How To Open Links In VLC Player From The Context Menu In Firefox

You can listen to podcasts and watch YouTube videos in VLC player. Unlike most media players that focus on playing content from your local drive, VLC player can stream online content as well. If the media player for an online stream or an online video is low on features, watching it in VLC Player is a reasonable alternative. It’s somewhat time consuming adding a link to VLC player. The process isn’t the easiest to remember either but Open in VLC is a Firefox add-on that makes it easier to watch online videos in VLC player. It lets you open links in VLC player from the context menu. Needless to say, you must have VLC player installed on your system. The add-on does not download any content to your hard drive.

VLC Native Client Patch

Before you can use the add-on to open links in VLC player from the context menu, you need to install Open in native client. It’s a small open source patch that lets browsers communicate with native apps. It’s available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Download it and run the install file.

Open In VLC

Install Open in VLC in Firefox. Before you can use it to open links in VLC player from the context menu, make sure it can find the VLC.exe file on your system. Open the add-on manager in Firefox (Ctrl+Shift+A). Go to Open in VLC’s options and enter the path to the VLC.exe file on your system. By default, the add-on enters the likely path that will point to the EXE file however, the path can be wrong.

Now, right-click a live stream or a video link and select ‘Open in VLC’ from the context menu.

VLC player will load the stream and start playing it.


Open in VLC is great for a single video link but it doesn’t play nice with playlists. We tested it on YouTube videos and playlists. A single YouTube video is sent to VLC player without a hitch. When you send a playlist though, only the first video in the list plays. It doesn’t automatically play the next video in the list when the first one ends.

The add-on should work with most online content but it will probably stop when it comes to playing say Netflix or Hulu. The content on both those sites is copyright protected and there isn’t any way to extract the stream. It’s reasonable to assume that you won’t be able to use Open in VLC to play content from either sites in VLC player.

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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