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Enabling Subtitles on YouTube: A Quick and Simple Method

Michael Gallagher
Michael Gallagher
Posted in Zoom Aug 26 · 28 Aug, 2023
Enabling Subtitles on YouTube: A Quick and Simple Method


YouTube has become an integral part of our lives, offering endless videos catering to various interests. Whether educational content, entertainment, or how-to tutorials, YouTube provides a platform for creators worldwide to share their ideas and creations with a global audience.


However, not all videos have clear audio, and sometimes the language barrier might prevent viewers from fully understanding the content. YouTube solves this predicament through subtitles or closed captions (CC). This article will explore a quick and straightforward method of how to turn on subtitles on YouTube videos on different devices and how to turn on subtitles on YouTube without CC or third-party tools.


How to Turn on Subtitles on YouTube Videos

The section below provides a guide to help you enjoy YouTube videos with subtitles on your PC and mobile devices.

Desktop and Laptop


To enable subtitles on YouTube videos without relying on closed captions, follow these simple steps:


  • Open the YouTube video you want to watch.

  • At the bottom right corner of the video player, you’ll find a “CC” button. Click on it. This action will enable closed captions.

  • But if you prefer regular subtitles, click on the “Settings” gear icon next to the “CC” button.

  • A menu will pop up, showing options for captions. Click on “Subtitles/CC” to activate standard subtitles.

  • If subtitles are available for the video, they will appear, enhancing your viewing experience.


Mobile Device (Android and iOS)


Watching YouTube videos on mobile devices is incredibly popular nowadays. Here’s how to turn on subtitles on YouTube mobile to enjoy videos on the go:


  • Open the YouTube app and play any video.

  • Tap on the video player to reveal the controls, then tap on the three vertical dots (Android) or three horizontal dots (iOS) at the top-right corner.

  • From the menu that appears, select “Captions.”

  • If closed captions are available, they will be enabled by default. However, to switch to regular subtitles, tap “Subtitles/CC.”

  • Subtitles will now be displayed on the video, making it easier to follow the content.


The Efficacy of Subtitles


Subtitles are helpful to people with hearing impairments and those not fluent in the video’s language. They help learners grasp foreign languages, as they can read and listen simultaneously, enhancing their understanding. Additionally, subtitles are beneficial in noisy environments where audio clarity might be compromised. 


YouTube’s subtitles are automatically generated based on the video’s audio, so they may not always be accurate. However, they provide a valuable framework for comprehending the video’s content.

Benefits of Enabling Subtitles


Turning on subtitles while watching YouTube videos has several advantages. 


  • It helps viewers retain information better as both auditory and visual senses are engaged. 

  • It is particularly advantageous in educational content, where complex concepts can be better understood through written text. 

  • Subtitles also make content accessible to a more diverse audience, transcending language barriers and fostering inclusivity.


Challenges and Limitations


While subtitles are immensely helpful, there are some challenges and limitations to expect. 


  • Automated subtitles might not always be accurate, leading to occasional misinterpretations. This is especially relevant in videos with background noise or unclear speech. 

  • Content creators may also not enable video subtitles, limiting accessibility for some viewers. 

  • Subtitles can sometimes obstruct certain parts of the video, particularly in cases where the video’s layout is text-heavy.




YouTube’s subtitles enhance the viewing experience for millions of users worldwide. These subtitles aid in comprehension, bridge gaps between different languages, and enable a more inclusive platform for both creators and viewers. So, the next time you struggle to understand a video’s audio or wish to learn a new language, remember to activate subtitles for an enhanced YouTube experience.