How to Control VLC with an iPhone

This guide will take you each step of the way through configuring your iPhone to work as a ‘remote control’ for VLC running on Windows, macOS or Linux.

  1. Make sure that the computer running VLC and the iPhone are on the same wireless network.
  2. Head over to the App Store and install Remote 4 VLC (homepage). The App is free and has a few limitations – none of which will stop you from using it as a remote control. I’ve tried a number of these Apps – I found this one to consistently be the most reliable. Once it’s installed, open it up.
  3. Tap the Setup Wizard button.
  4. It doesn’t matter which option you select on this screen (OS X or Windows/Linux) – the only difference is which images will be displayed in the next few steps – which are all a bit outdated now anyway. Swipe to the left to move to the next step.
  5. Now you’ll need to open and configure VLC on your computer. When VLC is open, select Tools and then Preferences from the drop-down list (Note: for macOS users select VLC from the Menu Bar and then Preferences… from the drop-down menu.) Back in the Remote 4 VLC App, swipe left to move to the next step.
  6. The instructions displayed in Remote 4 VLC are slightly out of date on this screen, so proceed to step #6 below.
  7. In the VLC Preferences, select the All option in the bottom left corner of the screen to display the Advanced Preferences.
  8. In the navigation panel on the left side of the VLC Advanced Preferences, click the arrow next to Interface to expand that list. Select Main interfaces from that list. Finally, place a check in the box labelled Web from the list of Extra interface modules on the right side of the screen.
  9. Once again the instructions inside of Remote 4 VLC are a tiny bit outdated, so swipe to the left to move to the next step.
  10. Back in VLC’s Advanced Preferences, click the arrow next to Main interfaces in the left navigation panel and then select Lua from the expanded list. Enter the word dummy in the Lua interface field if it isn’t there already, and in the Lua HTTP section, enter 1234 as the password. Finally, click the Save button. Now exit/quit VLC completely.
  11. If you’re prompted with a Windows Firewall message, make sure to select Allow access. In the Remote 4 VLC App, swipe left again.
  12. Open VLC and start playing a video – any video will do.
  13. Finally, click the Auto Connect button.
  14. Remote 4 VLC will now magically find your computer running VLC and connect to it. Once the screen refreshes, tap the Now Playing bar at the bottom of the App.
  15. Ta-da! You can now control VLC from your iPhone! To view the Settings, tap the “3 dashes” icon (see screenshot below) in the upper-right corner of the App.
  16. Select Settings
  17. From here you can configure the various parts of Remote 4 VLC – including changing the background wallpaper – if you must :)
  18. One other quick tip – if you select the “3 dots” button to the right of the newly added computer running VLC …
  19. … and then choose Edit
  20. … you can give that computer a much friendlier (and descriptive) name.
  21. That’s it! Enjoy being able to control VLC from your iPhone and not having to get off the couch :)

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