How to Add Subtitles in VLC Permanently

Try Movavi Video Converter as an alternative!

  • Easily add subtitles to videos

  • Search for subtitles online

  • Convert videos to preferable formats

Edited by Ben Jacklin

In the digital world, videos have a permanent and undeniable place in daily life. Whether it's for recreational or professional use, video consumption is rising at a staggering rate. For viewers, it is the perfect medium for entertainment as it is engaging and offers both visual and audio stimulation. Due to these reasons, viewers have a better recall of video content than with text and other formats, making it a marketer's ideal tool.

The good thing about videos is that they can reach a broader audience and break language barriers by adding subtitles. One of the tools that can help you hardcode subtitles is VLC. Alternatively, you can use a suitable video converter. Read on to learn more about both programs and how to use them.

Table of contents

How to add subtitles in VLC on Windows

How to create subtitles in VLC

How to add subtitles in VLC on a Mac

What's a simpler alternative to VLC?

VLC vs. Movavi Video Converter

How to embed subtitles into video permanently in VLC on Windows

For those who prefer listening to music and watching videos on their computer or stream online, VLC is arguably the most popular option. It is an open-source video tool that is easy to use and very reliable. More importantly, you can play virtually all types of video and audio files on VLC, and you can use it on a host of platforms such as Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and even Ubuntu.

If you want to watch a movie in a foreign language, you can use VLC to add subtitles for better understanding. For those who love making videos, you can use VLC for adding subtitles to help viewers gain a better understanding of your content.

To get VLC for your computer, click the link below:

Open the VLC website

How to add the VLC media player subtitles

The good thing with VLC player subtitles is that they are easy to add, even if you have little experience with the software. Therefore, you do not have to miss a movie or TV series just because it is in a foreign language. Even if it does not have subtitles, you can download them from a host of third-party websites.

Here's what to do if VLC is not showing subtitles:

  1. Download the subtitle file for your movie from a preferred third-party website.

  2. Open the video file with VLC.

  3. Click Subtitles and then Add Subtitle File, select the subtitles.

This is how to add subtitles to VLC. However, this way, the subtitles track is only available while you’re watching the video. It’s not embedded into the movie permanently. So next time you play the video file, there won’t be subtitles in it. But that does not mean that VLC subtitles are not working. You simply need to hardcode the subtitles into the movie. Here’s how to add subtitles to a movie permanently with VLC.

Step 1. Open the Media menu and select Stream. Then hit the Add button and select your video.

Step 2. Now add the subtitles files – tick Use a subtitle file box, click Browse, and select your SRT file. Click Stream and then Next.

Step 3. To indicate the folder for export, select File and click Add. In the new window, click Browse and type the name for your video. Make sure that the filename ends with “.mp4” or another extension name. Next, select the folder where you want to save the file and click Save. Hit Next to continue.

Step 4. Tick the Activate Transcoding box. Then hit the Wrench icon and open the Subtitles tab. Tick the boxes Subtitles and Overlay subtitles on the video. Click Save and then Next. In the new window, click Stream.

Great! Once the processing is done, you will find your video with hardcoded subtitles in the folder you’ve selected. So now you know how to hardcode subtitles with VLC!

If the subtitles are not working in VLC at this stage, select 'Add subtitle file' from the subtitle menu and select the downloaded file. You will now be able to enjoy your video with subs.

How to create subtitles in VLC

If you fancy yourself as a moviemaker, go the extra mile and use VLC to embed subtitles. You will need a subtitle creator app or use a text editor. When it comes to VLC subtitle file formats, .srt is the standard format. Therefore, proceed to save your file in .srt format.

Doing so allows you to use any text editor to hardcode subtitles on VLC. If you want to add effects to the subtitles, use HTML with a .srt file. Otherwise, the subtitles will appear as plain white text on the screen.

When creating subtitles in SRT format, you will rank them in order with a number and then add timestamps in minutes, seconds, and milliseconds. This is what determines the duration the subtitle will appear on the screen.

