How to Add Subtitles to Videos in VLC Media Player

VLC media player is a popular open-source, cross-platform media player that supports playing videos in a wide variety of formats. One of its most useful features is the ability to add subtitles to videos. Subtitles can enhance your viewing experience by translating dialogue into other languages or providing closed captions for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Adding subtitles to videos in VLC media player is straightforward, with both automatic and manual options available. This guide will walk you through the entire process step-by-step.

Checking for Existing Subtitles

Before downloading subtitle files from the internet, first check if your video already has subtitles included:

  1. Open the video file in VLC media player
  2. Click Subtitle > Sub Track in the top menu
  3. If there is a list of subtitle tracks, your video already has subtitles. Select the desired language to enable subtitles.

If no subtitles are listed, you will need to add subtitle files manually as detailed in the next sections.

Finding and Downloading Subtitle Files

If your video does not already have embedded subtitles, the next step is to find and download a subtitles file in SRT format. Here are some options:

  • VLSub Plugin: This VLC plugin allows searching and downloading subtitles directly within VLC. Just go to View > VLSub to search by movie name or hash.
  • Subtitle Websites: Sites like, offer subtitles files for download.
  • Create Your Own: You can create your own SRT file using a text editor. This gives you full control over timing and text styling.

Save the downloaded SRT files to your computer.

Adding Subtitle Files to Videos

Once you have obtained a subtitle file, adding it to a video in VLC is simple:

  1. Open the video file in VLC
  2. Click Subtitle > Add Subtitle File
  3. Browse and select the SRT subtitle file
  4. The subtitles should now display when playing the video

Tip: Put the video and subtitles file in the same folder with the same name to have VLC load subtitles automatically.

Adjusting Subtitle Appearance

If you want to customize the appearance of subtitles in VLC, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Tools > Preferences
  2. Under Subtitles/OSD, adjust options like font, size, color, background color, etc.
  3. Click Save to apply changes

You can make subtitles larger or smaller, change fonts, add backgrounds, and more.

Manual Subtitle Synchronization

Subtitles may be out of sync with the video dialogue due to timing errors. Here is how to manually sync subtitles in VLC:

  1. Play the video and note subtitle sync issues
  2. Click Tools > Track Synchronization
  3. Under Subtitle Track Synchronization, enter +/- values in seconds to adjust
  4. Positive values delay subtitles, negative values move them earlier

Test and adjust in small increments for precise syncing.

Permanently Embedding Subtitles

The above methods add subtitles to videos temporarily in VLC. To permanently embed subtitles into the video file itself:

  1. Click Media > Convert / Save
  2. Add the video and subtitle file
  3. Under Subtitle options, select Embed subtitles
  4. Click Convert / Save

This will encode subtitles into the output video file. The subtitles cannot be turned off.


Adding subtitles in VLC media player gives you control over the viewing experience. You can enable subtitles in foreign languages, add closed captions, customize styling, adjust timing, and permanently embed subtitles into video files.

With VLC’s versatile subtitle features, you can make video content accessible to broader audiences. Whether you are watching movies at home or preparing videos for classroom settings, being able to work with subtitles is a valuable skill for any media enthusiast.