How to Rotate Video in Windows Media Player

Turn that movie any way you want

How to rotate video in Windows Media Player

Nico De Pasquale Photography/ Getty Images 

Thanks to the high-quality cameras that are integrated with today's smartphones and tablets, many of us have the ability to record short video clips or even full-length features whenever and wherever. If you own a PC, chances are that you'll want to view these recordings on your computer through Windows Media Player.

Unfortunately you'll often encounter videos that were recorded in the wrong orientation, making it tough to watch them as intended when they're opened in Windows Media Player. Because there's no built-in way to rotate video in Windows Media Player, we have to reach out to additional software.

Rotate Video With VLC

Steps to rotate video in VLC.
Follow these steps to rotate video in VLC.

While Windows Movie Maker was once the go-to application for rotating video, it is no longer supported by Microsoft and therefore not recommended as a viable option. VLC media player, meanwhile, is an oft-updated free alternative maintained by an active open source developer community. Before getting started, you'll first need to download and install VLC for Windows from the VideoLAN website.

  1. Launch the VLC application and open the video that you wish to rotate by selecting Media -> Open File from the main menu.
  2. Click on Tools, located in the main menu just above your video. When the drop-down menu appears, choose the Effects and Filters option. You can also use the following keyboard shortcut in place of this menu item: CTRL+E.
  3. The Adjustments and Effects interface should now be displayed, overlaying the main VLC window. Click on the Video Effects tab.
  4. Within the Video Effects section, click on the Geometry tab.
  5. Click on the checkbox accompanying the Transform option so that its drop-down menu becomes available. Within this menu, choose whichever of the available options meets your needs. Your video will be rotated automatically as you make a selection, so you can browse through each one until you find the desired orientation.
  6. Once satisfied with the rotation, click on the Save button. Next, select Close to return to the main VLC interface.
  7. Now that the video has been rotated, it's time to save your new file in its correct format. Click on Tools and select Preferences when the drop-down menu appears, or use the following keyboard shortcut instead: CTRL+P.
  8. The Simple Preferences interface should now be visible. Towards the bottom of the window is an option labeled Show settings, accompanied by two radio buttons. Select All.
  9. In the left menu pane, scroll down until you locate the Stream output section. Click on the arrow accompanying the Sout stream option , found within this section, to expand its list of settings.
  10. Select the Transcode setting. On the right-hand side of the screen, place a check mark next to the Rotate video filter option by clicking on it once.
  11. Select the Save button to apply these changes and return to the main VLC window.
  12. Click on Media from the main menu and select the Convert/Save option, or use the following keyboard shortcut instead: CTRL+R.
  13. The Open Media interface should now be displayed, overlaying the main VLC window. Click on the Add button and choose the original file that you have rotated. Next, select the Convert/Save button.
  14. The Convert dialog will now be visible. Click on the Browse button, located in the Destination section, and choose an existing file to overwrite or enter a new path and filename for your rotated video.
  15. Finally, click on the Start button to complete the conversion and save the properly-rotated video file to your chosen destination.

Using an Online Video Rotator

rotate video for Windows Media Player online

GeorgeManga / Getty Images 

If you'd rather not download and install an application to rotate a video yourself, there are several ad-driven online options accessible via your web browser that can handle the rotation for you. There are limitations with most of these cloud-based solutions, however, including the inability to rotate long videos.

Below are some of our favorite browser-based services, which allow you to rotate video files and download them for viewing in Windows Media Player.