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How can I play a video starting from the point it was stopped last time?

This is useful for watching long videos.

I am using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and VLC media player.

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SMPlayer does this OOTB. – Rinzwind Jul 16 '12 at 12:32
This is more of a suggestion than an answer, the default Totem Movie Player in Ubuntu 12.04 has a feature that allows you to start playing from the last position (or where it stopped when you closed it). – Peachy Jul 16 '12 at 12:33

12 Answers 12

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Note: In recent versions of Totem below feature sadly was removed.


The default Ubuntu movie player Totem has an option to resume playback too. This is accessible from the "Edit -> Preferences -> General" menu. Just tick "Start playing files from last posititon":

enter image description here

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Ubuntu 15.10 doesn't have that. – sitarane Mar 19 at 13:45
@sitarane: thanks for spotting this... sadly it appears that recently the GNOME team prefers to remove rather than add features. – Takkat Mar 19 at 15:10

Yes you can, with VLC.

View the video in VLC. Press Ctrl-B to manage bookmarks. Click on Create. Then it will make a bookmark at that particular point in the video. Click on X or Close the dialogue box. Then Press Ctrl-Y to save the playlist to file. You can type in the name of the playlist. It will save playlist in same folder as the video. The bookmark will be saved into the playlist file.

The next time you play the playlist, the bookmark is intact. If you did not save playlist to file, the bookmark is gone the next time you play the same video.

To test it out, exit from VLC.

Run VLC again. Click on Open File. Click on the name of the playlist that you saved.

The video plays.

Go to main menu, Click on Playback. A scroll down list appears. Click on Custom Bookmarks. A scroll list appears. It says on the top, Custom Bookmarks - Ctrl B. And beneath that, is the saved Bookmark that you want to jump to and resume watching the video.

You just click on the bookmark that you saved. It will jump to the bookmarked point where you left off and you can resume viewing.

Special Note:

Do NOT Press Ctrl-B to search for the saved Bookmark. The manage bookmark dialogue box is shown. But it is completely empty. This has deluded many users into thinking that VLC never saved the Bookmark.

This is an idiosyncrasy of VLC. Ctrl-B merely calls up the "Create Bookmark" dialogue box. It does not display any previously saved Bookmark.

But if you use the main menu Playback and submenu Custom Bookmarks, the saved Bookmark will be shown.

In case you are wondering, the saved playlist file with the saved Bookmark is very small in size. It does not recopy the entire video. It only saves the instructions of what video to play and where the saved Bookmarks are within it.

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Essentially the same as this older answer but without pretty pictures. :-S – David Foerster 16 mins ago

YES it is Possible in VLC , open any Video you may wish to View later ,

Pause the video where you want it to Resume to playback next time , then

Go to Menu Bar , then PLAYBACK >> Custom Bookmarks>> MANAGE and CREATE from where you want to resume for NEXT time.

enter image description here

Then close the Vlc player , go to the same Video you want to Resume , then from the same above listed options ,select the Created Bookmark like in this image , and it will resume playing.

enter image description here

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The point, of resuming the video from where we stopped/left it, is to do less amount of work :) otherwise we can simply open the video and drag the cursor to point where we left it – binW Jul 16 '12 at 14:46
That's a hellovalot of work :D :D – Rinzwind Jul 16 '12 at 14:57
if today i am watching a 2+ hours Documentary (Long Videos) , and adjourned it for 3-4 days and i follow this process , it is easy , rather than dragging to find where exactly i left (which would take more or less equal time). After all EASY for every user is different ( eg. Unity vs Gnome-shell). Anyway you are going to open the video for reviewing , resuming method for every other would be different. I like this method and so i posted :) . It also resembles like a Bookmark method. – atenz Jul 16 '12 at 14:58

I dont think there is such a feature in VLC. If you are willing to switch to another media player for this feature, which I am not, you can try smplayer. From their project page on sourceforge:

One of the most interesting features of SMPlayer: it remembers the settings of all files you play. So you start to watch a movie but you have to leave... don't worry, when you open that movie again it will resume at the same point you left it, and with the same settings: audio track, subtitles, volume...

