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How to turn YouTube closed captions on or off

You can never go wrong with subs.
By
May 6, 2022

When people speak or sing into a microphone, it’s never a sure thing that those on the receiving end of the audio will be able to understand what’s being said. If it’s in a video call, both parties are speaking the same language and there’s a mutual understanding. When you watch a video, however, sometimes the audio is in a different language or the dialect is slightly different. Things may come out a little jumbled, and the original meaning may not come across clearly. In cases like these, subtitles—or “closed captions”—are very handy. Let’s go over how to turn closed captions on YouTube on or off.

Read more: How to turn Disney Plus subtitles on and off

THE SHORT ANSWER

To turn closed captions on or off on YouTube, hover your mouse cursor over the playback area to reveal the video controls. Click the CC button to turn closed captions on or off.


KEY SECTIONS

What are closed captions on YouTube?

When you watch anything on YouTube, you can turn on closed captions to get a real-time text-based transcription of the video appearing somewhere on the video itself.

Closed captions, in their simplest form, are subtitles. These can be auto-generated or creators can customize an entire video’s closed captions within YouTube Studio.

Closed captions can also include descriptions of what is happening on-screen. For example, if there’s a loud explosion, it may say so in the closed captions. It depends on how the creator has implemented closed captions on that specific video.

Related: How to turn on captions on Disney Plus

How to turn closed captions on or off on YouTube

Android & iOS

Start playing your video on the YouTube mobile app for Android or iOS. Tap the video playback area once to make the video controls appear.

turn cc on or off 1
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Tap the CC button in the top right to turn closed captions on or off.

Desktop

Start playing a YouTube video, then hover your mouse over the primary playback area. This will make the video controls appear on top of the video.

move mouse over playback area
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Locate the CC button in the playback tray opposite the media controls; it’s right next to the option for playback speed and quality. Click this button to turn closed captions on or off.

click the CC button
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

When you turn on closed captions, the transcription will appear in real-time on top of the video. You can click and drag these subtitles anywhere on the video.

subtitles will begin appearing
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Do all YouTube videos have closed captioning?

subtitles unavailable
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

No, not all videos on YouTube have closed captions. Some videos on YouTube have subtitles or closed captions turned off either by Google or the creators themselves.

In cases like these, there isn’t much you can do to re-enable closed captions.


Read more: How to change subtitles on Netflix for all devices