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Controlling VLC videoplayer from the command line

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VideoLan’s VLC player offers a vast range of command line switches for optimal control. A recent task was to setup VLC as a presentation tool for looping a set of videos. The list of requirements was:

  1. load in fullscreen
  2. disable OSD
  3. disable sound
  4. loop videos from a folder
  5. restart VLC each day in the morning
  6. target system Windows 7 Pro x64

The final solution was based on three batch scripts: start_vlc_playlist.bat:

@echo off
start /min start_vlc_playlist_proc.bat


"C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" --playlist-autostart --loop --fullscreen --no-osd --no-audio --volume=0 --playlist-tree c:\playlist\


@echo off
taskkill.exe /IM vlc.exe /F

start_vlc_playlist.bat and stop_vlc_playlist.bat can be used to meet the requirement to start and stop VLC externally, i.e. by using Windows’ Task Scheduler. So, simply create a job that restarts VLC each day in the morning. The other requirements from the list above can be met by starting VLC using the corresponding command line switches.

Hint: I’ve split the starting commands into two separate scripts so that it’s possible to easily create start-and-stop script in the future.

3 thoughts on “Controlling VLC videoplayer from the command line

  1. Hallo Mathias,
    it’s incredble – es ist unglaublich: Im ganzen web ist keine Angabe zu finden, wie ich den VLC-Player so starten kann, dass es gleich ein bestimmtes Video (avi) abspielt! — Die Aufgabe wäre folgende: Auf einer DVD im Ordner “05 Video” befindet sich ein Video. und der VLC-Player portable. Im Root-Verzeichnis sollte eine Verknüpfung oder Batch-Datei stehen, die der user anklinkt, woraufhin der VLC-Player — möglichst in Vollbild — hochkommt und das Video abspielt. Der Laufwerksbuchstabe wäre nicht immer gleich. Kannst Du mir da mit einer Kommandozeile helfen?

    Ich konnte nichts finden und kam bei der Suche im Netz auf Deine Angaben..
    Danke im Voraus und Gruß — Peter

    1. Hi Peter,
      I will answer your question in English if that’s ok. Basically, you can use the command in this post to achieve your goal. The user simply clicks the batch file to start VLC. Fullscreen mode is handled via –fullscreen. Concerning your drive letter: why don’t you just use the autostart function based on autostart.ini (Windows)? This way you can instruct the OS to execute a certain file (your batch file in this case) automatically. Have a look at for instance. Hope that helps, Cheers.

  2. Ok I don’t understand any of this really but can you make me some batch files to do the same thing except I want sound and all that. Also I have VLC player to always open in full screen and 16:9 ratio so shouldn’t have to put any of that in the batch file. I also have it set to automatically loop. I just need a playlist file to open every morning and end at at 4:30 everyday Mon-Fri. Could I just use task scheduler to start the video, create a batch file that would stop vlc and then use task scheduler to run the bat file at 4:30?

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