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How to Make VLC Pick the English Audio Track Automatically

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If you’ve used VLC player to play anything that has multiple audio tracks, you’ve probably noticed that it doesn’t stick to the language you want it to—which is especially annoying when watching a series and you have to change language for every episode.

Note: this problem is obviously more present when playing downloaded videos. In this case I own two DVD copies of the video series in the screenshot.

Tweaking VLC to Choose a Language

This one is super simple, but not necessarily obvious. Just head into Preferences –> Audio (assuming it’s set to Simple preferences), and then in the “Preferred audio language” box, plug in “EN” without the quotes. As far as we know, you could also use “en”, or “English”, but this is what we tested with. It’s worth noting you could also use this to choose a completely different language as the default—just plug in the two-letter country code.

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And thus ended my annoyance with VLC.

On a separate but very related subject, if you want to disable the subtitles completely, here’s how to do that.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/7/12

Comments (5)

  1. gogo

    anime <3

  2. Ty3

    Now why didn’t I think of that? I find my 9 year old listening to movies in all sorts of languages due to hitting a wrong button. Thanks!

  3. Dave

    Is there a good site where I can get the audio tracks in other languages for movies? I lived in Costa Rica and I usually get my movies files in English but I want to have the option to switch the audio track to Spanish, too.

  4. TechnicalServiceGuy

    @gogo – Witch hunter Robin!

  5. lesle

    I watch a lot of movies in languages other than my native English. In addition to setting the audio to EN, in VLC’s Subtitles & OSD, I set the “Preferred subtitles language” also to EN. Works fine.

    Thanks! for the tip.

    Here’s another VLC tip: when watching a DVD, going forward or back is easy using keys. Hold the Shift key down (first) and then depress the left arrow to go back 3 seconds, or depress the right arrow to go forward 3 seconds. Alt key + arrow gets you 10 seconds, cntl + arrow gets you 60 seconds, and cntl+alt + arrow gets you 5 minutes.

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