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How to Rotate & Flip a Video in VLC and Save It (Permanently)

How to Rotate & Flip a Video in VLC and Save It (Permanently)

Are you looking for an easy way to rotate and flip your video in VLC and save it permanently? Luckily, VLcC lets you not only rotate, but flip videos horizontally, vertically, and even control the angel to support your desired video orientation.

The process for rotating a video are similar on both Mac and windows. However, the way you access the dashboard with rotation options is require different steps.

Mac and windows have different layouts, so the top menu options will be different when trying to access rotation settings. Keep in this mind while rotating and using the instructions.

Related: How to Cut & Trim Videos in VLC MediaPlayer (Windows & Mac)

In this article, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to rotate & flip a video in VLC and save it permanently. Keep reading to get started!

How to Rotate & Flip a Video in VLC – Mac Instructions

On Mac, there are 4 main steps to follow in order to rotate, flip, and turn the video:

  1. Hold CMD +E to bring up the ‘Video effects menu’.
    1. Hold CTRL E to bring up the Effects and filters menu in VLC for rotating 2 2
  2. Alternatively, view the top of VLC media player to locate the ‘Window‘ menu. and click ‘Video Effects’ at the bottom of the dropdown.
    2. Alternatively navigate to the top of VLC media player to locate the Tools menu. and click Effects and filters 3
  3. Next, you’ll see ‘Geometry’ (third tab). From here, you’ll see a drop down menu on the left side of the screen labeled “Transform.”
    3. Geometry third tab under video effects for rotation step
  4. This is where you rotate the video, choose 90, 180, 270 degrees options as well as horizontal and vertical flip choices.
    Choose Convert or stream from dropdown 2

Whats interesting, is that VLC also provides other options you can try to edit your video with; such as magnify, wall, rows and columns.

To save a video temporarily on Mac

To save and play with a rotation the next time you launch LVC – you must check the “apply profile at next launch” radio button.

This means that every time you launch VLC, the videos you are playing will be rotated. It does not save it permanently.

Related: How to Convert Youtube Video to Mp3 (Audio) using VLC

To save a video permanently on Mac

how to save a video on mac using vlc after rotating

You’ll need to hold CMD + shift + 5 on your keyboard and record the screen using the on screen toolbar to save it. This is actually quicktime that is being used to record the rotated video.

For VLC on Mac, an output file will not save permanently unless use the above hotkey.

However, VLC for Windows does allow you to save directly from VLC.

Alternatively, you can view our list of the best video players for Mac that can accomplish this.

Related: How to Speed up (or Slow Down) Videos in VLC (and save it)

How to Rotate & Flip a Video in VLC – Windows Instructions

On Windows there are 4 main steps for rotating, flipping, and turning videos:

  1. Hold CTRL +E to bring up the ‘Effects and filters’ menu.
    1. Windows hotkeys to quickly rotate video on windows
  2. Alternatively, navigate to the top of VLC media player to locate the ‘Tools‘ menu. and click ‘Effects and filters’.
    2. use tools menu to access rotate option screen
  3. Next, you’ll see ‘Geometry’ (third tab under video effects). From here, you’ll see a drop down menu on the left side of the dashboard labeled “Transform.” Click the checkbox.
    3. go to geometry tab windows rotate option screen dashboard with dropdown menu
  4. This is where you rotate the video on Windows, selecting 90 degrees, 180 degrees, 270 degrees, as well as horizontally and vertically flipping the video.
    Choose Convert or stream from dropdown 1

Rotation settings: To rotate the video on a custom angle other than 90, 180, or 270 degrees, you can use the circular dial icon underneath the dropdown.

Related: How to Merge Videos in VLC (Windows & Mac)

Whats interesting, is that VLC on windows allows you various transformation processes. For example, you can transpose and  Anti-tranpose, which are options that aren’t available for on the Mac version in plain sight.

Related: How to make VLC the Default Player on Mac and Windows

To save a rotated video permanently on Windows using VLC

how to save a video on windows permanently on vlc after rotating

To save the rotated video using VLC on windows 10 or later, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Media > Convert/Save.
  2. Click “Add” to add the current video.
  3. Click on Convert/Save, select the output format, and click on the “Edit selected profile” icon located next to it.

Keep in mind the destination file’s location before you save it so you know exactly where your rotated video is saved to.

Alternatively, you can also save a rotated video on windows by holding Windows Key + Alt + R on your keyboard and record the screen. This is actually windows the default screen capture tool that is being used to record the rotated video in VLC.

