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How to Download Subtitles from YouTube in 7 Steps

Daniel Chang
Daniel Chang
Posted in Zoom Sep 5 · 8 Sep, 2022
How to Download Subtitles from YouTube in 7 Steps

How to download subtitles from YouTube? You might think that subtitles are just another add-on, something for anyone wanting them to have, but that is not necessarily the case. Aside from making many YouTube videos accessible for almost everyone, subtitles pose a business opportunity for content creators looking to profit from their interests or hobby. 

They make you reach another realm of audiences you would not otherwise have if they had no way of understanding your video, and subtitles make it possible for people around the world to comprehend what it is you are trying to say. 

Some videos are so interesting that people even want access to the transcript, and this article is here to tell how to download subtitles from YouTube. 

Why do we use subtitles? 

Before we discuss how to download subtitles from YouTube video, let us know the benefits of doing it. There are many advantages to adding captions or subtitles to videos, both for the creators and the people watching the video. 

The closed caption boosts the YouTube video’s Search Engine Optimization versus videos without captions for the creators. This means that videos with subtitles are more likely to rank higher on Google searches because these videos are more likely to have relevant keywords. These videos also, in turn, receive more views in the first 14 days versus uncaptioned videos. 

For the viewers, accessibility is the most critical factor in subtitles. About 5% of the world’s population- approximately 430 million people are deaf or are, to some degree, hard of hearing. None of these 430 million people will get to enjoy and share the video content around if it lacks subtitles. 

This is also the case for people worldwide who do not speak English. If you opt to translate your subtitles to more languages, you benefit from sharing your videos with many non-English speaking viewers. 

Subtitles are also there for people who use them out of necessity when their circumstances do not allow them to watch the videos with the sounds on. 

Now that many people have access to technology and the internet, watching videos can virtually be done almost anywhere. Whether you are inside a noisy train or with a sleeping baby, captions are there to tell you the message of a particular video.

How to Download YouTube Subtitles

How to Download Subtitles from YouTube

There are many reasons people want to take the audio from a video uploaded on YouTube and save it as a text file, whether they are a teacher who found exciting information from a National Geographic video or a mother wanting to perfect her French Macarons with a recipe she found on YouTube. Here are the steps on how to do it straight from YouTube. 

Step 1: Navigate the YouTube Video

The first step is accessing a particular YouTube video. This video might be saved on your watch later playlist or your search history if you have already seen it. We might sometimes forget the video title but searching for keywords on the trusty search bar is always effective in aiding your search. 

Step 2: Ensure that the Video have Subtitles

Not all videos uploaded on the video platform YouTube will have closed captions or subtitles. Making sure that you check first will be helpful to your quest to convert the captions to actual text files. To check if subtitles are available, the inclusion of a “CC” button on the bottom right corner of the player will tell you. 

Step 3: Pick a Language 

If you are looking to have a text file of a video in French or Spanish, this is possible. To do that, click the gear or the “Settings” button on the bottom right corner and then the “Subtitles or CC” panel. From there, you choose the language you want for the subtitles. 

Step 4: Open the Menu for the Video Transcript

Once you have chosen a language for the subtitles, navigate the menu option or the three dots or ellipsis near the “Save” button below the player. Once that is selected, click the “Open Transcript” option. 

A full transcript of the video will appear on the side of the video player once selected. There is also a dropdown menu on this transcript, so switching the transcript language will be easy. 

Step 5: Turning Timestamps Off

To have a cohesive transcript, let’s turn the timestamps off. Do that by clicking on the ellipsis in the upper right corner of the transcript window. 

Timestamps are helpful if you want a guide to that particular verse you wish to copy, but if you are looking to download the subtitles for the whole video, it’s better to turn the timestamps off. 

Step 6: Highlighting and Copying Video Transcript

Now you are ready to copy the transcript. The first thing to do is highlight the full transcript or simply the part you wish to copy, and once that is done, simply click the shortcut Ctrl+C on your keyboard, and it will be duplicated on your clipboard. 

Step 7: Pasting the Transcript

The last step is pasting your copied transcript on a word processor, whether that is online with Google Docs or even the Word or Notepad application on your PC. Once opened, click on the blank page and click Ctrl+V and it will be pasted! Truly as easy as pie. 

Other Methods on How to Download Subtitles from YouTube

How to Download YouTube Subtitles

How to Download Subtitles from YouTube: Using a Subtitle Downloader

Another effective and hassle-free way on how to download subtitles from YouTube is choosing to use subtitle downloaders readily available for free (or for a fee if you want the experience ad-free) on the interweb. Here is how step by step. 

Step 1: Peruse the Web for Free Subtitle Downloader 

There are millions of search results if you search “YouTube subtitle downloader” on Google, and all you need is to find the best fit for your needs. Once you click the URL, it will direct you to the site, and you can move to the next step. 

Step 2: Navigate the YouTube Video 

The next step is going to YouTube and clicking on your chosen video so that you can download the subtitles. To know if subtitles are available for the video, you will see a “CC” icon on the bottom right hub of the video player. Click on that, and subtitles will appear at the bottom of the video. 

Step 3: Copy the Video URL 

The next step will require you to copy the video URL. You can do that by clicking the “Share” button at the bottom of the video player and clicking the “Copy” button beside the URL. Another way to do that is by highlighting the video URL on the address bar on the browser itself and clicking Ctrl+C. 

Step 4: Go to the Free Subtitle Downloader Site

Once you have copied the video URL, go back to the tab where your YouTube subtitle downloader is open and loaded. This will be the software ready to download the subtitles for you automatically with a few clicks. 

Step 5: Paste the URL

Most of these YouTube subtitle downloaders will have the same interface: with a bar to paste your YouTube URLs in and probably a download or extract button beside the URL bar. You need to go to the URL bar and click Ctrl+V to paste your copied YouTube URL. 

Step 6: Extract and Download

The last step is clicking the download or the extract button, and the software will automatically download the subtitles for your use either by an SRT or a TXT file. Both file types can easily be opened and edited with word processors like Microsoft Word or Notepad. 

Adding Subtitles and Captions to your own YouTube Videos

Now that you know the significance of having subtitles on YouTube videos and how to download subtitles from YouTube, you might be wondering how to add subtitles to your own YouTube uploads, and the good news is it is possible and relatively easy! 

There are four ways to do it: uploading your subtitle transcript, choosing auto-sync, typing it manually, or allowing auto-translate to cover many other languages. 

How to Download YouTube Subtitles

Uploading a File 

Uploading your file is the most accurate way to add subtitles to your videos. The best thing about this is that it will contain timestamps to ensure that the subtitles match the audio in speed and accuracy. 


You can add captions or subtitles to your video by transcribing them on the spot as you watch the video. The only downside to this option is that you will need to sync the text to match the voice in the video. 

Manually Typing

The type manually option will allow you to type and paste a text transcript of your video to use as the caption. The best thing about this option is timing will be automatically set to match the audio. 


The auto-translate option uses speech recognition technology that will create the subtitle for the video automatically. If this is available for the video, it will appear on the bottom end of the player. 

Final Thoughts on How to Download Subtitles from YouTube

Some videos are so interesting and helpful that they deserve a larger audience, and one way to ensure that is by making subtitles available to YouTube videos. 

With subtitles, using the transcript to copy recipes, aid history lessons, or generally help us in our day-to-day workings will be accessible to everyone, and technology is making that possible. is your go-to solution for quality transcription services that start for as low as $0.77 per minute. Order today!