  1. Open your favorite text editor.

  2. Paste the format above and save it as .srt.

  3. Play the video and add the subtitle as you match them with the timestamp in the player.

  4. For each caption, you want to appear on the screen, add a new line, timestamp, and subtitle.

  5. Rinse and repeat the process until you add all subtitles necessary.

If all the instructions above seem too complicated or don’t work for you, check out a simpler alternative:

How to embed subtitles with Movavi Video Converter

How to add subtitles to a movie in VLC permanently on a Mac

VLC has a Mac version, too. However, unlike with many other programs, the interface for the Mac version is different from the Windows one. Here’s how to embed subtitles into video permanently in VLC on a Mac:

Step 1. Download and install VLC from the official website:

Get the VLC media player

Step 2. From the File menu, select Advanced Open File.

Step 3. Click Browse and find the video you want to subtitle. Tick Add Subtitle File, then click Choose > Browse to locate the SRT file to add to the video. To confirm, click OK.

Step 4. Tick Stream output and click Settings. In the window that opens, select Browse to set the output file name and folder. Make sure to set the file extension to .mp4 to get the correct output video file. Click Save. Set the Encapsulation method to MPEG 4. In Transcoding options, tick both Video and Audio. Finally, click OK and Open.

Now, when you open the output file, you will be able to turn the subtitles on by opening the Subtitles menu and selecting a suitable option from the Subtitle Track list.

If all the instructions above seem too complicated or don’t work for you, check out a simpler alternative:

How to embed subtitles with Movavi Video Converter

VLC subtitles are not working? Try a VLC alternative!

If you find it difficult to add subtitles to a video in VLC, Movavi Video Converter is a suitable alternative. It is an excellent tool for adding subtitles to your videos, along with offering lightning-fast conversion and other video-editing capabilities.

Here's how to go about it once you have downloaded and installed Movavi Video Converter.

Step 1. Download and install Movavi Video Converter. The program will open automatically after the installation.

Step 2. On the top left corner of the app, select Add Media, then choose Add Video, select the file, and click Open.

Step 3. Click Video in the tabs below and select the format you need.

Step 4. Select No subtitles and hit Add. Select Choose file if the file with subtitles is on your computer. Select Search online if you do not have a subtitle track on your computer. Enter the appropriate name if it's different from the movie title, select the preferred language, and hit Search. Choose the file you want and then click Download and Add.

Step 5. In the lower section of the application, select Save to and then choose the destination folder. Click Convert to merge the SRT with your video.

At this stage, the subtitles are embedded in the video.

Adding subtitles with Movavi Video Converter is fast and hassle-free. The program also lets you easily change the size, font, and position of subtitles. If the subtitles are not synchronized with the audio track, you can fix it with the synchronization tool. In addition to the advanced subtitle editing tools, it allows you to convert over 180 media formats.

VLC vs. Movavi Video Converter comparison table



Movavi Video Converter

Availability for Mac and Windows



Simple interface



Searching for suitable subtitles online



Whether you are using Mac or Windows, both Movavi Video Converter and VLC Media Player are suitable options. The tools also support all the major formats. The primary differences are that Movavi is more user-friendly. Movavi Video Converter also offers a host of video editing tools you can use to make your videos even better.

Here’s what Movavi’s team does to provide you with verified information:

  • When selecting products to include in our reviews, we research both demand and popularity.

  • All the products covered in this article have been tested by our team.

  • When testing, we compare key characteristics, including supported input and output formats, quality loss when converting, and other significant features.

  • We study user reviews from popular review platforms and make use of this information when writing our product reviews.

  • We collect feedback from our users and analyze their opinions of Movavi software as well as products from other companies.


Frequently asked questions

▶️ How do I synchronize subtitles in VLC?

▶️ Why are subtitles not working in VLC?

▶️ How can I edit subtitles in VLC?

▶️ What is the shortcut key for subtitles in VLC?

▶️ How to add subtitles to a movie permanently on Android?

▶️ How to add subtitles in VLC on iPhone?

▶️ How to add subtitles to a movie on a laptop?

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