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How to play a video with subtitles on Windows 10

Playing videos with subtitles is easy but because you won’t find the tool/button for it on the main UI of most media players, it can take a little figuring out. If you want to play a video with subtitles you need two things; a video player that supports subtitles, and the subtitles themselves. Here’s a complete breakdown on what you need to do.

Subtitle types

Subtitles can come in three forms;

  • Embedded in a video
  • Hard codded in a video
  • Stand alone SRT files

For each type, the method for playing them will differ slightly. We’ll walk you through each one.

Embedded subtitles

Embedded subtitles are subtitles that are part of the media file. They’re already there so you don’t have to do much to get them to play. All you need to do is figure out where you can enable subtitles in your media player. Once you find the option, you only need to ‘enable’ or ‘show’ them.

Hard codded subtitles

Hard coded subtitles will appear on their own. They’re like watermarks on a video and you might be looking for a way to disable/get rid of them as opposed to enable them. If that’s the case, you’re out of luck. You cannot remove them. They’re there to stay. You cannot hide them either. Thankfully, legally downloaded content doesn’t have hard codded subtitles. If you have a video that has hard codded subtitles, it is probably going to be something that was made at home. Not many people will hard code subtitles if they know how imposing they can be.

SRT subtitles

These subtitles are not part of the media file itself. You might find an SRT file accompanying your media file but if you don’t, SRTs can be downloaded online. Once downloaded, they need to be selected in the media player of your choice and they will play with the video.

Play video with subtitles

There are too many media players available for Windows 10 for us to go through them all but we’ll help you with some popular apps. If you use the Windows Media Player, you can only play embedded subtitles in some cases. The hard coded subtitles will appear no matter what. The SRT files cannot be loaded. That is a shortcoming of the Windows Media Player.

The Movies & TV app can play both embedded and SRT file subtitles.

VLC player is the same as the Movies & TV app; it can play embedded subtitles and SRT files. To play them, play a video and right-click the video when it’s playing. In the context menu, go to Subtitle>Add Subtitle file.

Select the SRT file that you want to use, and it will play with your video. Alternatively, if the Subtitle sub-menu lists a file, you’re probably seeing the embedded subtitles. Select it, and they will appear. You can even customize the appearance of subtitles in VLC player, something you can’t do in most other apps.

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