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Anant Murmu a5642f2c4a
[extractor/zee5] Generate device ids (#5062)
1 day ago
.github [docs] Improvements 3 weeks ago
devscripts [docs] Misc improvements 1 week ago
test [utils] `traverse_obj`: Rewrite, document and add tests (#5024) 4 days ago
yt_dlp [extractor/zee5] Generate device ids (#5062) 1 day ago
ytdlp_plugins [cleanup] Fix some typos (#4194) 3 months ago
.editorconfig [docs] Add an `.editorconfig` file (#3220) 6 months ago
.gitattributes [docs] Minor improvements (#3309, #3343) 6 months ago
.gitignore [cleanup] Misc 2 months ago [docs] Improvements 3 weeks ago
CONTRIBUTORS [docs] Improvements 3 weeks ago Release 2022.09.01 4 weeks ago [cleanup] Misc 2 months ago
LICENSE addedd a serious Public Domain dedication, see 10 years ago [build] Add `requirements.txt` to pip distributions 7 months ago
Makefile [build] `make tar' should not follow `DESTDIR` (#4790) 4 weeks ago [docs] Misc improvements 1 week ago [build] Exclude devscripts from installs 2 months ago
requirements.txt [cleanup] Misc cleanup 3 months ago
setup.cfg [docs] Misc improvements 1 week ago [build] Exclude devscripts from installs 2 months ago [extractor/animeondemand] Remove extractor (#4830) 4 weeks ago
yt-dlp.cmd [test] Convert warnings into errors 6 months ago [cleanup] Misc fixes and cleanup 4 months ago


Release version PyPi Donate Matrix Discord Supported Sites License: Unlicense CI Status Commits Last Commit

yt-dlp is a youtube-dl fork based on the now inactive youtube-dlc. The main focus of this project is adding new features and patches while also keeping up to date with the original project


  • Merged with youtube-dl v2021.12.17+ commit/ed5c44e and youtube-dlc v2020.11.11-3+ commit/f9401f2: You get all the features and patches of youtube-dlc in addition to the latest youtube-dl

  • SponsorBlock Integration: You can mark/remove sponsor sections in youtube videos by utilizing the SponsorBlock API

  • Format Sorting: The default format sorting options have been changed so that higher resolution and better codecs will be now preferred instead of simply using larger bitrate. Furthermore, you can now specify the sort order using -S. This allows for much easier format selection than what is possible by simply using --format (examples)

  • Merged with animelover1984/youtube-dl: You get most of the features and improvements from animelover1984/youtube-dl including --write-comments, BiliBiliSearch, BilibiliChannel, Embedding thumbnail in mp4/ogg/opus, playlist infojson etc. Note that the NicoNico livestreams are not available. See #31 for details.

  • YouTube improvements:

    • Supports Clips, Stories (ytstories:<channel UCID>), Search (including filters)*, YouTube Music Search, Channel-specific search, Search prefixes (ytsearch:, ytsearchdate:)*, Mixes, YouTube Music Albums/Channels (except self-uploaded music), and Feeds (:ytfav, :ytwatchlater, :ytsubs, :ythistory, :ytrec, :ytnotif)
    • Fix for n-sig based throttling *
    • Supports some (but not all) age-gated content without cookies
    • Download livestreams from the start using --live-from-start (experimental)
    • 255kbps audio is extracted (if available) from YouTube Music when premium cookies are given
    • Redirect channel's home URL automatically to /video to preserve the old behaviour
  • Cookies from browser: Cookies can be automatically extracted from all major web browsers using --cookies-from-browser BROWSER[+KEYRING][:PROFILE]

  • Download time range: Videos can be downloaded partially based on either timestamps or chapters using --download-sections

  • Split video by chapters: Videos can be split into multiple files based on chapters using --split-chapters

  • Multi-threaded fragment downloads: Download multiple fragments of m3u8/mpd videos in parallel. Use --concurrent-fragments (-N) option to set the number of threads used

  • Aria2c with HLS/DASH: You can use aria2c as the external downloader for DASH(mpd) and HLS(m3u8) formats

  • New and fixed extractors: Many new extractors have been added and a lot of existing ones have been fixed. See the changelog or the list of supported sites

  • New MSOs: Philo, Spectrum, SlingTV, Cablevision, RCN etc.

  • Subtitle extraction from manifests: Subtitles can be extracted from streaming media manifests. See commit/be6202f for details

  • Multiple paths and output templates: You can give different output templates and download paths for different types of files. You can also set a temporary path where intermediary files are downloaded to using --paths (-P)

  • Portable Configuration: Configuration files are automatically loaded from the home and root directories. See CONFIGURATION for details

  • Output template improvements: Output templates can now have date-time formatting, numeric offsets, object traversal etc. See output template for details. Even more advanced operations can also be done with the help of --parse-metadata and --replace-in-metadata

  • Other new options: Many new options have been added such as --alias, --print, --concat-playlist, --wait-for-video, --retry-sleep, --sleep-requests, --convert-thumbnails, --force-download-archive, --force-overwrites, --break-on-reject etc

  • Improvements: Regex and other operators in --format/--match-filter, multiple --postprocessor-args and --downloader-args, faster archive checking, more format selection options, merge multi-video/audio, multiple --config-locations, --exec at different stages, etc

  • Plugins: Extractors and PostProcessors can be loaded from an external file. See plugins for details

  • Self-updater: The releases can be updated using yt-dlp -U

See changelog or commits for the full list of changes

Features marked with a * have been back-ported to youtube-dl

Differences in default behavior

Some of yt-dlp's default options are different from that of youtube-dl and youtube-dlc:

  • The options --auto-number (-A), --title (-t) and --literal (-l), no longer work. See removed options for details
  • avconv is not supported as an alternative to ffmpeg
  • yt-dlp stores config files in slightly different locations to youtube-dl. See CONFIGURATION for a list of correct locations
  • The default output template is %(title)s [%(id)s].%(ext)s. There is no real reason for this change. This was changed before yt-dlp was ever made public and now there are no plans to change it back to %(title)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s. Instead, you may use --compat-options filename
  • The default format sorting is different from youtube-dl and prefers higher resolution and better codecs rather than higher bitrates. You can use the --format-sort option to change this to any order you prefer, or use --compat-options format-sort to use youtube-dl's sorting order
  • The default format selector is bv*+ba/b. This means that if a combined video + audio format that is better than the best video-only format is found, the former will be preferred. Use -f bv+ba/b or --compat-options format-spec to revert this
  • Unlike youtube-dlc, yt-dlp does not allow merging multiple audio/video streams into one file by default (since this conflicts with the use of -f bv*+ba). If needed, this feature must be enabled using --audio-multistreams and --video-multistreams. You can also use --compat-options multistreams to enable both
  • --no-abort-on-error is enabled by default. Use --abort-on-error or --compat-options abort-on-error to abort on errors instead
  • When writing metadata files such as thumbnails, description or infojson, the same information (if available) is also written for playlists. Use --no-write-playlist-metafiles or --compat-options no-playlist-metafiles to not write these files
  • --add-metadata attaches the infojson to mkv files in addition to writing the metadata when used with --write-info-json. Use --no-embed-info-json or --compat-options no-attach-info-json to revert this
  • Some metadata are embedded into different fields when using --add-metadata as compared to youtube-dl. Most notably, comment field contains the webpage_url and synopsis contains the description. You can use --parse-metadata to modify this to your liking or use --compat-options embed-metadata to revert this
  • playlist_index behaves differently when used with options like --playlist-reverse and --playlist-items. See #302 for details. You can use --compat-options playlist-index if you want to keep the earlier behavior
  • The output of -F is listed in a new format. Use --compat-options list-formats to revert this
  • Live chats (if available) are considered as subtitles. Use --sub-langs all,-live_chat to download all subtitles except live chat. You can also use --compat-options no-live-chat to prevent any live chat/danmaku from downloading
  • Youtube channel URLs are automatically redirected to /video. Append a /featured to the URL to download only the videos in the home page. If the channel does not have a videos tab, we try to download the equivalent UU playlist instead. For all other tabs, if the channel does not show the requested tab, an error will be raised. Also, /live URLs raise an error if there are no live videos instead of silently downloading the entire channel. You may use --compat-options no-youtube-channel-redirect to revert all these redirections
  • Unavailable videos are also listed for youtube playlists. Use --compat-options no-youtube-unavailable-videos to remove this
  • The upload dates extracted from YouTube are in UTC when available. Use --compat-options no-youtube-prefer-utc-upload-date to prefer the non-UTC upload date.
  • If ffmpeg is used as the downloader, the downloading and merging of formats happen in a single step when possible. Use --compat-options no-direct-merge to revert this
  • Thumbnail embedding in mp4 is done with mutagen if possible. Use --compat-options embed-thumbnail-atomicparsley to force the use of AtomicParsley instead
  • Some private fields such as filenames are removed by default from the infojson. Use --no-clean-infojson or --compat-options no-clean-infojson to revert this
  • When --embed-subs and --write-subs are used together, the subtitles are written to disk and also embedded in the media file. You can use just --embed-subs to embed the subs and automatically delete the separate file. See #630 (comment) for more info. --compat-options no-keep-subs can be used to revert this
  • certifi will be used for SSL root certificates, if installed. If you want to use system certificates (e.g. self-signed), use --compat-options no-certifi
  • yt-dlp's sanitization of invalid characters in filenames is different/smarter than in youtube-dl. You can use --compat-options filename-sanitization to revert to youtube-dl's behavior

For ease of use, a few more compat options are available:

  • --compat-options all: Use all compat options (Do NOT use)
  • --compat-options youtube-dl: Same as --compat-options all,-multistreams
  • --compat-options youtube-dlc: Same as --compat-options all,-no-live-chat,-no-youtube-channel-redirect


Windows Unix MacOS PyPi Source Tarball Other variants All versions

You can install yt-dlp using the binaries, PIP or one using a third-party package manager. See the wiki for detailed instructions


You can use yt-dlp -U to update if you are using the release binaries

If you installed with PIP, simply re-run the same command that was used to install the program

For other third-party package managers, see the wiki or refer their documentation


File Description
yt-dlp Platform-independent zipimport binary. Needs Python (recommended for Linux/BSD)
yt-dlp.exe Windows (Win7 SP1+) standalone x64 binary (recommended for Windows)
yt-dlp_macos Universal MacOS (10.15+) standalone executable (recommended for MacOS)


File Description
yt-dlp_x86.exe Windows (Vista SP2+) standalone x86 (32-bit) binary
yt-dlp_min.exe Windows (Win7 SP1+) standalone x64 binary built with py2exe
(Not recommended)
yt-dlp_linux Linux standalone x64 binary Unpackaged Linux executable (no auto-update) Unpackaged Windows executable (no auto-update) Unpackaged MacOS (10.15+) executable (no auto-update)
yt-dlp_macos_legacy MacOS (10.9+) standalone x64 executable


File Description
yt-dlp.tar.gz Source tarball
SHA2-512SUMS GNU-style SHA512 sums
SHA2-256SUMS GNU-style SHA256 sums

Note: The manpages, shell completion files etc. are available in the source tarball


Python versions 3.7+ (CPython and PyPy) are supported. Other versions and implementations may or may not work correctly.

While all the other dependencies are optional, ffmpeg and ffprobe are highly recommended




  • pycryptodomex* - For decrypting AES-128 HLS streams and various other data. Licensed under BSD-2-Clause
  • phantomjs - Used in extractors where javascript needs to be run. Licensed under BSD-3-Clause
  • secretstorage - For --cookies-from-browser to access the Gnome keyring while decrypting cookies of Chromium-based browsers on Linux. Licensed under BSD-3-Clause
  • Any external downloader that you want to use with --downloader


To use or redistribute the dependencies, you must agree to their respective licensing terms.

The standalone release binaries are built with the Python interpreter and the packages marked with * included.