Related: How to Record Your Screen with VLC Media Player

Differences between rotating videos on Mac vs. PC versions of VLC?

The main difference between rotating videos on Mac vs windows versions of VLC is that you can permanently save the video within VLC using the convert/save option on Windows, but this option is not available on Mac.

You’ll need to use Mac iOS screen capture tool after you’ve already rotated the video in VLC to make this happen.

This is an extra step and at this point you may as well just use QuickTime or another default media player that allows you to easily rotate and save a video.

However, if your goal is to just rotate the video every time you use VLC media player, then this works on Mac. You just can’t save it and then upload the video or use it on another media player without reverting back to its original orientation.

Video display options are also accessed differently between Mac and Windows versions. Both softwares have the same video codecs and they both lack video stabilization features on flipped videos.

Keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys to rotate video in VLC

*How do I rotate, turn, or flip a video in VLC using keyboard hotkeys or shortcuts? You’ll need to bring up the video and effects dashboard. There’s only two:

  1. Ctrl +E: brings up the video effects dashboard on Windows, where you can rotate a video using the transform dropdown menu.
  2. Cmd + E: brings up the video effects dashboard on Mac, where you can choose to rotate a video

Can you rotate video using VLC on iPhone, android

The VLC media player apps on iPhone and android devices does not allow you to rotate the video the same way it’s desktop software allows for.

On iOS devices, an android-based phones and tablets, you’ll need to use the default video editing or cropping tool on your phone.

On iPhone, you can select a video within the photo album. It is saved in and then at the top, right select edit, then crap, then rotate.

From here, you can also rotate various angles, besides the standard flip, horizontal, 90°, 180°..

VLC rotate video not working

There are several reasons VLC’s rotation video feature may not be working or crashing while trying to rotate the video.

One of the most common reasons is using an outdated version of VLC Media Player. Download and install the latest version of the software from the official VideoLAN Website.

Another reason VLC video rotation isn’t working is “Hardware Acceleration Decoding” is enabled in the settings.

This being enabled can affect the final output when using the video rotation feature. Disabling this setting should solve the issue.

You can disable Hardware Acceleration Decoding to help resolve any rotation issues associated with it by following these steps:

  1. Open VLC Media Player and click on the “Tools” menu.
  2. Select “Preferences” from the dropdown list.
  3. In the preferences window, select “Input/Codecs” from the left-hand menu.
  4. Look for the “Hardware-accelerated decoding” option and click on the dropdown next to it.
  5. Select “Disable” from the list and Click on the “Save” button to apply the changes.

After disabling the Hardware Acceleration Decoding setting, try rotating the video again using the VLC Media Player.

If the issue persists, it may be because of other factors, such as an unsupported video format or codec. Converting the video to a different format can also help.

Saving a rotated video in VLC

When you rotate a video in VLC, the rotation doesn’t apply when you open the video in other media players.

If you want to open the video with rotation, you need to save the video file with the applied rotation.

On Windows

Start by opening the video file. You can do this by clicking on “Menu” in the menu bar and tapping on “Open File.” After you have the file with VLC, apply the rotation to your liking.

Now, you need to change certain settings to save the file.

Make the following text shorter: Follow the steps to achieve this:

  1. Click on “Tools” in the menu bar and select “Preferences.”
  2. Open the “Advanced Preferences” window, tap on the radio button labeled as “All.”
  3. Then, click on “Video” followed by “Filters.”
  4. Once you are in the “Filters” window, find and checkmark the option labeled as “Video transformation filter,” and click on “Save.”
  5. From the menu bar, select the “Menu” option and click on “Convert Save.”
  6. Now, press on “Add” in the “Open Media” dialogue box to add the path of the video file you wish to rotate and click on “Convert/Save”
  7. Open the “Convert” window to access the “Profile” settings to select the format of the video for the output file.
  8. Navigate to the “Video Codec” tab after clicking on the wrench icon. From there, make sure to tick the box next to “Video” to enable it.
  9. Navigate to the “Video Codec” tab and select the “Filters” option. You can now, activate the “Video transformation filter” and click on “Save” to apply the changes.
  10. Now, in the “Convert” window, confirm the path of the output file in the “Destination” field and click on “Start” to save the file.

VLC will take a few minutes for the conversion and save the file with the settings, ensuring the rotation settings are applied to the video file permanently.

Also see how to Download a Youtube Video with VLC

Why use VLC to rotate and save videos?

VLC media player is a free, user-friendly software that supports various audio and video file formats. It offers a few basic editing features, including video rotation and trimming, without requiring additional software or skills.

