Top 12 VLC Media Player Hidden Tricks You Don't Know

VLC media player (commonly known as VLC) is a portable, free and open-source, cross-platform media player and streaming media server written by the VideoLAN project.

The VLC media player supports many audio and video compression methods and file formats, including DVD-Video, video, CD and streaming protocols. It is able to stream media over computer networks and to transcode multimedia files.


The default distribution of VLC includes a large number of free decoding and encoding libraries, avoiding the need for finding/calibrating proprietary plugins. The lib av codec library from the FFmpeg project provides many of VLC’s codecs, but the player mainly uses its own muxers, and demuxers. It also has its own protocol implementations. It also gained distinction as the first player to support playback of encrypted DVDs on Linux and OS X by using the lib DVD CSS DVD decryption library.

You can download it from here.

VLC Media Player Hidden Tricks

The features of VLC makes it unmatchable from all the available media players. You might be using VLC Media Player from years and being a power user, you might have discovered and used every available feature of this player at least once but something is still left.

VLC comes with many dozens of features. But if you using this media player for watching latest movies and music, you missed a lot of hidden VLC media player features. Today in this post I tell you lots of hidden features of VLC media player that you don’t know.

1Play Video IN ASCII Output

  • Open VLC media Player.
  • Go to Tools>> Preferences
  • Click on Video from left sidebar
  • At “Output” field, choose Color ASCII Art Video Output

2VLC Inception Trick

Wondering what’s inception here? Well, VLC Media Player can take a screenshot of your current screen and keep on taking screenshots of relatively smaller size and putting on it’s display panel which will provide your inception effect.

  • Open VLC Media Player
  • Now, Press Ctrl+N
  • Type “screen://” (without quotes) in the opened window
  • Click Play to see this VLC inception trick.

3VLC Video Converter

If you don’t have any video converter or your video converter has been expired. What should you do?Well, if you have VLC then problem solved. VLC lets you convert media files too. To convert your media files, follow these steps:

  • Open VLC media player
  • Navigate to Media >> Convert/Save
  • On the next screen, click “Add” and add media files by browsing
  • Now, click on Convert/Save button provided at the bottom.
  • On the next screen, choose desirable video format to play video on your device.
  • Finally, click Start and VLC will start converting your video file to desirable video format.

4Stream Youtube Videos In VLC

Yes, you read it right, you can directly watch any youtube video in VLC Media player, needless to say, you need Internet Connection. You can also get rid of unwanted disturbance caused in Youtube Videos if you watch the videos in VLC.

  • Open VLC media player and Click On “Media” to Select “Open Network Stream”. CTRL + N is the shortcut to perform this task.
  • Open Youtube and head over to your Favourite Video, Copy the URL of the youtube video which will look like ““.
  • Once you have copied the URL simply Paste it there where it says Enter the network URL and Click Play.
  • You will see that the Video is Streaming in VLC Smoothly.

5Use VLC as Youtube Video Downloader

VLC doesn’t provide a direct option for you to download YouTube video but you can play workaround. VLC can help you in getting the direct downloading link of your desired YouTube video file.

Recommended: Best Ways To Download YouTube Videos

Follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Media >> Open Network Stream.
  • Put your YouTube video’s URL at provided field and click “Play” button.
  • VLC will not stream the video. Click on Tools >> Media Information >> Codec. See the
  • Location box at the bottom which has long URL string. Copy it.
  • The URL you have copied is video downloading URL for your YouTube video.
  • Now paste it into the browser and browse it to play the video in your browser, save as to download the video or paste it in your downloader which will download the video for you.