If you do not have the necessary dependencies for a task you are attempting, yt-dlp will warn you. All the currently available dependencies are visible at the top of the --verbose output


Standalone PyInstaller Builds

To build the standalone executable, you must have Python and pyinstaller (plus any of yt-dlp's optional dependencies if needed). Once you have all the necessary dependencies installed, simply run The executable will be built for the same architecture (x86/ARM, 32/64 bit) as the Python used.

python3 -m pip install -U pyinstaller -r requirements.txt
python3 devscripts/

On some systems, you may need to use py or python instead of python3.

Note that pyinstaller with versions below 4.4 do not support Python installed from the Windows store without using a virtual environment.

Important: Running pyinstaller directly without using is not officially supported. This may or may not work correctly.

Platform-independent Binary (UNIX)

You will need the build tools python (3.7+), zip, make (GNU), pandoc* and pytest*.

After installing these, simply run make.

You can also run make yt-dlp instead to compile only the binary without updating any of the additional files. (The build tools marked with * are not needed for this)

Standalone Py2Exe Builds (Windows)

While we provide the option to build with py2exe, it is recommended to build using PyInstaller instead since the py2exe builds cannot contain pycryptodomex/certifi and needs VC++14 on the target computer to run.

If you wish to build it anyway, install Python and py2exe, and then simply run py2exe

py -m pip install -U py2exe -r requirements.txt
py devscripts/
py py2exe
  • devscripts/ [revision] - Update the version number based on current date
  • devscripts/ variant [-M update_message] - Set the build variant of the executable
  • devscripts/ - Create lazy extractors. Running this before building the binaries (any variant) will improve their startup performance. Set the environment variable YTDLP_NO_LAZY_EXTRACTORS=1 if you wish to forcefully disable lazy extractor loading.

You can also fork the project on github and run your fork's build workflow to automatically build a full release


yt-dlp [OPTIONS] [--] URL [URL...]

Ctrl+F is your friend :D

General Options:

-h, --help                      Print this help text and exit
--version                       Print program version and exit
-U, --update                    Update this program to the latest version
--no-update                     Do not check for updates (default)
-i, --ignore-errors             Ignore download and postprocessing errors.
                                The download will be considered successful
                                even if the postprocessing fails
--no-abort-on-error             Continue with next video on download errors;
                                e.g. to skip unavailable videos in a
                                playlist (default)
--abort-on-error                Abort downloading of further videos if an
                                error occurs (Alias: --no-ignore-errors)
--dump-user-agent               Display the current user-agent and exit
--list-extractors               List all supported extractors and exit
--extractor-descriptions        Output descriptions of all supported
                                extractors and exit
--use-extractors NAMES          Extractor names to use separated by commas.
                                You can also use regexes, "all", "default"
                                and "end" (end URL matching); e.g. --ies
                                "holodex.*,end,youtube". Prefix the name
                                with a "-" to exclude it, e.g. --ies
                                default,-generic. Use --list-extractors for
                                a list of extractor names. (Alias: --ies)
--default-search PREFIX         Use this prefix for unqualified URLs. E.g.
                                "gvsearch2:python" downloads two videos from
                                google videos for the search term "python".
                                Use the value "auto" to let yt-dlp guess
                                ("auto_warning" to emit a warning when
                                guessing). "error" just throws an error. The
                                default value "fixup_error" repairs broken
                                URLs, but emits an error if this is not
                                possible instead of searching
--ignore-config                 Don't load any more configuration files
                                except those given by --config-locations.
                                For backward compatibility, if this option
                                is found inside the system configuration
                                file, the user configuration is not loaded.
                                (Alias: --no-config)
--no-config-locations           Do not load any custom configuration files
                                (default). When given inside a configuration
                                file, ignore all previous --config-locations
                                defined in the current file
--config-locations PATH         Location of the main configuration file;
                                either the path to the config or its
                                containing directory ("-" for stdin). Can be
                                used multiple times and inside other
                                configuration files
--flat-playlist                 Do not extract the videos of a playlist,
                                only list them
--no-flat-playlist              Extract the videos of a playlist
--live-from-start               Download livestreams from the start.
                                Currently only supported for YouTube
--no-live-from-start            Download livestreams from the current time
--wait-for-video MIN[-MAX]      Wait for scheduled streams to become
                                available. Pass the minimum number of
                                seconds (or range) to wait between retries
--no-wait-for-video             Do not wait for scheduled streams (default)
--mark-watched                  Mark videos watched (even with --simulate)
--no-mark-watched               Do not mark videos watched (default)
--no-colors                     Do not emit color codes in output (Alias:
--compat-options OPTS           Options that can help keep compatibility
                                with youtube-dl or youtube-dlc
                                configurations by reverting some of the
                                changes made in yt-dlp. See "Differences in
                                default behavior" for details
--alias ALIASES OPTIONS         Create aliases for an option string. Unless
                                an alias starts with a dash "-", it is
                                prefixed with "--". Arguments are parsed
                                according to the Python string formatting
                                mini-language. E.g. --alias get-audio,-X
                                "-S=aext:{0},abr -x --audio-format {0}"
                                creates options "--get-audio" and "-X" that
                                takes an argument (ARG0) and expands to
                                "-S=aext:ARG0,abr -x --audio-format ARG0".
                                All defined aliases are listed in the --help
                                output. Alias options can trigger more
                                aliases; so be careful to avoid defining
                                recursive options. As a safety measure, each
                                alias may be triggered a maximum of 100
                                times. This option can be used multiple times

Network Options:

--proxy URL                     Use the specified HTTP/HTTPS/SOCKS proxy. To
                                enable SOCKS proxy, specify a proper scheme,
                                e.g. socks5://user:pass@
                                Pass in an empty string (--proxy "") for
                                direct connection
--socket-timeout SECONDS        Time to wait before giving up, in seconds
--source-address IP             Client-side IP address to bind to
-4, --force-ipv4                Make all connections via IPv4
-6, --force-ipv6                Make all connections via IPv6


--geo-verification-proxy URL    Use this proxy to verify the IP address for
                                some geo-restricted sites. The default proxy
                                specified by --proxy (or none, if the option
                                is not present) is used for the actual
--geo-bypass                    Bypass geographic restriction via faking
                                X-Forwarded-For HTTP header (default)
--no-geo-bypass                 Do not bypass geographic restriction via
                                faking X-Forwarded-For HTTP header
--geo-bypass-country CODE       Force bypass geographic restriction with
                                explicitly provided two-letter ISO 3166-2
                                country code
--geo-bypass-ip-block IP_BLOCK  Force bypass geographic restriction with
                                explicitly provided IP block in CIDR notation

Video Selection:

-I, --playlist-items ITEM_SPEC  Comma separated playlist_index of the videos
                                to download. You can specify a range using
                                "[START]:[STOP][:STEP]". For backward
                                compatibility, START-STOP is also supported.
                                Use negative indices to count from the right
                                and negative STEP to download in reverse
                                order. E.g. "-I 1:3,7,-5::2" used on a
                                playlist of size 15 will download the videos
                                at index 1,2,3,7,11,13,15
--min-filesize SIZE             Do not download any videos smaller than
                                SIZE, e.g. 50k or 44.6M
--max-filesize SIZE             Do not download any videos larger than SIZE,
                                e.g. 50k or 44.6M
--date DATE                     Download only videos uploaded on this date.
                                The date can be "YYYYMMDD" or in the format 
                                E.g. --date today-2weeks
--datebefore DATE               Download only videos uploaded on or before
                                this date. The date formats accepted is the
                                same as --date
--dateafter DATE                Download only videos uploaded on or after
                                this date. The date formats accepted is the
                                same as --date
--match-filters FILTER          Generic video filter. Any "OUTPUT TEMPLATE"
                                field can be compared with a number or a
                                string using the operators defined in
                                "Filtering Formats". You can also simply
                                specify a field to match if the field is
                                present, use "!field" to check if the field
                                is not present, and "&" to check multiple
                                conditions. Use a "\" to escape "&" or
                                quotes if needed. If used multiple times,
                                the filter matches if atleast one of the
                                conditions are met. E.g. --match-filter
                                !is_live --match-filter "like_count>?100 &
                                description~='(?i)\bcats \& dogs\b'" matches
                                only videos that are not live OR those that
                                have a like count more than 100 (or the like
                                field is not available) and also has a
                                description that contains the phrase "cats &
                                dogs" (caseless). Use "--match-filter -" to
                                interactively ask whether to download each
--no-match-filter               Do not use generic video filter (default)
--no-playlist                   Download only the video, if the URL refers
                                to a video and a playlist
--yes-playlist                  Download the playlist, if the URL refers to
                                a video and a playlist
--age-limit YEARS               Download only videos suitable for the given
--download-archive FILE         Download only videos not listed in the
                                archive file. Record the IDs of all
                                downloaded videos in it
--no-download-archive           Do not use archive file (default)
--max-downloads NUMBER          Abort after downloading NUMBER files
--break-on-existing             Stop the download process when encountering
                                a file that is in the archive
--break-on-reject               Stop the download process when encountering
                                a file that has been filtered out
--break-per-input               --break-on-existing, --break-on-reject,
                                --max-downloads, and autonumber resets per
                                input URL
--no-break-per-input            --break-on-existing and similar options
                                terminates the entire download queue
--skip-playlist-after-errors N  Number of allowed failures until the rest of
                                the playlist is skipped

Download Options:

-N, --concurrent-fragments N    Number of fragments of a dash/hlsnative
                                video that should be downloaded concurrently
                                (default is 1)
-r, --limit-rate RATE           Maximum download rate in bytes per second,
                                e.g. 50K or 4.2M
--throttled-rate RATE           Minimum download rate in bytes per second
                                below which throttling is assumed and the
                                video data is re-extracted, e.g. 100K
-R, --retries RETRIES           Number of retries (default is 10), or
--file-access-retries RETRIES   Number of times to retry on file access
                                error (default is 3), or "infinite"
--fragment-retries RETRIES      Number of retries for a fragment (default is
                                10), or "infinite" (DASH, hlsnative and ISM)
--retry-sleep [TYPE:]EXPR       Time to sleep between retries in seconds
                                (optionally) prefixed by the type of retry
                                (http (default), fragment, file_access,
                                extractor) to apply the sleep to. EXPR can
                                be a number, linear=START[:END[:STEP=1]] or
                                exp=START[:END[:BASE=2]]. This option can be
                                used multiple times to set the sleep for the
                                different retry types, e.g. --retry-sleep
                                linear=1::2 --retry-sleep fragment:exp=1:20
--skip-unavailable-fragments    Skip unavailable fragments for DASH,
                                hlsnative and ISM downloads (default)
                                (Alias: --no-abort-on-unavailable-fragment)
                                Abort download if a fragment is unavailable
                                (Alias: --no-skip-unavailable-fragments)
--keep-fragments                Keep downloaded fragments on disk after
                                downloading is finished
--no-keep-fragments             Delete downloaded fragments after
                                downloading is finished (default)
--buffer-size SIZE              Size of download buffer, e.g. 1024 or 16K
                                (default is 1024)
--resize-buffer                 The buffer size is automatically resized
                                from an initial value of --buffer-size
--no-resize-buffer              Do not automatically adjust the buffer size
--http-chunk-size SIZE          Size of a chunk for chunk-based HTTP
                                downloading, e.g. 10485760 or 10M (default
                                is disabled). May be useful for bypassing
                                bandwidth throttling imposed by a webserver
--playlist-random               Download playlist videos in random order
--lazy-playlist                 Process entries in the playlist as they are
                                received. This disables n_entries,
                                --playlist-random and --playlist-reverse
--no-lazy-playlist              Process videos in the playlist only after
                                the entire playlist is parsed (default)
--xattr-set-filesize            Set file xattribute ytdl.filesize with
                                expected file size
--hls-use-mpegts                Use the mpegts container for HLS videos;
                                allowing some players to play the video
                                while downloading, and reducing the chance
                                of file corruption if download is
                                interrupted. This is enabled by default for
                                live streams
--no-hls-use-mpegts             Do not use the mpegts container for HLS
                                videos. This is default when not downloading
                                live streams
--download-sections REGEX       Download only chapters whose title matches
                                the given regular expression. Time ranges
                                prefixed by a "*" can also be used in place
                                of chapters to download the specified range.
                                Needs ffmpeg. This option can be used
                                multiple times to download multiple
                                sections, e.g. --download-sections
                                "*10:15-inf" --download-sections "intro"
--downloader [PROTO:]NAME       Name or path of the external downloader to
                                use (optionally) prefixed by the protocols
                                (http, ftp, m3u8, dash, rstp, rtmp, mms) to
                                use it for. Currently supports native,
                                aria2c, avconv, axel, curl, ffmpeg, httpie,
                                wget. You can use this option multiple times
                                to set different downloaders for different
                                protocols. E.g. --downloader aria2c
                                --downloader "dash,m3u8:native" will use
                                aria2c for http/ftp downloads, and the
                                native downloader for dash/m3u8 downloads
                                (Alias: --external-downloader)
--downloader-args NAME:ARGS     Give these arguments to the external
                                downloader. Specify the downloader name and
                                the arguments separated by a colon ":". For
                                ffmpeg, arguments can be passed to different
                                positions using the same syntax as
                                --postprocessor-args. You can use this
                                option multiple times to give different
                                arguments to different downloaders (Alias:

Filesystem Options:

-a, --batch-file FILE           File containing URLs to download ("-" for
                                stdin), one URL per line. Lines starting
                                with "#", ";" or "]" are considered as
                                comments and ignored
--no-batch-file                 Do not read URLs from batch file (default)
-P, --paths [TYPES:]PATH        The paths where the files should be
                                downloaded. Specify the type of file and the
                                path separated by a colon ":". All the same
                                TYPES as --output are supported.
                                Additionally, you can also provide "home"
                                (default) and "temp" paths. All intermediary
                                files are first downloaded to the temp path
                                and then the final files are moved over to
                                the home path after download is finished.
                                This option is ignored if --output is an
                                absolute path
-o, --output [TYPES:]TEMPLATE   Output filename template; see "OUTPUT
                                TEMPLATE" for details
--output-na-placeholder TEXT    Placeholder for unavailable fields in
                                "OUTPUT TEMPLATE" (default: "NA")
--restrict-filenames            Restrict filenames to only ASCII characters,
                                and avoid "&" and spaces in filenames
--no-restrict-filenames         Allow Unicode characters, "&" and spaces in
                                filenames (default)
--windows-filenames             Force filenames to be Windows-compatible
--no-windows-filenames          Make filenames Windows-compatible only if
                                using Windows (default)
--trim-filenames LENGTH         Limit the filename length (excluding
                                extension) to the specified number of
-w, --no-overwrites             Do not overwrite any files
--force-overwrites              Overwrite all video and metadata files. This
                                option includes --no-continue
--no-force-overwrites           Do not overwrite the video, but overwrite
                                related files (default)
-c, --continue                  Resume partially downloaded files/fragments
--no-continue                   Do not resume partially downloaded
                                fragments. If the file is not fragmented,
                                restart download of the entire file
--part                          Use .part files instead of writing directly
                                into output file (default)
--no-part                       Do not use .part files - write directly into
                                output file
--mtime                         Use the Last-modified header to set the file
                                modification time (default)
--no-mtime                      Do not use the Last-modified header to set
                                the file modification time
--write-description             Write video description to a .description file
--no-write-description          Do not write video description (default)
--write-info-json               Write video metadata to a .info.json file
                                (this may contain personal information)
--no-write-info-json            Do not write video metadata (default)
--write-playlist-metafiles      Write playlist metadata in addition to the
                                video metadata when using --write-info-json,
                                --write-description etc. (default)
--no-write-playlist-metafiles   Do not write playlist metadata when using
                                --write-info-json, --write-description etc.
--clean-info-json               Remove some private fields such as filenames
                                from the infojson. Note that it could still
                                contain some personal information (default)
--no-clean-info-json            Write all fields to the infojson
--write-comments                Retrieve video comments to be placed in the
                                infojson. The comments are fetched even
                                without this option if the extraction is
                                known to be quick (Alias: --get-comments)
--no-write-comments             Do not retrieve video comments unless the
                                extraction is known to be quick (Alias:
--load-info-json FILE           JSON file containing the video information
                                (created with the "--write-info-json" option)
--cookies FILE                  Netscape formatted file to read cookies from
                                and dump cookie jar in
--no-cookies                    Do not read/dump cookies from/to file
--cookies-from-browser BROWSER[+KEYRING][:PROFILE][::CONTAINER]
                                The name of the browser to load cookies
                                from. Currently supported browsers are:
                                brave, chrome, chromium, edge, firefox,
                                opera, safari, vivaldi. Optionally, the
                                KEYRING used for decrypting Chromium cookies
                                on Linux, the name/path of the PROFILE to
                                load cookies from, and the CONTAINER name
                                (if Firefox) ("none" for no container) can
                                be given with their respective seperators.
                                By default, all containers of the most
                                recently accessed profile are used.
                                Currently supported keyrings are: basictext,
                                gnomekeyring, kwallet
--no-cookies-from-browser       Do not load cookies from browser (default)
--cache-dir DIR                 Location in the filesystem where yt-dlp can
                                store some downloaded information (such as
                                client ids and signatures) permanently. By
                                default $XDG_CACHE_HOME/yt-dlp or
--no-cache-dir                  Disable filesystem caching
--rm-cache-dir                  Delete all filesystem cache files

Thumbnail Options:

--write-thumbnail               Write thumbnail image to disk
--no-write-thumbnail            Do not write thumbnail image to disk (default)
--write-all-thumbnails          Write all thumbnail image formats to disk
--list-thumbnails               List available thumbnails of each video.
                                Simulate unless --no-simulate is used

Internet Shortcut Options:

--write-link                    Write an internet shortcut file, depending
                                on the current platform (.url, .webloc or
                                .desktop). The URL may be cached by the OS
--write-url-link                Write a .url Windows internet shortcut. The
                                OS caches the URL based on the file path
--write-webloc-link             Write a .webloc macOS internet shortcut
--write-desktop-link            Write a .desktop Linux internet shortcut

Verbosity and Simulation Options:

-q, --quiet                     Activate quiet mode. If used with --verbose,
                                print the log to stderr
--no-warnings                   Ignore warnings
-s, --simulate                  Do not download the video and do not write
                                anything to disk
--no-simulate                   Download the video even if printing/listing
                                options are used
--ignore-no-formats-error       Ignore "No video formats" error. Useful for
                                extracting metadata even if the videos are
                                not actually available for download
--no-ignore-no-formats-error    Throw error when no downloadable video
                                formats are found (default)
--skip-download                 Do not download the video but write all
                                related files (Alias: --no-download)
-O, --print [WHEN:]TEMPLATE     Field name or output template to print to
                                screen, optionally prefixed with when to
                                print it, separated by a ":". Supported
                                values of "WHEN" are the same as that of
                                --use-postprocessor, and "video" (default).
                                Implies --quiet. Implies --simulate unless
                                --no-simulate or later stages of WHEN are
                                used. This option can be used multiple times
--print-to-file [WHEN:]TEMPLATE FILE
                                Append given template to the file. The
                                values of WHEN and TEMPLATE are same as that
                                of --print. FILE uses the same syntax as the
                                output template. This option can be used
                                multiple times
-j, --dump-json                 Quiet, but print JSON information for each
                                video. Simulate unless --no-simulate is
                                used. See "OUTPUT TEMPLATE" for a
                                description of available keys
-J, --dump-single-json          Quiet, but print JSON information for each
                                url or infojson passed. Simulate unless
                                --no-simulate is used. If the URL refers to
                                a playlist, the whole playlist information
                                is dumped in a single line
--force-write-archive           Force download archive entries to be written
                                as far as no errors occur, even if -s or
                                another simulation option is used (Alias:
--newline                       Output progress bar as new lines
--no-progress                   Do not print progress bar
--progress                      Show progress bar, even if in quiet mode
--console-title                 Display progress in console titlebar
--progress-template [TYPES:]TEMPLATE
                                Template for progress outputs, optionally
                                prefixed with one of "download:" (default),
                                "download-title:" (the console title),
                                "postprocess:",  or "postprocess-title:".
                                The video's fields are accessible under the
                                "info" key and the progress attributes are
                                accessible under "progress" key. E.g.
                                --console-title --progress-template
-v, --verbose                   Print various debugging information
--dump-pages                    Print downloaded pages encoded using base64
                                to debug problems (very verbose)
--write-pages                   Write downloaded intermediary pages to files
                                in the current directory to debug problems
--print-traffic                 Display sent and read HTTP traffic


--encoding ENCODING             Force the specified encoding (experimental)
--legacy-server-connect         Explicitly allow HTTPS connection to servers
                                that do not support RFC 5746 secure
--no-check-certificates         Suppress HTTPS certificate validation
--prefer-insecure               Use an unencrypted connection to retrieve
                                information about the video (Currently
                                supported only for YouTube)
--add-header FIELD:VALUE        Specify a custom HTTP header and its value,
                                separated by a colon ":". You can use this
                                option multiple times
--bidi-workaround               Work around terminals that lack
                                bidirectional text support. Requires bidiv
                                or fribidi executable in PATH
--sleep-requests SECONDS        Number of seconds to sleep between requests
                                during data extraction
--sleep-interval SECONDS        Number of seconds to sleep before each
                                download. This is the minimum time to sleep
                                when used along with --max-sleep-interval
                                (Alias: --min-sleep-interval)
--max-sleep-interval SECONDS    Maximum number of seconds to sleep. Can only
                                be used along with --min-sleep-interval
--sleep-subtitles SECONDS       Number of seconds to sleep before each
                                subtitle download

Video Format Options:

-f, --format FORMAT             Video format code, see "FORMAT SELECTION"
                                for more details
-S, --format-sort SORTORDER     Sort the formats by the fields given, see
                                "Sorting Formats" for more details
--format-sort-force             Force user specified sort order to have
                                precedence over all fields, see "Sorting
                                Formats" for more details (Alias: --S-force)
--no-format-sort-force          Some fields have precedence over the user
                                specified sort order (default)
--video-multistreams            Allow multiple video streams to be merged
                                into a single file
--no-video-multistreams         Only one video stream is downloaded for each
                                output file (default)
--audio-multistreams            Allow multiple audio streams to be merged
                                into a single file
--no-audio-multistreams         Only one audio stream is downloaded for each
                                output file (default)
--prefer-free-formats           Prefer video formats with free containers
                                over non-free ones of same quality. Use with
                                "-S ext" to strictly prefer free containers
                                irrespective of quality
--no-prefer-free-formats        Don't give any special preference to free
                                containers (default)
--check-formats                 Make sure formats are selected only from
                                those that are actually downloadable
--check-all-formats             Check all formats for whether they are
                                actually downloadable
--no-check-formats              Do not check that the formats are actually
-F, --list-formats              List available formats of each video.
                                Simulate unless --no-simulate is used
--merge-output-format FORMAT    Containers that may be used when merging
                                formats, separated by "/", e.g. "mp4/mkv".
                                Ignored if no merge is required. (currently
                                supported: avi, flv, mkv, mov, mp4, webm)

Subtitle Options:

--write-subs                    Write subtitle file
--no-write-subs                 Do not write subtitle file (default)
--write-auto-subs               Write automatically generated subtitle file
                                (Alias: --write-automatic-subs)
--no-write-auto-subs            Do not write auto-generated subtitles
                                (default) (Alias: --no-write-automatic-subs)
--list-subs                     List available subtitles of each video.
                                Simulate unless --no-simulate is used
--sub-format FORMAT             Subtitle format; accepts formats preference,
                                e.g. "srt" or "ass/srt/best"
--sub-langs LANGS               Languages of the subtitles to download (can
                                be regex) or "all" separated by commas, e.g.
                                --sub-langs "en.*,ja". You can prefix the
                                language code with a "-" to exclude it from
                                the requested languages, e.g. --sub-langs
                                all,-live_chat. Use --list-subs for a list
                                of available language tags

