How to run VLC via the Windows command line

There is a lot to do in VLC by running it via the Windows 10 command line. It unlocks serious capabilities that you won’t find in VLC’s graphical user interface (GUI).

This guide will show you 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 that you can easily use the program without its graphical interface. Learning this smart hack will allow you to play Internet video on VLC without ads or interruptions.

Operate VLC from the Windows 10 command prompt

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

To operate VLC 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.

Location path of Vlc Cmd

Then enter the following code to change the directory to your VLC folder path. Make sure you have enabled copy and paste in the command prompt, otherwise you will have to type the full path to the folder.

Vlc Cmd redirect directoryVlc Cmd redirect directory

Enter the following code to retrieve a full list of VLC commands applicable to Windows 10 users.

Help command Vlc Cmd 1Help command Vlc Cmd 1

The above command saves a notepad file, “vlc-help”, in the VLC folder.

Vlc Text File Dumped 1Vlc Text File Dumped 1

VLC read in headless mode (without interface)

When you open the notebook file, you will see a very long list of useful VLC commands. These range from video playback options to screen recording, recording video wallpapers, managing shortcut keys, adding plug-ins, creating bookmarks and more. Moreover.

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The very first option to stream a file to 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 follows.

Ordinary multimedia file Vlc Cmd Text 1Ordinary multimedia file Vlc Cmd Text 1

Access the target video you want to stream in headless mode. Copy its path from a right click on Properties.

Vlc Cmd Video Path 1Vlc Cmd Video Path 1

Copy and paste the full path according to the syntax above indicated in the VLC help menu and press Enter. You can use CLS first to clear the entire screen.

Vlc Cmd Vlc Headless Mode File 1Vlc Cmd Vlc Headless Mode File 1

The video will now play automatically in headless mode without the VLC widget occupying the additional space on your screen.

Headless mode Vlc Cmd 1Headless mode Vlc Cmd 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 FillVlc Cmd Zoom To Fill

Play YouTube videos on VLC in full screen mode

Additionally, you can use the headless capability to play YouTube videos (or any other line) directly from VLC. To do this, go to the online video and copy its URL, then paste it as shown below.

Vlc Cmd Youtube Url 1Vlc 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’re going to use another command mentioned in an earlier VLC Help notebook file to remove this distraction.

Vlc Cmd Youtube Video 1Vlc Cmd Youtube Video 1

Refer to the following code to convert any YouTube VLC video to full screen mode.

Vlc Cmd Youtube full screen 1Vlc Cmd Youtube full screen 1

YouTube video will now be visible on VLC without annoying ads, interruptions or VLC widget.

Vlc Cmd Youtube Fullscreen Play 1Vlc Cmd Youtube Fullscreen Play 1

Headless mode in VLC can be turned on and off at will. You can also hide the mouse cursor and the full screen 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.

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