Forget Downloading! Now Extract videos from Browser Cache!

If you are still looking for a software or a website which can download videos hosted on YouTube, Dailymotion, Metacafe, Flickr, Facebook etc., then you should know that you can easily extract a fully watched video from your favorite browser’s cache.



What is a browser cache?

Whenever you visit a web page, web elements contained in it like images, video files etc. gets temporarily downloaded in a temporary folder of your OS.

This temporary folder may help you to browse your favourite website faster as it reduces bandwidth consumption, server load etc. for subsequent requests. Your browser tries to load elements like the site’s logo, footer image etc. from the cache, instead of re-downloading it from the web server again and again.

How a video goes into browser cache?

Whenever you watch a video on some popular video hosting site, it undergoes buffering process i.e. it gets downloaded onto your computer’s hard drive and most of us don’t even know about it! We always try to download the same video file again and again using some browser extension, software or a website (KeepVid etc.)!

You may have seen a video that keeps on playing without any buffering, even when you click on the refresh button! This is because your browser is now loading the video file from its cache, instead of buffering it from the server.

How to extract videos from browser cache?

Video Cache View is a very small utility that scans the temporary folder of all major browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari etc.) for saved video files. Let’s see how this utility works?

Suppose you watch a full YouTube video of Phattu and a full Dailymotion video of Gaaye in Firefox and Chrome respectively:

phattu

gaaye

Now when you run Video Cache View, the utility will scan the temporary folder of both browsers and will show you following scan result:

video cache view list

video cache view

Here you will see following details:

  • Name by which the video file is stored in the cache.
  • Type of video content like video/mp4, video/x-flv etc.
  • Whether the media file is in cache or not.
  • Web browser title of streaming video page. For certain sites like Dailymotion etc. the title can be wrong.
  • Size of the file.
  • Web browser used to access the video content.
  • Direct download URL.
  • Last access and modified date.
  • Name by which the file is stored in the cache along with its extension.
  • Full path of the file name.
  • Number of split files count (if any).
  • Your IP address that you used to access the video content.

Now in order to extract both the videos from the cache, carefully look at the values under In Cache, File size, Title, Download URL and Browser Name.

Now, right click on the file name and click on Play Selected File or press F2:

play selected file f2

This will show you a preview of temporarily stored video content with file name VideoCacheViewTemp.flv in your favourite media player:

gom player

Once you are satisfied with the preview, click on Copy Selected files to… or Press F7 and the utility will ask you where you’d like to save the file along with following options:

copy selected files to f7

output folder

  • Copy as new name, if file name already exists.
  • Create NTFS hard disk instead of copying the file (for temporary .flv files).
  • Use the web page title as file name, if available.
  • File description to generate the file name (without file extension).

Click on okay button and your video content will get extracted to the output folder.

Important Notes:

  • The resolution of the video file that you extract from your browser’s cache will depend on the quality in which you have played the video in flash player. For example, if you watch a video in 720p format on YouTube, then the resolution of extracted video file will also be 720×1280.
  • If you get a warning that the video file in the cache is in MPEG-Dash format, then you have to convert it into a valid mp4 file using this software.
  • It is highly recommended to close your web browser, when you are extracting video content from its cache. If you don’t do so, then the extracted video files may get corrupt.
  • If you watch a web video partially and then try to extract it using above utility, then either the extracted file will be corrupt or it will also be partial.
  • If there is insufficient space on your hard drive, then chances are very high that the buffered file will be partial or it will be corrupt.
  • The utility can’t extract MMS streams.
  • You can always clear the cache of all browsers installed on your system using CCleaner or some other similar software.






Posted on Categories Software

16 thoughts on “Forget Downloading! Now Extract videos from Browser Cache!”

  1. Hi!
    I wonder if you could give me some advice.
    Using vcv I get sometimes files of the type video/mp4.
    – Clicking ‘play selected file’ I get an errror message (essentially: file cannot be found)
    – Copying the selected file to somewhere I obtain two files: mpegdashtmp1.mp4 and mpegdashtmp2.mp4. Playing these files I obtain the first part of the video (2) and audio (1).
    The filenames suggest that maybe I should use the software that you suggested to convert ‘mpegdash’ to ‘a valid mp4 file’. The response is: ‘Failed to open’, Reason: ‘Internal Service Error’.
    By the way: If vcv turns up files of type ‘video/x-flv’, no problem. ‘Play selected file’ plays the video and the sound.
    Any comment?
    Kind regards, David

  2. As per the official website of the developer: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/video_cache_view.html

    “YouTube Web site started using MPEG-DASH streams instead of flash (.flv) files. In order to convert the MPEG-DASH streams into a valid .mp4 file that can be played with any media player, you have to download and install the following open source software package: GPAC.

