Best VLC Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Know – Must Know Shortcuts!

VLC media player is one of the most used video player application among netizens. You probably have it installed on your computer. Windows comes pre installed with the Windows Media Player application which is the built in application for playing media files like movies or music.

But most people prefer other applications for video playback like VLC Media Player or KM Player over WMP. Windows Media Player is good when it comes to playing audio files. But when it comes to video playback, it lacks some important features. That is where  players like VLC comes into play.

“VLC Media Player is a free and open source   and cross-platform media player and streaming media server developed by the VideoLAN project” quoting Wikipedia. It is also the among one of the most prefered media player. VLC media player supports wide range of audio and video formats  (almost all the formats, from a normal users standpoint).

Did You Know you could play torrents directly in VLC Media Player?

Keyboard Shortcuts for VLC

VLC player supports a wide range of keyboard shortcuts which makes using it very easier. If you didn’t know them already this is a good time to learn some of the most common and useful keyboard shortcuts for VLC player. There are a lot of of shortcuts that you didn’t know about.

Download VLC Media Player keyboard shortcuts pdf here

Play/Pause the Video

You can play or pause the video using the Spacebar key. This is the easiest way to pause the video if you wanna have a quick break  while watching your favorite movie.

You can press the Spacebar when the video is paused to resume playback of the media file.

Full Screen Mode

Your video starts in a windowed mode in VLC media player. To get the immersive movie experience we  use the fullscreen mode to watch the movie/video without any interferences on the screen. How to you do it? By click on the Maximize button?

Well you can simply press F to enter the fullscreen mode. So from next time onwards, just remember this shortcut.

Well once you are in the fullscreen mode, How to “escape” the full screen mode? Yes yes…By pressing the Esc key. (see what i did there….)

Turn On/Off Subtitles

When watching Korean Movies,  you gotta have subs. But sometimes you might have to turn it off. There are shortcuts for turning on/off subtitles in VLC Media player.

Clicking the V key can toggle subtitles in VLC.

Volume Control in VLC

Controlling the volume can be easily done using these shortcuts: This will increment/decrement volume at levels of 5%.

  • Volume Up : Ctrl+Up
  • Volume Down:  Ctrl+Down

Move Forward/Backward

Seeking forward and backward in VLC is easy.  There are two modes of seeking in VLC.  You can jump in 3 seconds,10 seconds and 1 minute intervals.

  • Shift + Right / Left  Arrow – Jump 3 seconds forward/ backward
  • Alt + Right / Left  Arrow – Jump 10 seconds forward/ backward
  • Ctrl + Right / Left Arrow – Jump 1 minute forward/ backward

Mute Audio

I honestly never use the mute feature in any player….this is me. But if you need to  mute audio, in VLC you have a  shortcut to mute audio. You can press M on the keyboard to toggle mute mode. You can quickly mute audio instead of decreasing the volume level by level. This shortcut can come in handy at times.

Change Aspect Ratio

You can change the aspect ration of the video in VLC using a dedicated key on the keyboard. Press A on the keyboard to cycle between aspect ratio. You can switch between aspect ratio 16:10, 16:9, 4.:3, etc. You might need to change the aspect ratio when the video doesn’t fit properly or gets cropped out.

Change the Playback Speed

If you need to slow a video or audio you can do that in VLC by pressing the – button on the keyboard. You can also speed up the video/audio by pressing the + button. I don’t know if I would ever need to do this, but yeah if you really want to speed up a slow song, you can do that. You know some songs sound better when played 1.5x or 2x faster.

  • Increase Playback Speed (0.5x): +
  • Decrease Playback Speed (0.5x): –
  • Increase Playback Speed (0.1x): ]
  • Decrease Playback Speed (0.1x): [
  • Reset Playback Speed: =

Sync Subtitles with Video

This can be a really bad situation when the subtitles doesn’t match with the video. You get down to watch a movie and you need subtitles, you load up the subtitles only to see that they don’t sync properly. I used to loose my cool in such situations.

Luckily VLC player allows to increase/decrease the delay between the video and the subs. This means that with a few tries, we can get the subs to sync with the video.

  • Increase: G
  • Decrease: H

Sync Audio and Video

This is worse situation than the above mentioned   one. In case some bad quality files, you might have this situation were the audio doesn’t sync up with video. You can try and sync the audio manually with the video by adjusting the delay of audio. We have shortcuts for increasing or decreasing the audio delay.

  • Increase: K
  • Decrease: J

Go Frame by Frame in VLC

In VLC Media Player, you have a special feature which lets you go frame by frame in a video. We have shortcut buttons that can be used to go through videos frame by frame. Why would someone do that? Well, If you need to capture some minute detail from a scene, you cannot properly get it right by seeking forward or backward as seeking the video will move it by 3 seconds.

You can go frame by frame in VLC by pressing the E button on the keyboard.

Cycle Zoom Mode

In VLC, you can change the zoom level of the video. This can be down by pressing the Z key on the keyboard.  You can cycle between double, half and quarter. Can be helpful at times.

Take Screenshots

If you ever need to take screenshot of a frame, you can do that in VLC using a shortcut. You can first go from frame to frame and then capture the screenshot at the exact moment.

Take Screenshot: Shift + S

The screenshots will be saved to the “Pictures” folder.

Hide Controls

If you need to have a very immersive experience with nothing interfering the movie, you can hide all the controls of the media player. You can press the shortcut again to bring up all the controls if its already hidden. Cheers to a distraction free movie experience!

Hide controls: Ctrl + H

Modify Preferences

Are you the kind of person who never changes any settings/preference of a software, you know keep everything as defaults and live with it? If yes, you can skip this shortcut. For those who likes to mess up with the defaults and make changes to the settings and  preferences, you can do that by quickly going into the preferences by pressing :

Access Preferences: Ctrl + P

Some Other Commands

  • Ctrl + Y : Save playlist
  • Ctrl +I : Media Information
  • D : Toggle Deinterlace
  • Ctrl + E : Adjustments and audio/ video Effects
  • Ctrl +B : Edit Bookmarks
  • Ctrl +M : Open Messages
  • Ctrl +N : Open Network
  • Ctrl +C : Open Capture device
  • Ctrl +L : Open PlayList.
  • N : Play next movie from playlist
  • F1 : Show help
  • F11 : Window full-screen (not equal to pressing F)
  • Ctrl + W : Quit VLC

Configure VLC Keyboard Shortcuts

You can use the configure the keyboard shortcuts for VLC Media Player to your preference. For this you can go to preferences by using the shortcut Ctrl + P and then navigate to Hotkeys. In there you will be able to change or view all the shortcuts that are currently available in VLC.

Double click on the hotkey and you can configure a new key for that particular action.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the best shortcuts for VLC Media Player. Keyboard shortcuts can help us save time by quickly getting things done. For those lazy-bugs out there, the next time you sit down for watching a movie, learn and use some of these vlc keyboard shortcuts. How much of these did you know? and How much of this did you guys use. Comment down below!

Feel free to share the  article among someone who might be looking for something like this.


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