Authentication Options:

-u, --username USERNAME         Login with this account ID
-p, --password PASSWORD         Account password. If this option is left
                                out, yt-dlp will ask interactively
-2, --twofactor TWOFACTOR       Two-factor authentication code
-n, --netrc                     Use .netrc authentication data
--netrc-location PATH           Location of .netrc authentication data;
                                either the path or its containing directory.
                                Defaults to ~/.netrc
--video-password PASSWORD       Video password (vimeo, youku)
--ap-mso MSO                    Adobe Pass multiple-system operator (TV
                                provider) identifier, use --ap-list-mso for
                                a list of available MSOs
--ap-username USERNAME          Multiple-system operator account login
--ap-password PASSWORD          Multiple-system operator account password.
                                If this option is left out, yt-dlp will ask
--ap-list-mso                   List all supported multiple-system operators
--client-certificate CERTFILE   Path to client certificate file in PEM
                                format. May include the private key
--client-certificate-key KEYFILE
                                Path to private key file for client
--client-certificate-password PASSWORD
                                Password for client certificate private key,
                                if encrypted. If not provided, and the key
                                is encrypted, yt-dlp will ask interactively

Post-Processing Options:

-x, --extract-audio             Convert video files to audio-only files
                                (requires ffmpeg and ffprobe)
--audio-format FORMAT           Format to convert the audio to when -x is
                                used. (currently supported: best (default),
                                aac, alac, flac, m4a, mp3, opus, vorbis,
                                wav). You can specify multiple rules using
                                similar syntax as --remux-video
--audio-quality QUALITY         Specify ffmpeg audio quality to use when
                                converting the audio with -x. Insert a value
                                between 0 (best) and 10 (worst) for VBR or a
                                specific bitrate like 128K (default 5)
--remux-video FORMAT            Remux the video into another container if
                                necessary (currently supported: avi, flv,
                                mkv, mov, mp4, webm, aac, aiff, alac, flac,
                                m4a, mka, mp3, ogg, opus, vorbis, wav). If
                                target container does not support the
                                video/audio codec, remuxing will fail. You
                                can specify multiple rules; e.g.
                                "aac>m4a/mov>mp4/mkv" will remux aac to m4a,
                                mov to mp4 and anything else to mkv
--recode-video FORMAT           Re-encode the video into another format if
                                necessary. The syntax and supported formats
                                are the same as --remux-video
--postprocessor-args NAME:ARGS  Give these arguments to the postprocessors.
                                Specify the postprocessor/executable name
                                and the arguments separated by a colon ":"
                                to give the argument to the specified
                                postprocessor/executable. Supported PP are:
                                Merger, ModifyChapters, SplitChapters,
                                ExtractAudio, VideoRemuxer, VideoConvertor,
                                Metadata, EmbedSubtitle, EmbedThumbnail,
                                SubtitlesConvertor, ThumbnailsConvertor,
                                FixupStretched, FixupM4a, FixupM3u8,
                                FixupTimestamp and FixupDuration. The
                                supported executables are: AtomicParsley,
                                FFmpeg and FFprobe. You can also specify
                                "PP+EXE:ARGS" to give the arguments to the
                                specified executable only when being used by
                                the specified postprocessor. Additionally,
                                for ffmpeg/ffprobe, "_i"/"_o" can be
                                appended to the prefix optionally followed
                                by a number to pass the argument before the
                                specified input/output file, e.g. --ppa
                                "Merger+ffmpeg_i1:-v quiet". You can use
                                this option multiple times to give different
                                arguments to different postprocessors.
                                (Alias: --ppa)
-k, --keep-video                Keep the intermediate video file on disk
                                after post-processing
--no-keep-video                 Delete the intermediate video file after
                                post-processing (default)
--post-overwrites               Overwrite post-processed files (default)
--no-post-overwrites            Do not overwrite post-processed files
--embed-subs                    Embed subtitles in the video (only for mp4,
                                webm and mkv videos)
--no-embed-subs                 Do not embed subtitles (default)
--embed-thumbnail               Embed thumbnail in the video as cover art
--no-embed-thumbnail            Do not embed thumbnail (default)
--embed-metadata                Embed metadata to the video file. Also
                                embeds chapters/infojson if present unless
                                --no-embed-chapters/--no-embed-info-json are
                                used (Alias: --add-metadata)
--no-embed-metadata             Do not add metadata to file (default)
                                (Alias: --no-add-metadata)
--embed-chapters                Add chapter markers to the video file
                                (Alias: --add-chapters)
--no-embed-chapters             Do not add chapter markers (default) (Alias:
--embed-info-json               Embed the infojson as an attachment to
                                mkv/mka video files
--no-embed-info-json            Do not embed the infojson as an attachment
                                to the video file
--parse-metadata FROM:TO        Parse additional metadata like title/artist
                                from other fields; see "MODIFYING METADATA"
                                for details
--replace-in-metadata FIELDS REGEX REPLACE
                                Replace text in a metadata field using the
                                given regex. This option can be used
                                multiple times
--xattrs                        Write metadata to the video file's xattrs
                                (using dublin core and xdg standards)
--concat-playlist POLICY        Concatenate videos in a playlist. One of
                                "never", "always", or "multi_video"
                                (default; only when the videos form a single
                                show). All the video files must have same
                                codecs and number of streams to be
                                concatable. The "pl_video:" prefix can be
                                used with "--paths" and "--output" to set
                                the output filename for the concatenated
                                files. See "OUTPUT TEMPLATE" for details
--fixup POLICY                  Automatically correct known faults of the
                                file. One of never (do nothing), warn (only
                                emit a warning), detect_or_warn (the
                                default; fix file if we can, warn
                                otherwise), force (try fixing even if file
                                already exists)
--ffmpeg-location PATH          Location of the ffmpeg binary; either the
                                path to the binary or its containing directory
--exec [WHEN:]CMD               Execute a command, optionally prefixed with
                                when to execute it (after_move if
                                unspecified), separated by a ":". Supported
                                values of "WHEN" are the same as that of
                                --use-postprocessor. Same syntax as the
                                output template can be used to pass any
                                field as arguments to the command. After
                                download, an additional field "filepath"
                                that contains the final path of the
                                downloaded file is also available, and if no
                                fields are passed, %(filepath)q is appended
                                to the end of the command. This option can
                                be used multiple times
--no-exec                       Remove any previously defined --exec
--convert-subs FORMAT           Convert the subtitles to another format
                                (currently supported: ass, lrc, srt, vtt)
                                (Alias: --convert-subtitles)
--convert-thumbnails FORMAT     Convert the thumbnails to another format
                                (currently supported: jpg, png, webp). You
                                can specify multiple rules using similar
                                syntax as --remux-video
--split-chapters                Split video into multiple files based on
                                internal chapters. The "chapter:" prefix can
                                be used with "--paths" and "--output" to set
                                the output filename for the split files. See
                                "OUTPUT TEMPLATE" for details
--no-split-chapters             Do not split video based on chapters (default)
--remove-chapters REGEX         Remove chapters whose title matches the
                                given regular expression. The syntax is the
                                same as --download-sections. This option can
                                be used multiple times
--no-remove-chapters            Do not remove any chapters from the file
--force-keyframes-at-cuts       Force keyframes at cuts when
                                downloading/splitting/removing sections.
                                This is slow due to needing a re-encode, but
                                the resulting video may have fewer artifacts
                                around the cuts
--no-force-keyframes-at-cuts    Do not force keyframes around the chapters
                                when cutting/splitting (default)
--use-postprocessor NAME[:ARGS]
                                The (case sensitive) name of plugin
                                postprocessors to be enabled, and
                                (optionally) arguments to be passed to it,
                                separated by a colon ":". ARGS are a
                                semicolon ";" delimited list of NAME=VALUE.
                                The "when" argument determines when the
                                postprocessor is invoked. It can be one of
                                "pre_process" (after video extraction),
                                "after_filter" (after video passes filter),
                                "before_dl" (before each video download),
                                "post_process" (after each video download;
                                default), "after_move" (after moving video
                                file to it's final locations), "after_video"
                                (after downloading and processing all
                                formats of a video), or "playlist" (at end
                                of playlist). This option can be used
                                multiple times to add different postprocessors

SponsorBlock Options:

Make chapter entries for, or remove various segments (sponsor, introductions, etc.) from downloaded YouTube videos using the SponsorBlock API

--sponsorblock-mark CATS        SponsorBlock categories to create chapters
                                for, separated by commas. Available
                                categories are sponsor, intro, outro,
                                selfpromo, preview, filler, interaction,
                                music_offtopic, poi_highlight, all and
                                default (=all). You can prefix the category
                                with a "-" to exclude it. See [1] for
                                description of the categories. E.g.
                                --sponsorblock-mark all,-preview
--sponsorblock-remove CATS      SponsorBlock categories to be removed from
                                the video file, separated by commas. If a
                                category is present in both mark and remove,
                                remove takes precedence. The syntax and
                                available categories are the same as for
                                --sponsorblock-mark except that "default"
                                refers to "all,-filler" and poi_highlight is
                                not available
--sponsorblock-chapter-title TEMPLATE
                                An output template for the title of the
                                SponsorBlock chapters created by
                                --sponsorblock-mark. The only available
                                fields are start_time, end_time, category,
                                categories, name, category_names. Defaults
                                to "[SponsorBlock]: %(category_names)l"
--no-sponsorblock               Disable both --sponsorblock-mark and
--sponsorblock-api URL          SponsorBlock API location, defaults to

Extractor Options:

--extractor-retries RETRIES     Number of retries for known extractor errors
                                (default is 3), or "infinite"
--allow-dynamic-mpd             Process dynamic DASH manifests (default)
                                (Alias: --no-ignore-dynamic-mpd)
--ignore-dynamic-mpd            Do not process dynamic DASH manifests
                                (Alias: --no-allow-dynamic-mpd)
--hls-split-discontinuity       Split HLS playlists to different formats at
                                discontinuities such as ad breaks
--no-hls-split-discontinuity    Do not split HLS playlists to different
                                formats at discontinuities such as ad breaks
--extractor-args IE_KEY:ARGS    Pass ARGS arguments to the IE_KEY extractor.
                                See "EXTRACTOR ARGUMENTS" for details. You
                                can use this option multiple times to give
                                arguments for different extractors


You can configure yt-dlp by placing any supported command line option to a configuration file. The configuration is loaded from the following locations:

  1. Main Configuration: The file given by --config-location

  2. Portable Configuration: yt-dlp.conf in the same directory as the bundled binary. If you are running from source-code (<root dir>/yt_dlp/, the root directory is used instead.

  3. Home Configuration: yt-dlp.conf in the home path given by -P, or in the current directory if no such path is given

  4. User Configuration:

    • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/yt-dlp/config (recommended on Linux/macOS)
    • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/yt-dlp.conf
    • $APPDATA/yt-dlp/config (recommended on Windows)
    • $APPDATA/yt-dlp/config.txt
    • ~/yt-dlp.conf
    • ~/yt-dlp.conf.txt

    $XDG_CONFIG_HOME defaults to ~/.config if undefined. On windows, $APPDATA generally points to C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming and ~ points to $HOME if present, $USERPROFILE (generally C:\Users\<user name>), or ${HOMEDRIVE}${HOMEPATH}

  5. System Configuration: /etc/yt-dlp.conf

E.g. with the following configuration file yt-dlp will always extract the audio, not copy the mtime, use a proxy and save all videos under YouTube directory in your home directory:

# Lines starting with # are comments

# Always extract audio

# Do not copy the mtime

# Use this proxy

# Save all videos under YouTube directory in your home directory
-o ~/YouTube/%(title)s.%(ext)s

Note that options in configuration file are just the same options aka switches used in regular command line calls; thus there must be no whitespace after - or --, e.g. -o or --proxy but not - o or -- proxy. They must also be quoted when necessary as-if it were a UNIX shell.

