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How to Fix VLC Subtitles not Working on Windows

vlc subtitles not working
Written by Kelly Houstan

Subtitles are crucial for videos, especially when they’re inaudible or not in your local language. This is why it’s really annoying when subtitles are missing from your videos. VLC Media Player subtitles can also get subtitles either from a separate file or directly from a video along with subtitles hardcoded in it. Just read this article to know all about How to Fix VLC Subtitles not Working on Windows.

VLC player is a feature-rich app. Given how complex it actually is, you guys might think that the app is unstable or prone to breaking, however, that’s actually rare. It does run into problems on occasion, however, rarely is it a massive bug. If you are using the app to watch videos but there are no subtitles in the VLC player when there should be, you guys can try the following fixes.

Before we get down to it, then just check at least two or three different videos in order to see if the subtitles appear or not. While rare, it may also be that a video is blocking subtitles in VLC, however, if the problem persists for multiple videos, then try the steps below to fix it.

How to Fix VLC Subtitles not Working on Windows

Turn off or turn on subtitles

First, you have to open the VLC player and play the video that is supposed to have subtitles. Right-tap on inside the player and head to Subtitle. The sub-menu will have a disabled option. If there actually is no subtitle file selected then that is why you guys are not getting any subtitles.

In that case, just choose the Add Subtitle file option and select the subtitle file

Troubleshoot subtitle file

VLC Media Player can actually load a video’s subtitles from a separate video file. That is mostly in the SRT, SUB, SSA, or ASS formats as well. For this to happen, the subtitle file must have the same name and also saved in the same directory as the video as well.

Hence, if the video utilizes a separate subtitle file, the very first thing you should do is just rename the file to the video’s exact name. Then, you have to move the subtitle file to the same folder as the video. Also, you may also want in order to open up the subtitle file. You can also use Notepad or a similar program to do this actually. When you open the subtitle file, then confirm that the file isn’t empty and also contains subtitle text and times.

Check subtitle appearance

In VLC player head to Tools>Preferences. Go to the Subtitles/OSD tab and then make sure the subtitle color is set to white along with a black outline. The Font size should be set to Auto and the position to 0px as well. If these settings don’t match, then just change them so that they do.

vlc subtitles not working

Restart the VLC player and then check if the subtitles appear.

Different subtitle file

While we have checked the subtitle file already, it is actually worth checking to see if a different SRT file will work. Most of the time, the SRT file in question might not be loading correctly in VLC so trying a different one might do the trick. Plus, make sure the file’s name doesn’t have any unusual characters in it. It’s best to rename the file to something user-friendly as well. There is also a small possibility that the SRT file you guys are using is digitally protected so again, then try a different subtitle file.

Adjust subtitle effects

You have to open the VLC Media Player and tap on the Tools menu. Next, head to Preferences. Tap on the Subtitles/OSD tab in order to find the subtitle appearance settings. Head over to the Subtitle effects area as well. Set the Text default color to white and then change the Outline color to black. You can as well use many other visible colors.

You have to change the Font size to Normal and the Force subtitle position to 0px as well. Finally, keep the Add a background checkbox unmarked as well.

Check the SRT file title matches its video’s filename

  • Right-tap on Windows 10’s Start button to choose File Explorer.
  • You have to open the folder that includes an SRT subtitle file VLC doesn’t display.
  • Now move the SRT file into the same folder as its video.
  • Right-tap on the video for the subtitle file to choose its Rename option.
  • Now copy the video’s name via pressing the Ctrl + C option, and press the Enter key.
  • Right-tap on the SRT file and select Rename.
  • Hit the Ctrl + V hotkey in order to paste the video file name, which will replace the current file title. But, make sure the file title includes the SRT extension at the end of it as well.

Convert the SRT file to UTF-8 encoding

  • Right-tap on the SRT file in File Explorer and choose Open with.
  • Press the Choose another app option.
  • Choose to open the SRT file with Notepad. Then check if the subtitle’s file content includes the right subtitle text as well.
  • If the subtitle file’s content doesn’t actually look right, then just open the Convert files to the UTF-8 web app in a browser.
  • Tap on the Choose Files button.
  • Choose the SRT file that didn’t look right, which might not be UTF-8 encoded.
  • Tap on the Open button.
  • Then press the Convert to UTF-8 button.
  • Click Download in order to save the file to your hard drive.

Download new subtitle files | vlc subtitles not working

  • First, you have to open the Subscence website in a browser.
  • Enter the film you just need subtitles for in Subscene’s search box.
  • Tap on the film link to open its subtitles language list
  • Choose English, or another language, for the subtitle file.
  • Tap on the Download English Subtitle button.
  • Click Save in order to download the subtitle as a ZIP file.
  • Open the downloaded ZIP in File Explorer as well.
  • Tap on Extract all on the Compressed Folder Tools tab
  • Then press the Browse button to choose a folder to extract the ZIP to. The subtitle file should be in the same folder because it’s a video and has a matching file name (along with an SRT extension).
  • Press the Extract option.
  • Now open and play the video you downloaded the subtitle file for in VLC.
  • Tap on the Subtitle > Add Subtitle File options.
  • Then choose the subtitle you downloaded, and tap on the Open option.

Reset VLC preferences

VLC player actually has a lot of different settings and if you tend to tinker along with them a lot, it is possible that you might have enabled something that is actually interfering with subtitles. You can manually dig through the changes you guys have made to the preferences and undo them, or you guys can reset VLC’s preferences.

In order to do that, go to Tools>Preferences. At the bottom of the window, tap on the Reset Preferences button.


Well, That all from my side. If you want to know more about this “vlc subtitles not working” article or have any queries. Then feel free to ask me anything in the comments section below.

Have a Good Day!

Also See: How to Disable Youtube Video Paused Continue Watching

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Kelly Houstan

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