How to Control VLC on PC from Android or iOS

Last Updated: December 29, 2016

The VLC Media Player has been one of the most popular software for watching videos on PC and Mac. It supports a massive range of audio and video file formats, which has made it a must-have on every PC and Mac. You also get a lot of amazing multimedia features and functions by paying nothing, which makes it a steal. Out of the many cool features, VLC provides the ability to remotely control it from an Android or iOS device. So, if you have an iPhone or an Android smartphone, you can use it as a remote control for VLC on your PC or Mac. This should come in handy when you are watching a movie with a group of people and you don’t want to get up to lower the volume or skip ahead. So, let’s check out how you can use your Android or iOS to remote control VLC running on PC or Mac:

Note:  We tested out the process using a Windows PC and an Android smartphone but the process should be the same if you are using a Mac or an iOS device. 

Requirements

  • A Windows or macOS system with the latest version of VLC installed.
  • An Android or iOS device
  • A common WiFi network to which both your computer and your Android/iOS device are connected.
  • VLC Mobile Remote app (Android) (iOS)

Getting VLC Media Player ready on PC or Mac

1. Before starting the process, you have to ensure that you are running the latest version of VLC installed. You can check that by clicking on “Help from the menu bar of VLC and selecting the “About” option.

vlc-media-player-about-2

2. The next step is to configure VLC, so that you can control it from Android or iOS. For this, you have to go to the “Tools menu and click on the “Preferences option. You can also use the Ctrl+P shortcut to do the same.

vlc-media-player-preferences

3. In the “Preferences” window, simply click on the “All” button from the “show settings” group in the lower left corner of the window.

vlc-media-player-prefrences-all-view

4. Now, in the scrollable list on the left side, click on the “Main interfaces” option under the “Interface” group. Here, you will have to enable the checkbox beside the “Web” option.

vlc-media-player-preferences-main-interfaces

5. Now, you have to expand the “Main interfaces” option under the “Interface” group and click on the “Lua option. Here, you have to set a password for your portal between the computer and the phone. Once you are done with that, click on the “Save” button and close VLC.

vlc-media-player-preferences-lua

6. Now, open the player again and it will ask you permissions to allow access to Windows Firewall. You have to click on the “Allow Access” button and you are done configuring VLC on your computer.

Controlling VLC from Android

1. As mentioned in the requirements, we will be using the VLC Mobile Remote app (Free with in-app purchases).

2. When you open the app, you will have to configure it by putting in the IP Address of your PC and the password that you set as VLC’s Lua password before. Make sure that you put the Lua Telnet port number in the Port number box here. If the IP Address and the password match with that of your PC, it will notify you with a push notification.

android-configure

3. Once you are done with the configuration, you have to tap on the name of your computer. It will show you a page, where all the drives of your computer are listed alphabetically. Here, tap on the desired drive and select a video file of your choice. You will see the video playing automatically on VLC on your PC.

android-selecting-the-file

4. Then, you will be able to control various functions of VLC from your phone’s screen like playback, video subtitles, toggle fullscreen, screen ratio settings and so on.

android-main-screen

Controlling VLC from iPhone or iPad

1. The VLC Mobile Remote app is also available for free on the App Store. You can download it on any iOS device (Free in-app purchases).

2. Just like the Android counterpart, you have to fill in the IP Address and the password that you set as VLC’s Lua password in the app. Ensure that you put the Lua Telnet port number in the Port number box here. If the IP Address and the password match with that of your computer, you will be notified with a push notification.

ios-configure

3. Once you are done with that, you have to tap on the name of your computer. It will show you a page, where all the drives of your computer are listed alphabetically. Simply tap on the desired drive and select a video file of your choice. You will see the video playing automatically on your computer.

ios-selecting-the-file

4. Now, you can control VLC from your iPhone or iPad. You get options like controlling the playback, choosing subtitle languages, toggling to fullscreen, selecting your desired screen ratio settings and so on.

ios-main-screen

Note: The app on both the platforms has in-app purchases for unlocking certain premium features like quit VLC Media player directly from the app, set a folder as ‘Home location’, use it as a YouTube remote and many more.

Bonus: Stream content from Android to VLC on PC or Mac

You can not only control VLC on your Mac or PC from an Android device but you can even stream content from your smartphone to VLC. Well, you can do that with the VLC Direct app (Free with in-app purchases).

Firstly, you will have to connect the VLC Direct app with the VLC Media Player running on Windows or macOS. The process is the same as above. Once you have done that, you can stream your phone’s content easily. For this, you have to ensure that your target is set to VLC, as shown in the screenshot below. Then, you only have to tap on the desired media file on your phone to see it running on your computer screen.

target

The VLC Direct app also lets you use your smartphone as a remote to control VLC. You can control the VLC Player on your PC or Mac with its DVD Control option. The remote has a very simple interface but the app is littered with advertisements in the free version.

dvd-control

Try the VLC Direct app if you are ready to deal with an amazing app that has a messed up interface. There’s an option to get rid of the advertisements by buying the full version through its complicated star based purchase system.

SEE ALSO: 22 Handy VLC Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows and macOS

Control VLC on Mac/PC from an Android or iOS device

Well, those were the ways through which you can use your Android or iOS device to control VLC on your Windows PC or Mac. There are many other apps that bring similar functionality but they are complicated and feature dated UIs. However, if you know of an easier way to do this or improve the mentioned methods, feel free to jot down your thoughts in the comments section below.

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