VLC HowTo/Play multiple instances

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This page describes how to play multiple instances of VLC media player. Other "how to" pages

In version 0.8.5 it was easy to have multiple instances of VLC playing each with its unique stream of data.


Use the option --no-one-instance.

On *nix systems you can create background jobs:

$ vlc --no-one-instance file1.ogg & vlc --no-one-instance file2.ogg

On Windows systems you might use START:

> START "VLC media player" "%PROGRAMFILES%\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" "--no-one-instance file1.ogg" && START "VLC media player" "%PROGRAMFILES%\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe" "--no-one-instance file2.ogg"


In versions 2.1.x and 3.x.x playing multiple VLC instances and different streams in each is as easy as clicking Tools → Preferences... (or just press Ctrl+P):

after unticking the two checkboxes it should look like this,then click on save
  • in the Interface tab scroll down to playlist and instances
  • untick checkbox Allow only one instance
  • untick checkbox use only one instance when started from file manager
  • Press Save.
This allows users to use more than one VLC player at a time. Once you've done the above you should be able to play as many VLC instances and video or audio files as you like.


On the Mac, running multiple instances of VLC is not supported out of the box.

As a workaround, you can create a Droplet/App that does the following:

  • launch the VLC droplet/app to get a separate instance of VLC,
  • drop one or more files onto VLC droplet/app, or
  • associate your .mov, .avi, and other files directly with the VLC droplet/app, allowing you to simply click on the files to launch the files in a new standalone VLC session.

Paste the code below into a new AppleScript Editor script and save it as an application.

on run
    do shell script "open -n /Applications/VLC.app"
    tell application "VLC" to activate
end run

on open theFiles
    repeat with theFile in theFiles
        do shell script "open -na /Applications/VLC.app " & quote & (POSIX path of theFile) & quote
    end repeat
    tell application "VLC" to activate
end open

File Association with the Droplet/App can be done as follows:

  1. Open Finder and find the video file of interest
  2. Right click on the file (assumes you have right click enabled)
  3. Choose Get Info
  4. Under Open with:, click dropdown and select the VLC droplet/app
  5. Click Change All button
  6. If prompted "are you sure", select "Yes".
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