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SRT Not Displaying: How to Open and Use SRT File in VLC?

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Dec 07, 22, updated Mar 27, 24

The VLC media player is one major choice among the various types available, but it has some flaws. Many users search for how to open an SRT file in VLC, as the player shows certain issues related to SRT access.

For example, one may experience errors while trying to download specific subtitle formats, editing them with the videos, and then syncing SRT files with the video playback.

Luckily, there are alternative solutions you can use to view a VLC SRT file- here; we discuss all.

In this article
    1. Wondershare Filmora
    2. Filmora vs. VLC- which is better?
  1. Possible Causes of SRT Subtitles Not Working Properly in VLC
    1. Method 1: Open SRT Files in VLC on Computers
    2. Method 2: Open SRT Files in VLC on Android
    3. Method 3: Open and Add Subtitle to VLC on iPhone (video tutorial)
  2. The Best Alternative to Open and Edit SRT Subtitles for Videos

Part 1: VLC SRT Subtitles Not Working? Fix It with Wondershare Filmora

Yes, VLC does show some issues with the SRT file display, either due to compatibility errors or performance issues. In comparison, Wondershare Filmora 11 is an efficient software for viewing and editing media files and related components. That includes SRT files.

Wondershare Filmora

Filmora is one of the best video editing software options for desktop users, suitable for both Mac and Windows operating systems. It supports different formats related to videos and audios and allows users to transcribe these files with STT support.

Not only can you add subtitles or create them through speech-to-text conversion, but you can also edit separate SRT files. It is simple to embed the SRT file into video files with this software and make some major formatting changes, like font color, size, and style.

Filmora vs. VLC- which is better?

In the context of adding and altering any subtitle file for VLC, Filmora does allow this functionality and even adds to that to improve the user experience. Plus, the software is supported on both Mac and Windows devices, with a high-quality performance guarantee during usage.

VLC player does have multi-OS support, but it is not accessible in some regions. The latter does not support all embedded text formats for video files, like the SRT file. So, accessing and editing it can feel complex for some users. That is not an issue with Filmora, which has a comparatively simple user interface on both versions.

For an easier understanding, here is a table comparing the specifications of the two software types.

Features Wondershare Filmora VLC Player
Subtitles SRT, SSA, ASS SRT, SSF
TTS/STT The software supports both STT (speech-to-text) and TTS (text-to-speech) functions. It does not support TTS/STT.
Video/Audio Support MP4, FLV, AVI, MOV, MKV, 3GP, WMV, WEBM, VOB, M4A, MP3, WMA, etc.
4K supported.
MP4, MKV, WMV, MOV, AVI, HDR, etc.
4K supported.
Effects LUTs customization, FX plugin support Limited.
Cross-platform Support Windows, Mac, iPad Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android

Part 2: Possible Causes of SRT Subtitles Not Working Properly in VLC

While users can add subtitles to VLC since the player supports SRT extension files, some issues can cause them not to appear. Here are some potential causes of the error.

SRT files corrupted or empty

In case the SRT file you are trying to access is corrupted or does not contain any content, that will not open in the VLC media player.

The subtitles setting in VLC Media Player is not turned on

Sometimes, the SRT files are password protected or only work on video players that allow permission for it to play. So, if you have not enabled SRT access in the settings of the app, the SRT-formatted text will not appear.

Doesn’t update VLC to the latest version

In cases when the VLC Media Player itself is corrupted or outdated, it cannot allow access to some subtitle formats. You must upgrade it to the latest official version to allow video and SRT file support.

Wrong encoding instead of UTF-8

VLC player app only allows the SRT files that have UTF-8 encoding to play on the platform. Users can view the SRT files on videos if they are using the right encoded text, so make sure that you do not have the wrong encoded file.

Other unknown bugs

Other issues can cause the defect to the VLC player and, therefore, cannot open the VLC SRT file. These include certain unknown bugs and malware- make sure to check your system to find the errors.

Part 3: Ultimate Tutorial: How to Open SRT Files in VLC [100% Working]

If your system is not affected by any or all of these potential issues, the VLC player allows users to access SRT files easily. The software is available on different devices, so let's discuss the steps on how to open the SRT file in VLC for each type.

Method 1: Open SRT Files in VLC on Computers

VLC is accessible on Windows and Mac computers, including some Linux devices. The process of accessing and opening the SRT files in the media player is mentioned here.

How to open SRT files in VLC on Windows/Mac?

Step1 Download the VLC media player software on your computer from the official site. Complete the installation process following all on-screen instructions.

Step2 Launch VLC on your device. If you have not downloaded the SRT file for your video, do it separately.

Step3 On your device, go to the main file manager (Windows Explorer for Windows users or Finder for macOS users). Organize the video file that you will add the SRT file into and the relevant SRT file into one folder.

organize the video and srt file into one folder

Step4 Drag and drop both video and SRT files into the VLC media player you launched on your computer.

Or, double-click on the video file and choose “Open with VLC media player” from the options.

You can directly click on the File tab on your VLC player software and choose Open File.

choose open file

Step5 After the video begins playing on-screen, open the main menu and choose Subtitles > Add Subtitles.

choose subtitles

Step6 From your folder, choose the SRT file to upload.

Method 2: Open SRT Files in VLC on Android

It is possible to use the VLC app version on Android smartphones and tablets to view video and SRT files. The application is available for Android users in two versions- this depends on the type of processor running on the device. The compatible processors are Intel x86 and AMRv7 and higher. 

How to open SRT files in VLC on Android?

Step1 Download the VLC for Android app on your device.

Step2 Click on the "Pick a File" button and add the video from your storage.

Step3 Tap on the screen in different sections to control specific functions.

tap on the screen to control specific functions

Step4 Click on the button at the bottom left and choose the Subtitles option to expand.

Step5 Choose the “Select Subtitle File” option.

choose the select subtitle file option

Step6 Choose the folder where the SRT file is saved and open it.

choose the folder

Method 3: Open and Add Subtitle to VLC on iPhone (video tutorial)

Like with Android, a VLC app is available for iPhone devices in different iOS versions. But this version's process of adding and viewing subtitles is slightly complex.

For a better understanding of how that works, here is a video tutorial that will help you:

Part 4: The Best Alternative to Open and Edit SRT Subtitles for Videos

It is possible to open the subtitle files on VLC, but the editing quality is not the best. Plus, as mentioned, some errors with displaying SRT files can occur. Alternatively, you would have an easier experience opening and editing SRT files for videos with Filmora.

The video editing software allows users to create SRT files into videos directly, embed the file, and even edit its style. Moreover, you can change the alignment of the SRT file with the video playback and even adjust the accompanying voice style. It is accessible on both Mac and Windows OS, is extremely simple to use, and has a wide host of effects for further video editing.

How to open and edit the SRT file with Filmora in videos?

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Step1 Download, install and launch Filmora software on the device.

Step2 Click on New Project > import the video file from the device and then drag it to the editor timeline.

click on new project

Step3 Press the Media tab to import your saved SRT file.

press the media tab

Step4 You can double-click on the added SRT file and clip it.

Alternatively, right-click your cursor on the editor timeline and choose the Advanced Edit option.

choose the advanced edit option

Step5 Make changes to the subtitle as necessary. Change the style, time code, merge/remove/add the SRT file strips, and more. Tap the OK icon to complete.

tap the ok icon

Step6 Right-click on the edited SRT in the Filmora editor timeline and choose the “Export Subtitle File” button.

choose the export subtitle file option

Final Words

It is possible to open SRT files in the VLC player with specific steps on different devices. Several conditions can cause the error of SRT not displaying to occur, like corrupt SRT file or incompatible encoding support. With an alternative like Filmora, you will have a better experience accessing and editing the SRT files for videos. So, give it a try.

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Liza Brown
Liza Brown Mar 27, 24
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