  1. When you can’t afford a dedicated video editing software: If you don’t have the budget to invest in a dedicated video editing software, but still need to rotate your video, VLC is a great option. Since it’s free to download and use, you can rotate your videos spending no money. VLC supports a wide range of video formats, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues.
  2. When you’re on a tight deadline: When you’re working on a project with a tight deadline, every second counts. Learning how to rotate a video in a dedicated video editing software can take time, especially if you’re not familiar with the software. However, with VLC’s video rotation feature, you can easily rotate your video with just a few clicks. This allows you to quickly make the edits and move on to the next task, saving you time and stress.
  3. When you’re new to video editing: If you’re new to video editing and don’t have a lot of experience with dedicated softwares, VLC is a great option. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to rotate your video and make other basic edits. 

Also see: How to Cleanly Rip a DVD with VLC (& Fix any Ripping Errors)

When is VLC rotation is useful?

Here are a few situations in which VLC rotation is useful:

  • Correcting a video that has been taken in the wrong way or angle: Sometimes, videos are recorded in the wrong orientation, and the resulting video plays sideways or upside down. VLC rotation can be useful in correcting these orientation issues and make the video more watchable.
    • Example: If you recorded a video with your phone in portrait orientation, but you want it to play in landscape orientation, you can use VLC to rotate the video by 90 or 270 degrees.
  • Watching the video in style by rotating it at a certain angle: VLC rotation can add a creative flair to videos. By rotating a video at a particular angle, you can make it  visually appealing.
    • Example: You might want to rotate a music video to an angle of 45 degrees to make it look like a music video from the 1980s.
  • Filling up a portrait video of the entire area of a wide-screen: Some videos are recorded in portrait mode, which can leave black bars on the sides when viewed on a wide-screen device. VLC rotation can fill up the entire area of the wide screen and eliminate the black bars.
    • Example: If you recorded a video of a tall building in portrait mode, but you want to view it on your TV in landscape mode, you can use VLC to rotate the video by 90 degrees and fill up the entire area of the TV screen.

Alternative apps to rotate videos

While VLC Media Player lets you rotate your videos and save them permanently with the settings, there are many alternatives in the market you can use to achieve the same.

Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker is a free video editing software with a user-friendly interface using which you can rotate your videos with just a few clicks.It comes with several features, like editing videos by adding effects, and exporting the finished product in different formats.

One feature of Windows Movie Maker that sets it apart is its ability to rotate and flip videos. This feature makes it a great alternative to VLC for Windows users who need to rotate their videos by 90, 180, or 270 degrees or flip them vertically or horizontally.

Follow these steps to rotate a video using the software:

  1. Launch Windows Movie Maker after downloading and installing it on your computer.
  2. Drag and drop the video file you want to rotate into the program.
  3. Click on the “Edit” button on the menu bar to enable editing options.
  4. Select the video clip you wish to rotate in the timeline at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Click on the “Rotate left” or “Rotate right” button in the editing options repeatedly to find the desired orientation.
  6. You can also click on the “Flip horizontally” or “Flip vertically” button to flip the video in the desired direction.

After making the desired changes, you can preview the video and make additional edits before exporting the finished product in the desired format.


iMovie is a free video editing software developed by Apple Inc. that allows Mac users to edit, create, and share videos with ease.

One of the many features of iMovie is the ability to rotate videos clockwise or counterclockwise, making it a great alternative to using VLC for video rotation.

iMovie also offers a wide range of editing features. You can add video clips and photos from external sources, trim clips, rearrange the order of clips, and split a video into smaller sections.

Here are a few simple steps to rotate a video using iMovie:

  1. Open iMovie and create a new project.
  2. Import the video file you want to rotate by clicking the Import Media button and selecting the file from your computer.
  3. Drag the video file from the Event Browser to the timeline.
  4. Click on the crop button in the toolbar, which looks like a square with a diagonal line through it.
  5. Now either click on the Rotate Clockwise or Counterclockwise button present on the right-side of the cropping tool until the video is in the desired orientation.
  6. Save the change by hitting the Apply button.
  7. Finally, export the edited video by clicking on the Share button and selecting the desired output format.

Rotate My Video

Rotate My Video is a free online-based video rotation tool that is a great alternative to VLC for both Mac and Windows users. It allows users to rotate their videos quickly and easily with a user-friendly interface. You can rotate videos in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions.

