How-To Geek

How To Completely Disable Subtitles in VLC

If you watch a lot of videos using VLC, you might have noticed that it enables subtitles by default if they are there, which can be pretty annoying at times. Here’s the quick tip to disable them entirely.

Of course, you can always turn them back on if you want on an individual video basis.

Disable Subtitles

Head into the VLC preferences, and then click the All button at the bottom of the screen.


On the left-hand side, choose Video –> Subtitles/OSD, and then uncheck the boxes for “Autodetect subtitle files”, Enable sub-pictures, and On Screen Display. That should do it, unless the subtitles are forced in the video for some reason.

Note: Certain video formats like MKV can sometimes have subtitles enabled even though there isn’t a separate subtitles file. This is why you need to remove “Enable sub-pictures” as well, which totally disables the on-screen text. You can choose to only uncheck the autodetecting of subtitles instead if you’d prefer.


And of course, you can simply right-click on the video, head to Video –> Subtitles Track and then choose the subtitles if you still wanted them.

Note: this only works if the “enable sub-pictures” option is still enabled.


And thus ends the tale of disabling those fracking subtitles. Starbuck approves.

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 04/8/10

Comments (16)

  1. Sam

    Thanks, this was real helpful for me.

  2. Roi

    So that’s why there were these HUGE words taking up the screen in German!

  3. BB

    Did NOT work on last version of VLC 1.0.5

    Anoying as heck that it dont remember my vishes….


  4. mikey

    thank you. this was driving me crazy

  5. ShadowFalls

    If you went to Input / Codecs and set the Subtitles track and Subtitles track ID to 0 (default is -1), it will keep the subtitles from auto-loading.

    If you do the method mentioned in this article here, you won’t be able to turn on subtitles without going back into the settings and turning them back on. If you use the method I mention above, you can.

  6. Johnners

    Thanks! Absolutely hit the spot.

    Much appreciated

  7. Tom Sellers

    Thanks ShadowFalls, I’ve tried both solutions as I already did the first when I read yours. Probably I’ll end up going back and undoing the original suggestion and using yours. I also want .mkv files to stop autoloading the subtitles.

  8. Greg Sowell

    Thanks! Worked a treat.

  9. Joakim

    oh my god.. THANK YOU so much no more fucking changing to no subtitle for every episode of Supernatural! (gets quite annoying after a few episodes ;D)

    // Joakim Andersson.

  10. jonjonjon


    you probably shouldn’t be watching that show anyway…

    ah well, i suppose it was inevitable.

  11. Prelude

    Thanks ShadowFalls, your method works great, iv been trying to figure this out for ever now and nothing seeming to work.

  12. Luke Frohling

    This doesn’t work. I’m using VLC on Mac OS X 10.6.8 looking at at mkv file with subtitles inside it (NOT hardcoded) which can be enabled/disabled through the menu but changing it as above doesn’t do anything (even with a VLC restart).

  13. Luke Frohling

    Continuing from previous comment…

    It’s best to ALSO untick “enable sub pictures”- however this means you can’t easily/quickly out the subtitles on while watching the movie.

  14. Renee

    Thank you for saving my sanity – that was my major pet peeve with vlc :-)

  15. Kay

    AMAZING!!! Thanks for your help :)

  16. Arcca-Daton

    Thank you very much for posting this, it’s been driving me mental for a while now. Much appreciated. :o)

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