FreeTube: An Open Source Youtube Client | NSC #74


Youtube Without Google

Have you ever wanted to watch Youtube without tracking, restrictions and a Google account? Well, you can with Freetube, an open source Youtube client.

Keeping Track of your Videos with Freetube

Freetube allows you to “subscribe” to all of your favorite Youtube channels without the need for a Google account. It has a built-in subscription feed, watch later and a watch history (which can be cleared or turned off). This makes it easy to move from Youtube in the browser to the Freetube desktop application.


On the side bar, you have access to all of your subscriptions and can even view their channels from the app. It doesn’t look as glorious as it normally would, but you can see the channel cover art, name, description and most recent videos of the channel. You can subscribe to any channel by hitting the subscribe button and it will be added to the side bar and your subscription feed.

Watching Videos on Freetube


Freetube allows you to view all of your favorite videos from a desktop application rather than the web browser. Freetube uses the Invidious API to pull video content from Youtube. This eliminates the many tracking technologies that Google uses on Youtube to suggest videos to you. The application can also be configured to run through TOR, though it is a bit complicated to set up for the average user.

Freetube supports quality selection, looping and video playlists. The comment system is a little weird, but you can still view the last 20 comments on a video.

Bypassing Age and Region Restrictions

Want to watch a video of Elon Musk smoking weed, but aren’t old enough according to Youtube’s standards? Open the same exact video in Freetube and bypass the restrictions Youtube puts on your favorite videos.

Coupled with a VPN, you can also bypass country restrictions and listen to your favorite Adele song! Yes, you can do this with just a VPN, but this way Google isn’t tracking that you are listening to Adele.

Download Freetube

Freetube is an open source project managed by one person, so updates are few and far between. Good news is every update adds some really cool features. It is also only possible to download the files directly from Github: https://github.com/FreeTubeApp/FreeTube/releases


If you are running Windows, you are looking for the file that ends in .exe. When installing Freetube on Windows, be warned that the application is not signed. This means you will get an error telling you the app is not secure. You can still install it if you ignore these warnings.


If you are running MacOS, you need to download the file that has the word “darwin” in the file name. Unzip the file and drag the app to your applications folder on your machine to install it. You may also get a warning which you will have to click through in order to install it.


If you are running Linux, hopefully you are confident enough with Linux to figure it out. If not, Ubuntu based distros will use the file ending in amd64.deb and Red Hat based distros will use the file ending in x86_64.rpm.

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