How to remember the media position when using VLC Media Player

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 5, 2014
Updated • Jun 5, 2014

I was asked some time ago why I'm using two media players on my system, SMPlayer and VLC Media Player.

VLC Media Player is an excellent cross-platform program that plays nearly any media file you load in it without issues, and there should not be any need to run a second player besides it.

The core reason why I'm also using SMPlayer is that the player seems to play certain video files better, in particular wmv files.

There are other reasons. SMPlayer saves the position of the video automatically when it is closed so that it gets loaded again at the same position the next time you open it.

This is an automated process and useful, even though I usually disable it, I know several users who switched from VLC Media Player to a player supporting continue functionality.

It is not clear why VLC is not offering the feature, first requested many years ago. The official bug listing for the enhancement was opened three years ago and its milestone is set to 2.2.0, but work has not started yet and it seems to have been closed recently.


If you are using VLC Media Player and have no intention of switching to another player just for that feature, you may be interested in a workaround that has been available for some time.

You may know that you can create bookmarks using the player. Bookmarks save the active position of the media file so that you can load it in the future again to start playback from the selected position.

While not automated, it is the next best thing. Here is how you would use the feature:

  1. Make sure a media file is playing.
  2. Select Playback > Custom Bookmarks > Manage, or faster hit Ctrl-B on your keyboard.
  3. This opens the bookmarks manager.
  4. Just click create here and a new bookmark pointing to the current position will be saved.
  5. To load the bookmark again, use Playback > Custom Bookmarks > Saved bookmark.

The process is not automatic as you can see, but it is what comes closed to remembering the position of video or audio files that you are playing in VLC Media Player.

It needs to be noted that bookmarks are only displayed if the same media file is played as they are linked to files. If you open another file, previously created bookmarks for other files are not displayed.

There is also a plugin available but it is not compatible with the most recent version of the player.

How to remember the position when using VLC Media Player
Article Name
How to remember the position when using VLC Media Player
VLC does not offer to save the position of video and audio files automatically. This tutorial offers a workaround that you can make use of.

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  1. Ken said on June 6, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Thanks for the tip on AlShow. Nice player and now I can set and use bookmarks.

  2. Blue said on June 5, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Though VLC has some uses, I prefer the ALShow (formally known as ALPlayer) by ALTools a division of ESTsoft. It has all the same player functions and more than VLC does in a sleeker package. The player in a window look is oh so 80’s retro it isn’t even remotely funny anymore. ALShow opens in a sleek borderless window and the only thing showing other than the top bar is the display area.

    The onscreen controls can be locked visible or left invisible. We can easily fast forward/backward, jump forward/backward, or leap forward/backward with easy keyboard short cuts. As well as control volume, subtitle display/hide, font size (controls characters per screen), picture (position, eschew, colour, contrast, brightness etc…), Also it can capture a screenshot, video clip, and audio clip. And the bookmark ability is something we can easily switch on or off (plays from last position known) even several months later.

    I asked the author where does it save this information, and how large of a file is it. According to the author, it is a tiny single file which saves the last known position and even if I were to view millions of files, it would not exceed one megabyte in size. I’ve watched some files, and some even weeks and months later. As long as the file remains on the hard drive, its last known position is saved even if I move the file to another drive. But if I move the file to an external drive or burn it to disk the position will not be saved. So how it does this is a mystery to me, but I know if I stop watching a file and pickup where I left off months later it will playback from where it left off quite easily.

    The thing about VLC is it is open sourced and cross platform, and many programs and applications refer to it. ALShow is not open nor cross platformed but it is free to use for ALL users and no ADs or malware. Built in codec’s and has it’s own codec update server it can connect to. The company has several other free tools including, “ALSong” (audio media player), “ALZip” (file archiver), “ALSee” (photo viewer), ALFTP (easy FTP client) and more, all for free (ALZip, ALSee, and ALFTP were originally paid software but recently released with a free unlock code under the Purchase menu).

    (Off topic) ESTsoft’s main income source is are two free to play popular MMORPG’s with in game purchasing credits for special gear. I know I was one of them and it was addictive and I found myself buying my characters funny hats and outfits as well as powerful gear every once in a while lol…. But like many popular MMORPG’s, they can easily be ruined by BOT’s… Though it is a sad reality, the truth is, if a game isn’t popular or any good, it wouldn’t have BOT’s.

    P.s. I don’t play anymore. Though it was low in price, it was an addiction that was easily fed. I ended up selling my character and actually made some money back because the gear I had on them was, ‘special’.. and hard to come by.

  3. Ken said on June 5, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Opened same file, still no saved bookmarks.

    1. Shadess said on June 6, 2014 at 3:08 am

      This is how VLC has always “worked” for me, meaning the bookmark function hasn’t ever worked. This over many years and at least 5 different computers on win xp/7/8. The feature isn’t working properly.

      Bookmarks stay saved as long as the file is open. Close the file, open the same file again -> no bookmarks.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on June 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      That’s strange. Are you running a cleanup operation, e.g. removing information on exit or something?

  4. Ken said on June 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    When I follow the procedure you outline above, then close and reopen the file there is no bookmark saved. Any idea what step I am missing. Thanks

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 5, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      You need to open the same file again, did you do so? Bookmarks are file-specific.

  5. fokka said on June 5, 2014 at 6:43 pm
  6. Seban said on June 5, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Martin, I tested the linked Plugin a few month ago and installed it anew right now to see if my memory was playing me for a fool. I have to dissent, it works on my Win 7 SP1 x64 PC with VLC 2.1.3 x86 in use.

    I just copied libsrpos2186_plugin.dll into C:\Program Files (x86)\VideoLAN\VLC\plugins
    After opening and closing a file there’s a file named srpos.ini in %AppData%/vlc which stores the current time of the video files.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 5, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Strange, it is not working on my system.

      1. Seban said on June 5, 2014 at 8:59 pm

        Well that’s odd.

  7. Shadess said on June 5, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    VLC hasn’t ever remembered these “bookmarks” for me longer than the session is kept open. If I close the player the bookmarks are forgotten. Useless feature.

  8. steven said on June 5, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    on Android MX Player can remember where you left and will ask you to resume or start over VLC folks need to try harder if they want to keep up to Android market I know the article is about desktop version but this is just my 5 cents :)

  9. Craig said on June 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I much prefer Daum Pot Player it remembers even after 10 reboots or whatever you throw at it. It also plays all videos in a group automatically.

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