How To Delete your Viewing History in VLC
One of the most common questions we get about VLC is how to delete the viewing history. Now we don’t judge, and we know that privacy is a growing concern. So we’ve put together a quick guide that will help you delete your VLC viewing history – and make sure it stays deleted.
For those unfamiliar, VLC is an amazing piece of software that works on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. It’s simply the best, most robust video app out there right now. It’s completely (always) free, and has frequent updates pushed to keep it stable. It is light, plays all kinds of video and audio formats, and offers some pretty powerful tools for creating your own videos.
It’s the default media player on all of our devices – it’s just that good. Sometimes you want to make sure the history is cleared from VLC. Here’s how to do that.
Delete your VLC viewing history in Windows
If you open VLC and select “Media” and “Open recent media,” you will see a list of all the things you have been watching. VLC will list the last ten things you opened with the app – which sometimes you don’t want to happen. So let’s both delete everything currently in the list, as well as turn off the viewing history so you don’t ever have to worry about deleting them again.
- Open VLC and navigate to “Media.”
- Select “Open recent media.”
- Select “Clear” to clear the current list.
- Select “Tools and Preferences.”
- Find “Save recently played items” and uncheck the box.
- Select “Save.”
Now when you go back to the Media menu, you should see “Open recent media” grayed out.
For the truly privacy conscious Windows user, it doesn’t stop there. If you right-click the VLC icon on your Taskbar, you will still see a couple of watched videos listed there, too. Here’s how to get rid of those:
- Right-click an empty space on your desktop and select “Personalize.”
- Select “Start” and find “Show recently opened items in Jump Lists on Start or the taskbar.”
- Toggle it to “Off” and close the window.
Be aware that if you use the jump list in other apps, they will no longer work as this is a universal setting.
Delete your VLC viewing history on a Mac
The Mac version of VLC is almost identical to the Windows one so the process is quite similar.
- Open VLC and click “File.”
- Scroll down to “Open Recent.”
- Select “Clear Menu” to clear the current list.
If you want to make absolutely sure the files are cleared, you can also navigate to the VLC folder in /Library/Preferences, and delete the saved files from there.
To keep the OS X version of VLC from saving your viewing history in the future, follow these steps:
- Click “VLC” in the menu bar, then “Preferences…”
- Click “Show All” in the lower left-hand corner.
- Click “Interface” in the left-hand column, then “macosx.”
- Finally, scroll down and deselect “Keep Recent Items.”
Delete your VLC viewing history on Android
Deleting your VLC viewing history on Android is a snap.
- Open VLC on your Android device.
- Select the three line Menu icon in the top left.
- Select “Settings” and “Advanced.”
- Select “Clear search history” and then click “Okay.”
Delete your VLC viewing history on iPhone
Unfortunately, you cannot delete your VLC viewing history from your iPhone. However, you can take steps to keep it from being revealed.
- Open VLC on your iPhone.
- Click the VLC cone in the top left.
- Click “Settings,” then toggle the “Passcode Lock” option.
Now, whenever VLC is opened, the user will have to enter the passcode you set before using the app.
While we were playing around with VLC, we also learned a couple of other neat tricks. Did you know you can set a video as your desktop wallpaper? Or that you can play internet radio streams through VLC? Neither did we, but here’s how.
Play a video as desktop wallpaper in VLC
If you have a computer with decent specs, you can use a video as your desktop wallpaper. We use Windows 10, but we’re sure it will be possible in earlier versions.
- Open VLC and navigate to “Tools and Preferences.”
- Select “Video” and select “Direct X (DirectDraw)” as the video output.
- Restart VLC with a video you want as your backdrop.
- Select “Video” and “Set as Wallpaper.” The video will now play on your desktop background.
Be aware, though, that the moving image can be quite distracting if you’re trying to study or work!
Play internet radio in VLC
Another neat trick we had no idea existed is the ability to play internet radio in VLC. We still have an old version of Winamp for our internet radio player, so it’s nice to know another app can take over its duties when it stops working.
- Open VLC and select “View” and “Playlist.”
- Select from the new left menu under “Internet.”
- Let VLC perform a search, and go from there.
- Double-click a stream in the center window to listen.
Icecast Radio Directory has the most streams right now – there are literally hundreds of them.
Those last two tips are a little off piste for a tutorial about deleting viewing history in VLC, but they are so cool we couldn’t help ourselves. Got any other neat VLC tips or questions? Share them below if you do!