Turn On or Off Captions in Youtube Videos

Youtube has made a very nice addition of the video captions feature to enhance the video watching experience of everyone. This feature lets you watch video captions whenever available. Additionally, it also shows you captions when they are not available by automatically generating captions on-the-fly using their speech recognition engine. The video captions in Youtube are available not only in English but many other languages. By default, Youtube shows you only the captions set by video uploader. But you can also turn on automatic captions generated using speech recognition so that you can also see captions when they are not available. Here is how :

  1. Open Youtube website in a web browser of your choice. Log in to your Youtube account, click on your Youtube user name on the top-right box and click on the Settings in the pulldown menu as shown.

    Youtube Video Captions

  2. Select the Playback section on the left side. Then check the checkboxes labeled Show automatic captions by speech recognition and Always show captions as shown.

    Youtube Video Captions

  3. Then click on the Save button to save the settings. That’s it, you are all set to enjoy watching Youtube videos along with the captions.
  4. It is not necessary that Youtube is going to show automatic captions for all the videos. The most probable reason for this is that the video uploader has their own captions for a video. Those captions show up only in a portion of the video for few seconds. If you do not see captions for a video even after changing the settings, then you can click on the red CC icon under a Youtube video to force it to show captions.

    Youtube Video Captions

    You can even choose to translate the captions to many languages if supported.

  5. Later, if you want to turn off the captions in the videos, just repeat the above steps – only this time just uncheck the checkboxes mentioned in the step 2 above. Then save the settings by clicking on the Save button.

The automatically generated captions are created using the speech recognition engine on Google servers and most of the time they are not very accurate. But for people with hearing disabilities, it is a very nice way to watch and enjoy Youtube videos.