How to Download Movies on VLC Media Player

by Andrew Schrader

VLC Media Player, free for download from, is a powerful, cross-platform multimedia player and converter that allows users to open and save media content from the Internet, as long as the content is not copy-protected. Users can download and even convert movies from sites like YouTube or Google Video, for example, with VLC's Streaming/Saving function. It is recommended you update to the latest version of VLC to ensure maximum download capability. Note that downloading and converting full-length movies with VLC may take several hours.

Step 1

Download the most recent version of VLC Media Player by visiting and clicking the "Download VLC" button. Open the installation package when the download has finished and run through the onscreen prompts. Agree to the terms of use to complete installation and open VLC Media Player.

Step 2

Click the Media tab and select "Convert/Save" to enter the Open Media window. Click the "Network" tab. Copy and paste the movie's site web address into the URL field.

Step 3

Press the "Convert" button at the bottom of the screen to enter the Convert window. Choose an output format for your video by clicking the "Profile" drop-down box. Set advanced options for your preset by clicking the first toolbar icon next to the "Profile" box.

Step 4

Click the "Browse" button next to the Destination File field on the right side of the screen and select a save location on your hard drive for the converted movie. Name your file and be sure to include the file extension at the end of the name (e.g. "movie.mp4"). Click "OK" to return to the Convert screen.

Press "Start" to begin the download and conversion process.


  • You must include the file extension at the end of your output video's name, depending on the preset chosen. For example, if you chose the MP4 preset, type ".mp4" at the end of your file name. Failure to include this will cause VLC to incorrectly convert the movie.


  • If downloading for playback on a specific device or program, check the user manual for supported file types. For general playback on a PC, choose the "Video - WMV + WMA" preset, as this is supported on Windows Media Player. For general playback on a Mac, try the "Video - H.264 + AAC (MP4)" option, as this is supported by QuickTime Player.
  • Leave the Display the Output box unchecked in the Convert window, as this slows down VLC's download and conversion processes.


About the Author

Andrew Schrader has been a professional writer and filmmaker since 2004. He works as a writer and director, holding a Bachelor of Arts in film and media studies from UC Santa Barbara. Schrader specializes in writing about technology and computer software.

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