How to Rotate Videos in Windows Media Player

Video playing in the wrong orientation? Here's how to fix it

How to rotate video in Windows Media Player

Nico De Pasquale Photography / Getty Images 

Many smartphones and tablets have the ability to record short video clips, or even full-length features, whenever and wherever. If you own a PC, you can view these recordings through Windows Media Player. But, videos are often recorded in the wrong orientation, and Windows Media Player offers no built-in way to rotate them. Here's how to watch those videos the way you want using third-party software.

While VLC is available on multiple platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone), these directions are specifically for Windows PCs.

How to Rotate a Video With VLC

While Windows Movie Maker was once the go-to application for rotating video, it's no longer supported by Microsoft. VLC media player is an often updated and free alternative maintained by an active open source developer community. Download and install VLC for Windows from the VideoLAN website.

To rotate videos using VLC:

  1. Open the VLC application, select Media > Open File, and choose the video you want to rotate.

    Screenshot of VLC application
  2. Select Tools > Effects and Filters. Or, use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+E.

    Screenshot of the VLC application
  3. In the Adjustments and Effects dialog box, select Video Effects > Geometry.

  4. Select the Transform check box, then choose the option that meets your needs. The video rotates automatically as you make a selection, browse through each one until you find the desired orientation.

    Screenshot of the VLC app
  5. When you're satisfied with the rotation, select Save, then select Close to save your work and return to the main VLC interface.

How to Save Your Rotated Video in VLC

After the video is rotated, save it in the correct format.

  1. Select Tools > Preferences. Or, press CTRL+P.

  2. In the Advanced Preferences dialog box, go to the Show Settings section and select All.

    Screenshot of the VLC app
  3. Scroll down the left menu pane to go to the Stream output section, expand Sout stream, and select Transcode.

  4. On the right-hand side of the screen, select the Rotate video filter check box.

    Screenshot of the VLC app
  5. Select Save to save the changes and return to the main VLC window.

  6. Select Media > Convert/Save. Or, press CTRL+R.

  7. In the Open Media dialog box, select Add, choose the original file that you rotated, then select Convert/Save.

    Screenshot of the VLC app
  8. In the Convert dialog box, go to the Destination section, select Browse, then choose an existing file to overwrite or enter a new path and filename for the rotated video.

    Screenshot of VLC
  9. Select Start to begin the conversion process and save the video file.

    Screenshot of the VLC app

Using an Online Video Rotator

If you'd rather not download and install an application to rotate videos, there are several online ad-supported options available. There are limitations with most of these cloud-based solutions, however, including the inability to rotate lengthy videos. These are a few browser-based services for rotating video files: