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How to Play a Local Video on the Chrome Browser without an Extension

Play Media Files on Chrome

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:17 am

This post will show you to play a local video on the Chrome browser without an extension. You can also play a local audio file.

Many think that the Chrome browser can be used to only surf the Internet and visit web pages.

Also, it can play only videos on video-sharing sites. However, not many know that the Chrome browser is also a media player that can play local video and audio files.

For your information, a local video file is one that’s stored on your computer or external drives, including flash drives. It’s not one that’s stored in the cloud, like on Google Drive or YouTube.

Yes, you can play audio and video files on the Chrome browser like you could on a program like VLC Media Player.

Media Player Extension Not Needed

Usually, you have to add a media player extension to your Chrome browser to play a local video file.

Actually, you don’t have to do this.

With the methods shown below, you save yourself the trouble of installing a media player on your computer or another Chrome extension.

There are three ways to play a local video file on your Chrome browser without an extension.

Use Existing Browser Window

If you’re already, using Chrome and have web pages open, just open a new tab, by clicking on the + sign.

Play media Files on the Chrome Browser  - browser window

When the new tab opens, navigate to the folder containing your audio or video file.

Minimize it so that it floats over the browser window.

Next, drag and drop the audio or video file anywhere on the browser window.

Play media Files on the Chrome Browser  without an extension

When you do that, a media player opens and starts playing your audio or video file.

You can minimize the screen or play full screen to suit your preference.

Open a New Browser Window

You can follow the same steps using a new Chrome browser window.

This way, you’ll be able to view two browser windows at the same time by minimizing them.

It saves you the trouble of switching between tabs on a single browser window.

This would be useful if you would want to take notes from a video or audio file, by playing and pausing them.

Play video and audio files on the chrome browser without installing an extension

Right Click and Open File

The second method to play a local video file on your Chrome browser is to right-click on your audio or video file.

Then select Open with and choose Google Chrome.

Media file playback on Chrome without an extension

Your file will start playing on your Chrome browser.

Drag File to Chrome Shortcut

Another way to play your audio and video files is by dragging and dropping your file onto the Chrome shortcut on your desktop.

Minimize the window where your audio or video file is located.

Then drag it until it touches the Chrome shortcut icon.

The media player will open on and start playing your file.

Audio Player Features

If you open an audio file, the player allows you to play, pause and adjust the volume.

You may also control the playback speed.

Right-click on the three dots to adjust the playback speed.

Picture-in-Picture Mode

For video playback picture-in-picture mode is available.

Just click on the three dots and choose Picture in picture.

A small player window will appear on the screen.

When you switch to another browser tab, the player window will remain.

You can drag it to position it anywhere you like.

You may also drag the edges to enlarge the video player.

The Picture in Picture mode is useful if you would like to take notes from a video without opening a new tab,

Cast Video to TV

The Chrome media player also supports the cast feature. This would be useful if you have a TV that supports it.

Just right right-click on the video and choose Cast.

Then you may choose between Cast tab and Cast screen.

Follow the instructions on your TV manual to how to receive a cast.

You have seen the ways to play a local video file on the Chrome browser without an extension.

Now, go ahead and give any of these steps a try.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can Chrome directly play any video format?

Codec support on Chrome is limited. It can only play certain video formats (like MP4) without external help. If your video has a different format (say MKV), you might need an extension like “Video Player for Local Files” or convert it first.

Why does clicking a local video try to download it instead of playing it?

This can happen if your operating system associates the video format with external players. Right-click the file, choose “Open With,” and set Chrome as the default player for that format.

Can I control the playback speed for local videos in Chrome?

You can directly do it on Chrome by default as explained above. But if you’re using a video player extension, you’ll likely find the playback speed control feature. Look for features like “Slow Motion” or “Fast Forward” options within the extension. There are also dedicated extensions like the Video Speed Controller you can try.

How can I play local videos with subtitles in Chrome?

Some extensions support embedding subtitles within the video file. If not, try using a separate subtitle file viewer extension and syncing it with the video manually.

Is there a way to loop or repeat local videos in Chrome?

Again, check your chosen extension for “Loop” or “Repeat” playback options. Some provide playlist functionality too, letting you queue multiple videos for continuous playback.

Can I cast local videos from Chrome to my TV?

Yes, you can, as explained above. If you can’t directly do it with Chrome, check out extensions that offer casting functionalities within the playback window.

Are there security concerns when using extensions for local video playback?

To stay safe, always choose reputable extensions from the Chrome Web Store. Check their reviews and permissions before installing. Only grant necessary permissions, and avoid extensions with excessive access requests.

Can I play local videos in Chrome on my phone or tablet?

Mobile browsing limitations might restrict local video playback. However, some extensions offer mobile-friendly versions with basic controls, while certain devices have dedicated apps for Chrome extensions.

Are there alternatives to Chrome for playing local videos?

Other browsers like Firefox and Opera offer built-in support for more video formats. But remember, extensions can extend Chrome’s capabilities and offer similar features as its competitors.

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