How To Trim A Video With VLC

how to trim a video with vlc

A lot of people use VideoLan Client (VLC) media player for playing different types of videos and audio files. However, many people do not realize that VLC is so much more than a simple player. It offers numerous features that are helpful in video editing and capturing. One of these features is trimming videos. Let’s look at how to trim a video with VLC.

There are many reasons why people trim videos. Some do it because they need a particular part of a video to address a topic that can be used in a presentation or an ad. Similarly, trimming videos is quite common for personal and entertainment purposes. Due to the rapid rise of social media, videos are often cut to make a short clip go viral on platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and others. Whatever the reason might be, trimming videos is useful and prevalent.

Windows 10 media players cannot trim videos, so you must use external software to do it. Users keep searching for good video cutters, without realizing the fact that VLC can efficiently trim the video. A significant advantage of VLC is that it is compatible with all popular operating systems like Linux, Windows, iOS, Android, Unix, and Max OS X. This article will teach you step by step how to trim videos with VLC.

Step 1 – Select a File

The primary step in trimming a video is to select the video that you want to cut. You have to ensure that you are choosing a suitable file that is compatible with the VLC player. Generally, it supports all major video file types like MKV, MPEG, FLV, AVI, 3GP, OGG, and many others. It is unlikely that you will face any challenge in this step because VLC supports almost every video and audio file formats.

Step 2 – Trim the Video

To play and trim a video in VLC, you have to follow these steps:

how to trim a video with vlc - advanced controls
  1. On your VLC main screen, you will see the View in the toolbar. Select it and click on Advanced Controls.
  2. It will enable the recording bar on the top of your standard control buttons.
  3. Open the Preferences from the toolbar of the VLC main menu. You will find the Record Directory here. You can change it to save your recordings in a separate folder.
  4.  If you have not already opened a video, open it by using the Add option or dragging and dropping it on the main window.
  5. Play the selected video and use the playhead to navigate to the starting point from where you to trim the video.
  6. Once you are at the starting point, click on the red Record button. Alternatively, you can press Shift + R as a shortcut. VLC player will indicate that recording has started.
  7. Now similarly use the playhead and bring it to the desired endpoint of the video.
  8. Again click on the Record button or press Shift + R keys.
  9. The player will display a message that recording has stopped.

Step 3 – Output File

As soon as you stop recording, the file will be automatically saved into the recording folder that you selected from the settings. Another way to search the file is by its name, which is set by VLC as the date and duration of a trimmed video. For instance, a 3-minute video trimmed on 22nd July will be named as vlc-2020-07-22-0h3min-0s.avi. However, the easiest way of finding trimmed videos is by checking the default recording folder from VLC’s settings. Typically, VLC saves all of the recorded files in My Videos folders.

VLC can produce videos in various formats like MP4, AVI, MKV, FLAC, OGG, WebM, TS, Quick Time formats, and WAV. It supports many other audio and video formats as well.

Trimming Streamed Video Files

Streaming is a widely used feature of VLC player. You have to copy the link of an online video in the Streaming section of the VLC. You can use Ctrl + S (Windows) or Ctrl + Shift + W (MAC) as a shortcut to access the streaming panel once you have pasted the link, press Enter. Now, the video should start playing in the VLC player.

Before trimming a streaming video, you must save the streamed video files. Once the player has copied all of the streamed data into your system, you would be able to trim it by following the steps discussed above.

Conclusion on how to trim a video with VLC

In this way, you will be able to use VLC not only as a default player but also as a decent video editor. You can enjoy several functionalities of the VLC player that provides an all-in-one solution to a lot of your common problems. Undoubtedly, you will have to use other software for heavy editing. Still, for common functions like trimming video, you should definitely use VLC because it is quite easy to use and produce perfect results.


If you want to trim videos for YouTube then check our article How to become a YouTuber in 7 steps.

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