You can use --ignore-config if you want to disable all configuration files for a particular yt-dlp run. If --ignore-config is found inside any configuration file, no further configuration will be loaded. For example, having the option in the portable configuration file prevents loading of home, user, and system configurations. Additionally, (for backward compatibility) if --ignore-config is found inside the system configuration file, the user configuration is not loaded.

Config file encoding

The config files are decoded according to the UTF BOM if present, and in the encoding from system locale otherwise.

If you want your file to be decoded differently, add # coding: ENCODING to the beginning of the file (e.g. # coding: shift-jis). There must be no characters before that, even spaces or BOM.

Authentication with .netrc file

You may also want to configure automatic credentials storage for extractors that support authentication (by providing login and password with --username and --password) in order not to pass credentials as command line arguments on every yt-dlp execution and prevent tracking plain text passwords in the shell command history. You can achieve this using a .netrc file on a per extractor basis. For that you will need to create a .netrc file in --netrc-location and restrict permissions to read/write by only you:

touch $HOME/.netrc
chmod a-rwx,u+rw $HOME/.netrc

After that you can add credentials for an extractor in the following format, where extractor is the name of the extractor in lowercase:

machine <extractor> login <username> password <password>


machine youtube login password my_youtube_password
machine twitch login my_twitch_account_name password my_twitch_password

To activate authentication with the .netrc file you should pass --netrc to yt-dlp or place it in the configuration file.

The default location of the .netrc file is $HOME (~). On Windows, if $HOME is not present, $USERPROFILE (generally C:\Users\<user name>) or ${HOMEDRIVE}${HOMEPATH} is used


The -o option is used to indicate a template for the output file names while -P option is used to specify the path each type of file should be saved to.

tl;dr: navigate me to examples.

The simplest usage of -o is not to set any template arguments when downloading a single file, like in yt-dlp -o funny_video.flv "https://some/video" (hard-coding file extension like this is not recommended and could break some post-processing).

It may however also contain special sequences that will be replaced when downloading each video. The special sequences may be formatted according to Python string formatting operations, e.g. %(NAME)s or %(NAME)05d. To clarify, that is a percent symbol followed by a name in parentheses, followed by formatting operations.

The field names themselves (the part inside the parenthesis) can also have some special formatting:

  1. Object traversal: The dictionaries and lists available in metadata can be traversed by using a dot . separator; e.g. %(tags.0)s, %(subtitles.en.-1.ext)s. You can do Python slicing with colon :; E.g. %(id.3:7:-1)s, %(formats.:.format_id)s. Curly braces {} can be used to build dictionaries with only specific keys; e.g. %(formats.:.{format_id,height})#j. An empty field name %()s refers to the entire infodict; e.g. %(.{id,title})s. Note that all the fields that become available using this method are not listed below. Use -j to see such fields

  2. Addition: Addition and subtraction of numeric fields can be done using + and - respectively. E.g. %(playlist_index+10)03d, %(n_entries+1-playlist_index)d

  3. Date/time Formatting: Date/time fields can be formatted according to strftime formatting by specifying it separated from the field name using a >. E.g. %(duration>%H-%M-%S)s, %(upload_date>%Y-%m-%d)s, %(epoch-3600>%H-%M-%S)s

  4. Alternatives: Alternate fields can be specified separated with a ,. E.g. %(release_date>%Y,upload_date>%Y|Unknown)s

  5. Replacement: A replacement value can specified using a & separator. If the field is not empty, this replacement value will be used instead of the actual field content. This is done after alternate fields are considered; thus the replacement is used if any of the alternative fields is not empty.

  6. Default: A literal default value can be specified for when the field is empty using a | separator. This overrides --output-na-placeholder. E.g. %(uploader|Unknown)s

  7. More Conversions: In addition to the normal format types diouxXeEfFgGcrs, yt-dlp additionally supports converting to B = Bytes, j = json (flag # for pretty-printing), h = HTML escaping, l = a comma separated list (flag # for \n newline-separated), q = a string quoted for the terminal (flag # to split a list into different arguments), D = add Decimal suffixes (e.g. 10M) (flag # to use 1024 as factor), and S = Sanitize as filename (flag # for restricted)

  8. Unicode normalization: The format type U can be used for NFC unicode normalization. The alternate form flag (#) changes the normalization to NFD and the conversion flag + can be used for NFKC/NFKD compatibility equivalence normalization. E.g. %(title)+.100U is NFKC

To summarize, the general syntax for a field is:


Additionally, you can set different output templates for the various metadata files separately from the general output template by specifying the type of file followed by the template separated by a colon :. The different file types supported are subtitle, thumbnail, description, annotation (deprecated), infojson, link, pl_thumbnail, pl_description, pl_infojson, chapter, pl_video. E.g. -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s" -o "thumbnail:%(title)s\%(title)s.%(ext)s" will put the thumbnails in a folder with the same name as the video. If any of the templates is empty, that type of file will not be written. E.g. --write-thumbnail -o "thumbnail:" will write thumbnails only for playlists and not for video.

The available fields are:

  • id (string): Video identifier
  • title (string): Video title
  • fulltitle (string): Video title ignoring live timestamp and generic title
  • ext (string): Video filename extension
  • alt_title (string): A secondary title of the video
  • description (string): The description of the video
  • display_id (string): An alternative identifier for the video
  • uploader (string): Full name of the video uploader
  • license (string): License name the video is licensed under
  • creator (string): The creator of the video
  • timestamp (numeric): UNIX timestamp of the moment the video became available
  • upload_date (string): Video upload date in UTC (YYYYMMDD)
  • release_timestamp (numeric): UNIX timestamp of the moment the video was released
  • release_date (string): The date (YYYYMMDD) when the video was released in UTC
  • modified_timestamp (numeric): UNIX timestamp of the moment the video was last modified
  • modified_date (string): The date (YYYYMMDD) when the video was last modified in UTC
  • uploader_id (string): Nickname or id of the video uploader
  • channel (string): Full name of the channel the video is uploaded on
  • channel_id (string): Id of the channel
  • channel_follower_count (numeric): Number of followers of the channel
  • location (string): Physical location where the video was filmed
  • duration (numeric): Length of the video in seconds
  • duration_string (string): Length of the video (HH:mm:ss)
  • view_count (numeric): How many users have watched the video on the platform
  • like_count (numeric): Number of positive ratings of the video
  • dislike_count (numeric): Number of negative ratings of the video
  • repost_count (numeric): Number of reposts of the video
  • average_rating (numeric): Average rating give by users, the scale used depends on the webpage
  • comment_count (numeric): Number of comments on the video (For some extractors, comments are only downloaded at the end, and so this field cannot be used)
  • age_limit (numeric): Age restriction for the video (years)
  • live_status (string): One of "not_live", "is_live", "is_upcoming", "was_live", "post_live" (was live, but VOD is not yet processed)
  • is_live (boolean): Whether this video is a live stream or a fixed-length video
  • was_live (boolean): Whether this video was originally a live stream
  • playable_in_embed (string): Whether this video is allowed to play in embedded players on other sites
  • availability (string): Whether the video is "private", "premium_only", "subscriber_only", "needs_auth", "unlisted" or "public"
  • start_time (numeric): Time in seconds where the reproduction should start, as specified in the URL
  • end_time (numeric): Time in seconds where the reproduction should end, as specified in the URL
  • extractor (string): Name of the extractor
  • extractor_key (string): Key name of the extractor
  • epoch (numeric): Unix epoch of when the information extraction was completed
  • autonumber (numeric): Number that will be increased with each download, starting at --autonumber-start
  • video_autonumber (numeric): Number that will be increased with each video
  • n_entries (numeric): Total number of extracted items in the playlist
  • playlist_id (string): Identifier of the playlist that contains the video
  • playlist_title (string): Name of the playlist that contains the video
  • playlist (string): playlist_id or playlist_title
  • playlist_count (numeric): Total number of items in the playlist. May not be known if entire playlist is not extracted
  • playlist_index (numeric): Index of the video in the playlist padded with leading zeros according the final index
  • playlist_autonumber (numeric): Position of the video in the playlist download queue padded with leading zeros according to the total length of the playlist
  • playlist_uploader (string): Full name of the playlist uploader
  • playlist_uploader_id (string): Nickname or id of the playlist uploader
  • webpage_url (string): A URL to the video webpage which if given to yt-dlp should allow to get the same result again
  • webpage_url_basename (string): The basename of the webpage URL
  • webpage_url_domain (string): The domain of the webpage URL
  • original_url (string): The URL given by the user (or same as webpage_url for playlist entries)

All the fields in Filtering Formats can also be used

Available for the video that belongs to some logical chapter or section:

  • chapter (string): Name or title of the chapter the video belongs to
  • chapter_number (numeric): Number of the chapter the video belongs to
  • chapter_id (string): Id of the chapter the video belongs to

Available for the video that is an episode of some series or programme:

  • series (string): Title of the series or programme the video episode belongs to
  • season (string): Title of the season the video episode belongs to
  • season_number (numeric): Number of the season the video episode belongs to
  • season_id (string): Id of the season the video episode belongs to
  • episode (string): Title of the video episode
  • episode_number (numeric): Number of the video episode within a season
  • episode_id (string): Id of the video episode

Available for the media that is a track or a part of a music album:

  • track (string): Title of the track
  • track_number (numeric): Number of the track within an album or a disc
  • track_id (string): Id of the track
  • artist (string): Artist(s) of the track
  • genre (string): Genre(s) of the track
  • album (string): Title of the album the track belongs to
  • album_type (string): Type of the album
  • album_artist (string): List of all artists appeared on the album
  • disc_number (numeric): Number of the disc or other physical medium the track belongs to
  • release_year (numeric): Year (YYYY) when the album was released

Available only when using --download-sections and for chapter: prefix when using --split-chapters for videos with internal chapters:

  • section_title (string): Title of the chapter
  • section_number (numeric): Number of the chapter within the file
  • section_start (numeric): Start time of the chapter in seconds
  • section_end (numeric): End time of the chapter in seconds

Available only when used in --print:

  • urls (string): The URLs of all requested formats, one in each line
  • filename (string): Name of the video file. Note that the actual filename may be different due to post-processing. Use --exec echo to get the name after all postprocessing is complete
  • formats_table (table): The video format table as printed by --list-formats
  • thumbnails_table (table): The thumbnail format table as printed by --list-thumbnails
  • subtitles_table (table): The subtitle format table as printed by --list-subs
  • automatic_captions_table (table): The automatic subtitle format table as printed by --list-subs

Available only in --sponsorblock-chapter-title:

  • start_time (numeric): Start time of the chapter in seconds
  • end_time (numeric): End time of the chapter in seconds
  • categories (list): The SponsorBlock categories the chapter belongs to
  • category (string): The smallest SponsorBlock category the chapter belongs to
  • category_names (list): Friendly names of the categories
  • name (string): Friendly name of the smallest category

Each aforementioned sequence when referenced in an output template will be replaced by the actual value corresponding to the sequence name. E.g. for -o %(title)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s and an mp4 video with title yt-dlp test video and id BaW_jenozKc, this will result in a yt-dlp test video-BaW_jenozKc.mp4 file created in the current directory.

Note that some of the sequences are not guaranteed to be present since they depend on the metadata obtained by a particular extractor. Such sequences will be replaced with placeholder value provided with --output-na-placeholder (NA by default).

Tip: Look at the -j output to identify which fields are available for the particular URL

For numeric sequences you can use numeric related formatting; e.g. %(view_count)05d will result in a string with view count padded with zeros up to 5 characters, like in 00042.

Output templates can also contain arbitrary hierarchical path, e.g. -o "%(playlist)s/%(playlist_index)s - %(title)s.%(ext)s" which will result in downloading each video in a directory corresponding to this path template. Any missing directory will be automatically created for you.

