Rotate and save a video using VLC media player

Rotating incorrectly recorded video might be painful, as many software that claims, it can do this (for example Format Factory), actually fails, usually on aspect ratio, and usually output video is ugly stretched. And here comes the solution, in form of your favorite, must-have video player, called VideoLAN VLC. Yes, that very good video player can also act as media converter, video rotation software, screen capture software and so on.

I found a very good tutorial on how to rotate and save (as many tutorials seems to be missing this obvious part) a video using VLC media player. It discusses video rotation topic in a great details, including a lot of screenshots (and even more unnecessary blah, blah! :>) and thus, I won’t repeat steps described there. I’ll only provide you with a quick check list and add things, that I found, that are not mentioned there.

Rotating video in VLC

To rotate video using VLC you should:

  1. Open incorrectly rotated video file in VLC.
  2. Go to Tools > Effects and Filters > Video Effects tab > Geometry tab.
  3. Check Transform checkbox and select proper rotation direction from below dropdown field.
  4. Click Close to confirm and play your video to verify that resulting effect suits you.
  5. Select Media > Convert / Save > File tab > Add and add video file, you have open in VLC.
  6. Click arrow down next to Convert / Save button, select Convert and pick destination file.
  7. In Convert > Settings use Profile dropdown to select output video file format and encoding.
  8. Click first icon next to this dropdown (“wrench”?) to modify settings of output file format.
  9. Finally, click Start button to begin conversion / rotating process.

After this, you should have your video rotated and saved to file picked point 6.


Here is the list of “glitches” that are not mentioned in cited tutorial or are mentioned partially, but still may be important to you:

  1. Changes you made in Tools > Effects and Filters are permanent and restored upon each VLC restart. Remember to uncheck rotate option (or click Tools > Preferences > Reset Preferences button), after you successfully write your converted video or else, you’ll see each of your videos rotated.

  2. In some certain situations (file type, codec used, operating system and VLC version) transform operation (Tools > Effects and Filters > Video Effects > Geometry > Transform) may produce undesirable side effects, like some unwanted color changes, extra luminosity etc. In this case, uncheck Transform checkbox in Geometry window, check Rotate instead and manually set Angle. Problem should be solved.

  3. Mentioned tutorial has a large part about changing your VLC configuration. It is skipped from my check-list above as I found, that in most cases proper configuration is by default set in VLC.

If you’re receiving some strange result, then double check above list and next chapter.

VLC configuration changes

You should perform these steps only, if you’re getting strange results or no results at all during video rotate:

  1. Go to Tools > Preferences and change display mode in Show settings to All.
  2. Select Stream Output > Sout stream > Transcode section in settings.
  3. Check Video filter > Video transformation filter checkbox. Then click Save to confirm.

These settings should be set in your VLC’s configuration by default.


You can use VLC as simple media converter as well — i.e. convert your video files to other formats, without doing actual rotate. The only problem is, that current version of VLD (2.0.7, as of writing this) supports only small range of output video formats, including MP4, MPG, ASF, MOV, FLV and WEBM.

Format Factory (free as well), mentioned in introduction is by far more flexible, offering 30+ video and audio formats and a certain number of other operations (like ripping DVD, splitting or joining video files, mixing audio and video tracks etc.).

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