Effective Ways to Play YouTube in VLC Media Player

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VLC Media Player is without a doubt the best choice among desktop media players. The reason is because it is equipped with advanced codecs which enables it to play any media file especially videos, regardless of the format. However, VLC Media Player is capable of other things besides playing videos. As a matter of fact, it can also be used to play Youtube videos and Youtube Playlists. With the latest updates, it comes with a built-in support that allows you to play YouTube video in VLC simply by pasting the YouTube video URL. Normally, there are only a couple of options when you watch a YouTube video. But with the VLC Media player, you have a lot more capabilities to choose from, for instance, you can get rid of the advertisements, comments, pop-ups, etc. Now read on to learn different ways to play and watch YouTube in VLC Media Player.

Navigation of Contents
Download and Convert YouTube Videos for Playing in VLC

video keeper iconAceThinker Video Keeper is a robust tool for downloading videos from YouTube and various other video sharing sites to local media formats. With it, you can download any online videos with no fuss and convert them to MP4, WMV, FLV, AVI, 3GP and many more formats as you like. Just take a free trial from the buttons below, install it on your computer and follow the simple steps to download YouTube for playing in VLC player.

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Step1 Download videos manually

Directly download the video via link by simply following these steps. Simply find the YouTube video you need to get and then copy the video URL from the web address field. After that, run the program and click “Paste URL” on the top-left of the interface under the “Download” tab. From there the tool will add the video on the download list.

manual download

Step2 Download videos automatically

Also, you can download videos without using a regular browser from your PC. Under the “Detect” tab of the tool, you can use the built-in browser where you can directly search for the video-sharing site. You can choose between, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, iOS, and Android compatible browser finally the default browser of the tool. Just go to YouTube and play the video you wish to get. Then turn on the auto-detection feature by clicking “Enable Detector” located at the bottom left side of the interface. This detector works on all sites. However, when browsing on YouTube, you will see a “Download” button on the right side of the video screen being played. Click this button to get the video. To convert the video please continue reading.

detect video

Step3 Convert YouTube video to VLC supported formats

Downloaded videos can be found under the “Completed” menu, and then you can right click it and choose “Add to Convert” to load the videos for conversion. Alternatively, you can navigate to the “Convert” tab and click “Add files” to import the downloaded videos. After that, you can select the desired output format that is compatible with the VLC player (e.g., AVI for Windows, MOV for Mac, etc.). By clicking “Convert,” wait a few minutes, and you will get well-converted files in the destination folder. Now you enjoy these YouTube videos on VLC player without limits.

video keeper convert video

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Manual Way – Connect YouTube to VLC

By configuring the inner settings of VLC, you’re able to connect it to YouTube properly and enjoy the video without your browser. In the recent version of VLC Player, it allows to to load any YouTube video via URL. This is a simple method similar to casting a screen to another. The only difference this time, is you won’t have to download anything which greatly saves time. To learn how to perform this method, follow these steps.

change the video resolution

User guide:

  • Just copy the Youtube video URL from the Address bar, and then switch to VLC Media Player.
  • From the main interface, click the “Media” tab and then select “Open Network Stream” from the set of options that will drop-down.
  • From the new window that will appear, paste the Youtube URL on the column dedicated for URLs.
  • After that, click the “Play” button and the video will start playing automatically.
  • If it is a playlist of videos that’s needed to be played via VLC Media Player, then after launching the VLC Media Player, click the “View” tab and then select “Playlist.”
  • This will switch the interface into Playlist view and from there, repeat the same process of copying and pasting the URL on the “Open Network Stream” window.
  • To change the video resolution of a video when it is played from VLC Media Player regardless of the original Youtube resolution it was in, just click the “Tools” tab and then select “Preferences.”
  • From the new window that will appear, click the “All” option from the “Show settings” section.
  • Once all options are shown, click “Input / Codecs” and form the right side of the window, choose the preferred resolution for all videos being played on VLC.
  • To permanently apply the changes made, click the “Save” button.

NOTE: VLC is unable to open the input MRL link that you copied into the Ctrl + N window. In case of this issue, a window appears with a reappearing error message, that VLC is doing its best to open the MRL link from the external movie or video streaming website source. In this case you can do the following solution. This issue usually happens when your computer’s firewall or antivirus program is blocking the path of the VLC player to access the internet source, such as the YouTube playlist’s location via having a control over what applications are able to go through the internet.

In any case that it is still not working, you might consider your router or an internet switch or any other sort of internet related point, that can create this issue in case you don’t find any problem with your firewall. In order to fix this, all you need is to visit your Firewall options and set that either all tools shall be able to access the internet, or that your programs should ask to receive internet connection each time, and set VLC to connect to the internet manually, therefore unblocking its access.

How do you download YouTube videos with VLC?

The process of downloading YouTube videos via VLC is quite easy.

