Open In VLC Open media links in VideoLan player
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The "Open in VLC" extension facilitates access to the well-known VLC media player from your browser. It adds two elements to your browser interface: a page action button (toolbar button) and a context menu item. The action button changes color when you're on a page with a media source. When you click the button, it sends the media stream to the VLC player. You can also send media links directly to the VLC player by right-clicking on media elements and choosing the context menu item. Note that you should install a minimal native client for the extension to work. The installation instructions will be displayed the first time you use the extension.



  1. What is the "Open in VLC" add-on and how can I use it?

    The "Open in VLC" extension enhances your browser in two ways: a page action button and a context menu item. The page action button is located in the address bar area and becomes active when you visit a page with a media source. The media stream is sent directly to the VLC player when you click the button. In Chrome, the page action button is always visible but only becomes colorful and usable when a media source is available on the page. The context menu item appears when you right-click on video or audio elements with a media source, allowing you to send media links directly to the player.

  2. What's new in this version?

    Please check the Logs section.

  3. Does the extension send the actual page URL of the media to the VLC media player when this player supports media extraction from HTML web pages?

    Yes, the extension can send the actual page URL to the VLC media player when VLC supports media extraction from HTML web pages. The extension already does this for certain hostnames, but if it misses one, you can report the domain name in the review section, and I'll add support. Alternatively, you can use the right-click context menu to send the page URL to the player instead of detected media links.

  4. Why is the native client required for the Open in VLC extension to work?

    Browsers do not allow extensions to communicate with native applications for security reasons. The "Open in VLC" extension requires the installation of a native client, which acts as a bridge to bypass this restriction. The native client is a minimal JavaScript code that runs the code written in the extension in a VM inside the official NodeJS executable.

    To install the native client, follow the steps displayed upon your first use of the extension. There are also video tutorials available for Windows and Mac/Linux, which you can find in the links here:

    In Windows, the native client adds two registries to the OS registry that helps the browser to locate the actual native application and creates a local folder containing the NodeJS executable. To remove the native client, you can use the "uninstall.bat" script, which will delete both the registries and the folder created during the installation process.

    In Mac and Linux, the native client inserts a file called "manifest.json" into designated folders for the browser to find the actual native application. A local folder is created in the local ".config" directory, which can be removed using the "" script. Note that running the installer script multiple times will overwrite the old files, but no new directory will be created.

  5. Why is the native client for Linux larger than other operating systems?

    The Linux package for the native client includes two official NodeJS executables for both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems, as the 64-bit Linux cannot run the 32-bit NodeJS version. Although only one of these two executables will be used, they are both included in the package, which contributes to the size of the native client being around 20MB for the Linux operating system.

  6. How can I test this extension?

    To test the extension, head to and right-click on the video element. There is a context menu item to send the media stream to the VLC media player. If you have the native client installed, the VLC player should start playing the video stream

  7. It seems like the extension cannot locate my VLC media player. Is it possible to set the path manually?

    Yes, open the options page and set the path manually.

  8. Why can't I click the toolbar button in Chrome?

    [deprecated] The extension uses a page action toolbar button, which is only active when the page supports media playing. If the page doesn't support media playing, the button will be disabled. In the Chrome browser, the button is always visible, but if it's not active, it won't be clickable and will appear gray instead of colorful.

  9. Is there a way to keep the VLC player open even if I close the Firefox browser?

    Yes, there is a workaround. You can find it in FAQ #22 of the External Application Button extension available at the following link: This issue occurs because of how Firefox handles opening of native applications.

  10. Is there a way to add a custom command-line argument to the "Open in VLC" extension's execution of VLC?

    You can try two options:

    • Use the External Application Button add-on instead of this one.
    • Create a custom .bat file that calls VLC with the received link from this add-on. Then, go to the options page and change the executable path to this new ".bat" file.

  11. What is the meaning of the "M3U8 Container" option?

    The "M3U8" refers to the format used for playlists in audio and video streaming. It is a text file format that specifies the location of one or more media files. By enabling the "M3U8 Container" option, the extension will send all the media links in an M3U8 format to the VLC player, which will then play them as a single playlist. This feature can be useful when there are multiple media links on a page, as it allows you to play them all at once instead of having to open each one individually.

  12. What is the meaning of the "Filter URLs or Media Types" option?

    The "Filter URLs or Media Types" option allows you to specify rules to exclude certain URLs or media types from being opened in the VLC player. You can specify a filter in the form of a regular expression, which will be used to match against the URLs or media types. Any URL or media type that matches the specified filter will be excluded and not opened in the VLC player. This feature can be useful if you only want to open specific types of media, or if you want to exclude certain types of media that you do not want to open in the VLC player.

  13. What is the "Path to the VLC executable" option?

    The default location of the VLC player may differ depending on the operating system. On Windows, if no user input is provided, the default location is %ProgramFiles%\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe. On Linux, the PATH environment variable is used to locate the VLC player. On macOS, the global open -a VLC command is used to open the player and this option is ignored.

  14. What is the meaning of the "Use Page Title for M3U8 Tracks" option?

    The "Use Page Title for M3U8 Tracks" option determines whether or not the page title gets used as the track name in the generated M3U8 file. If this option is enabled, the extension will include a "#EXTINF:-1, title" metadata line before each track in the M3U8 file, with "title" being the webpage title. This way, when you open the M3U8 file in a media player like VLC, each track will have a descriptive name based on the source webpage.

  15. Can I ask the VLC player to stream in HD quality?

    You can set VLC to prefer HD quality if the stream offers multiple resolution options. To do this, open the VLC player's options page (accessible via Tool -> Preferences or by pressing Ctrl + P). Select the "Show All Settings" radio button and navigate to the "Input / Codecs" section. In this section, you can adjust the "Preferred video resolution" to the maximum available quality, such as "Full HD."

    Additionally, you can use command-line arguments while starting VLC to specify the desired quality (considering you are using a batch script to send links to the VLC player). For example, the following command-line argument plays a video stream in 720p quality if possible:

    vlc --video-quality=720 [video_stream_url]

  16. What is the meaning of the "Custom Arguments" option?

    You can send personalized arguments to the VLC media player using this feature. For example, you can keep the player window in the foreground by adding the "--video-on-top" argument or instruct VLC to automatically adjust its size for each video using the "--autoscale" argument. To view a comprehensive list of available ones, please refer to the VLC command-line help page.

  17. What is the meaning of the native client runtime on the options page?

    Starting from version 0.3.7, this extension provides support for two native runtimes: NodeJS and BunJS. These are JavaScript runtimes, used by the extension to communicate with the VLC media player and manage argument passing to it. Currently, the NodeJS runtime works across Windows, Linux, and macOS platforms, while the BunJS runtime works on Linux and macOS. Users can install both runtimes and toggle between them via the options page. BunJS runtime does not include the native executable. You must have BunJS installed on your system before using it. However, NodeJS includes the native binary for all operating systems.

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What's new in this version

Change Logs:
    Last 10 commits on GitHub
    Hover over a node to see more details

    Need help?

    If you have questions about the extension, or ideas on how to improve it, please post them on the  support site. Don't forget to search through the bug reports first as most likely your question/bug report has already been reported or there is a workaround posted for it.

    Open IssuesIssuesForks

    Permissions are explained

    storageto store user preferences such as VLC path and VLC command
    tabsto add page action button
    contextMenusto add context menu items to video and audio elements
    nativeMessagingto initiate connection to the native side
    downloadsto download the native client to the default download directory
    webRequestto monitor network activity to find media sources
    <all_urls>to monitor network activities from all hostnames

    Recent Blog Posts