[Solved] Youtube_dl : ERROR : YouTube said: Unable to extract video data

I’m making a little graphic interface with Python 3 which should download a youtube video with it URL.
I use for that the module youtube_dl.
This is my code :

import youtube_dl # Youtube_dl is used for download the video

ydl_opt = {"outtmpl" : "/videos/%(title)s.%(ext)s", "format": "bestaudio/best"} # Here we give some advanced settings. outtmpl is used to define the path of the video that we are going to download

def operation(link):
    Start the download operation
        with youtube_dl.YoutubeDL(ydl_opt) as yd: # The method YoutubeDL() take one argument which is a dictionary for changing default settings
            video =
) # Start the download
        result.set("Your video has been downloaded !")
    except Exception:
        result.set("Sorry, we got an error.")


When I execute my code, I get this error :

ERROR: YouTube said: Unable to extract video data

I saw somewhere that it was because they don’t find any video info (, but I don’t find any solution to resolve this problem.
Thank’s by advance for helping me.

Enquirer: Bastien


Solution #1:

Updating youtube-dl helped me. Depending on the way you installed it, here are the commands:

  • youtube-dl --update (self-update)
  • pip install -U youtube-dl (via python)
  • brew upgrade youtube-dl (macOS + homebrew)
  • choco upgrade youtube-dl (Windows + Chocolatey)
Respondent: Bastien

Solution #2:

I had the same error on Ubuntu 20.04.
I solved it by updating youtube-dl by downloading a .deb from:

Though you can also get the update on youtube-dl’s official site.

Respondent: Manoj D Bhat

Solution #3:

For ubuntu users:

sudo apt purge youtube-dl 
sudo pip3 install youtube-dl

Respondent: Andrés Heras

Solution #4:

If you are using youtube-dl command line on MacOsx update using this command :

sudo youtube-dl --update

Respondent: hurelhuyag

Solution #5:

You could try adding a cookie file as some videos are age restricted. Use this plugin Chrome plugin Cookie.txt to download your cookies in a txt file then use these --cookies /path/to/cookies/file.txt flags not forgetting to put the right path to the file of your cookies.txt.


youtube-dl -n --cookies ~/Downloads/cookies.txt


Solution #6:

The only thing that worked for me on Ubuntu was to install using the Debian package / .deb file:

sudo apt install ./youtube-dl_2021.02.04.1-1_all.deb
Respondent: HugoBraga

Solution #7:

If you have pip installed you can use it to update youtube-dl
that helped me.

sudo pip install --upgrade youtube_dl

Respondent: HotDogCannon

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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