Free Download Manager removes support for YouTube downloads

Oct 21, 2021
Updated • Jun 29, 2022

If you are using Free Download Manager, you may have noticed that the program cannot be used to download videos from YouTube. You are not the only one facing the issue, it started a few days ago.

Free Download Manager removes support for YouTube downloads

Here's what happened.

Some users, having discovered the lack of an option to fetch videos from YouTube, raised a complaint at the official FDM forums. A developer on the FDM team, Alex, responded to the thread by saying, YouTube downloads are not available in the program anymore. He also clarified that the team was discussing the issue with Google in order to find a resolution.

FDM YouTube claim from Google

When users asked him for more details, the developer said that FDM had received a claim from Google, and they had to "turn off the option for YouTube downloads".

FDM YouTube downloads issue

This was the reason why the feature has removed from the popular program. We'll get back to that in a bit.

Usually, software are not targeted by legal issues like piracy, except in rare cases when a record label randomly sends out a DMCA or a Cease and Desist order. Remember the youtubedl fiasco? Back to the issue at hand, Google forbids extensions on the store from downloading YouTube videos.  The FDM extension clearly does not download the videos, it just sends the command to the program. The FDM desktop application, like many programs, is just a tool, and it is the up to the user to decide how they want to use the program. It is a little strange why the search giant went after Free Download Manager in particular, while similar programs haven't been targeted.

The problem with FDM seems to have started with version 6.15.3 build 4234. If you have an older build, could you use it to download YouTube videos? Intrigued by this thought, I tried a slightly older version, and it gave me a different error that said "Can't process page."

FDM older version

So, I went all the way back to version 5, and it still gave me an error, but this time it said "Parsing failure. YouTube downloads are not available."

FDM error version 5

Though I had the FDM extension installed in the browser, I wasn't using it to grab the media. I was manually copying the YouTube video's URL and pasting it in the program. So why were older versions displaying the error? Clearly this error isn't specific to the version being used, so it has to be server related problems.

I can think of 2 possibilities. One, something has changed on YouTube's end, which is causing the error. It seems unlikely, since I was able to download the videos using other programs. The other theory is that Free Download Manager relies on an external service for YouTube downloads, probably to parse the video links (fetch the metadata, URLs, resolution, etc.) and sends it to the program for download. I mentioned earlier that the developer had to "turn off the option for YouTube", this is likely the intermediary service that was taken down.

The YouTube page on FDM's site has also been pulled, and gives a 404. Here's a Web Archive version of it from April 2021. The page's disappearance does seem like a serious issue, and it remains unclear whether FDM will add support for YouTube downloads again.

Meanwhile, you can use other programs like YouTube-DL, yt-dlp, youtube-dl-gui, XDM, IDM, FireDM (formerly PyIDM). Take a look at our previous article for more ways to download videos.

Were you using FDM for downloading YouTube videos? What are your alternatives?

Free Download Manager removes support for YouTube downloads
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Free Download Manager removes support for YouTube downloads
Unable to download YouTube videos using Free Download Manager? Here's why that's happening.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL:

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

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