Effective Ways to Play YouTube in VLC Media Player

Last updated on April 12, 2019 by Trafalgar Law

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Effective Ways to Play YouTube in VLC Media Player

VLC Media Player is one of the best video player to watch all movies and video clips on your computer. Apart from regular video formats, it can also play DVDs smoothly. If you’re a VLC enthusiast and want to try something different like to watch the live YouTube streams on VLC instead of using Flash players on your web browser, then you’ve come to the right place. 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.

Download and Convert YouTube Videos for Playing in VLC

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.

video keeper download button

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

1.Connect VLC to YouTube

By configuring the inner settings of VLC, you’re able to connect it to YouTube properly and enjoy the video without your browser. There’re generally two methods for our users.

1.1 Simple Connection Method
In the recent version of VLC Player, it allows to to load any YouTube video via URL. You just activate this tool and click “File” and then “Open Network Stream” on top menu.

Open Network Stream

After that, just copy and paste the URL of a video clip into given field, and then click to confirm it. This will play video directly on VLC.

Load YouTube URL

2.1 Advanced Connection Method
In this advanced way, you’re able to drag the URL of a YouTube video to VLC player for watching it. There’s no need to copy & paste URL for watching the video every single time, but it takes more time to configure the settings on VLC. This procedure includes 8 steps, follow them below to do the trick:

  • Download the VLC video player and install it on your computer.
  • Run the VLC program.
  • Select “Tools” and then “Preferences” from the user interface.
  • Tools Preference

  • Select “All From Show” settings on the next screen.
  • This will display the Hidden Settings window.
  • Click on “Input/Codec” on the list.
  • Advanced Settings

  • Navigate to the “Preferred Video Resolution” bar and use the drop down menu to find the appropriate resolution based on how fast your internet runs.
  • Configure Codes

  • Click “Save” to keep these settings.

After this set up procedure, all you have to do to watch a YouTube video on VLC Media Player is drag the video or URL to the open VLC program and click “Play.”

2.Watch Playlist on Youtube

VLC is known for being versatile when it comes to video compatibility because most videos are playing on it. Instead of downloading, do you know that you can also watch a video playlist on YouTube by using a VLC player? Indeed. You can directly play the video by just simply copying the link. If you do not know how to do so, please follow the rest of the guide below.

Step1 Copy the playlist link

Proceed to the playlist of YouTube on a browser windowpane and then copy the playlist address.

copy address

Step2 Play the video on VLC

Now launch VLC Media Player on your PC and click “View Playlist” or press Ctrl + L. This is going to pen the part Playlist for you which ought to be empty at this particular time. As we did before, you can then press Ctrl + N to initiate the part Open Media on VLC and then paste the YouTube playlist link you copied before. Afterwards, press the Play button or hit Enter key. Immediately once this is done, the VLC Playlist will be refreshed with all the videos in the YouTube Playlist and VLC will shortly start to play them one after the other

VLC Playlist

Sometimes 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 Media Player 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.
  • copy URL

  • 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.
  • vlc open capture device

  • 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

    More 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.

    Step1 Launch the app and configure settings

    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.

    launch and configure settings

    Step2 Start and end recording

    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).

    Start and stop the process

    Third-party tool-Smooth Video Project

    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.

    Step1 Copy the link of the video

    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.

    SVPTube Copy YouTube Link

    Step2 Play the video

    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.

    VLC Playing YouTube Video

    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.


    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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    November 2, 2016

    Post By Trafalgar Law to YouTube Video Downloader

    Last updated on April 12, 2019

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    Comment (4)

    • ct'd: from the first video in the list. The same happens for individual YT videos. Codec was set to 1080, which normally works well. A similar procedure with Vimeo works a few times, then finito!
      • Hi! You usually receive the error message, that VLC media player is unable to open your YouTube link, when your Firewall or some other application (i.e. your antivirus) is controlling access to the Internet and is blocking the VLC player. You need to open that application, and allow for all networks to access the internet, or allow VLC to ask it every time to access the internet. Then just reopen your VLC and it should work properly. We have to note, that it is a technical issue with the VLC player and the firewall, and we are not the manufacturer of the VLC media player, we just share informative insights about how you can use them for your benefit.
    • Would really like to play Youtube playlists in VLC (3.0.0). The procedure suggested here doesn't do it for me. A quivering error message appears in front of an equally quivering title picture from the
    • Hello, i really think i will be back to your website
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