Download Online Video Using VLC Media Player

VLC Media player is not only a great tool for saving online audio streams, but its features allow us to even download online videos. Online videos that normally play in browsers can be played with VLC Media Player. Additionally, those playable online videos can also be saved to your personal computer. Not many are aware of this feature.

The process of downloading online video from video hosting sites is quite similar to the process of downloading streaming audio. There are two methods that you can follow for this. They are explained below in detail.

To download online video using VLC Media Player

Method 1

  1. Go to Media > Open Network Stream [CTRL + N]
  2. Enter the web address of your video. For this example we will use the liveleak video available at:
  3. Click on the little arrow right next to the Play button. A drop down will display. From there select the “Stream” option. [ALT + S is the shortcut.]
  4. The Source information will be displayed. Just click on next.
  5. In the Destination Setup step, make sure that the new destination is selected as File. Click on Add.
  6. In the Save file dialog box, click on Browse and navigate to where you want to save the video. Then give your video a name. In this example we will save it as an MP4 file, so the video name for this file is: video.mp4. Click on next to go to the next step.
  7. Make sure that the Activate Transcoding option is checked. In that option select “Video – H.264 + MP3 (MP4)”. This ensures that your saved video will be a H.264 video with MP3 audio enclosed in an MP4 container. As usual, hit Next.
  8. In the next option, just click on Stream.
  9. Downloading will start within moments. The seconds (timer) of VLC will begin to increase and the video position in the progress bar will also begin to move.
    video-downloading-progressYou will know that your video has been downloaded once the Video progress bar moves to the end.
    After everything is completed, you will find the full downloaded video in the location that you chose before.

*Note: Remember that most videos are subject to copyright. Download only videos which come with free license.

Method 2

Using this method, you will get the direct link to the video. Then that URL can be used to save the file using your browser or a download manager.

  1. Click on Media > Open Network Stream. [CTRL + N]
    Opening Network Stream
  2. Enter the video URL. For example:
    Network Protocol Liveleak
  3. Click on the “Play” button.
    Play Button
  4. Once the video begins playing, go to Tools > Codec Information. [CTRL + J]
    Codec Information
  5. Select the full URL from “Location” and copy it. [Right Click > Select All (CTRL + A)] and [Right Click > Copy (CTRL+C)]
    Video Location
    You just got the direct link to the video. It is usually long. Example:
  6. Open your browser and paste the URL in the address bar.
  7. From the menu of your browser, select “Save page as” or just press CTRL + S.
  8. Give a file name, choose a file location and save it.

*Note: You can also use the URL and download it using your download manager.

28 thoughts to “Download Online Video Using VLC Media Player”

  1. Works for me. Here’s a link to another LiveLeak video which is rather comical:

    And this is the direct download link taken from the Codec menu in vlc:,1607801268

    To save: File —> Save Page As. Don’t bother to give it a name and just download it to your own machine. You can rename it afterwards by hitting F2. This particular file is 7,338KB.

    If you’re still getting a 0 byte file then you might be coming up against an Nvidia issue by which vlc is blacklisted. To get around that problem create a copy of vlc.exe and rename it to something else i.e. vlc-new.exe. Save it to the same directory as the original.

    Next step is to open the Nvidia Control Panel and go to 3D Settings in the left hand pane. Click the Programs Settings tab in the right hand pane and then click the Add button and navigate to your renamed vlc.exe file. Underneath that select “High-performance Nvidia processor”. All video files in vlc will now open with the Nvidia GPU.

  2. I have same issue, even going into the codec window. Video can be viewed on website by anyone (no paywall, or login etc). Video can be streamed through VLC. BUT when attempting to save video it always creates a file like nameofvideo.mp4 which is a couple of bytes; viewing this in text says error message “wrong referrer”

  3. Hello. Thank for your guide. The video downloaded, or so it appeared, but when it finished loading the bar, the video didn’t have any info, 0bytes. Do you know why? Thank you.

  4. None of these tutorial images resemble what I see on my Mac in the current VLC Version Vetinari (Intel 64bit) and can’t come close to sorting out how it’s done now.

  5. Thanks I tried your both steps and both are working…. thanks for this unique tricks…….

  6. Macintosh! We need instructions for Macintosh! Nothing looks vaguely the same in our operating system’s version of VLC.

    I’ve tried for several years (yes, years) to figure it out from these instructions, and I just can’t do it.

  7. Neither method works for capturing a video that was livestreamed to FB. I own the video and it’s me performing so not a rights issue. Using Windows 10. Just doesn’t work.

  8. when I paste the codec info in a new tab in my browser, it automatically asks me to save with this extention, “m3u8” which is only a link to the original video that only vlc interprets. So, it’s a vicious circle. It doesn’t save the actual video. On the other hand, Using method 1 saves the name of the file only with 0 bytes written on disk.

    1. From what website are you downloading your videos? It could be that VLC doesn’t support that particular website’s download. Does VLC stream from that website with no error?

    2. I was getting the same thing, but if you then select that m3u8 file to stream from the PC and convert to a MP4 format, it seems to then download the file (at least it worked for me that way).

  9. These methods work like a charm on most video-sharing sites, but they no longer work with the updated players LiveLeak uses. You can easily download videos there though, if you just disable javascript in your browser, then right-click and save the video.

  10. I have also tried, Nothing works with vlc streaming. Both methods even failed to show the codec information. The download is publicly available. It does play out of sync there. So, i tried to play with vlc. No success.

  11. Hi Ashish, I have tried through second method but i am getting error after final step. Actually My Video come after entering credentials and password. What i did is first login with my credentials into site and then start the video online. From the URL Bar,directly copy the url and follow Method 1. But it doesn’t work.Can you help me urgently

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