How to Run VLC via the Windows Command Line

Featured Vlc Run Windows10 Command Line

There is much you can achieve in VLC by running it through the Windows 10 Command line. It unlocks serious capabilities which you won’t find in the VLC graphical user interface (GUI).

This guide will demonstrate how to run VLC from the Windows 10 command prompt. The same has been covered for Linux.

A simple and useful example of how to run VLC in headless mode will be discussed here. This means you can easily operate the program without its GUI. Learning this clever hack will allow you to play an Internet video on VLC without advertisements or interruptions.

Making VLC Work from Windows 10 Command Prompt

Open the command prompt in Administrator mode from the Start menu.

To make VLC work from the Windows 10 command prompt, you need to know its exact location on a Windows computer. You will usually find the path in Program Files, which can be copied from a right-click on Properties.

Vlc Cmd Location Path

Next, enter the following code to change the directory to your VLC folder path. Make sure you have enabled copy-paste in the Command prompt, otherwise you’ll need to type the whole folder path.

Vlc Cmd Redirect Directory

Enter the following code to fetch a complete list of VLC commands applicable for Windows 10 users.

Vlc Cmd Help Command 1

The above command will save a notepad file, “vlc-help,” on the VLC folder.

Vlc Text File Dumped 1

Playing VLC in Headless Mode (Without Interface)

When you open the notepad file, you will be able to see a very long list of useful VLC commands. It ranges from video playback options to screen recording, saving video wallpapers, managing hot keys, adding plug-ins, bookmarking, and much more.

The very first option to stream a file on your Windows 10 based on its file path in the command line is chosen here. This will play your VLC video in headless mode without the GUI. The syntax is as shown.

Vlc Cmd Text Plain Media File 1

Go to your target video you would like to stream in headless mode. Copy its path from a right-click on Properties.

Vlc Cmd Video Path 1

Copy-paste the entire path as per above syntax noted in the VLC help menu and hit Enter. You may use CLS first to clear the entire screen.

Vlc Cmd Vlc Headless Mode File 1

The video will now be automatically played in headless mode without the VLC widget occupying the extra space on your screen.

Vlc Cmd Headless Mode 1

Going headless from the command line is the best way to play your VLC videos in full-screen mode without any interfering text or graphics.

Vlc Cmd Zoom To Fill

Playing YouTube Videos on VLC in Full-Screen Mode

You can further utilize the headless capability to play YouTube (or any other online) videos directly from VLC. For this, go to the online video and copy its URL, then paste it as shown below.

Vlc Cmd Youtube Url 1

The YouTube video will now start playing on your VLC app, but you don’t want the widget to interfere with your viewing experience. So we will use another command mentioned in an earlier VLC help notepad file to remove this distraction.

Vlc Cmd Youtube Video 1

Refer to the following code for converting any VLC YouTube video into fullscreen mode.

Vlc Cmd Youtube Fullscreen 1

The YouTube video will now be viewable on VLC without ads, interruptions, or the annoying VLC widget.

Vlc Cmd Youtube Fullscreen Play 1

The headless mode in VLC can be turned on and off at will. You can also hide the mouse cursor and fullscreen controller. With effective playback controls, you are in charge of your VLC experience. You can also convert audio files with VLC or even use it as a video editor.

Sayak Boral Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over ten years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

One comment

  1. Good article, but you don’t have to go to Properties to get the path to a video. Just hold down Shift while you right click the file and click “Copy as path”.

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