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How To Download TikTok Videos Without Posting

Published on
March 25, 2023
Downloading TikTok videos without posting them is possible, and it only takes a few steps. Discover some of the ways in this post, plus some tips.

When former United States President Donald Trump tried to ban Chinese-owned TikTok in America, he must've only helped it snowball into fame. From 66.9 million that year, 2020, Tiktok's number of active users in the country had jumped to 131 million by 2022.

Many attribute the app's meteoric rise to the pandemic, especially early on when it became the world's most downloaded social app. True or not, we know it has breached the 1 billion mark in monthly active users, making TikTok one of the biggest names in social media today.

Clearly, people enjoy what they can do on the platform, including the freedom to download videos without posting them. Whatever their reasons, saving videos won't be so hard to do, thanks to trusty TikTok app downloaders like Archive.

Key Takeaways

  • TikTok application downloads are possible through a video link, screen capture, or downloader.  
  • Only videos grabbed with downloaders come with no TikTok watermarks.  
  • Downloading TikTok videos comes with ethical and legal considerations.

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Four Ways To Download TikTok Videos Without Posting

Everybody loves videos, and everyone has a reason to save them, too. They may want to build a personal library for offline viewing or private video sharing with friends. If they're a business owner or marketer, they might save a few videos as pegs for their own. Aspiring TikTokers may fancy stashing some of their idols’ trending works or new videos for inspiration.

Whatever it is, downloading TikTok videos without posting them is not a problem. If you've been planning on this but don't exactly know how to do it, here are four ways:

Download directly from TikTok

In-app downloads are the easiest. Just press a finger down on the video, wait for the menu, and choose the Save button, also known as the download button. If you don't see a Save option on your screen, the creator has likely set the video to private.

After downloading a public video, you can check your phone gallery or camera roll to find it. You can keep the video for your personal viewing or share it privately or socially on other platforms.
If you were planning to save only a bit of the video as an animated GIF, that's possible too. Open the video, click the Share button, and check out the gray icons down the bottom of the screen. One of those is Save, but if you scroll down a little further, you'll find Share as GIF.

Note that downloading videos directly from TikTok will leave watermarks on them. In-app downloads are also possible on mobile devices only, whether Apple or Android.

Use a download link

Downloading a video from a link is another convenient method offered by TikTok. It involves a few more steps than in-app downloads, but nothing you can't do in a minute or two. Here are the steps:

  1. Open TikTok.
  2. Pick the video you wish to download.
  3. Tap Share, then Copy Link.  
  4. Open the Copy Link button in your browser and tap Download.

The video will usually go straight to your device's default folder, which the browser sets. But you can assign a default folder manually using a process unique to your browser. Like direct, in-app downloads, videos saved through a download link will come with watermarks. You can also save TikTok videos this way using a mobile device or desktop.

Take a screen capture of the video

Another way of downloading TikTok videos is by screen-recording them as they roll. You can do this with a mobile device or a desktop, but the video will come with a watermark either way. This process can also present some difficulties.

For example, it can be challenging to crop out the watermark without removing other areas of the video and ruining it. The video may be blurry or play too slow, and the sound may not even sync with the picture.

Use a TikTok video downloader

If you want to avoid watermarks, your best bet is third-party downloader apps, websites, and dedicated software. You will get watermark-free videos when you use either a mobile or a desktop device.

You can use some of these apps or websites for free, with no limits on how many videos you can download. Some of them can start free and prompt you to upgrade once you reach a certain number of downloads.

These apps and websites have their own user instructions, but most will ask you to copy and paste the video's URL into their input box. Usually, they will give you a quick preview of the video before letting you choose a file format.

In most cases, downloader websites will not require you to sign up or install anything. You'll have to install apps, but they rarely ask you to register, making them simple and safe. Best of all, they work even on TikTok videos listed as Private by their creators.

Lastly, you can use dedicated desktop software to download TikTok videos for free until you decide to upgrade. Free software will also not strip out the watermarks.

Dealing With Watermarks

The best way to deal with watermarks is to avoid them by using a downloader app, site, or software. If that's not possible and you're stuck with a watermarked video, here are two workarounds you can explore:

Basic video tools

Video tools can be nifty, but the result can be messy when the goal is to remove a watermark. The approach adds pixels over the watermark to blur it, which can work for fixed-background videos. Otherwise, the effect can be lousy, especially with videos with captions and overlays toward the middle.

Video editing software

Aside from video tools, you can use video editor software that covers the watermark with another image or even an animated GIF. The outcome still won't be perfect, but far better than anything you can make with a crude tool.

When can’t you download a TikTok video?

We've already mentioned private videos and why you can't download them directly from TikTok. It's one of three common scenarios we'll discuss in more detail below:

The creator opted to disable downloads

As you may know, TikTok creators can decide whether or not they want people to download their videos. So if you try to save a download-disabled video, you won't even see the Save or Copy Link anywhere in the app. But you can always count on video downloaders.

