How to Convert YouTube Videos to WMV Format


So, you’ve found a YouTube video that you’d like to keep. Maybe you plan to use it for a presentation or just to show to some friends who don’t have Internet access. Maybe you just want to save it for yourself. Whatever the case, doing so is simple, thanks to a website called, which will allow you to save YouTube videos to your computer. Converting those videos to Windows Media Video (WMV) format is just another easy program away.

Saving the YouTube Video to Your Computer

  • Find the YouTube video you’d like to save, and copy the page’s URL from the URL box of your browser.

  • In a new browser window or tab, go to, and paste the copied URL into the URL box and click "Download."

  • Answer the word jumble (in place to prevent automated requests to the KeepVid server), and choose one of the available video qualities to download. Usually, there will be two to three options from which to choose: one lower-quality FLV format and one or two higher-quality MP4 formats.

  • Save the file to a spot on your hard drive you can easily access, such as My Documents or the Desktop.

Converting the File to WMV

  • Download and install a video file conversion program. For Windows users, the best option is Windows Media Encoder 9 (WME), available to be downloaded for free directly from Microsoft’s website.

  • Start WME and select "Convert a File" from the Wizards menu that pops up when the program first starts.

  • Open the FLV or MP4 file that you saved from KeepVid, and choose a new name and location for the converted file. You can access Windows Explorer to select a location by clicking the "Browse…" option.

  • Click "Next," and you’ll be taken to the Content Distribution page. This page and the next two have various options to set additional encoding options, such as audio and video quality, and other optional information, like titles and subtitles, authors and ratings.

Tips & Warnings

  • Mac users may want to try Prism by NCH Software to convert their YouTube videos to WMV format.
  • Macs are not, by default, compatible with WMV format, since WMV is a Windows-proprietary file type. Additional codecs will be required before a Mac will play WMV files.

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  • Photo Credit Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
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