Effective Ways to Play YouTube in VLC Media Player

Last updated on June 1, 2017 by Trafalgar Law

youtube in vlc playerVLC 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.

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. There’re generally two methods for our users.

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. 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.

Open Network Stream
Load YouTube URL

2. 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:

  • a. Download the VLC video player and install it on your computer.
  • b. Run the VLC program.
  • c. Select "Tools" and then "Preferences" from the user interface.
  • Tools Preference

  • d. Select "All From Show" settings on the next screen.
  • e. This will display the Hidden Settings window.
  • f. Click on "Input/Codec" on the list.
  • Advanced Settings

  • g. 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

  • h. 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."

Download Way - Download Videos for Playing on 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 above, install it on your computer and follow the simple steps to download YouTube for playing in VLC player.

free trial on windows ostry it on mac

There are different ways to download videos. You can simply find the YouTube video you need to save and then copy the video URL. After that, run the program and click Paste URL on the top-left of the interface to download YouTube video via URL. Or you can enable the video detector equipped with this downloader to let it detect and download video automatically while you are playing the video.

video keeper download video

Downloaded videos can be found under 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 Convert tab and click Add files to import the downloaded videos. After that, you can select the desired output format that is compatible with with VLC player (e.g., AVI for Windows, MOV for Mac, etc). By clicking “Convert”, just 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

Other Way - Use Third-party Tool to View YouTube on VLC

If you do not want to mess around in the settings on VLC, you can choose to use a compact app to assist you and to ignore the complicate process in viewing YouTube on VLC.

1. SVPTube (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. 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

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.

2. VLC YouTube Shortcut for Browser

VLC YouTube Shortcut is a nice add-on for to open YouTube in VLC. You could also skip the copy-pasting and window navigation, too. Once installed, you will see an extra option on the playback window of YouTube, letting you click to open the current video in VLC player. So the whole proces turns to be quite simple, you could just stream a video on YouTube and select from right-click menu to stream it on VLC. Mind that this tool works for FireFox only.

Recording Google Hangout on Mac OS

In this part, we will share two handy tricks for users to better utilize VLC to enrich the entertainment with YouTube.

1. How to Record YouTube with VLC

Record with VLC

If you prefer the idea of recording YouTube when watching it on VLC, then this method will come in handy. First of all, activate VLC player, click "Media" from top menu and then "Open Network Stream". Now you could copy and paste the URL into given field like talked before. Once done, click "Play", and then forward to playback screen. Now also navigate to the top menu, select "View" – "Advanced Controls", and then click "Record" on the toolbar. It will start recording your video right away.

2. How to Snapshot YouTube with VLC

When you’re watching video from YouTube site or local drive on VLC, you may also snapshot any frame that captivates you. In order to do so, just pause in the scene you want to create screenshot, navigate to "Video" on top menu and then select "Snapshot". That’s it, screenshots created this way will be available in the directory of "…My Documents\My Pictures\" on Windows or "…Desktop\" on Mac. And if you prefer, you could also read more details about taking snapshot on VLC.

Snapshot VLC


To summurize, we have reviewed and itemized several practical methods for streaming YouTube videos on VLC player. In so doing, you can achieve a better viewing experience with less buffers and more settings to control over playback.

Trafalgar Law

Trafalgar has reviewed many software solutions in terms of multimedia, working efficiency and communications. He's keen to point out the strengths and weakness of each tool when evaluating them. You can easily find out the best solutions for your needs in his articles regarding screencasts and video downloads. Last updated on June 1, 2017

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