Scenario: imagine you're watching a movie which comes with an external srt file. That file contains subtitles in English for the movie, but the spoken language of the movie is English and you don't need a transcription. However, there are a couple of times in the movie when a different language than English is spoken (sometimes it could even be a constructed language).

At those specific times I need to activate the subtitles. However, while deactivating subtitles goes well "for free", when I put them on again, the video freezes for a while and it's not as simple as toggling with a key binding.

Any tips to achieve what I want?

  • So you would like it not to freeze and be more efficient with the toggling, or you would like to automate it?
    – user364819
    Nov 23, 2015 at 21:11
  • I don't ask for its automation (although the idea is very cool and would probably imply the use of very interesting and sophisticated software). What I ask for is just a key binding which would allow me to switch between state A (subtitles on) and state B (subtitles off); while not affecting the flow of the video. Nov 23, 2015 at 23:02

2 Answers 2


I don't know if it was already there at the time or not, but the way to do it now in 2018 is:

  • Tools > Preferences
  • Make sure "Simple" is selected in the bottom left in show settings.
  • Click on "Hotkeys".
  • Search for an "Action" called "Toggle subtitles" and configure your hotkey.
  • 1
    Also, there are some subtitles for foreign languages (i.e the subtitles only appear when someone speaks a foreign language)
    – singrium
    Oct 27, 2018 at 10:59
  • @singrium Do you mean that VLC detects when foreign languages are spoken? Or is it just that there are subtitle files that only have the text of the foreign languages spoken in the video? Oct 27, 2018 at 11:33
  • no. For let's say there is a movie named 'something' where there are some people speaking Italian, you google this: "subtitles 'something' foreign parts only" and you'll find some subtitles that only contains the foreign language only (i.e people who made these subtitles, they only subtitled the conversations in the foreign language).
    – singrium
    Oct 27, 2018 at 22:54
  • @singrium : Theses are known as "Forced subtitles". :) Jul 21, 2019 at 21:32
  • This dated forum thread on The VideoLAN Forums (2014) had noted that the default hotkey was 's', which was sometime later changed to 'v'.
    – user37165
    Sep 22, 2019 at 9:25

with Shift + v

That's the default shortcut to toggle the currently selected¹ subtitles.

¹There might be many subtitles available; cycle through them with v.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .