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How to Play Video in Slow Motion on VLC

While the files of the most common formats like MP4, WAV, etc. may look identical, they might be compiled using varied codecs which may or may not support any random player that you install on your PC. The reason why VLC media player is used by the majority of users worldwide is the versatility in the codecs that it supports natively.

Furthermore, the app is available for almost every platform, i.e., Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, and is absolutely free to download and use.

With that said, the following sections explain how to manage the playback speed of a video while using VLC media player to add a slow motion effect to video. Here you will learn how to play slow motion on VLC on Windows, Mac, and iOS/Android, and also how to set the default speed for the app so that every time a video is played, the speed remains according to your preference.

Part 1: How to Play Video in Slow Motion Effects on Windows with VLC?

VLC is one of the best media players to play videos in slow motion. You can follow the instructions that are given below to learn how to play a video in slow motion in VLC on a Windows PC:

Step 1: Start Video Playback

Launch VLC on your Windows computer (a Windows 11 PC is used here for illustrations), click Media from the menu bar at the top, click Open File from the menu, and locate and open a video that you want to watch in slow motion. If VLC is your default media player, simply double-clicking the clip automatically opens the file in the app.

open file to play slow motion on vlc

Step 2: Reduce the Playback Speed (In Decrements of 0.10x)

Once the playback begins, press the Spacebar on the keyboard to pause the video. Next, go to the Playback menu from the top, go to Speed, and click Slower (fine) once. This will reduce the speed to 0.90x. Clicking Slower (fine) again will further slow down the video to 0.80x speed. You can repeat this process until you reduce the speed to your desired level. Press Spacebar again to resume the playback in slow motion.

Note: The lowest speed that you can go to using this process is 0.03x.

vlc playback slower slow motion

Step 3: Reduce the Playback Speed (In Decrements in Percentage)

Pause the playback and go to Playback > Speed as explained in the previous step. From the list that comes up, click Slower (the last option). This will reduce the speed to 0.67x. Click Slower again and the speed will further go down to 0.50x. You can repeat this process until you reach your desired playback speed. Press Spacebar to resume the playback in slow motion. With this method, you can reduce the speed to as low as 0.02x.

Note: You can click Normal from the Speed submenu to play the video at normal speed.

play video slow motion on vlc slower

Step 4: Using the Shortcut Keys (Optional)

You can press the left square bracket ‘[‘ on your keyboard to reduce the speed in decrements of 0.10x. To get back to the normal speed, press the equals to ‘=’ key. Likewise, pressing the right square bracket ‘]’ increases the speed by 0.10x.

Note: As it is with the Slower (fine) and Slower options, you can use Faster (fine) to add 0.10x increments to the speed, and Faster to increase percentage-wise. Also, if Faster (fine) is clicked repeatedly or its shortcut key is used multiple times, the speed can be increased up to 31.25x. On the other hand, by using the Faster option repeatedly, the speed can be increased to more than 100x.

Part 2: How to Play Slow Motion Effects on Mac with VLC?

The process of slowing down the video playback in VLC on a Mac computer is almost identical to that in Windows. You can learn how to get this done by following the steps that are given below:

Step 1: Open and Pause the Video

Locate and right-click the video that you want to play in slow motion, go to Open With from the context menu, and click VLC from the submenu. Once the clip opens, click the Pause button from the bottom as explained in the previous section.

Step 2: Reduce the Playback Speed

Click Playback from the menu bar at the top, and drag the Playback Speed slider to the left to reduce the speed of the video.

play video slow motion on vlc mac

Step 3: Resume the Playback

Click anywhere on the screen to close the Playback menu, and then click the Play button from the bottom to resume the video playback in slow motion.

Part 3: How to Control Playback Speed in VLC Media Player on Android and iOS?

Although the playback speed of a video on both Android and iOS devices can be controlled with a slider, the location where the controller is placed on the two platforms varies, and so does the process of reaching there. Both the methods are explained below for your convenience:

Play Video in Slow Motion on Android with VLC

Step 1: Pause the Playback

Launch VLC on your Android phone (Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is used here for illustrations), locate and open the video in VLC, tap anywhere on the screen, and tap the Pause button from the bottom to pause the playback.

Step 2: Set a Slower Playback Speed

Tap the More icon from the bottom-right corner, tap Playback speed from the menu that appears, and drag the slider that is present at the bottom to the left to reduce the speed. Alternatively, you can also repeatedly tap the down arrow that is present at the right of the slider to slow down the speed in the decrements of 0.05x.

play speed slow motion vlc android

Step 3: Resume the Playback

Tap anywhere on the screen, and when the Playback speed slider disappears, tap the screen one more time. Now, tap the Play icon from the bottom to resume the video playback.

Play Video in Slow Motion on iPhone with VLC

Step 1: Pause the Playback

Assuming that you have already added the video to the VLC library by connecting it to iTunes, launch the app on your iOS device (iPhone 13 Pro Max is used here for illustrations). Tap the video that you want to play in slow motion, and then tap the Pause icon from the bottom.

Step 2: Reduce the Playback Speed

Tap anywhere on the screen, and tap the Clock icon from the lower-left corner. Next, drag the Playback speed slider to the left to reduce the playback speed.

vlc iphone playback speed slow motion effect

Step 3: Resume the Playback

Right after decreasing the speed, tap the Play icon from the bottom to resume the playback. If the controllers disappear, you can tap anywhere on the screen again, and then tap the Play icon.

Part 4: How to Set up the Default Playback Speed on VLC?

The processes of setting up default playback speed on different platforms and devices vary. For your convenience, all of them are explained below:

Set up Default Playback Speed in VLC on Windows

  1. Go to Tools > Preferences in VLC media player, and then click the All button from the Show settings section at the bottom.
  2. Select Input / Codecs from the left pane of the Advanced Preferences box, and then specify your preferred speed in the Playback speed field that is present under the Playback control section on the right window
  3. Click Save to save the changes
set vlc media player default playback speed

Set up Default Playback Speed in VLC on Mac

  • Launch VLC, and go to VLC media player from the menu bar, and then click Preferences; and then click Show All from the bottom of the Preferences box to display all preferences setting options;
vlc media player default preferences interface
  • Click the Input / Codecs from the left pane, and then define your preferred speed in the Playback speed field under the Playback control section in the right window, and then click Save to save the changes.
change vlc media player default speed mac

How to Change VLC Media Player Default Speed on Android

Note: At the time of this writing, the Android version of VLC doesn’t allow you to set a global default playback speed. However, you can set it on a per video basis. This means that every time that video is played, the playback speed will remain what you set for it. You must do this for each video in your VLC library individually.

  • Launch VLC, and then tap More from the bottom-right corner; next, tap SETTINGS from the upper-left area;
  • Tap Video from the Extra settings section, and then check the Save Playback Speed box
change media default playback speed android vlc

How to Change VLC Media Player Default Speed on iOS and iPhone

  • Tap Settings from the Home screen, and then scroll down and tap VLC
  • Tap Default playback speed from the GENERIC section, and then tap to select a playback speed from the available list to set it as the default.
change default playback speed vlc iphone

Conclusion

It is pretty convenient to reduce the playback speed in VLC media player regardless of the platform or device you are using. While the processes of getting the job might be different, the principle behind it remains the same. When on Windows, the playback speed can be decreased to 0.02x and can be increased to more than 100x. This facility is not available on Mac, iOS, or Android platforms. Also, if you want, you can set the default playback speed for the videos so that every time a clip is played, the pace remains what you specified as default.

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