Recommended: How To Use YouTube Downloader As Free YouTube Converter

6Auto Shutdown Your Pc And VLC

Well, do you love to hear music on your PC/Laptop from the speaker, just because you hate to hear through earphone at the moment of sleeping? If you have added your songs’ playlist then VLC can assure you to shut down your PC after specific time interval. Create a stopwatch for VLC which will shut down your PC after it ends. Follow these steps:

  • Open Notepad
  • Write this code:START /WAIT C:”Program Files”VideoLANVLCvlc.exe %1 VLC://quit shutdown -s -t 60
  • Save the file with “.BAT” extension. For example, “shutmusic.BAT
  • Enjoy Music for 60 seconds. You can replace 60 with any other digit to wait for up to that seconds.

7Add Mouse Gesture Support

VLC provides so many important features and many of them are usually used while playing a video or audio. It’s frustrating to move through options for configuration. To make the task easier, VLC has provided mouse gesture support which makes it very easy to adjust settings just by moving mouse.

For example –

Left: Short time skip backward (10sec by default)
Right: Short time skip forward (10sec by default)
Left-up: Faster
Right-up: Slower
Left-down: Go to previous entry in playlist
Right-down: Go to next entry in playlist
Left-right: Play/Pause
Right-left: Play/Pause
Up: Volume up
Down: Volume down
Up-down: Mute Volume
Down-up: Mute Volume
To enable mouse gesture, navigate to View >> Add Interface and click “Mouse Gesture” option

8Record Your Desktop

VLC can load your desktop as an input device. This means that you can use the Convert / Save feature to save a video of your desktop, effectively turning VLC into screen capture software.

  • Open VLC media player.
  • Click on Media->Open Capture Device.
  • A new box will open. For Capture mode, select Desktop.
  • Set desired frame rate to 10.00 f/s.
  • Click on the arrow next to Play button below and then click on Convert.
  • A new box will appear.
  • Set whatever name you want to save your file as, but put the extension as.mp4 ( for example, AAA.mp4)
  • Then click on the settings symbol in the settings.
  • Again a new box will appear.
  • In that new box, click on Video Codec and change the Bit-rate to 2000 kb/s.
  • Then click on Save.
  • After that click on the Start button below and your recording will start.
  • Minimize VLC media player.

To stop recording close the VLC media player.

9Audio and Video Effects

If your video’s Audio is not Syncing with the video stream then with a little tweak you can fix this in VLC media player. you can even Apply Effects to your audio and video, let us see how:

  • Open VLC media player, click on Tools > Effects and Filters.
  • Click on Audio Effect if you want to add effects if you are playing audio or Click on Video effect to add effects in a video file.
  • Now Play around and make changes to add effects which will take place live.
  • You can make changes in the form of Brightness, Hue etc. Other tabs like synchronization are there to add effects too.

10Play Video On Desktop

VLC is the Only Media player that can do this for you. You can Replace your Desktop wallpaper with a Video Using none other than VLC media Player.

To do this, open VLC’s preferences window, click the Video icon, and select DirectX (DirectDraw)video output in the Output box.
Restart VLC, and Load a video, and you’ll be able to click the Video menu and select Set as Wallpaper to turn the video into your desktop wallpaper.
When everything is done, just change VLC’s Output setting back to Automatic and restart it.

11Play Rar Files

Do you know VLC can play videos zipped inside RAR files? They play like normal video files and you can even use the seek bar. If the RAR file is split into several files, no problem. Just load the first part (.part001.rar) and it will automatically take the rest of the parts and play the whole file.

12VLC Media Player Shortcuts

VLC has built-in shortcuts. There are people who are more used to using the keyboard than the mouse of their desktop or laptop and VLC Media Player has taken this into consideration. Here are the keyboard shortcuts in VLC Media Player.

f for Fullscreen
Space bar for Play or Pause
+ to play the multi media faster.
s for Stop.
Ctrl + q to Quit.
Ctrl + Up arrow key to make the volume higher.
Ctrl + Down arrow key to lower the volume.
m to mute the multimedia file.
Shift + Right arrow key to skip forward.
Shift + Left arrow key to skip backward.
Ctrl + T and enter the time you want the video to jump into.