How to Add Subtitles to YouTube

Enhance your videos with closed captioning

Adding subtitles to your YouTube videos could widen your audience. They allow hearing-impaired viewers to enjoy your content via closed captioning. They're useful to viewers who speak foreign languages. People may also want to watch your content with their sound muted. Follow our guide below to create subtitles for YouTube videos.

How to Put Subtitles on YouTube Videos

Here's how to add your own closed captions to the videos you upload to your YouTube channel:

  1. Open a web browser and sign in to YouTube Studio.

  2. Select Subtitles from the left-hand menu.

    A channel dashboard in YouTube Studio with the Subtitles option highlighted.
  3. Select the video you want to edit.

    A list of videos that can be captioned in YouTube Studio.
  4. Click or tap on the Set Language drop-down menu and select a language, then click/tap on Confirm.

    A YouTuber picks the English language option for subtitles on a video.
  5. Find your video in the Video Subtitles list and select Add.

    The Video subtitles list in YouTube Studio with the word 'Add' highlighted.

How to Turn on Subtitles on YouTube

If you’re a viewer who wants to see subtitles on videos you're watching on YouTube, here's how to enable this feature:

  1. Navigate to the video you wish to view.

  2. Select the CC icon, located in the lower right-hand corner of the video player window.

    A YouTube video with the Closed Captioning icon highlighted.

    If the CC button is grayed out or not visible altogether then captions/subtitles are not available in the current video. 

  3. You should now see a red line under the CC icon and captions should now appear while your video is playing.

Set Subtitles to Turn on Automatically

You can modify your YouTube account settings so that closed captions and subtitles automatically display by default. Here's how:

  1. Select your Google Account icon, located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. 

  2. When the pop-out menu appears, select Settings.

    The YouTube menu with the Settings option highlighted.
  3. Select Playback and performance, located in the left menu pane.

    YouTube Settings options with the Playback and performance option highlighted.
  4. In the Captions section, select Always show captions and Include auto-generated captions (when available) to enable automatic captioning.

    YouTube playback and performance settings with the 'Always show captions' and 'Include auto-generated captions' checkmarked.