How to Add Subtitles to YouTube

Enhance your videos with closed captioning

What to Know

  • In YouTube Studio, select Subtitles. Choose a video and select the Set Language drop-down menu.
  • To turn on subtitles, select the CC icon in the video player. If it's grayed out, subtitles are not available.
  • To display subtitles automatically, go to Settings > Playback and performance > Always show captions.

This article explains how to add subtitles to YouTube videos. You can even set subtitles to turn on automatically.

How to Put Subtitles on YouTube Videos

Here's how to add 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 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. Select the Set Language drop-down menu and choose a language, then select 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 watch 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 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, captions and subtitles are not available in the current video.

  3. A red line appears under the CC icon, and captions display while the video plays.

Set Subtitles to Turn on Automatically

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

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

  2. When the menu appears, select Settings.

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

    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.

Why Add Subtitles to My YouTube Videos?

Adding subtitles to the YouTube videos you create could widen your audience. Subtitles allow viewers with a hearing impairment to enjoy your content via closed captioning. Subtitles are also helpful to viewers who speak foreign languages. People may also want to watch your content with the sound muted.

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