To use Rotate My Video to rotate your video, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the website in your browser.
  2. Click on the “Pick Video” button to select the video you want to rotate.
  3. Locate the video file on your computer and upload it to the website.
  4. Once the video is uploaded, you can change the orientation under the “rotation” option.
  5. Use the right and left arrow keys to rotate the video by 90 degrees, either in clockwise or anticlockwise direction.
  6. Click on the “Rotate Video” button to apply the changes, and then click on “Download” to save the rotated video on your device.

There are also many browser-based video editing services which offer video rotation. Though rare, sometimes these types of services have to potential to use your data, so keep this in mind before making a choice.

Related: How to Download GoPro Videos to Mac (6 Ways to transfer)


How to VLC rotate video 90 degrees in VLC?

You can rotate a video 90 degrees in VLC with just a few clicks. Launch the VLC Media Player on your device and click on “Menu” in the menu bar to select “Open File.” You can now locate and open your video file. In the menu bar, click on the “Tools” option and select “Effects and Filters.” Then, click on “Video Effects” and navigate to the “Geometry” tab. Checkmark the “Transform” box and pick the “rotate by 90 degrees” option from the dropdown.

How to VLC rotate video 180 degrees in VLC?

You can rotate a video 180 degrees in VLC. Launch the VLC Media Player on your device and click on “Menu” in the menu bar to select “Open File.”

You can now locate and open your video file -but, instead of selecting the 90 degrees option, select the “rotate by 180 degrees” option. This will rotate your video 180 degrees.

Related: (Solved) How to Get VLC for Roku | Updated for 2022

Why is my Video laggy when rotated 90 or 180 degrees in VLC?

In VLC, rotating videos by 90 or 180 degrees can cause the video to lag due to increased CPU demand.

Rotating a video requires your computer to decode, re-encode, and compress the video, which can be a complex process, causing your computer to struggle to keep up.

The amount of lag or choppiness you experience typically depends on the speed of your computer and the size and quality of the video you are rotating.

You can solve this issue by disabling Hardware Decoding in the VLC settings.

Follow steps to achieve this:

  1. From the menu bar, select “Tools” > “Preferences.”
  2. Select “Input and Codes” from the window which appears
  3. Click on the dropdown next to the setting “Hardware-accelerated decoding” and disable it.

Related: 9 Best Tablets for Zoom Calls & Video Calling

How to fix Videos that are opened and rotated vertically on VLC

This is a common issue that can be resolved by following these steps:

  1. First, check if you have accidentally applied a rotation or transformation filter. To do this, go to the “Tools” menu, then “Effects and Filters,” and then “Video Effects.” Look for any active filters that may be affecting the video orientation and uncheck them.
  2. If the first step doesn’t work, it’s possible that the video file contains metadata that indicates a non-standard orientation. In this case, you’ll need to use VLC’s “Adjustment and Effects” feature to correct the orientation manually. To do this, go to the “Tools” menu, then “Effects and Filters,” and then “Video Effects.” In the “Geometry” tab, you can adjust the rotation angle to the correct orientation.
  3. If the video is still rotated vertically, there may be a bug. In this case, try playing the video in a different media player to see if the issue persists. If it does, then the problem is likely with the video file itself and may require additional troubleshooting.

Why are my videos stretched after rotating in VLC?

Your videos appear stretched after rotating in VLC because there might be a mismatch between the aspect ratio of the video and the aspect ratio of the rotation. VLC automatically adjusts the aspect ratio of the video when it is rotated, but if the original video had a different aspect ratio than the rotation, the resulting video may appear stretched.

This can also occur if the video’s metadata contains incorrect aspect ratio information.

You can solve this by manually adjusting the aspect ratio of the video in VLC, or using a different video editing tool to rotate the video without affecting the aspect ratio.

How can I determine the orientation angle of my video in VLC?

You can determine the orientation angle of your video in the “Effects and Filters” tab under “Tools” in VLC. Launch VLC and from the menu bar select “Tools” > “Effects and Filters.”

Now, click on the “Videos Effects” tab > “Geometry” > “Transform.” From here, you can rotate your video by 90, 180, or 270 degrees. There is also an option to flip your video horizontally and vertically. In the same window, checkmark the “rotate” option to pick an angle by moving the angle dialer.

Bottom line

VLC software allows users to rotate and flip videos in both Mac and Windows versions. Windows users can save the rotated video permanently by using the convert/save option within VLC. Mac users must use the hotkey CMD+Shift+5 to save the rotated video permanently.

It does take a lot of steps for a simple edit, but at least you don’t have to download another separate video player just for editing, which requires a steep learning curve.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