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How to Enable or Disable Closed Captions on YouTube

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Watching videos on YouTube is a great pastime. But if you’re distracting others, or if you’re deaf or hard of hearing, you rely on closed captions to enjoy your favorite videos.

Using closed captions on YouTube allows you to stream videos without missing out on anything. Keep reading to find out how to use subtitles on YouTube.

How Closed Captions Work on YouTube

Subtitles or closed captions can help those with hearing problems enjoy YouTube, but they also come in handy when you’re in places where you need to turn the volume down, like in class or at work.

YouTube encourages creators to add professional captions to their videos, but this can be expensive and time-consuming. So, they also have the option to use automatic captions instead.

YouTube uses speech recognition technology to generate automatic captions, which is a helpful feature that also lets you search for words in a YouTube video. However, this method can produce inaccurate captions due to a host of factors, like background noises, accents, etc. Keep this in mind when watching a YouTube video with automatic subtitles. If you read a word or sentence that makes no sense, it’s probably YouTube’s fault and not the creator’s.

How to Enable Closed Captions on YouTube (Mobile)

Finding YouTube videos with subtitles or closed captions (CC) is fairly simple. Open the YouTube app on your device. Find the video you want to watch, then look for the CC button in the top-right corner of the video.

If subtitles are turned off, the button will be outlined with the letters “CC.” Tap the button to turn subtitles on. When you do this, the button will turn white.

While some YouTube creators create and edit YouTube subtitles, it’s a good idea to enable subtitles or closed captions as a viewer, just in case. Enabling subtitles for a video keeps the setting on for other videos you watch, so you’ll have to disable closed captions if you no longer want them on.

When you enable subtitles, YouTube shows you the English – default option, but you can choose the English (auto-generated) or Auto-translate options as well. To do this, tap the three-dot menu in the top-right corner of the video, followed by Captions, and then choose your preference.

How to Enable Closed Captions on YouTube (Desktop)

Enabling subtitles on the YouTube website is just as easy. All you need to do is go to in your browser and search for the video you want to watch.

Click the CC button in the bottom-right corner of the video, next to the Settings icon. You will know Closed Captions are turned on because a red line appears below the CC button.

If you want to customize your captions, click the Settings icon, followed by Subtitles/CC. Choose the subtitles you prefer from the pop-up menu that appears.

Alternatively, you can click Settings in the top-right corner of the pop-up menu. Next, check the box for the option you’re comfortable with in the Subtitles and Closed Captions section.​​​​​​​

If you don’t want to use closed captions anymore, you can follow the same steps and disable them. You can also try enabling auto captions for YouTube live streams to consolidate your YouTube experience.

Closed Captions Allow More People to Enjoy YouTube

When it comes to entertainment, no one should be left out, especially given how far technology has come over the years. The ability to watch YouTube videos with subtitles enabled is nice for many. But for others, it’s more significant than that.

For the deaf and hard of hearing, it allows them to enjoy everyone’s favorite pastime without feeling left out. It’s a simple yet effective way to make YouTube accessible to more people.

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