To use percent literals in an output template use %%. To output to stdout use -o -.

The current default template is %(title)s [%(id)s].%(ext)s.

In some cases, you don't want special characters such as 中, spaces, or &, such as when transferring the downloaded filename to a Windows system or the filename through an 8bit-unsafe channel. In these cases, add the --restrict-filenames flag to get a shorter title.

Output template examples

$ yt-dlp --print filename -o "test video.%(ext)s" BaW_jenozKc
test video.webm    # Literal name with correct extension

$ yt-dlp --print filename -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s" BaW_jenozKc
youtube-dl test video ''_ä↭𝕐.webm    # All kinds of weird characters

$ yt-dlp --print filename -o "%(title)s.%(ext)s" BaW_jenozKc --restrict-filenames
youtube-dl_test_video_.webm    # Restricted file name

# Download YouTube playlist videos in separate directory indexed by video order in a playlist
$ yt-dlp -o "%(playlist)s/%(playlist_index)s - %(title)s.%(ext)s" ""

# Download YouTube playlist videos in separate directories according to their uploaded year
$ yt-dlp -o "%(upload_date>%Y)s/%(title)s.%(ext)s" ""

# Prefix playlist index with " - " separator, but only if it is available
$ yt-dlp -o '%(playlist_index|)s%(playlist_index& - |)s%(title)s.%(ext)s' BaW_jenozKc ""

# Download all playlists of YouTube channel/user keeping each playlist in separate directory:
$ yt-dlp -o "%(uploader)s/%(playlist)s/%(playlist_index)s - %(title)s.%(ext)s" ""

# Download Udemy course keeping each chapter in separate directory under MyVideos directory in your home
$ yt-dlp -u user -p password -P "~/MyVideos" -o "%(playlist)s/%(chapter_number)s - %(chapter)s/%(title)s.%(ext)s" ""

# Download entire series season keeping each series and each season in separate directory under C:/MyVideos
$ yt-dlp -P "C:/MyVideos" -o "%(series)s/%(season_number)s - %(season)s/%(episode_number)s - %(episode)s.%(ext)s" ""

# Download video as "C:\MyVideos\uploader\title.ext", subtitles as "C:\MyVideos\subs\uploader\title.ext"
# and put all temporary files in "C:\MyVideos\tmp"
$ yt-dlp -P "C:/MyVideos" -P "temp:tmp" -P "subtitle:subs" -o "%(uploader)s/%(title)s.%(ext)s" BaW_jenoz --write-subs

# Download video as "C:\MyVideos\uploader\title.ext" and subtitles as "C:\MyVideos\uploader\subs\title.ext"
$ yt-dlp -P "C:/MyVideos" -o "%(uploader)s/%(title)s.%(ext)s" -o "subtitle:%(uploader)s/subs/%(title)s.%(ext)s" BaW_jenozKc --write-subs

# Stream the video being downloaded to stdout
$ yt-dlp -o - BaW_jenozKc


By default, yt-dlp tries to download the best available quality if you don't pass any options. This is generally equivalent to using -f bestvideo*+bestaudio/best. However, if multiple audiostreams is enabled (--audio-multistreams), the default format changes to -f bestvideo+bestaudio/best. Similarly, if ffmpeg is unavailable, or if you use yt-dlp to stream to stdout (-o -), the default becomes -f best/bestvideo+bestaudio.

Deprecation warning: Latest versions of yt-dlp can stream multiple formats to the stdout simultaneously using ffmpeg. So, in future versions, the default for this will be set to -f bv*+ba/b similar to normal downloads. If you want to preserve the -f b/bv+ba setting, it is recommended to explicitly specify it in the configuration options.

The general syntax for format selection is -f FORMAT (or --format FORMAT) where FORMAT is a selector expression, i.e. an expression that describes format or formats you would like to download.

tl;dr: navigate me to examples.

The simplest case is requesting a specific format; e.g. with -f 22 you can download the format with format code equal to 22. You can get the list of available format codes for particular video using --list-formats or -F. Note that these format codes are extractor specific.

You can also use a file extension (currently 3gp, aac, flv, m4a, mp3, mp4, ogg, wav, webm are supported) to download the best quality format of a particular file extension served as a single file, e.g. -f webm will download the best quality format with the webm extension served as a single file.

You can use -f - to interactively provide the format selector for each video

You can also use special names to select particular edge case formats:

  • all: Select all formats separately
  • mergeall: Select and merge all formats (Must be used with --audio-multistreams, --video-multistreams or both)
  • b*, best*: Select the best quality format that contains either a video or an audio or both (ie; vcodec!=none or acodec!=none)
  • b, best: Select the best quality format that contains both video and audio. Equivalent to best*[vcodec!=none][acodec!=none]
  • bv, bestvideo: Select the best quality video-only format. Equivalent to best*[acodec=none]
  • bv*, bestvideo*: Select the best quality format that contains video. It may also contain audio. Equivalent to best*[vcodec!=none]
  • ba, bestaudio: Select the best quality audio-only format. Equivalent to best*[vcodec=none]
  • ba*, bestaudio*: Select the best quality format that contains audio. It may also contain video. Equivalent to best*[acodec!=none] (Do not use!)
  • w*, worst*: Select the worst quality format that contains either a video or an audio
  • w, worst: Select the worst quality format that contains both video and audio. Equivalent to worst*[vcodec!=none][acodec!=none]
  • wv, worstvideo: Select the worst quality video-only format. Equivalent to worst*[acodec=none]
  • wv*, worstvideo*: Select the worst quality format that contains video. It may also contain audio. Equivalent to worst*[vcodec!=none]
  • wa, worstaudio: Select the worst quality audio-only format. Equivalent to worst*[vcodec=none]
  • wa*, worstaudio*: Select the worst quality format that contains audio. It may also contain video. Equivalent to worst*[acodec!=none]

For example, to download the worst quality video-only format you can use -f worstvideo. It is however recommended not to use worst and related options. When your format selector is worst, the format which is worst in all respects is selected. Most of the time, what you actually want is the video with the smallest filesize instead. So it is generally better to use -S +size or more rigorously, -S +size,+br,+res,+fps instead of -f worst. See Sorting Formats for more details.

You can select the n'th best format of a type by using best<type>.<n>. For example, best.2 will select the 2nd best combined format. Similarly, bv*.3 will select the 3rd best format that contains a video stream.

If you want to download multiple videos and they don't have the same formats available, you can specify the order of preference using slashes. Note that formats on the left hand side are preferred; e.g. -f 22/17/18 will download format 22 if it's available, otherwise it will download format 17 if it's available, otherwise it will download format 18 if it's available, otherwise it will complain that no suitable formats are available for download.

If you want to download several formats of the same video use a comma as a separator, e.g. -f 22,17,18 will download all these three formats, of course if they are available. Or a more sophisticated example combined with the precedence feature: -f 136/137/mp4/bestvideo,140/m4a/bestaudio.

You can merge the video and audio of multiple formats into a single file using -f <format1>+<format2>+... (requires ffmpeg installed); e.g. -f bestvideo+bestaudio will download the best video-only format, the best audio-only format and mux them together with ffmpeg.

Deprecation warning: Since the below described behavior is complex and counter-intuitive, this will be removed and multistreams will be enabled by default in the future. A new operator will be instead added to limit formats to single audio/video

Unless --video-multistreams is used, all formats with a video stream except the first one are ignored. Similarly, unless --audio-multistreams is used, all formats with an audio stream except the first one are ignored. E.g. -f bestvideo+best+bestaudio --video-multistreams --audio-multistreams will download and merge all 3 given formats. The resulting file will have 2 video streams and 2 audio streams. But -f bestvideo+best+bestaudio --no-video-multistreams will download and merge only bestvideo and bestaudio. best is ignored since another format containing a video stream (bestvideo) has already been selected. The order of the formats is therefore important. -f best+bestaudio --no-audio-multistreams will download and merge both formats while -f bestaudio+best --no-audio-multistreams will ignore best and download only bestaudio.

Filtering Formats

You can also filter the video formats by putting a condition in brackets, as in -f "best[height=720]" (or -f "[filesize>10M]").

The following numeric meta fields can be used with comparisons <, <=, >, >=, = (equals), != (not equals):

  • filesize: The number of bytes, if known in advance
  • filesize_approx: An estimate for the number of bytes
  • width: Width of the video, if known
  • height: Height of the video, if known
  • tbr: Average bitrate of audio and video in KBit/s
  • abr: Average audio bitrate in KBit/s
  • vbr: Average video bitrate in KBit/s
  • asr: Audio sampling rate in Hertz
  • fps: Frame rate
  • audio_channels: The number of audio channels
  • stretched_ratio: width:height of the video's pixels, if not square

Also filtering work for comparisons = (equals), ^= (starts with), $= (ends with), *= (contains), ~= (matches regex) and following string meta fields:

  • url: Video URL
  • ext: File extension
  • acodec: Name of the audio codec in use
  • vcodec: Name of the video codec in use
  • container: Name of the container format
  • protocol: The protocol that will be used for the actual download, lower-case (http, https, rtsp, rtmp, rtmpe, mms, f4m, ism, http_dash_segments, m3u8, or m3u8_native)
  • language: Language code
  • dynamic_range: The dynamic range of the video
  • format_id: A short description of the format
  • format: A human-readable description of the format
  • format_note: Additional info about the format
  • resolution: Textual description of width and height

Any string comparison may be prefixed with negation ! in order to produce an opposite comparison, e.g. !*= (does not contain). The comparand of a string comparison needs to be quoted with either double or single quotes if it contains spaces or special characters other than ._-.

Note that none of the aforementioned meta fields are guaranteed to be present since this solely depends on the metadata obtained by particular extractor, i.e. the metadata offered by the website. Any other field made available by the extractor can also be used for filtering.

Formats for which the value is not known are excluded unless you put a question mark (?) after the operator. You can combine format filters, so -f "[height<=?720][tbr>500]" selects up to 720p videos (or videos where the height is not known) with a bitrate of at least 500 KBit/s. You can also use the filters with all to download all formats that satisfy the filter, e.g. -f "all[vcodec=none]" selects all audio-only formats.

Format selectors can also be grouped using parentheses; e.g. -f "(mp4,webm)[height<480]" will download the best pre-merged mp4 and webm formats with a height lower than 480.

Sorting Formats

You can change the criteria for being considered the best by using -S (--format-sort). The general format for this is --format-sort field1,field2....

The available fields are:

  • hasvid: Gives priority to formats that has a video stream
  • hasaud: Gives priority to formats that has a audio stream
  • ie_pref: The format preference
  • lang: The language preference
  • quality: The quality of the format
  • source: The preference of the source
  • proto: Protocol used for download (https/ftps > http/ftp > m3u8_native/m3u8 > http_dash_segments> websocket_frag > mms/rtsp > f4f/f4m)
  • vcodec: Video Codec (av01 > vp9.2 > vp9 > h265 > h264 > vp8 > h263 > theora > other)
  • acodec: Audio Codec (flac/alac > wav/aiff > opus > vorbis > aac > mp4a > mp3 > eac3 > ac3 > dts > other)
  • codec: Equivalent to vcodec,acodec
  • vext: Video Extension (mp4 > webm > flv > other). If --prefer-free-formats is used, webm is preferred.
  • aext: Audio Extension (m4a > aac > mp3 > ogg > opus > webm > other). If --prefer-free-formats is used, the order changes to ogg > opus > webm > mp3 > m4a > aac
  • ext: Equivalent to vext,aext
  • filesize: Exact filesize, if known in advance
  • fs_approx: Approximate filesize calculated from the manifests
  • size: Exact filesize if available, otherwise approximate filesize
  • height: Height of video
  • width: Width of video
  • res: Video resolution, calculated as the smallest dimension.
  • fps: Framerate of video
  • hdr: The dynamic range of the video (DV > HDR12 > HDR10+ > HDR10 > HLG > SDR)
  • channels: The number of audio channels
  • tbr: Total average bitrate in KBit/s
  • vbr: Average video bitrate in KBit/s
  • abr: Average audio bitrate in KBit/s
  • br: Equivalent to using tbr,vbr,abr
  • asr: Audio sample rate in Hz

Deprecation warning: Many of these fields have (currently undocumented) aliases, that may be removed in a future version. It is recommended to use only the documented field names.

