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?
Now when you run Video Cache View, the utility will scan the temporary folder of both browsers and will show you following scan result:
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:
This will show you a preview of temporarily stored video content with file name VideoCacheViewTemp.flv in your favourite media 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 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.
- 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.