10 VLC Shortcuts to Use it Like a Pro

Why move the mouse when you can do it with a few key combinations?
Warp Terminal

VLC is a powerful open-source media player, known for its support for supporting an extensive range of audio and video formats.

Although VLC is more than just a media player, it is still popular for playing local media on the system.

Using keyboard shortcuts make things a lot easier in any tool and VLC is no different.

Here, we will examine some of the common keyboard shortcuts that are helpful while using VLC.

VLC Keyboard shortcuts

Pause and play

In order to pause any media, you can press the Space key. Similarly, press the Space key to resume playback.

Function Shortcut
Pause/Resume Space

Control Volume

Most system provide a volume slider on the top panel, where we can adjust it by scrolling over it. In VLC, there is a volume button for the purpose.

Comparing these methods, it is easier to use the keyboard shortcut:

Function Shortcut
Volume Up CTRL + Up Arrow Key
Volume Down CTRL + Down Arrow Key

Mute and Unmute

During media playback, use the M key to mute. Press M again to unmute.

Function Shortcut
Mute/Unmute M

Move forward or backward

Want to move a bit forward or backward while playing a media? better to remember the shortcut! VLC allows several levels of movement, through which you can fine control the time you are skipping.

You can use the E key to move one frame forward. This is useful, if you want to take a perfect snapshot of a frame.

It is pretty easy to remember these shortcuts, as we use the Right arrow key to move forward and Left to move backwards. As per context, the additional key changes.

Function Shortcut
A Very Short backward/forward movement. (3 seconds) SHIFT + Left/Right
Short backward/forward movement (10 seconds) ALT + Left/Right
Medium backward/forward (60 seconds) CTRL + Left/Right
Long backward/forward (300 seconds) CTRL + ALT +Left/Right
CTRL + ALT + Left/Right in GNOME is used to change workspaces.

Change the jump size

You can change the forward and backward jump size. First, go to Tools β†’ Preferences.

Click on Tools in the Main menu and then select Preferences from it.
Select Preferences

Here, change the settings mode from Simple to All. This will bring you to advanced settings.

On the Preferences window, select β€œAll” settings to get advanced settings.
Select All for Advanced Settings

In the new advanced settings, go to Interface β†’Hotkeys settings. There, you can find the option to adjust navigation lengths. Set it according to your need.

Change the jump sizes using the jump size input fields.
Change Jump Sizes

Once everything is set, click on Save to confirm the changes.

Go full-screen

Watch a movie in full-screen? While using VLC, you can press the F key to go to full screen.

Once finished, you can use the ESC key to return to windowed mode.

Function Shortcut
Go full-screen F
Exit full-screen ESC
While you are in full-screen mode, you can press the I key to get various controllers.

Increase/decrease the speed

VLC can play your video at different speed rates as you specify. All of those are available through keyboard shortcuts as well.

Refer to the table below for various speed control shortcuts and their function.

Function Shortcut
Faster/Slower : 0.5x per key + / -
Fine control speed (faster/slower respectively) : 0.10x per key ] / [
Normal Rate =

Take a snapshot

Do you want to take a screenshot of the currently playing part of a video? Don’t use your system’s screenshot tool. Instead, use the VLC snapshot shortcut.

Function Shortcut
Take a screenshot of the current frame SHIFT + s

By default, it will save the image to the ~/Pictures directory.

Toggle subtitles

In VLC, if you have set up subtitles, you can toggle them on and off using the shortcut SHIFT + v.

Function Shortcut
Toggle Subtitles SHIFT + v

Sync subtitles

If subtitles are a bit out of sync, you can move them forward or backward using these keys:

Function Shortcut
Delay subtitle g
Forward subtitle h

Record a part of video

You can capture a part of the video by recording it using VLC. In order to do the same, first play the video. When the part where you need to start recording comes, use the key SHIFT + R. Continue playback and when the end reaches, press the same key combination again.

Function Shortcut
Start/Stop recording SHIFT + R

The output will be in .ASF file, which you can convert to MP4 and other formats using VLC itself.

Bonus: Keyboard Shortcuts Modifications

You can change the default shortcuts to make it more personal. First, open the VLC preferences, by going to Tools β†’ Preferences.

From the main menu, select Tools and then choose Preferences, to open VLC preferences window.
Open VLC Preferences

Inside the window, go to Hotkeys and then double-click on any key shortcut that you want to change. When asked, enter the new key. Click Save to confirm changes.

Change the hotkey of a particular function through VLC preferences.
Change a VLC hotkey


If you love using VLC media player, you'll love these keyboard shortcuts too, at least some of them.

If you like them perhaps you'll like to master more of them.

13 Keyboard Shortcuts Every Ubuntu User Should Know
Knowing keyboard shortcuts increase your productivity. Here are some useful Ubuntu shortcut keys that will help you use Ubuntu like a pro.

πŸ’¬ Did you find a new favorite VLC shortcut? Which one would it be? Share it in the comments please.

About the author


Linux tinkerer by day, Lord of the Rings fanatic by night. When I'm not busy conquering the command line, you can find me kicking back and watching some football while quoting JRR Tolkien

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