All fields, unless specified otherwise, are sorted in descending order. To reverse this, prefix the field with a +. E.g. +res prefers format with the smallest resolution. Additionally, you can suffix a preferred value for the fields, separated by a :. E.g. res:720 prefers larger videos, but no larger than 720p and the smallest video if there are no videos less than 720p. For codec and ext, you can provide two preferred values, the first for video and the second for audio. E.g. +codec:avc:m4a (equivalent to +vcodec:avc,+acodec:m4a) sets the video codec preference to h264 > h265 > vp9 > vp9.2 > av01 > vp8 > h263 > theora and audio codec preference to mp4a > aac > vorbis > opus > mp3 > ac3 > dts. You can also make the sorting prefer the nearest values to the provided by using ~ as the delimiter. E.g. filesize~1G prefers the format with filesize closest to 1 GiB.

The fields hasvid and ie_pref are always given highest priority in sorting, irrespective of the user-defined order. This behaviour can be changed by using --format-sort-force. Apart from these, the default order used is: lang,quality,res,fps,hdr:12,vcodec:vp9.2,channels,acodec,size,br,asr,proto,ext,hasaud,source,id. The extractors may override this default order, but they cannot override the user-provided order.

Note that the default has vcodec:vp9.2; i.e. av1 is not preferred. Similarly, the default for hdr is hdr:12; i.e. dolby vision is not preferred. These choices are made since DV and AV1 formats are not yet fully compatible with most devices. This may be changed in the future as more devices become capable of smoothly playing back these formats.

If your format selector is worst, the last item is selected after sorting. This means it will select the format that is worst in all respects. Most of the time, what you actually want is the video with the smallest filesize instead. So it is generally better to use -f best -S +size,+br,+res,+fps.

Tip: You can use the -v -F to see how the formats have been sorted (worst to best).

Format Selection examples

# Download and merge the best video-only format and the best audio-only format,
# or download the best combined format if video-only format is not available
$ yt-dlp -f "bv+ba/b"

# Download best format that contains video,
# and if it doesn't already have an audio stream, merge it with best audio-only format
$ yt-dlp -f "bv*+ba/b"

# Same as above
$ yt-dlp

# Download the best video-only format and the best audio-only format without merging them
# For this case, an output template should be used since
# by default, bestvideo and bestaudio will have the same file name.
$ yt-dlp -f "bv,ba" -o "%(title)s.f%(format_id)s.%(ext)s"

# Download and merge the best format that has a video stream,
# and all audio-only formats into one file
$ yt-dlp -f "bv*+mergeall[vcodec=none]" --audio-multistreams

# Download and merge the best format that has a video stream,
# and the best 2 audio-only formats into one file
$ yt-dlp -f "bv*+ba+ba.2" --audio-multistreams

# The following examples show the old method (without -S) of format selection
# and how to use -S to achieve a similar but (generally) better result

# Download the worst video available (old method)
$ yt-dlp -f "wv*+wa/w"

# Download the best video available but with the smallest resolution
$ yt-dlp -S "+res"

# Download the smallest video available
$ yt-dlp -S "+size,+br"

# Download the best mp4 video available, or the best video if no mp4 available
$ yt-dlp -f "bv*[ext=mp4]+ba[ext=m4a]/b[ext=mp4] / bv*+ba/b"

# Download the best video with the best extension
# (For video, mp4 > webm > flv. For audio, m4a > aac > mp3 ...)
$ yt-dlp -S "ext"

# Download the best video available but no better than 480p,
# or the worst video if there is no video under 480p
$ yt-dlp -f "bv*[height<=480]+ba/b[height<=480] / wv*+ba/w"

# Download the best video available with the largest height but no better than 480p,
# or the best video with the smallest resolution if there is no video under 480p
$ yt-dlp -S "height:480"

# Download the best video available with the largest resolution but no better than 480p,
# or the best video with the smallest resolution if there is no video under 480p
# Resolution is determined by using the smallest dimension.
# So this works correctly for vertical videos as well
$ yt-dlp -S "res:480"

# Download the best video (that also has audio) but no bigger than 50 MB,
# or the worst video (that also has audio) if there is no video under 50 MB
$ yt-dlp -f "b[filesize<50M] / w"

# Download largest video (that also has audio) but no bigger than 50 MB,
# or the smallest video (that also has audio) if there is no video under 50 MB
$ yt-dlp -f "b" -S "filesize:50M"

# Download best video (that also has audio) that is closest in size to 50 MB
$ yt-dlp -f "b" -S "filesize~50M"

# Download best video available via direct link over HTTP/HTTPS protocol,
# or the best video available via any protocol if there is no such video
$ yt-dlp -f "(bv*+ba/b)[protocol^=http][protocol!*=dash] / (bv*+ba/b)"

# Download best video available via the best protocol
# (https/ftps > http/ftp > m3u8_native > m3u8 > http_dash_segments ...)
$ yt-dlp -S "proto"

# Download the best video with either h264 or h265 codec,
# or the best video if there is no such video
$ yt-dlp -f "(bv*[vcodec~='^((he|a)vc|h26[45])']+ba) / (bv*+ba/b)"

# Download the best video with best codec no better than h264,
# or the best video with worst codec if there is no such video
$ yt-dlp -S "codec:h264"

# Download the best video with worst codec no worse than h264,
# or the best video with best codec if there is no such video
$ yt-dlp -S "+codec:h264"

# More complex examples

# Download the best video no better than 720p preferring framerate greater than 30,
# or the worst video (still preferring framerate greater than 30) if there is no such video
$ yt-dlp -f "((bv*[fps>30]/bv*)[height<=720]/(wv*[fps>30]/wv*)) + ba / (b[fps>30]/b)[height<=720]/(w[fps>30]/w)"

# Download the video with the largest resolution no better than 720p,
# or the video with the smallest resolution available if there is no such video,
# preferring larger framerate for formats with the same resolution
$ yt-dlp -S "res:720,fps"

# Download the video with smallest resolution no worse than 480p,
# or the video with the largest resolution available if there is no such video,
# preferring better codec and then larger total bitrate for the same resolution
$ yt-dlp -S "+res:480,codec,br"


The metadata obtained by the extractors can be modified by using --parse-metadata and --replace-in-metadata

--replace-in-metadata FIELDS REGEX REPLACE is used to replace text in any metadata field using python regular expression. Backreferences can be used in the replace string for advanced use.

The general syntax of --parse-metadata FROM:TO is to give the name of a field or an output template to extract data from, and the format to interpret it as, separated by a colon :. Either a python regular expression with named capture groups or a similar syntax to the output template (only %(field)s formatting is supported) can be used for TO. The option can be used multiple times to parse and modify various fields.

Note that any field created by this can be used in the output template and will also affect the media file's metadata added when using --embed-metadata.

This option also has a few special uses:

  • You can download an additional URL based on the metadata of the currently downloaded video. To do this, set the field additional_urls to the URL that you want to download. E.g. --parse-metadata "description:(?P<additional_urls>https?://www\.vimeo\.com/\d+) will download the first vimeo video found in the description

  • You can use this to change the metadata that is embedded in the media file. To do this, set the value of the corresponding field with a meta_ prefix. For example, any value you set to meta_description field will be added to the description field in the file - you can use this to set a different "description" and "synopsis". To modify the metadata of individual streams, use the meta<n>_ prefix (e.g. meta1_language). Any value set to the meta_ field will overwrite all default values.

Note: Metadata modification happens before format selection, post-extraction and other post-processing operations. Some fields may be added or changed during these steps, overriding your changes.

For reference, these are the fields yt-dlp adds by default to the file metadata:

Metadata fields From
title track or title
date upload_date
description, synopsis description
purl, comment webpage_url
track track_number
artist artist, creator, uploader or uploader_id
genre genre
album album
album_artist album_artist
disc disc_number
show series
season_number season_number
episode_id episode or episode_id
episode_sort episode_number
language of each stream the format's language

Note: The file format may not support some of these fields

Modifying metadata examples

# Interpret the title as "Artist - Title"
$ yt-dlp --parse-metadata "title:%(artist)s - %(title)s"

# Regex example
$ yt-dlp --parse-metadata "description:Artist - (?P<artist>.+)"

# Set title as "Series name S01E05"
$ yt-dlp --parse-metadata "%(series)s S%(season_number)02dE%(episode_number)02d:%(title)s"

# Prioritize uploader as the "artist" field in video metadata
$ yt-dlp --parse-metadata "%(uploader|)s:%(meta_artist)s" --embed-metadata

# Set "comment" field in video metadata using description instead of webpage_url,
# handling multiple lines correctly
$ yt-dlp --parse-metadata "description:(?s)(?P<meta_comment>.+)" --embed-metadata

# Do not set any "synopsis" in the video metadata
$ yt-dlp --parse-metadata ":(?P<meta_synopsis>)"

# Remove "formats" field from the infojson by setting it to an empty string
$ yt-dlp --parse-metadata ":(?P<formats>)" -j

# Replace all spaces and "_" in title and uploader with a `-`
$ yt-dlp --replace-in-metadata "title,uploader" "[ _]" "-"


Some extractors accept additional arguments which can be passed using --extractor-args KEY:ARGS. ARGS is a ; (semicolon) separated string of ARG=VAL1,VAL2. E.g. --extractor-args "youtube:player-client=android_embedded,web;include_live_dash" --extractor-args "funimation:version=uncut"

The following extractors use this feature:


  • lang: Language code to prefer translated metadata of this language (case-sensitive). By default, the video primary language metadata is preferred, with a fallback to en translated. See for list of supported content language codes
  • skip: One or more of hls, dash or translated_subs to skip extraction of the m3u8 manifests, dash manifests and auto-translated subtitles respectively
  • player_client: Clients to extract video data from. The main clients are web, android and ios with variants _music, _embedded, _embedscreen, _creator (e.g. web_embedded); and mweb and tv_embedded (agegate bypass) with no variants. By default, android,web is used, but tv_embedded and creator variants are added as required for age-gated videos. Similarly the music variants are added for urls. You can use all to use all the clients, and default for the default clients.
  • player_skip: Skip some network requests that are generally needed for robust extraction. One or more of configs (skip client configs), webpage (skip initial webpage), js (skip js player). While these options can help reduce the number of requests needed or avoid some rate-limiting, they could cause some issues. See #860 for more details
  • comment_sort: top or new (default) - choose comment sorting mode (on YouTube's side)
  • max_comments: Limit the amount of comments to gather. Comma-separated list of integers representing max-comments,max-parents,max-replies,max-replies-per-thread. Default is all,all,all,all
    • E.g. all,all,1000,10 will get a maximum of 1000 replies total, with up to 10 replies per thread. 1000,all,100 will get a maximum of 1000 comments, with a maximum of 100 replies total
  • include_live_dash: Include live dash formats even without --live-from-start (These formats don't download properly)
  • innertube_host: Innertube API host to use for all API requests; e.g., Note that cookies exported from one subdomain will not work on others
  • innertube_key: Innertube API key to use for all API requests

youtubetab (YouTube playlists, channels, feeds, etc.)

