In a nutshell

  • If you are wondering how to download Twitch VODs, first know that it’s only possible through Twitch to download your own VODs
  • Twitch VODs are recordings of past livestreams
  • You can enable VODs on your channel

Twitch’s content is primarily consumed by viewers live; that’s no secret. Livestreams are Twitch’s bread and butter. However, what happens if someone misses a livestream? Are they out of luck? Thankfully, they aren’t. Twitch allows streams to record VODs (Video on demand), allowing people to tune in to their favorite streamers even when they are offline. However, VODs are more than just recordings for people to watch after the fact. They are great for making content elsewhere, like YouTube. To do this, you need to learn how to download a Twitch VOD.

In this article, we will discuss how to download a Twitch VOD, as well as why streamers would want to download a VOD in the first place.

What are VODs?

So, what are VODs exactly? In the case of Twitch, a VOD is a saved (archived) digital file of content that was previously streamed live, and can consist of an entire “event” that was streamed or small segments of that event, known as video clips. VOD storing time on Twitch depends on the channel’s account level, with past broadcasts available for 14-60 days (the higher the level of the account, the longer the digital file is kept).

Also, it’s important to note that VODs are saved in real time. This means that you can access a VOD of a stream that’s still live.

Why would streamers want to save VODs?

While many streamers may just want to keep an archive of their past streams, since Twitch eventually erases all streams, most of the time, streamers download VODs to repurpose them for content elsewhere. Whether the content creator is the editor themselves or they have an editor for them, VODs are great for clip highlights or condensing the content down for a different audience. For instance, most successful, full-time streamers today have a presence on both Twitch and YouTube. While some have the time and finances to make unique content for both platforms, many focus on streaming and later making YouTube content from their streams. It’s extremely efficient. And to do this, streamers need access to VODs to download them.

Downloading VODs

Image courtesy: Twitch

Now, while the content creator/channel operator has access to their VODs, it’s also shared with Twitch, which has access to them as well since they’re kept on Twitch servers. So, for this reason, creators who want to use the VODs for content need to download off of the Twitch server onto local or external storage or into cloud storage.

On desktop

Here’s what you need to do to download a VOD on desktop:

  • First, you need to be logged into your Twitch account on your desktop. Take the time to log into your account if you haven’t already
  • Next, click the arrow icon in the upper left corner of the home screen. The will bring down a drop-down menu.
  • Now, select the Video Producer option in the drop-down menu.
  • Choose All Videos and then select Past Broadcasts from the drop-down menu
  • Next, locate the VOD you want to save and clock on the Download button. Your desktop should then start downloading the VOD

For best practices, we recommend creating a folder on your computer to put your VODs. It will help keep them organized in one place. Also, if you have an external drive or a cloud service you can store the VODs on, do so. Twitch streams can be quite long and take up a ton of space on your desktop. So, to avoid filling up your computer’s available memory, store the VODs elsewhere if you can.

On mobile

You can also download streams using your iPhone. Here’s how to do it:

Download the Apple Shortcuts app

Download the Loader shortcut

Copy the stream link from the Twitch VOD and paste it into the Loader shortcut

The download will then start, and you will be asked which folder you want to save the Twitch VOD. After selecting where you want to save the stream, you are all set.

Alternatively, the app gives you the option to share the VOD instead and open it through the shortcut.

Can you download other channels’ VODs?

If you want to download someone else’s Twitch VODs, there’s no official way to do so. Twitch’s policy doesn’t allow anyone to download any stream they like. That’s because that content belongs to the channel that streamed it. Using or copying someone else’s content without asking them is copyright infringement and could lead to negative repercussions and end you up with a strike on YouTube if you reupload the content there.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t download other streamers’ content. First, you can always ask the stream if you can use their content. If they accept, they can always provide you with the VOD. Alternatively, after asking them, you can download the stream using third-party software. Regardless, in both situations, it’s common courtesy to ask the streamer. Now, the waters get a bit murkier if you’re using clips of the VOD under fair use, like educational purposes, commentary or criticism. So, if you use a few clips from another streamer’s VOD for a commentary video, you should be protected under Fair Use law.

VODs for content

VODs are great for archiving streamers, but they are also great tools to build content off Twitch. Just remember these steps, and you will be able to save your VODs wherever you need them.