How do I vary the playback speed of media in VLC Media Player using keyboard shortcuts?

I used to be able to do this by holding down Cmd-Alt-[Forward Arrow or Back Arrow] but this doesn't seem to be working any more. Instead it's jumping the video forward and backwards by 19 seconds when I use this key combination.

Is there a way to restore the variable speed shortcut behaviour?

3 Answers 3


VLC has a wonderful short cuts menu where you can see or even set the shortcuts.

Open the VLC preferences and the Hotkeys tab.

Restart VLC after making the hotkey change.

The following was tested by me on VLC Version 2.0.9 Twoflower (Intel 64bit).

VLC shortcuts

Ranting: I wish every app would have such easy access and feature, rather them me searching the Google to find out what Hotkeys they use and how to set them. End of Rant.

  • 3
    Yes, make sure to restart VLC after the hotkey changes, otherwise they probably won't work!
    – wisbucky
    Jan 4, 2019 at 2:32
  • Also, VLC allows to customize the interface, e.g. placing a slow down button next to stop. :)
    – kaiya
    Sep 27, 2021 at 13:32

To increase/decrease playback speed on VLC/Mac use command+= and command+-

  • On Linux at least, + doesn't increase speed beyond 1x. ] does. Feb 25, 2021 at 5:07

use '[' and ']' keyboard input for decreasing and increasing the speed respectively.

  • Are you attempting to clarify that caps lock is not required to use these keys, against a previous revision of this answer?
    – grg
    Mar 7, 2017 at 17:51
  • ']' for faster (fine) '[' for slower (fine) Thanks Gyan Apr 10, 2018 at 7:56
  • 3
    This answer is apparently wrong for current downloads. These are the keys I always used for VLC on my Windows box, and when it failed I found this page searching for how to determine what the shotcut keys were. Turns out for a newly downloaded copy of VLC for OS X, there is no default key bindings for "faster (fine)" or "slower (fine)".
    – Michael
    Jun 4, 2018 at 17:51
  • As @Michael said these are "Not Set" by default, but you can easily change them to this, but you have to restart VLC for them to take effect.
    – teradyl
    Jun 3, 2020 at 15:05
  • 1
    These work by default on VLC on Linux. Feb 25, 2021 at 5:08

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