YouTube has rolled out an innovative feature called “Smart Download” for users with a YouTube Premium subscription, allowing them to download recommended videos for offline viewing automatically. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the ins and outs of this functionality, including how to enable and disable it on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, ensuring efficient memory and internet usage.

Understanding “Smart Download” on YouTube

By granting YouTube permission to track your activity, the app utilizes algorithms to curate personalized recommendations for your video feed. With a YouTube Premium subscription, the app goes a step further, presenting you with recommended content and automatically downloading select videos for offline viewing. This feature, aptly named Smart Download, guarantees a constant supply of content for offline enjoyment, even without manual downloads.

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Smart Download intelligently stores recommended, newly released content from your subscribed channels. This way, you’ll always have something to watch, even without an internet connection. Here are some critical details about this feature:

  • Videos are exclusively downloaded when connected to Wi-Fi.
  • Downloads will not occur via mobile data.
  • The download process will halt if your device runs out of available memory.

Enabling and Utilizing Smart Download on YouTube

To take advantage of Smart Download, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the YouTube app and navigate to the “Library” tab.
  2. Select “Saved Videos.
    • You’ll find your downloaded videos here if Smart Download is already enabled. Simply play any of them. The amount of storage occupied by each video is displayed at the bottom.
    • If the feature is disabled, click the “Enable” button. If this button is absent, tap the three-dot icon and choose “Settings.” From there, activate the “Smart Download” feature.
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YouTube Introduces Smart Download Feature for YouTube Premium Subscribers

Adjusting the Download Quality

If you wish to modify the quality of your downloads, follow these steps:

  1. Open the YouTube app and navigate to the “Library” tab.
  2. Tap “Saved Videos.”
  3. In the upper-right corner, click the gear-shaped settings icon.
  4. Select “Video Quality.”
  5. Choose the desired quality from the available options.
YouTube Introduces Smart Download Feature for YouTube Premium Subscribers

Configuring Available Memory for Smart Download

As mentioned, Smart Download ceases downloading videos when your device’s available memory is depleted. However, you can specify the amount of memory allocated for downloads. Here’s how:

  1. Launch the YouTube app and access Settings.
  2. Tap “Background & Offline” followed by “Set Up Smart Download.”
  3. Choose the “Other” option.
  4. Utilize the slider to designate the desired storage capacity for smart downloads, ranging from 0.5 GB to 10 GB.

Disabling Smart Download on YouTube

There are valid reasons to disable the Smart Download feature. For instance, if you consistently have access to Wi-Fi for video streaming or have limited mobile data and insufficient free memory on your device. Downloaded videos can occupy significant storage space, often in the hundreds of megabytes. To disable Smart Download, follow these steps:

  1. Open the YouTube app and select your profile in the top right corner.
  2. Click “Settings.”
  3. Choose “Library and downloads.”
  4. Deactivate the “Smart Download” option.
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YouTube Introduces Smart Download Feature for YouTube Premium Subscribers

Upon disabling the feature, all previously downloaded videos will be deleted from your device, freeing up memory. Furthermore, future downloads will not be saved to your smartphone or tablet.


Ruby has been a writer and author for a while, and her content appears all across the tech world, from within ReadWrite, BusinessMagazine, ThriveGlobal, etc.

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