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How to Download Music from YouTube to iPhone With & Without a Laptop

Photo by Juja Han / Unsplash

Need music on the go and offline? Found an obscure artist who only uploads their works on YouTube? Making a mixtape for your loved one? In this case, you may need to learn how to download music from YouTube to iPhone. We’re here to help — follow our guide to discover (almost) all the methods.

Downloading audio and video from YouTube violates the platform’s Terms of Service — and, although it’s not illegal, you can get your account banned. However, there are several types of licenses imposed by creators themselves that allow you to download YouTube music:

  • Public domain. It means that no one really “owns” the content — it wasn’t licensed from the start, or the copyright expired. In this case, intellectual property laws can’t be applied, so feel free to download and use public domain music and videos.
  • Creative Commons. CC is the type of license that allows everyone to use a certain piece in their creative projects over and over, as long as you credit the author. In this case, you can freely download and use these works as background music for videos or podcasts — without violating copyright or YouTube’s policy.
However, be careful with the nuances! The No Derivative Works type of license prohibits making changes like remixes, altering keys and BPMs, and more. It still allows downloading for personal use though, don’t worry.
  • Copyleft. It’s the type of license that allows everyone to use the content however they want, as long as all the derivative works are under the same license. For example, if you made a remix of a copyleft track and posted it on YouTube, it means that everyone can download and remix your remix freely as well.

How to check out the license of a YouTube video?

If you want to know if it’s allowed to download a YouTube video, check out the description. The information about the license will be displayed in one of the two ways:

  • Within the description text in a free form. Here’s what it will look like:
A screenshot of a YouTube description of Lana Del Rey’s music video for Arcadia with the exclusive license information highlighted in red
  • In a separate section after the description. Here’s an example:
A screenshot of the YouTube license section after the description, the license is Creative Commons Attribution

How to download music from YouTube on iPhone

We’ve discussed possible legal risks of downloading music from YouTube, different types of licenses that allow you to do so, and how to find out the license of a YouTube video. Now, let’s learn how to download music on iPhone from YouTube both with and without a desktop device.

Disclaimer: We’re not promoting piracy and copyright infringement, and using these methods for malicious purposes is on your conscience.

YouTube Music Premium

YouTube has its own music streaming service, which allows paid users to download their favorite tunes and podcasts for offline listening. Here’s how to download music from YouTube to the iPhone music library using this feature:

  1. Select a track to download in the YouTube Music app.
  2. Tap the three-dot menu in the top-right corner.
  3. Click “Download” and enjoy your music even when you’re off the grid.
A mobile screenshot of a YouTube Music app screen with the Download option in the dropdown menu highlighted in red
Source: MUO

Note: this method only allows you to listen to the downloaded music within the YouTube Music app — you don’t have the audio files themselves on your hands, only offline access to them.

How to download music on iPhone from YouTube using online methods

What if you’re not a premium user of YouTube music, but you still want to keep your favorites on iPhone? In this case, online tools got you covered. The method boils down to downloading music on your computer and then transferring it on your iPhone. Let’s dive into the variety of websites that can help you and learn how to download music from YouTube to iPhone using a laptop.

One of the most popular websites for downloading music from YouTube was Y2Mate. However, it was shut down in several countries in 2021 — and we wouldn’t trust all these sketchy successors like “”. Here’s the list of Y2Mate alternatives that won’t get your device contaminated or show you questionable ads:

  • YtMp3.CC. This website allows you to download MP4 videos and MP3 audio tracks from YouTube. Aside from the standard “paste the link” user flow, it also has a quick download feature — you can add certain letter combinations to the YouTube video address or use a browser bookmark.
  • Hacktube. Hacktube allows you to download MP4 and MP3 files, WAV audio, and thumbnail images. It’s also mobile-friendly — you can use it both on your laptop and your iPhone.
  • Youtube Mp3. It’s simple as it is — past the link and get an MP3 with no restrictions on video duration. So feel free to download 3-hour video essays to listen to them as podcasts on the go!
  • Cobalt. This one is pure gold — it downloads videos and music from YouTube, Instagram, Soundcloud, Reddit, Twitch, and a lot more. The only drawback is the UI language — the website is not fully translated into English.
Hacktube screenshot showing how to download Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness, there are 4 options below: Save Video, Save WAV Audio, Get Thumbnail, and Save MP3
Lana got tired of looking for a decent YouTube audio downloader until she found Hacktube 🙂

And, if you have some tech knowledge, you can try Youtube-dl for downloading YouTube audio and video via the command line. Fun fact: Y2Mate was basically the front-end interface for the same software. We’re not diving into it, since it’s a little complex and requires a separate article, but there are many tutorials online.

How to download music from YouTube on iPhone using desktop tools

Even the most trusted and Reddit-approved websites for downloading music and videos from YouTube can turn out dangerous for your device. If you don’t want to get malware as a free gift with your downloaded video, you can use desktop apps — here’s the list:

  • 4K YouTube to MP3. This is an app brought to you by the developers of 4K Video Downloader+. It allows simultaneous downloads, downloading full playlists and channels in one click, and more. The free version has its limits like downloading 15 audio tracks per day, but the paid tiers are pretty affordable and totally worth the money. It’s also localized in 13 languages!
  • Noteburner YouTube music converter. This app allows you to download music from YouTube in several formats from MP3 to FLAC, supports 48 languages, and has a bunch of other cool features like a CD burning tool. Unfortunately, the free version only allows you to download the first minute of each audio track — you have to pay to appreciate the app in its full glory.
  • Any Video Converter. This free tool for downloading music from YouTube has several video format options, converts video to audio, and even offers an in-built audio editor with special effects, volume adjustment, and more. The paid version of the same tool unlocks even more features like a GIF maker.
The Noteburner YouTube Music Converter for Windows landing page screenshot with the product description
The Noteburner’s music converter is available for Windows and Mac, allows users to edit track IDs, and offers the 4K quality of downloaded videos. How cool is that?

How to download music from YouTube to the iPhone music library without a computer

In a pinch and without access to a desktop device? It’s a lot harder to download music from YouTube to iPhone without a computer, but some solutions are still available. We already mentioned Hacktube, the website that is very mobile-friendly and allows access from Safari, the default iPhone browser. What if you don’t want to use a browser?

Many YouTube downloader apps get removed from the official app store quickly, turn out to be scams or discontinue the service. Here are some of the options that are available by the time the article is published:

  • Shortcuts. Shortcuts is an app organizer that automates your daily routines hands-free with thousands of commands. The thing is, it has a command for downloading YouTube videos. So, whether you’re already using Shortcuts for your own purposes or have never used it before, consider this method. However, recent Reddit threads showed that this method might not work after iOS updates, so use it with caution. You can also record audio from a web page with Shortcuts, which is a legit plan B if the command doesn’t work.
  • Record it! Screen Recorder. This method is a little convoluted but some Reddit users don’t mind it. Basically, use this or another screen recording app, record a YouTube video, and then use a separate app for extracting audio from the video.

And that’s it — now you know how to download music from YouTube to iPhone! Keep in mind that downloading audio and video from YouTube is a sketchy venture, so check out the licenses for videos and make sure to use antivirus software to protect your devices.


How to download music from YouTube to the iPhone music library without a computer?

Honestly, it’s almost impossible; however, there are some methods. Use mobile-friendly websites like Hacktube or screen recording apps for iPhone.

Can you download music from YouTube?

You can download music from YouTube via websites like YouTube Mp3 and desktop apps like 4K YouTube to MP3.

Is it legal to download music from YouTube?

There are no known civil lawsuits on downloading music from YouTube and it’s technically not illegal. However, it violates the platform’s Terms of Service and may get your account banned.