If you are familiar to Linux, see the following script...

I have a text file with a (list.txt) of Youtube URLs separated by new line... and I use

cat list.txt | youtube-dl -f best 

to download all in the list

This works fine but I want to emulate it on a Windows Batch file..

set /p data=<list.txt
youtube-dl -f best %data%

This works too.. BUT it downloads only the first video on the list.

A Simple solution w.r.t coding would be preferred.

PS:Also it is certain that I'm not looking for solutions using youtube-dl commands

  • 3
    Why don't you just use youtube-dl -a list.txt?
    – Attie
    Mar 6, 2019 at 14:06
  • 1
    @Attie Okay, you may write it as an answer.
    – user720745
    Mar 6, 2019 at 14:09
  • What did you mean "not looking for solutions using youtube-dl commands"?
    – Attie
    Mar 6, 2019 at 15:37

5 Answers 5


Rather than piping it in, you could use functionality provided by youtube-dl - it has a parameter that allows you to point at a text file containing a list of URLs - one per line.

-a, --batch-file FILE

File containing URLs to download (- for stdin), one URL per line. Lines starting with #, ; or ] are considered as comments and ignored.

In your situation you'd use:

youtube-dl -f best -a list.txt
  • This seems to me as being the best answer for it uses the original tool to do the same and there is a Windows version too. So basically all you need to do is reformat your command according to the answer provided by Attie and just put it in a folder with a batch script and relevant list file. Then all you'll have to do is edit your list file and run your script. Otherwise, though I don't know it properly, I'd suggest looking on PowerShell side. From what I saw it seems they at last included a lot of nice features and commands.
    – 猫IT
    Mar 6, 2019 at 16:53
  • when I try to use a batch-file I always get [youtube] xxxxxx: Downloading webpage ERROR: unable to download video data: HTTP Error 403: Forbidden where xxxxxx is the video in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxxxxx
    – lbutlr
    Apr 20, 2020 at 21:36
  • @lbutlr It looks like the video is private.
    – Vertisan
    May 3, 2020 at 14:02
  • No, as it works fine when I do not try to use a batch file.
    – lbutlr
    May 13, 2020 at 13:12
  • This discussion isn't really supposed to be conducted in comments... but, 1) Have you updated youtube-dl?, 2) Can you share the full link so we can try?
    – Attie
    May 13, 2020 at 13:29

Youtube-dl allow downloading multiple URL at once, so here is a simple solution:

youtube-dl $(cat my-links.txt | xargs)
  • The subshell is unnecessary. xargs will append whatever it gets on standard input to the end of the commandline. So just do cat my-links.txt | xargs youtube-dl -f best.
    – bobpaul
    Jan 16 at 0:33
  • thats event better, thanks Apr 20 at 8:54

You can just use youtube-dl -a yourList.txt where yourList is a file containing URL's delimited by linebreaks.


if you're looking for a strictly batch file solution with youtube-dl i suggest you use this

for /f "tokens=*" %i in (videolinks.txt) do (youtube-dl -f best %i)

it goes through the whole file line by line and downloads whatever is on the line (if its a valid link)

if you want to use it in a *.bat file make sure to use double % link

Use a single percent sign (%) to carry out the for command at the command prompt. Use double percent signs (%%) to carry out the for command within a batch file.


First you need a file with URLs or explicit YouTube-IDs. Then you can make a script as follows:

FILE=YT-List.txt #the file with the urls or youtube-ids: 1 item per line
while read line
  F1=$(echo $line)
  youtube-dl  -f22 -c -R infinite "$F1" &
done < $FILE
sleep 7
echo "I AM READY"
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