How To Add Subtitles To Movies on VLC Media Player

Image credits: VLC

If you watch movies or TV series like me, especially foreign movies, you would understand that watching movies with subtitles can help to understand movies better.

Sometimes, when we watch movies in the language we understand, some words are so muffled that we need subtitles to understand the conversation clearly.

VLC is one of the few media players that allow the importation of subtitles, and syncing with the video.

VLC media player is one of the most handy media players in the world right now. The app has been worked on so much that it can play virtually any audio and video file you might think of, regardless of the encoding on the file.

Aside the plethora of media file formats the app can play, VLC can be installed on several operating systems. There is the app that works of Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Ubuntu.

The User Interface (UI) of the app is also beautiful, and easy to navigate.

Enough talk about the app.

Perhaps you got here because you are watching a movie, and would like to add a subtitle file to it. Perhaps, you just want to know how to add subtitle to movies you watch on your device. You are at the right place. Read on.

How to add subtitles files on VLC.

First of all, there are videos that have subtitle texts rendered with them, these ones are not the ones we’re talking about. I’m talking about videos without subtitles, or the ones in a foreign language.

There are two ways of adding subtitles to movies on VLC

  1. Sourcing for subtitles on the VLC app.
  2. Downloading and importing into VLC.

Let’s start with the first one.

Method 1
Sourcing for subtitles on the VLC app.

When you use this method, VLC would go source for suitable subtitle online, and add it to the movie.

Subtitle icon
Tap Download subtitles
Fill the columns


  • While the movie is open on VLC, tap the the subtitle icon below the screen.
  • Tap Download Subtitles.
  • Fill the name, season, and episode.
    Click search.

VLC would search for the subtitle.

Some times, this method might not work, or it might give error feedback, don’t worry, there are other methods.

Method 2:
Downloading and importing into VLC.

I prefer using this method.

  • Google the name of the movie + “subtitles download”, for example: Terminator subtitles download.

You can choose to specify the language you want. Alternatively, you could visit these sites: Subscene, yts, or English subtitles, and use their search bar to find the subtitles you want.

  • Download the subtitles files.

Subtitle files will either be in .srt, .ssa, .ass, .sub, or .ssf format. Whichever file format you download is fine.

Note: Usually the files are in a zipped folder (.zip). This means you will have to unzip the file before you can access the subtitle file itself.

  • Play the movie on VLC. Click the subtitle icon. It is below the screen on Mobile, and at the top of the screen on Desktop.
  • Tap select subtitle file. This will take you to your local storage.
  • Locate where the subtitle file is downloaded, and select it.
VLC PC interface

P.S.: Some VLC versions allow drag and drop, so you could just play the movies, and then, drag and drop the downloaded subtitle file on VLC.

Subtitle delay

Usually, there are different subtitle versions online, and some may not work perfectly for the movie you are watching – either the subtitle is too fast, or too slow.
You can adjust the speed of the subtitle by using the subtitle delay feature.

On Mobile:
Tap the subtitle icon, and tap subtitle delay.
Use the arrows to adjust the subtitle till you feel it is okay.

On PC:
While the movie is playing, use key G and H to adjust the subtitle.

That’s all.

If you follow the steps, and everything goes well, you should have the subtitle running on your screen now.

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