  • skip: One or more of webpage (skip initial webpage download), authcheck (allow the download of playlists requiring authentication when no initial webpage is downloaded. This may cause unwanted behavior, see #1122 for more details)
  • approximate_date: Extract approximate upload_date in flat-playlist. This may cause date-based filters to be slightly off


  • language: Languages to extract, e.g. funimation:language=english,japanese
  • version: The video version to extract - uncut or simulcast


  • language: Languages to extract, e.g. crunchyroll:language=jaJp
  • hardsub: Which hard-sub versions to extract, e.g. crunchyroll:hardsub=None,enUS


  • format: Which stream type(s) to extract (default: adaptive_hls). Potentially useful values include adaptive_hls, adaptive_dash, vo_adaptive_hls, vo_adaptive_dash, download_hls, download_dash, multitrack_adaptive_hls_v2
  • hardsub: Preference order for which hardsub versions to extract (default: None = no hardsubs), e.g. crunchyrollbeta:hardsub=en-US,None


  • video_types: Types of videos to download - one or more of episodes, movies, clips, trailers


  • segment_duration: Segment duration in milliseconds for HLS-DMC formats. Use it at your own risk since this feature may result in your account termination.


  • check_all: Try to check more at the cost of more requests. One or more of thumbnails, captures


  • comment_sort: hot (default), you (cookies needed), top, new - choose comment sorting mode (on GameJolt's side)


  • res: resolution to ignore - one or more of sd, hd, fhd
  • vcodec: vcodec to ignore - one or more of h264, h265, dvh265
  • dr: dynamic range to ignore - one or more of sdr, hdr10, dv


  • app_version: App version to call mobile APIs with - should be set along with manifest_app_version, e.g. 20.2.1
  • manifest_app_version: Numeric app version to call mobile APIs with, e.g. 221


  • tab: Which tab to download - one of new, top, videos, podcasts, streams, stacks

NOTE: These options may be changed/removed in the future without concern for backward compatibility


Plugins are loaded from <root-dir>/ytdlp_plugins/<type>/; where <root-dir> is the directory of the binary (<root-dir>/yt-dlp), or the root directory of the module if you are running directly from source-code (<root dir>/yt_dlp/ Plugins are currently not supported for the pip version

Plugins can be of <type>s extractor or postprocessor. Extractor plugins do not need to be enabled from the CLI and are automatically invoked when the input URL is suitable for it. Postprocessor plugins can be invoked using --use-postprocessor NAME.

See ytdlp_plugins for example plugins.

Note that all plugins are imported even if not invoked, and that there are no checks performed on plugin code. Use plugins at your own risk and only if you trust the code

If you are a plugin author, add ytdlp-plugins as a topic to your repository for discoverability

See the wiki for some known plugins


yt-dlp makes the best effort to be a good command-line program, and thus should be callable from any programming language.

Your program should avoid parsing the normal stdout since they may change in future versions. Instead they should use options such as -J, --print, --progress-template, --exec etc to create console output that you can reliably reproduce and parse.

From a Python program, you can embed yt-dlp in a more powerful fashion, like this:

from yt_dlp import YoutubeDL

URLS = ['']
with YoutubeDL() as ydl:

Most likely, you'll want to use various options. For a list of options available, have a look at yt_dlp/

Tip: If you are porting your code from youtube-dl to yt-dlp, one important point to look out for is that we do not guarantee the return value of YoutubeDL.extract_info to be json serializable, or even be a dictionary. It will be dictionary-like, but if you want to ensure it is a serializable dictionary, pass it through YoutubeDL.sanitize_info as shown in the example below

Embedding examples

Extracting information

import json
import yt_dlp

URL = ''

# ℹ See help(yt_dlp.YoutubeDL) for a list of available options and public functions
ydl_opts = {}
with yt_dlp.YoutubeDL(ydl_opts) as ydl:
    info = ydl.extract_info(URL, download=False)

    # ℹ ydl.sanitize_info makes the info json-serializable

Download using an info-json

import yt_dlp

INFO_FILE = 'path/to/'

with yt_dlp.YoutubeDL() as ydl:
    error_code = ydl.download_with_info_file(INFO_FILE)

print('Some videos failed to download' if error_code
      else 'All videos successfully downloaded')

Extract audio

import yt_dlp

URLS = ['']

ydl_opts = {
    'format': 'm4a/bestaudio/best',
    # ℹ See help(yt_dlp.postprocessor) for a list of available Postprocessors and their arguments
    'postprocessors': [{  # Extract audio using ffmpeg
        'key': 'FFmpegExtractAudio',
        'preferredcodec': 'm4a',

with yt_dlp.YoutubeDL(ydl_opts) as ydl:
    error_code =

Filter videos

import yt_dlp

URLS = ['']

def longer_than_a_minute(info, *, incomplete):
    """Download only videos longer than a minute (or with unknown duration)"""
    duration = info.get('duration')
    if duration and duration < 60:
        return 'The video is too short'

ydl_opts = {
    'match_filter': longer_than_a_minute,

with yt_dlp.YoutubeDL(ydl_opts) as ydl:
    error_code =

Adding logger and progress hook

import yt_dlp

URLS = ['']

class MyLogger:
    def debug(self, msg):
        # For compatibility with youtube-dl, both debug and info are passed into debug
        # You can distinguish them by the prefix '[debug] '
        if msg.startswith('[debug] '):

    def info(self, msg):

    def warning(self, msg):

    def error(self, msg):

# ℹ See "progress_hooks" in help(yt_dlp.YoutubeDL)
def my_hook(d):
    if d['status'] == 'finished':
        print('Done downloading, now post-processing ...')

ydl_opts = {
    'logger': MyLogger(),
    'progress_hooks': [my_hook],

with yt_dlp.YoutubeDL(ydl_opts) as ydl:

Add a custom PostProcessor

import yt_dlp

URLS = ['']

# ℹ See help(yt_dlp.postprocessor.PostProcessor)
class MyCustomPP(yt_dlp.postprocessor.PostProcessor):
    def run(self, info):
        self.to_screen('Doing stuff')
        return [], info

with yt_dlp.YoutubeDL() as ydl:
    # ℹ "when" can take any value in yt_dlp.utils.POSTPROCESS_WHEN
    ydl.add_post_processor(MyCustomPP(), when='pre_process')

Use a custom format selector

import yt_dlp

URL = ['']

def format_selector(ctx):
    """ Select the best video and the best audio that won't result in an mkv.
    NOTE: This is just an example and does not handle all cases """

    # formats are already sorted worst to best
    formats = ctx.get('formats')[::-1]

    # acodec='none' means there is no audio
    best_video = next(f for f in formats
                      if f['vcodec'] != 'none' and f['acodec'] == 'none')

    # find compatible audio extension
    audio_ext = {'mp4': 'm4a', 'webm': 'webm'}[best_video['ext']]
    # vcodec='none' means there is no video
    best_audio = next(f for f in formats if (
        f['acodec'] != 'none' and f['vcodec'] == 'none' and f['ext'] == audio_ext))

    # These are the minimum required fields for a merged format
    yield {
        'format_id': f'{best_video["format_id"]}+{best_audio["format_id"]}',
        'ext': best_video['ext'],
        'requested_formats': [best_video, best_audio],
        # Must be + separated list of protocols
        'protocol': f'{best_video["protocol"]}+{best_audio["protocol"]}'

ydl_opts = {
    'format': format_selector,

with yt_dlp.YoutubeDL(ydl_opts) as ydl:


These are all the deprecated options and the current alternative to achieve the same effect

Almost redundant options

While these options are almost the same as their new counterparts, there are some differences that prevents them being redundant

-j, --dump-json                  --print "%()j"
-F, --list-formats               --print formats_table
--list-thumbnails                --print thumbnails_table --print playlist:thumbnails_table
--list-subs                      --print automatic_captions_table --print subtitles_table

Redundant options

While these options are redundant, they are still expected to be used due to their ease of use

--get-description                --print description
--get-duration                   --print duration_string
--get-filename                   --print filename
--get-format                     --print format
--get-id                         --print id
--get-thumbnail                  --print thumbnail
-e, --get-title                  --print title
-g, --get-url                    --print urls
--match-title REGEX              --match-filter "title ~= (?i)REGEX"
--reject-title REGEX             --match-filter "title !~= (?i)REGEX"
--min-views COUNT                --match-filter "view_count >=? COUNT"
--max-views COUNT                --match-filter "view_count <=? COUNT"
--user-agent UA                  --add-header "User-Agent:UA"
--referer URL                    --add-header "Referer:URL"
--playlist-start NUMBER          -I NUMBER:
--playlist-end NUMBER            -I :NUMBER
--playlist-reverse               -I ::-1
--no-playlist-reverse            Default

While these options still work, their use is not recommended since there are other alternatives to achieve the same

--force-generic-extractor        --ies generic,default
--exec-before-download CMD       --exec "before_dl:CMD"
--no-exec-before-download        --no-exec
--all-formats                    -f all
--all-subs                       --sub-langs all --write-subs
--print-json                     -j --no-simulate
--autonumber-size NUMBER         Use string formatting, e.g. %(autonumber)03d
--autonumber-start NUMBER        Use internal field formatting like %(autonumber+NUMBER)s
--id                             -o "%(id)s.%(ext)s"
--metadata-from-title FORMAT     --parse-metadata "%(title)s:FORMAT"
--hls-prefer-native              --downloader "m3u8:native"
--hls-prefer-ffmpeg              --downloader "m3u8:ffmpeg"
--list-formats-old               --compat-options list-formats (Alias: --no-list-formats-as-table)
--list-formats-as-table          --compat-options -list-formats [Default] (Alias: --no-list-formats-old)
--youtube-skip-dash-manifest     --extractor-args "youtube:skip=dash" (Alias: --no-youtube-include-dash-manifest)
--youtube-skip-hls-manifest      --extractor-args "youtube:skip=hls" (Alias: --no-youtube-include-hls-manifest)
--youtube-include-dash-manifest  Default (Alias: --no-youtube-skip-dash-manifest)
--youtube-include-hls-manifest   Default (Alias: --no-youtube-skip-hls-manifest)

Developer options

These options are not intended to be used by the end-user

--test                           Download only part of video for testing extractors
--load-pages                     Load pages dumped by --write-pages
--youtube-print-sig-code         For testing youtube signatures
--allow-unplayable-formats       List unplayable formats also
--no-allow-unplayable-formats    Default

Old aliases

These are aliases that are no longer documented for various reasons

--avconv-location                --ffmpeg-location
--clean-infojson                 --clean-info-json
--cn-verification-proxy URL      --geo-verification-proxy URL
--dump-headers                   --print-traffic
--dump-intermediate-pages        --dump-pages
--force-write-download-archive   --force-write-archive
--load-info                      --load-info-json
--no-clean-infojson              --no-clean-info-json
--no-split-tracks                --no-split-chapters
--no-write-srt                   --no-write-subs
--prefer-unsecure                --prefer-insecure
--rate-limit RATE                --limit-rate RATE
--split-tracks                   --split-chapters
--srt-lang LANGS                 --sub-langs LANGS
--trim-file-names LENGTH         --trim-filenames LENGTH
--write-srt                      --write-subs
--yes-overwrites                 --force-overwrites

Sponskrub Options

Support for SponSkrub has been deprecated in favor of the --sponsorblock options

--sponskrub                      --sponsorblock-mark all
--no-sponskrub                   --no-sponsorblock
--sponskrub-cut                  --sponsorblock-remove all
--no-sponskrub-cut               --sponsorblock-remove -all
--sponskrub-force                Not applicable
--no-sponskrub-force             Not applicable
--sponskrub-location             Not applicable
--sponskrub-args                 Not applicable

No longer supported

These options may no longer work as intended

--prefer-avconv                  avconv is not officially supported by yt-dlp (Alias: --no-prefer-ffmpeg)
--prefer-ffmpeg                  Default (Alias: --no-prefer-avconv)
-C, --call-home                  Not implemented
--no-call-home                   Default
--include-ads                    No longer supported
--no-include-ads                 Default
--write-annotations              No supported site has annotations now
--no-write-annotations           Default
--compat-options seperate-video-versions  No longer needed


These options were deprecated since 2014 and have now been entirely removed

-A, --auto-number                -o "%(autonumber)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s"
-t, -l, --title, --literal       -o "%(title)s-%(id)s.%(ext)s"


See for instructions on Opening an Issue and Contributing code to the project


See the Wiki for more information