    After you install this software, VideoCacheView automatically detect it and uses MP4Box installed as a part of GPAC package to convert the MPEG-DASH streams into a valid mp4. If for some reason VideoCacheView fails to detect the installation of GPAC package , simply copy VideoCacheView.exe into the installtion folder of GPAC and run it from there.

    If you don’t install the GPAC package, you’ll get 2 stream files (One for video and one for audio): mpegdashtmp1.mp4 and mpegdashtmp2.mp4. These files can be played by the media player of Windows 8. Be aware that this feature doesn’t work with Chrome Web browser, simply because Chrome stores the cache entries of YouTube as empty URLs, and thus VideoCacheView cannot detect them.”

    I will suggest you to try to extract the video file from the cache of a different web browser (say FireFox) other than Chrome.

    Also, I am not sure why you are getting this error: “Failed to open’, Reason: ‘Internal Service Error’? I am unable to reproduce this error on my system and am unable to help you in this case. It seems like you are trying to play/open a corrupt file.

    I will suggest you to contact the developer of vcv directly (http://www.nirsoft.net/contact-new.html) or ask your query in this this forum: http://sourceforge.net/p/gpac/discussion/

    :)

  3. Nothing works. Even the latest version v2.80 of Video Cache View and GPAC will not let IE or Firefox show the files. If I can get something to come up there is about 20 files that are broken up. GPAC does not combine anything. Any other suggestions?

  4. After the introduction of YouTube offline (https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6060860?hl=en), the website has done some major changes. Because of these changes video files can’t be downloaded using third-party services/software. Somehow if you are able to download a video file, either it is corrupt or don’t have any audio in it. Will update this post if I find any solution.

  5. Hi,,
    I also tried the same. But i didn’t get files as i needed. There are 20 songs but they are mix together in one file of 500 mb. How can i get my songs back.. please help

  6. Can any one please let me know how to store/save the video directly from cache ()without using extra bandwith again??
    I have been searching for this by many days but hasn’t found any good solution one was VIDEOCACHEVIEW addon but again it doesnt work for chunked video (As you tube splitted the videos in chunkes)

    http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/video_cache_view.html

    This link doesnt works well,

    Can anyone please suggest me the way to store video from cache though it is chunked directly without downloading(Extra bandwidth)

    NOTE: FOR PC

  7. I WISH I CAN ATTACH SCREEN SHOTS HERE.. TO MAKE U UNDERSTAND MY PROBLEM< PLZ PROVIDE ANY MAIL ID/ELSE IF ANY

  8. Hello Zeba, It seems like YouTube has changed the way in which it store downloaded video files in the cache. Either the video chunks aren’t readable or we should wait for an update from the developer.

  9. I have watched a video through Firefox, and it is downloaded as about five hundred odd chunks of about 100K each. I have extracted them from the browser cache using VideoCahceViewer, and they now sit in a separate directory as .mp4. However FLV will not play any of them. They were downloaded from a “webinar” site.

    How do I get them to play?

    How do I join them together?

    Thanks, Stuart Aitchison.

  10. Now a days almost all popular websites are splitting a video file into hundreds of smaller chunks so that no one can extract the MAIN video from their browser’s cache. Whenever you try to play one of these chunks you will get a codec not supported error.

    I am not sure but I think that you won’t be able to join or play those files. To prevent plagiarism, websites have changed their way of storing video file in one’s browser cache. Earlier they used to store a video as a single file, now they are storing the same video file into hundreds of unplayable smaller chunks with same extension.

  11. VCV insists on saving video files as *.wmv files. They end up as zero byte wmv files in the save location. Naturally, they are unplayable there. But in the VCV environment itself, the cached files are also unplayable. Under the file property option you see just
    the same thing. Is this some sort of copyright thing or is there some way to edit the cfg
    file to change the way the file is viewed and/or saved to disk? I’m running 32 bit Win 8.1. Everything else works on VCV. Same thing happens on a 64 bit win 8.1 laptop.

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