It seems on Windows there is an option: 'Allow only one instance', but I can't find it on OS X.

How do I force VLC to open new separate instance for new videos?

Currently it's just replacing the existing one.

I've the recent VLC 2.1.5.


On the Mac, running multiple instances of VLC is not supported out of the box.

As workaround, you can run it from command prompt as:

open -n /Applications/VLC.app/Contents/MacOS/VLC my_video.mp4

Or can create a Droplet/App by pasting the code below into a new AppleScript Editor script and save it as an application:

on run
    do shell script "open -n /Applications/VLC.app"
    tell application "VLC" to activate
end run

on open theFiles
    repeat with theFile in theFiles
        do shell script "open -na /Applications/VLC.app " & quote & (POSIX path of theFile) & quote
    end repeat
    tell application "VLC" to activate
end open

which does the following:

  • launch the VLC droplet/app to get a separate instance of VLC,
  • drop one or more files onto VLC droplet/app, or
  • associate your .mov, .avi, and other files directly with the VLC droplet/app, allowing you to simply click on the files to launch the files in a new standalone VLC session.

File Association with the Droplet/App can be done as follows:

  1. Open Finder and find the video file of interest.
  2. Right click on the file (assumes you have right click enabled).
  3. Choose "Get Info".
  4. Under "Open with:", click dropdown and select the VLC droplet/app.
  5. Click "Change All" button.
  6. If prompted "are you sure", select "Yes".


| improve this answer | |
  • Setting the file association doesn't work anymore for me in 10.13.6. The Finder says "You can’t change the item “movie.mkv” to always open in the selected application. The item is either locked or damaged, or in a folder you don’t have permission to modify (error code -54)." None of those are true, it isn't locked. it still works standalone, so it is not damaged, and it is in my user folder which I most certainly have access to. I will continue to investigate. – chrisparker2000 Dec 10 '18 at 15:22

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