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How to Backup VLC Settings and Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows

After setting up the VLC media player, follow these steps to backup all VLC settings, preferences, and keyboard shortcuts in Windows.

For Windows, no matter how many video players come and go, VLC is the best. Out of the box, VLC media player can play almost every media format out there without the need for any sort of third-party plugin or codec. Not only that but the application allows you to configure as much as you want to meet your needs and expectations. For example, the first thing I always do after installing VLC is to stop automatic resizing and make it open in multiple instances. In addition to that, I also heavily customize all frequently used VLC keyboard shortcuts to better match my taste and needs.

After configuring the VLC media player to meet your needs, it is important that you backup all those settings and key bindings. After all, no one wants to go through the hassle of reconfiguring everything every time.

So, in this quick tutorial, let me show the steps to backup VLC settings and keyboard shortcuts in Windows.

Note: The steps shown below are applicable to Windows 7 and 8 too.

Steps to Backup VLC Settings and Keyboard Shortcuts

Like many other applications, VLC stores all its settings, preferences and key bindings in configuration files. So, by backing up those configuration files, you are effectively backing up VLC settings.

Simple steps:

  1. Open Run dialog box with Win + R shortcut
  2. Type “%appdata%/vlc” and click “Ok” button.
  3. Copy both “vlc-qt-interface.ini” and “vlcrc” files.
  4. Paste them in a folder.
  5. Done.

Detailed steps:

1. First, make sure that you’ve configured all the VLC settings you need. If necessary, change or assign keyboard shortcuts as required. Once you’ve done that, follow through the next steps.

2. Now, open the Run dialog box by pressing the Win + R keyboard shortcut. In the dialog box’s field, type “%appdata%/vlc” and press the Enter button.

3. As soon as you press the Enter button, the VLC configuration folder will open. This is where VLC stores the configuration and preferences files. Here copy the below files.

  • vlc-qt-interface.ini – contains VLC interface settings.
  • vlcrc – contains other VLC settings and key binding or keyboard shortcuts.

A quick tip: If you are curious, you can open both these files with Notepad to see the configuration details.

4. After copying the files, paste them in a folder of your choice.

That is all. Keep those files safe and you are done with backing up the VLC settings and keyboard shortcuts.

Restore VLC Settings

Restoring the VLC settings is pretty easy too.

1. First, close the VLC media player if it is running. open the backup folder and copy both the “vlc-qt-interface.ini” and “vlcrc” files using the Ctrl + C keyboard shortcut.

2. Now, open the File Explorer, type “%appdata%/vlc” in the address bar and press Enter. Now paste the files by pressing the Ctrl + V keyboard shortcut.

3. If you see a “Replace or Skip files” window, select the “Replace the files in the destination” option. This action will replace the existing config files with your backup config files.


That is it. Open the VLC media player and all your settings, preferences, and keyboard shortcuts will be restored automatically.

I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

3 thoughts on “How to Backup VLC Settings and Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows”

  1. Avatar for Lydeth

    The correct path should be “C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\vlc”, where Username is the real user name.

  2. Avatar for Adam

    Thank you very much for this. I use global hotkeys, but they collide with other programs most of the time (I need them only while I transcribe recordings). I searched for a way to switch them on and off – this seems the only solution. Thx a lot! 🙂

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