Where Does Youtube-dl Download YouTube Files?

By default youtube-dl will download the files in the current working directory of the Terminal that you have opened. Usually this is your $HOME environment, but not always. This behavior can be modified in either of two ways:

  1. Use the -o option with youtube-dl to manually give a location for the download files:
$ youtube-dl -o "~/Desktop/%(title)s.%(ext)s" 'youtube file url'

and of course substitute your actual url for ‘youtube file url’. This example sends the completed download to your Desktop.

2. Create a configuration file for youtube-dl as follows:

touch ~/.config/youtube-dl.conf

Then set a default download location in this file:

--output "~/Desktop/%(title)s.%(ext)s"

With this in place all downloaded files will automatically go to your Desktop.