Save Any YouTube Video From Firefox Cache [How-To]

Posted March 9, 2009 8:20 am by with 16 comments

You’ve probably heard of web sites like KeepVid where you can direct-download the FLV file of any YouTube video you watch by entering its video URL. You don’t have to do this. You can use Firefox’s local file cache to do it also. Yes, it takes a little longer, but the plus is you don’t have to rely on another site just to download videos. Afterwards you can watch the video using the FLV player of your choice (I personally use WinAMP).

Note before continuing: Yes, I understand there are applications available that will do the same thing as what is instructed below, however it is better to do this manually rather than rely on an app which at some point will not work any longer.

Step 1. Locate your Firefox browser cache URL.

Type in about:cache in your address bar and press enter.

Three listings will be displayed, that being Memory cache device, Disk cache device and Offline cache device.

You want to pay attention to Disk cache device. The cache directory will be listed there. It will be something like this and be very long:

C:\Documents and Settings\[your windows  account]\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[your firefox profile].default\Cache

Step 2. Open up a Windows Explorer and load the cache directory

Note: Windows Explorer is not the same as Internet Explorer.

While still in Firefox, highlight the entire cache directory and copy.

Click Start then Run, type explorer and click OK.

A Windows Explorer appears, usually landing in My Documents first.

In the Explorer address bar, paste in the cache directory.

When loaded it will look similar to this:

image

When you see this, click View then Details.

Then click View, then Arrange Icons By, then Modified so the most recent file is listed at the bottom of the file list first. (If you want it listed at the top, just click View/Arrange Icons By/Modified again.)

Looks like this:

image

Before continuing, if you’re asking, “Why not just click List Cache Entries from about:cache?”, the reason is because there’s no way to sort cache files in Firefox, but with Explorer you can.

Leave this Explorer window open as-is and go back to Firefox.

Step 3. Go to YouTube and load up a video.

I will use this video as an example.

image

When you load the video there is a red bar at the bottom of the YouTube player as seen above. Wait until this bar is completely filled from left to right. When it is, this indicates the video is completely downloaded locally.

Step 4. Get the FLV and store it wherever you want.

Go back to your Windows Explorer and press F5 to refresh.

Assuming your file list has newest files listed at the bottom first, the newest file there will in fact be the video. It will be a somewhat large file compared to other cache entries. The video linked above should have a size of 4,606 KB and look similar to this:

image

Important note: The name of your file will most likely be different from what’s shown here.

Right-click the file and select Rename. Rename the file whatever you want and add the extension .FLV at the end. (If this does not work, click Tools then Folder Options, click the View tab and uncheck “Hide extensions for known file types”.)

Right-click the file again after renaming, Cut, minimize everything until you see your desktop, then paste the file direct on the desktop.

If all goes well, you’ve got your FLV downloaded locally to the Desktop.

For any other YouTube video you load in your browser, follow suit. Load the video, go to the cache directory in Explorer, F5 to refresh, look for the newest larger file, rename, cut and paste on the Desktop or anywhere else you want the file to go.

Does this work for other video sites as well?

Yes. Any site that uses the FLV format (which the vast majority of them do) will have the video file itself downloaded locally to your cache to view it in your browser. When that happens you just go to the directory as outlined above and grab your FLV there.

16 responses to Save Any YouTube Video From Firefox Cache [How-To]

  1. Convert Any FLV Using WinFF | PCMech March 9th, 2009 at 8:37 am

    [...] First, you download an FLV. [...]

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  2. Save Any YouTube Video From Firefox Cache | WinSoftNews - Computers-Technology-Software March 9th, 2009 at 11:58 am

    [...] to do this manually rather than rely on an app which at some point will not work any longer…[pcmech.com] var addthis_pub = ‘sferasoft’; var addthis_language = ‘en’;var addthis_options = ‘email, [...]

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  3. Shawn Lindsey March 10th, 2009 at 2:48 am

    This is very neat information. As you said the application won’t work one day, so this type of thing is good to know.

    I usually know alot about caches and history files but I never heard of this and never honestly would have thought about this. Good post look forward to reading more.

        Reply

  4. Xzendor7 March 14th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    I’ve been doing something similar for a while, I usually look for the largest files and save them to a temp folder then rename and add the extension.

    I prefer to use IE though because all the file names and extensions are already present as well as which website their from. If you go to Windows Explorer an d type in:

    C:\Documents and Settings\personal-folder-name-here\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files

    You can see what I mean, you get a breakdown by file name, internet address, file type, file size, file expiration date, file last modified, file last accessed and file last checked.

    I hope that creators FireFox will implement something similar for the FireFox Cache it would make life that much easier

        Reply

  5. salagucho April 4th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks a lot dude. i hav ben looking for the cache file in Mydoc/[User]/localsetting/mozilla… but couldnt find it, your tip on about:cache helped me a lot. thanks again.

        Reply

  6. Ann April 9th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    … and how do you do this on a Mac?

        Reply

  7. oonjings April 16th, 2009 at 11:22 am

    it’s very easy on ie6..
    first, go to youtube, play any video, you have to play the video until it’s end.

    after that…go to tools – internet options – settings – view files.

    sort the files from the largest to the smallest file.

    than, the video should be on the top.

    the default name of the video is video playback..

    if you have winamp installed on your computer..than the type of the files should be “winamp media files”

    than you…just have to copy the files to your folder…thats very easy !!!

        Reply

  8. teluguguy May 19th, 2009 at 4:08 am

    Thank you very much….Is there any method to know the respective extensions of all the files in the firefox cache folder? why i am asking is what if the guessed .flv extension doesn’t work….? Please give me a method to know the actual extension of a given file in the firefox cache folder. Thanks in advance……..

        Reply

  9. ipsharry July 25th, 2009 at 3:28 am

    thax very much…its 100% working i have suceedeed in saving a you tube video …thax..again..

        Reply

  10. Lowell October 1st, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Thanks for the info. It has worked on a bunch of small videos which I’ve had to knit together but I had one that was over an hour long and it just wouldn’t show a cache. Trying the local user/temp process showed a cache of 191 mb but it wouldn’t let me save, rename, copy or move it because it was being used. Maybe someone has a workaround. Thanks again…

        Reply

  11. di10876dbig April 13th, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Great post mate. It worked for many videos, yet with one video it’s not working as that file is not found in my firefox cache even when in youtube I can view that video offline (the red line below the video is completely filled).

    Any solutions?

        Reply

    • xtralan June 4th, 2010 at 12:22 am

      I’ve had the same problem as di10876dbig…
      You need to make sure you let the video reach the end FIRST. – Do NOT open the folder before the red bar is finished.

      Not sure why that matters, but it seems to make a difference.
      Hope that helps.

          Reply

  12. Vnigala August 7th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Great post. Thank you very much man. It works

        Reply

  13. Owen_bda4 October 19th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Thank you immensely. I finally hit a video I actually wanted to save — and I did, with your instructions!

        Reply

  14. Sara2013 February 20th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I tried free media player called AK-Player 7 it search in firfox and google chrome chach folder and open the videos which were cached.

    The free media player is available on there website http://www.FreeMediaPlayerDownload.org

        Reply

  15. Mohiuddin Mazumder March 15th, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks,Buddy
    i also found the video as ur instruction

        Reply

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