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How to add subtitles to your YouTube videos

Make your videos easier to understand with captions!
By
August 4, 2022

One of YouTube’s greatest strengths is its incorporation of auto-generated captions and translations. For many, this means they can watch videos in other languages and still understand them. As a content creator, however, you must enable those captions for your viewers. If you don’t do so, the subtitles that appear may be faulty—or they won’t appear at all. Let’s go over how to add subtitles to your YouTube videos.

READ MORE: How to change your YouTube channel URL

THE SHORT ANSWER

To add subtitles to your video, go to YouTube Studio > Subtitles > [your video]. Click ADD under Subtitles, then choose Upload fileAuto-sync, or Type manually. Add your video subtitles, then click PUBLISH.


KEY SECTIONS

How to add subtitles on YouTube videos

On your computer, visit YouTube in a browser. Log into your account, then click your profile picture in the top right to open the menu.

visit your profile picture
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From the subsequent dropdown menu, click YouTube Studio.

go to youtube studio
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Within YouTube Studio, scroll down the menu on the left and click the Subtitles tab.

click the subtitles tab from the lefthand menu
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From the list of available content, click the video you want to add subtitles to.

click on the video youd like to edit the subtitles for
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NOTE:

You must select a video language before you can add subtitles to your video.

Under the Subtitles column, click ADD.

add subtitles button
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This is how you add or edit subtitles on your YouTube video. You will notice four different ways to add captions: Upload fileAuto-syncType manually, and Auto-translate. Let’s go over each method.

all of the different subtitle options
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Upload

If you click the Upload file button, you can upload subtitles to your video as files from your computer.

upload file
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Under Select subtitle file type, choose either With timing or Without timing. After that, when you click CONTINUE, you must locate the subtitle file from your computer.

You can upload subtitles to YouTube in the following file types:

  • .txt
  • .srt
  • .sbv or .sub
  • .mpsub
  • .lrc
  • .cap
  • .smi or .sami
  • .rt
  • .vtt
  • .ttml or .dfxp
  • .scc
  • .stl
  • .tds
  • .cin
  • .asc
uploading subtitles 1
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Click on the file you want to upload to add it to your video.

uploading subtitles 2
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You can edit the timing on your text file to mirror the video. When finished, click PUBLISH.

publish new uploaded subtitles
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Auto-sync

The Auto-sync option allows you to enter subtitles and captions while watching the video. The video playback area appears on the righthand side.

Alternatively, you can upload a transcript, which will automatically sync to your video. The transcript must be in the same language that is being spoken in the video.

Click Auto-sync.

autosync button
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Enter the subtitles for your video and edit the timings so they all line up. This means that the timestamps’ beginning and end encompass everything typed out (or uploaded) in the subtitles you’ve added.

publish auto sync
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When ready, click PUBLISH. When you watch the video, the words should automatically sync with what is said.

Manually

type manually button
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Set the timings for your subtitles, then manually type in all of the subtitles as you want them to appear. Click PUBLISH when ready.

manual captions
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Auto-translate

Auto-translate is not available for captions that have been automatically generated on YouTube. You must use one of the above options (Upload fileAuto-sync, or Type manually) to set your subtitles; then you will be able to enable Auto-translate.

auto translate prerequisites
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Publish a set of subtitles for the video in its original language. After that, click ADD LANGUAGE and add a different language you’d like subtitles for.

after published in og language
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In that new language, the Auto-translate button may now be clickable. Select it.

auto translate button
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Make sure the translation is correct, then click PUBLISH.

publish auto translate
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