The TikTok account is private

Some videos may be downloadable in a public account, while others may not. It all depends on the creator's settings. On the other hand, a private account bans all downloads. But assuming the creator has approved your follow request (or you won't see their videos), you can always message them and ask for a copy. This boils down to your approach to convincing them to say yes. At any rate, downloaders are always an option, even for private accounts.

Your network is having issues

If you're sure the video is downloadable yet is not transferring, your network might be the problem. Try opening your browser and see if it's working for other sites. If not, then it's probably a network issue.

Ethical and Legal Considerations in Downloading TikTok Videos

Image by Cotton Bro Studio  on Unsplash

Issues with TikTok downloads are unlikely, as most creators will let you save their videos. But while you can usually download without a fuss, some videos may be copyrighted.

There's no way you can download a protected video straight from TikTok. If you must, you'll have to rely on external parties, as discussed in an earlier section. This is where downloading a TikTok video can involve copyright issues.

Then again, it's not so much the act of downloading a protected video as it is what you do with it. You'll be safe even if you save a protected video with a downloader, provided you use it privately.  
You could be in trouble if you share the video on a monetized account or create another video out of it and then put your stamp on it. But you can avoid this by simply doing the right thing: credit the original creator.

Sometimes, you may save a TikTok video that is set to public but features music licensed to TikTok. Even if you downloaded the video from TikTok, posting it on a monetized account on another channel can still be risky. To avoid copyright infringement, mute the original audio and add royalty-free music on top of it.

Choosing a TikTok Downloader

Out of the options for saving TikTok videos, downloaders may be the favorite. They remove watermarks without a trace and leave video quality practically untouched. But like every other tech tool online, TikTok downloaders can fall below your expectations or even pose safety issues.

Whether it's an app, a website, or software, you can only tell if it's the right one if you do your due diligence. Here are tips to help you out:

Go for free

If a downloader wants you to pay for your videos, forget it. Legit downloaders are generally free, though they may charge extra for bulk downloads and other advanced features. It depends on what else you need.

Avoid sites with pop-ups

Pop-ups aren't just annoying. They can be scary, too, especially when you accidentally click them and unleash a whole pandora of malware. That can cost you dearly, so to avoid pop-ups, use a downloader without them.

Have format options

Even a free downloader should offer different formats, so don't feel limited or obliged to pay for conversions. Legit downloaders, at least, will always let you decide whether you want to compress a file or download it as is.

Aim for HD

Even free downloaders can give you TikTok downloads in HD, so don't settle for less. If an app, site, or software wants you to pay more for high-quality videos, scoot away.

Choose high speed

Download speeds can be crucial if you're downloading tons of videos for some official purpose, such as marketing. Most legit downloaders are high-speed anyway, whether you're downloading for business or personal reasons.

UI matters

UI stands for user interface, and you have every right to demand it from your TikTok downloader. If you're a geek, you may be okay with reading code on that interface. Otherwise, get something that will speak to you in the language you know. There's no need to waste time figuring out how things work.

Don't give your information

No matter how some downloaders may justify it, signing up for TikTok downloads is unnecessary. You don't have to put yourself out there where hackers roam. The most that legit downloaders will ask you for is your email address. Beyond that is a red flag.

Did you know? TikTok has a screen time management feature that lets you decide how much time you want to spend on the app daily. You can also schedule breaks during uninterrupted screen time.

Download TikTok Videos Safely and Easily

While TikTok is still not the number one social media platform today, it is hands down the fastest-growing platform in the lot. It attracted at least 340 million new active members from 2018 to 2022 and looks poised to reach 2 billion users by 2024.

Until then, there are plenty of reasons to enjoy TikTok videos, and copyright may not be an issue for those who understand how it works. Plus, downloaders can make your TikTok downloads a breeze, especially from a reputable tech brand like Archive.

Archive is the hassle-free way to download TikTok videos without posting. Start building your own TikTok video playlist today.

FAQs on How To Download TikTok Videos Without Posting

Will TikTok creators know who downloaded or screen-recorded their videos?

TikTok creators can't see who downloaded their videos, but they would know their content has been downloaded. Platforms like Snapchat notify creators every time their content is screen-recorded, but not TikTok. WhatsApp is another platform that does not notify creators of screen recordings.

Is it better to download TikTok videos in MP4 or MOV?

Both formats produce visually similar results, but MOV is the native format for iPhones. MOV also comes in a larger file size, so it occupies more space in your device storage. Resizing is possible yet time-consuming, but a good TikTok downloader can easily handle it.

Can I download TikTok videos without a TikTok account?

Yes, you can, thanks to the site's built-in feature that lets you watch and save content. You just have to download the app on your device and follow the instructions. For disabled videos or videos in private accounts, third-party solutions can be the answer.

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