How to Play YouTube in VLC Media Player

Last updated on January 15, 2020 by Trafalgar Law

VLC Media Player is without a doubt the best choice among desktop media players. The reason is that it is equipped with advanced codecs that enable it to play any media file, especially videos, regardless of the format. However, VLC Media Player is capable of other things besides playing videos. It can also be used to play Youtube videos and Youtube Playlists. With the latest updates, it comes with 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.

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Directly Play YouTube Videos in VLC Media Player

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 the VLC Player, it allows loading 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 significantly saves time. To learn how to perform this method, follow these steps.

Step1 Copy YouTube URL

First, copy the YouTube video URL from the address bar and then open VLC Media Player. From the main interface, click the “Media” tab and then select “Open Network Stream” from the drop-down menu.

open the video player

Step2 Paste URL and play the video

From the new window that will appear, paste the YouTube URL on the column dedicated to URLs. After that, click the “Play” button to play the video.

play youtube video on vlc

Step3 Stream video playlist

If it is a playlist of videos, then after you open YouTube video in VLC, click the “View” tab and then select “Playlist.” This will switch the interface into the Playlist view and, from there, repeat the same process of copying and pasting the URL on the “Open Network Stream” window.

playlist media player on vlc

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 control over what applications can 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. 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. Set VLC to connect to the internet manually, therefore unblocking its access. You can also take a look at this to learn on how to download full playlist from YouTube.

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 use this software.

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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 to 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.) so you can watch YouTube with VLC. 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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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 stream 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.
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 fewer 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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How to Play YouTube in VLC Media Player

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