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How to Add Subtitles in HandBrake

Daniel Chang
Daniel Chang
Posted in Zoom Sep 5 · 7 Sep, 2022
How to Add Subtitles in HandBrake

Learning how to add subtitles in HandBrake isn’t that complicated. Subtitles in your HandBrake videos can make them more engaging and ensures your audience can understand and absorb the message you worked so hard to share with the world.

It’s even better to encode the subtitles and captions directly into the file, so it’s easier for everyone with a media player to view it. Isn’t it a hassle to send a separate captions file to people whenever you want to share a video?

Fortunately, we found HandBrake, a simple and efficient open-source video transcoder you can use with Windows, Mac, and Linux. It does amazing things for your videos, such as converting them from almost any format. But we’re mostly interested in sharing with you how to add subtitles in Handbrake for FREE!

Steps on How to Add Subtitles in Handbrake

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to add subtitles in Handbrake:

Step #1: Prepare your video file by exporting it

One of the ways that make HandBrake an excellent tool is you can use it on any video, regardless of the format or the tool you used to edit it. It doesn’t matter if you use Filmora, Adobe Premiere, or iMovie. Simply locate the finished video in which you wish to put captions and subtitles, and export that video.

Just make sure that the video is high quality. It may take some time to export, but it’s recommended when using third-party transcoding software.

Step #2: Choose a caption file

The next step on how to add subtitles in Handbrake is to download a caption file, preferably an SRT, also known as SubRip Subtitle File. You need it along with your video file to use HandBrake.

A caption file holds the texts of what is narrated in a video. It also has time codes to make sure your subtitles are arranged and will appear in perfect timing with the audio.

To get video captions, search online for platforms that offer captioning services, such as, and place your order. GoTranscript offers quick, efficient, and accurate captioning services for any video format.

You must upload your video file and order a captions file in the SRT format.

Step #3: Download and open HandBrake

how to add subtitles in handbrake

Now that both video and caption files are ready, you are ready to use Handbrake. If you don’t have it yet, go to your browser, search for Handbrake, download it, and install it on your computer.

Step #4: Upload your video to HandBrake

Once you open the tool will prompt you to upload your video file once you open it.

Step #5: Upload your SRT file to HandBrake

After that, you can add your subtitle file.

Start by clicking on the “Subtitles” tab. Then, click on the dropdown menu of the “Tracks” tab, choose “Add External Subtitle Track,” find your SRT file, and click “Open.”

Once it’s in, start considering whether you want your subtitles to be available in multiple languages. HandBrake allows you to add as many subtitled tracks as you see fit. Consider your target audience to make an informed decision.

Step #6: Decide if you want closed or open captions.

Also, consider if you want open or closed captions for your video. If you choose closed captions, your viewers won’t have the option to remove them.

On the other hand, open captions can be turned on and off by your viewers no matter what media player they’re using to watch it (i.e., when you enable a track, the subtitles appear. When you disable it, the subtitles disappear).

If you want closed captions, choose the burned-in option, so the subtitles are overlaid onto the video. Simply find the “Burned In” column and check the box beside the SRT file. 

Closed captions are ideal for videos that use languages other than English. It’s the most widely spoken language, so it can reach as many audiences as you want.

Also, you can choose to burn in only the parts of an English video with the foreign language sequence. Just make sure you carefully select the time codes to ensure the subtitles’ appearance matches the video.

Step #7: Make sure all the settings are in place.

The next step on how to add subtitles in Handbrake is to make sure your video and audio settings match that of your source file or final product for the export. You can save these settings for your future projects.

Step #8: Export your final product

Once that’s all set, you can export your captioned video. Click on the “Browse” tab in the lower right corner to choose the location where you’ll be exporting your video file. Write the export name on the lower-left corner blank field next to the “Save As” tab.

Then, click the green “Start” button on top of the window to begin the export.

Step #9: Watch your newly exported video in your media player.

Open QuickTime, Windows Media Player, iTunes, or VLC and check out your video. If you choose open captions, find the Subtitle option in the media player, and choose a track to view the captions.

But if you burn in your captions in the video, the subtitles should appear immediately once you open it.

Final Words

That’s about it! You just learned how to add subtitles in HandBrake. How easy was that?

You can now share your video on your social media channels and deliver your heart-warming, eye-opening, and tear-jerking message to the world! Share and HandBrake to your friends and fellow creatives, so they can also experience the ease and convenience of using efficient, user-friendly tools in making awe-inspiring videos!