Delay or Speed up Subtitles in VLC Media Player

VLC Media player can do a lot with subtitles. It can easily configure subtitles that comes along with a movie file that is not hardcoded. It also works great with external subtitles. You can easily add and remove subtitles or choose between subtitle files if you have more than one. It is quite helpful while watching a movie.

We have to understand that not all subtitles are perfectly synced with a movie. Sometimes subtitles are displayed even before the dialogues of the scene are spoken. Sometimes, subtitles are displayed late. This creates a problem and the usefulness of watching a movie with subtitles isn’t there. But VLC media player has an easy fix for it. You can easily delay or speed up subtitles to match it with the spoken words of a video.

To, delay or speed up subtitles in VLC Media Player:

Make sure that you are playing a video along with its subtitle.

To delay a subtitle: Press H on your keyboard. Pressing H once will delay a subtitle by 50 milliseconds. Press repeatedly or long press in order to delay a subtitle time according to your choice. Confirmation will be displayed on the top right of your screen as “Subtitle Delay 50 ms”

To speed up a subtitle: For this use the G key on your keyboard. Your subtitle delay will be negative. That means it will speed up the appearance of your subtitle. You will see a message displayed on the top right screen as “Subtitle delay -50 ms”.


Note: You will have to press the G or H keys to fix the subtitle syncing. Listen to the audio carefully and fix the subtitle to accurately sync with your movie. Some subtitles can be way off and you might require them to be delayed by a couple of seconds in order to sync with the spoken words of a movie.

If you do not wish to press the G or H keys repeatedly but instead provide a numerical delay value directly, then it can be done using the menu options.

  • Navigate to Tools > Effects and Filters [CTRL + E]
  • Pick the Synchronization tab
  • Enter a positive or negative value for Subtitle track synchronization

Note: A positive value like 10.000 will delay the subtitle. A negative value like -5.000 will hasten the subtitle.

Subtitle Delay Options

Under it, there are also options for Subtitle speed and Subtitle duration factor. Subtitle speed will set the frames per second on when the subtitles appear. The Subtitle duration factor will determine how long the on-screen text appears.

23 thoughts to “Delay or Speed up Subtitles in VLC Media Player”

      1. You would like to speed up the subtitles if they are made for a 25fps file, and the video is 29.97, or vice versa

  1. Is there a way I can edit a srt file with a line at the very start like
    delay -/+ 00:05:00 for 5 second speedup/delay
    That way I don’t have to do g/H every damn time?

      1. I am sorry admin, but that does not answer the question. I happen to be watching an Italian film with someone who does not speak Italian and whose script I cannot even read, so it is impossible to keep positioning the subtitles with the hotkeys as they keep drifting out of sync. I just have no idea what the subtitles say, or even what they refer to. Fortunately there are a few dates and other numbers inside the film that I can use as reference points. With simple arithmetic using an offset and linear dilation/compression of the subtitles (assuming the drift is linear) I can reposition the subtitles once and for all. The offset is clear, but where is the setting to set the dilation or compression? Is there such a setting at all? The Subtitle Speed box seems to be the logical place for that but its dimension is seconds, not something-per-second. I threw some numbers at it that made sense in the context (frame rates and rations of frame rates) but nothing seems to have an effect.

  2. Note that this will only work to fix fast/slow subtitles if the frame rate of the video is the same one the subtitle file expects.

    Try what is described here first, but if you notice that after a while of playback the discrepancy between video track and subtitle track increases again, then this fix won’t work for you, as the the subtitle file was created for a different frame rate then the version of the video you are trying to sync it with.

    If this is the case, you can either:

    1) Get a different subtitle file that matches your video’s frame rate.
    2) Get a different video file that matches your subtitle file’s frame rate.
    3) Use a subtitle editor to make changes directly to the subtitles file, rather than just setting a constant delay/speed up in the video player.

  3. You can use Handbrake to keep the parameters. In the subtitles options menu, Track>Add External SRT. Once you’ve added it, you can designate the SRT offset (keep in mind that it’s in milliseconds). You’ll be packaging your movie with all of your designated settings in the package.

  4. Thanks for that! However, I noticed the H and J keys to adjust the subtitle track. Not H and G. G was for audio track..

        1. When I completely remove my old version and install a new version, they are still G and H for me. What are the hotkeys for your version?

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