:

Why Use Python Scripts?

Python is one of the most popular programming languages because of its ease of use and many built-in features. Despite being packed with features, Python can be extended with modules. 

The program is designed for general use and, as open-source software, works in different domains. Since it is highly readable, it is a good language for beginners. As an interpreted language, Python users can write and run scripts interactively. Instead of being compiled, interpreters process such scripts.

Terms Used in Python Scripts

Here are some of the most common terms in coding:

  • A script. A script file is usually run directly so that it performs an action when run. It often contains code written outside the scope of any function or classes.
  • Module. Refers to a Python file imported into a script or modules. Its role is to define members by defining functions and variables.
  • Library. Refers to a bundle of codes that may consist of tens or even hundreds of modules that provide different functionalities.
  • Package. Refers to several related modules working together to complete a task. The modules are usually in a folder and can be imported like others. To enable Python to understand its folder, it also consists of a __init__  consisting of other modules within the subfolders.

Structures of a Python Script

A script often consists of several parts. These are:

  • Comment blocks. These blocks consist of opening and closing marks “”". Its role is to describe the block.
  • Modules import.
  • Function definition.
  • The task to be performed.
  • Outputting the required information.

These are the core foundations for ordering a code. However, it's also possible to define important modules and functions anywhere within the code, as long as it's before it can be used. Since scripts are interpreted from the start to the end, you need to define something before using it; therefore, before you use a code, you need to define it.

Adding a Comment Code

In coding, comments play an important role, enabling users to understand the code easily instead of typing to understand it. Therefore, coders need to include comments in their code. Many programming languages allow adding a comment to a code, and this is no different for Python scripts. 

There are different ways to add information and notes to describe the role of the code and the reason for its performance. In Python, you can use different ways to know if there is a comment in a code, as shown in our example above. These are:

  • Beginning a line with a #(hash).
  • Add text between opening and closing phrases with three quotation marks “"”. You can also use three apostles ‘’’. Such syntax can also be used to describe a strong variable.

The Python interpreter will ignore any comment line when running the file.

How to Run a Script

When writing a script in VS code, you don’t need to open a terminal to run it. Instead, you can do that by hitting the Play button at the top right corner. The terminal will be opened and run automatically for you. If you are running a script on Linux or Mac, you can use the line #!/usr/bin/env python to run the script. This is referred to as Shebang.

How to Run Another Function's Scripts

We already noted that any Python file is defined with the .py extension. This enables you to import functions, variables, and classes from one class to another. If you have several projects with different scripts, it's advisable to keep them in the same directory so you can import them as necessary.

Providing Script Information

You can also add all the information you need to run a script on it. However, there are many instances when the script might require the user's information to understand how to run. Here are different ways you can provide information to a script.

  • Requesting input. For a script to request user input, you can use the built-in input feature. Input. This can be considered a strong argument.
  • File input. You can also take input by reading data from a file.
  • Output. The easiest way to enable a Python script to output certain information is to print it on a screen so the user can see it. To do that, you can use the built-in print function.

How to Build A Python Script for YouTube Video Downloading


Before you begin building a Python script for YouTube video downloading, you will require the following:

  • A good understanding of the Python programming language
  • Installed rte Python 3+ on your PC
  • Pytube Python library installed on your PC
  • A Python Code Editor such as VSCode, PyCharm, and more

We also have a guide for you on increasing YouTube likes.

How to Install PyTube

Before we discuss the installation process, it's good to understand Pytube. This small independent Python module can be used to access videos from the internet. You need to have a pip to install Pytube. After that, you can open the command prompt CLI as an administrator and enter the command below:

The role of the PyTube library is to enhance video download. For the parameter, enter the URL. You can then get the right resolution and extension of the video. If you deem it necessary, you can always change the file name, or else it retains the original name.

You can now start writing and implementing the code as shown in the diagram below:

Before going on with the other features, you can import the Python Pytube library using the command, from pytube import Youtube. You can then enter the download link. To get the highest resolution, use the command function below:


If the download doesn't work, you can try and exempt to return an error message. Failure to do that will return the message that the download has been completed successfully.

You can use the link function to enter the URL of the video you want to download. Then, after you have hit enter,  the video will begin to download.

The Output:

If the download is successful, you will be able to see the file in the Python folder in the location of the file you were working on. However, if you find it necessary, you can transfer the file to your favorite location for YouTube marketing. In all, ensure that you have a reliable internet connection.

Final Thoughts

You will have successfully created a YouTube video download code in Python by following the above steps. This will ensure that you don’t have to look for third-party apps or websites to help you download videos from YouTube and save them in your local storage. This can also help protect your data from phishing on third-party websites while trying to get a YouTube video to your local storage.

We hope that by going through our guide, you will understand the process you should follow when downloading YouTube videos without needing a suspicious third-party website or app. We recommend that you also read our guide on brainstorming YouTube ideas.