How To Sync Subtitles in VLC: Ensuring Subtitle Synchronization

Subtitles play a vital role in allowing viewers to fully understand and enjoy video content. However, subtitles can easily go out of sync with the video, creating a disjointed viewing experience. Fortunately, VLC Media Player provides various handy tools to resynchronize subtitles. This guide will walk you through the different methods of syncing subtitles in VLC.

Using VLC’s Keyboard Shortcuts

The quickest way to adjust subtitles in VLC is by using keyboard shortcuts:

  • On Windows: Press “G” to speed up subtitles and “H” to delay subtitles. Each keypress adjusts the delay by 50ms.
  • On Mac: Press “J” to delay subtitles and “H” to speed them up.
  • On Linux: Press “H” to delay subtitles and “G” to hasten them.

You can tap the keys repeatedly to incrementally adjust the subtitle delay until you achieve synchronization. This method works best for minor timing issues.

Manual Synchronization in VLC

For more precise synchronization, VLC provides a manual subtitle delay adjustment tool:

  1. Open the video and subtitle file in VLC.
  2. Go to Tools > Track Synchronization.
  3. Under Subtitles/Video, locate Subtitle track synchronization.
  4. Use the up and down arrows to delay or hasten subtitles until properly synced.
  5. Click Refresh to apply the changes.

This method allows adjusting the subtitle delay by exact milliseconds for perfect syncing.

Using VLC’s Auto Sync Feature

VLC can also automatically sync subtitles in a few easy steps:

  1. Play the video with subtitles enabled.
  2. When you hear a line that is noticeably out of sync, press Shift + H.
  3. When you see that line appear in the subtitles, press Shift + J.
  4. Finally, press Shift + K and VLC will calculate and set the ideal subtitle delay.

This clever feature matches audio and text to realign subtitles. It works best for minor constant delays.

Permanently Syncing Subtitles

The above VLC synchronization options only work temporarily for the current playback session. The subtitles will go out of sync again when you reopen the video.

To permanently fix subtitle timing:

  1. Open the subtitle file (SRT, ASS etc) in a text editor.
  2. Adjust the timestamp entries so they match the video timeline.
  3. Save the changes and reload the video in VLC.

Now the subtitles will remain synced even when reopening the video.

Using Third-Party Tools

If you are unable to fix subtitles with VLC, consider using dedicated subtitle synchronization software:

  • Subtitle Edit – Powerful subtitle editor for Windows with syncing capabilities.
  • Aegisub – Advanced subtitle editing tool for Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • SubSync – Automatic movie and subtitle synchronization program.

These tools can analyze audio and perform advanced adjustments to achieve perfect subtitle timing.

Quick Subtitle Synchronization Tips

Here are some useful tips when syncing subtitles in VLC and other media players:

  • Sync different sections individually if the delay varies throughout the video.
  • Use online subtitles or create new subs from scratch for best sync.
  • Match subtitles to video with the same frame rate to avoid drift.
  • For YouTube videos, manually sync the subs before downloading the video.


Unmatched subtitle timing can ruin an otherwise great viewing experience. Thankfully, VLC Media Player provides customizable subtitle delay controls to re-sync them with video content. Both automatic and manual options are available to fix subtitle drift and alignment issues. For best results, you can also tweak subtitle files directly or utilize dedicated third party subtitle editors. With these handy tools, achieving perfect subtitle synchronization is easy.