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Sorry for the downvote, but by now there is such a feature, so you'd better delete this answer. :( – Fabby Apr 14 at 9:21

I've barely used VLC, but I know that creating bookmarks isn't the ordeal it was claimed to be on this thread.

Press Ctrl + B, which opens a dialog box; click Create and then click Close.

Save the bookmark as a playlist by pressing Ctrl + Y; choose a file name and location.

Done. To resume play, just start the file you saved, and you'll find your bookmark in the Playback menu under Custom Bookmarks.

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One problem I'm finding is that when I open a playlist of several files, the bookmarks are not shown until I manually navigate to the file that has the bookmark in it. Say I have a playlist of 10 lectures and I stop watching half way through lecture 3. The next day, I want to resume watching the lectures. I have to remember that I stopped at lecture 3 before I can find the bookmark. :-( – MountainX Jan 17 '14 at 4:13
Essentially the same as this older answer but without pretty pictures. :-S – David Foerster 15 mins ago

For VLC you can use this extension:

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Here is another one:… with some explanation (uses the same link as jasmines but has some extra info) – Rinzwind Jul 16 '12 at 12:32
The "Remember position" lua script by Scientificswede mentioned in this answer is not a very good solution for me. Development-wise, it seems like early alpha level. It is feature incomplete and full of bugs. It crashes VLC for me, so I ended up removing it. I can't get srpos to work either. – MountainX Jan 17 '14 at 4:11

Playback bookmarks work per session, VLC does not store them for future use (under Linux - can't say about Windows). Once you close the player, the bookmarks reset to null. This option is worthless.

VLC is overrated, and there are just a couple of major tweaks that separate it from being the best player.

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Creating a bookmark only saves it if the video is part of a playlist first. So add the video to a playlist, create your bookmark and then exit. When you relaunch your playlist you will be able to utilize the bookmark in the playback menu.

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The best way to do this is by installing this vlc extension:

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Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Warren Hill Nov 15 '13 at 6:56
I can't get srpos to work. Here's my forum post on the subject: – MountainX Jan 17 '14 at 3:37
I just copied all the dll files in the vlc plugins folder and every thing work like charm! – sowrov Mar 31 '14 at 15:17
@sowrov DLL files??? This is not a Windows discussion. – MountainX Jun 10 '14 at 1:39
  1. Pause video file and create a playlist for it (CTRL + Y).

  2. Create a bookmark (CTRL + B).

  3. To resume watching, open the saved playlist, NOT the video file itself.

That said, according to this article, VLC 3 will have a native resume feature. This feature, as described in the link I supplied, seems to already be implemented on version 2.2 of VLC in Ubuntu 14.10's repositiories. It fails to work in my case.

What does work for me is the Lua addon at this same page.

The download link just displayed the addon's code in my browser window instead of giving me an option to download so I 'selected all' and pasted the contents into a file with a .lua extension and then saved that file in the ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/extensions/ folder per instructions I found here.

Note that I needed to create the lua folder and the extensions sub folder as they did not exist by default.

This addon is still not as simple as the Smplayer resume feature but Smplayer has not been playing nice recently (memory leaks and CPU goes in the red) but it does more.

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Welcome to askubuntu! Please insure that your answers stand on their own. Referring to another users answer is best done in a comment and if you feel an answer is the best you should upvote it. – Elder Geek Jan 23 '15 at 15:35
Essentially the same as this older answer but without pretty pictures. :-S – David Foerster 15 mins ago

This is now possible with version 2.2

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there is a continue option when you restart at top right hand side of player,only lasts about 5 secs

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Are you sure? Can you please include a screenshot? Because I can't find such an option in VLC (v2.1.6) and I'm relatively sure it isn't included since you need a plug-in for that. – David Foerster 18 mins ago

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