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Effective Ways to Play YouTube in VLC Media Player

Last updated on January 14, 2019 by Trafalgar Law

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Effective Ways to Play YouTube in VLC Media Player

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.

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. 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.”

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.

Try It Free

Step1 Copy and Paste URL to Download YouTube Videos

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 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

Step2 Convert YouTube Video to VLC Supported Formats

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

Get Free Trial Now

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.
  • Watch the Whole YouTube Playlist Using VLC Media Player

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

  • 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.
  • VLC Playlist

  • 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.
  • 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. Therefore it can also be 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.

    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.

    Record and Snapshot YouTube with VLC

    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 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.

    October 25, 2016
    Post By Trafalgar Law to YouTube Video Downloader
    Last updated on August 2, 2018

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