Follow the steps below to carry out this task:

  • The first thing requires opening a YouTube video and then copy its URL you find in the address bar of your web browser. For instance, I browsed the YouTube channel of the Fossbytes and searched for a tutorial about how to make Chrome faster. When I was done with that, I just copied the location/address of the video from the address bar.
  • Now proceed and open VLC Media Player on your computer. This tutorial was written using Windows 10. Thus, the display and position of various options might differ on your Linux PC or Mac.
  • With the VLC environment, locate the option for Open Capture Device and then click on it. A new window will then appear.
  • Click on the tab for Network and paste the URL you copied in the empty field that’s titled as “Please enter a network URL”. Afterwards, proceed and click on the Play button.
  • VLC enter url

  • This will shortly start playing on the YouTube video in your VLC Media Player. You can make use of the media controls in VLC the same way as the YouTube controls and choose the most suitable button whether you want to play, pause, or stop the playback.
  • Now, in Tools option, click on Codec information to open the Current Media Information window that will display codec information. There will be a link under Location. It’s basically the download link and you need to copy it.
  • VLC current media information

  • Now you need to open your web browser and paste the copied download link in the address bar and hit Enter. This would either start the video playback in your web browser or directly show you the download dialogue. Simply click on the Save button to grab the video.
Record and Snapshot YouTube with VLC

vlc player2More than just a player, VLC is also has some features that may not be familiar to you. Once of its is being able to screen record your desktop activity. It is a screen recording feature built-in to help its user acquire copies of videos being watched for offline viewing. As it continue go beyond its original function, many people find it really useful. In the same manner, the tool is still improving. For the mean time find out how to by checking the steps below.


Steps on recording Snapshot YouTube with VLC:

  • First launch the app on your PC then configure the settings control of the tool by clicking “View.”
  • Then choose “Media” > “Open Capture” > “Desktop” > and set the desired rate to “10fps” or higher. That depends on you.
  • Now, from the main interface of the tool, click on the red “circle button” in the box.
  • The floating tool bar will then be minimized and will start recording the screen of your PC. On the other hand, if you want to “Stop” the recording, click the same button (Rec button).
Third-party tool-Smooth Video Project

svptube icon SVPtube is a free program that you could get from the give link. Once the program is activated, open up a YouTube window and find a video you wish to grab. This app can also extract video from different formats plus it can do “Autoplay” to the video you want to watch. Also, you can enjoy high video quality when watching. Aside from the freedom to choose the format that you want, you can also choose your preferred video size and language of the tool.You can also find more about it if you check the steps below.

SVPTube Copy YouTube Link

Here’s how you use SVPTube:

  • Copy the URL by clicking “CTRL” + “C” on a Windows machine.
  • Open up the SVPtube program by clicking the appropriate icon save to your system tray.
  • Use the drop-down menu to choose whatever resolution you want before clicking the “Copy URL” button.
  • Finally, open up the VLC media player, press the “Media” button and then select “Open Network Stream” from the menu.
  • Now paste the YouTube URL into the appropriate slot. The video you have chosen will start playing right away.
  • If you want to watch a few videos in sequence, you can set up a collection or queue as well.
  • All you need to do is navigate to the “View” and then click on “Playlist, “Add File” and then choose which videos you wish to import from YouTube or another video sharing site.

NOTE: Although this method allows you to use the VLC Media Player controls with YouTube videos, it does not download them to your hard drive so you can play them back again at your leisure. It also requires an Internet connection while you watch. The Video Download Manager program is offered below for your convenience.

Additional options for VLC Media Player

Aside from the features mentioned above, there are still a few tricks that can be done to VLC Media Player before streaming a Youtube video. These options are all available by ticking the checkbox for the “Show more options.”

additional options

Tricks to play YouTube in VLC:

  • Caching This is used to either shorten, or heighten the intervals within a video. The default cache value of any video starts at 1000ms which is equivalent to 1 second. Changed the value to higher or lower depending on the viewing conditions.
  • Start Time Toggle this option to choose where a video will start when it plays. This is useful for videos with long introductions.
  • Play another media synchronously (extra audio file) Tick the checkbox of this option to simultaneously play an audio file on top of the video. This is useful for creating mash-up audio and videos.
Get videos using the Android Video Downloader (AVD)

avd iconThis app is simply beautiful and worthy of a trial. It allows you save tons of video on your android device/smartphones in different resolutions from HD to1080p to 360p and lesser. There are a few drawbacks though; while the app is compatible with many sites with a lot of videos, it does not support video download from some major sites like YouTube. The AVD comes with its inbuilt browser that lets you browse videos from the app and save them into your device. You can easily download videos on your android mobile with its built-in browser. It also has a superb UI that is good looking on one side and makes for easy navigation around the app on the other side. Asides the YouTube incompatibility issues, the app is professional and great with everything else.

Some things to note about the app are:

  • It has an easy-to-use interface.
  • It has an advanced browser integrated that lets you search the Internet from the app.
  • It supports Flash video.
  • You can track the progress of your downloads in real-time.
  • All the features come at no cost at all.
VLC for Android

VLC Media Player is also available on Android, which means mobile users can enjoy streaming Youtube videos with it. The streaming option is located from the “Side menu” which can be accessed by tapping the “three lateral bar” icon or by directly swiping right from the extreme left side of the screen. Different options will then appear, and from there tap the “Stream” option. Enter the URL of the Youtube video on the space provided and hit the “Ok” button. This will enable the Youtube video to play via VLC of the Android device.

vlc for android


To summarize, we have reviewed and itemized several practical methods for streaming YouTube videos on VLC player. Now you can achieve a better viewing experience with less buffers and more settings to control over playback. If you have more suggestions about how to stream and play YouTube videos in VLC Media Player, please feel free to share your solution in the comment.

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Effective Ways to Play YouTube in VLC Media Player

November 2, 2016

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