Add caption tracks to your video files

You can make your video content available to a broader audience by adding captions. If you want to reach deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, or speakers of different languages, captions allow these users to understand your videos.

You can use two types of files to add captions to your video:

  • Caption file (recommended): This file contains the text and the necessary information to time the captions with the visuals.
  • Transcript file: This file contains only the text. If you upload a transcript, the player will have to determine when the words should be displayed. Transcripts require extra time to process and can only be processed in English or Japanese.
Preparing your caption file

Simple caption formats that are compatible with the formats known as SubViewer (*.SUB) and SubRip (*.SRT) are supported. Although you can upload your captions in any format, only supported formats will be displayed properly when played from Drive.

Here are some common tips for captions that help readability:

  • Descriptions inside square brackets like [music] or [laughter] can help people with hearing disabilities understand what is happening in your video.
  • You can also add tags like >> at the beginning of a new line to identify speakers or a change of speaker.

You can find software to help you create these files or ask other companies to do this for you, often for a small fee. Learn more about how to create caption and transcript files.

Upload captions

Once you have uploaded your video, you can add captions to it.

  1. Open Drive at drive.google.com.
  2. Click the video file you want to add captions to.
  3. Click the overflow menu in the toolbar and choose Manage caption tracks.
  4. Click Add new captions or transcripts.
  5. Click Select file and choose a caption or transcript file.
  6. Choose the language for the captions and name the track if you’d like.
  7. Click Upload.
Edit caption tracks

Once you’ve uploaded a caption track, you can edit its name and language, as well as enable or disable the track for the video.

  1. Open Drive at drive.google.com.
  2. Click the video file with caption tracks you want to edit.
  3. Click the overflow menu in the toolbar and choose Manage caption tracks.
  4. Click the caption track you want to edit.
  5. Click the edit icon .
  6. You can edit the track name and language, as well as enable or disable the track for the video file.
  7. Click Save.
Delete captions

You can delete your caption tracks from a video file after you’ve uploaded them.

  1. Open Drive at drive.google.com.
  2. Click the video file with caption tracks you want to delete.
  3. Click the overflow menu in the toolbar and choose Manage caption tracks.
  4. Click the caption track you want to delete.
  5. Click the trash icon .
  6. Click Delete.
Translate captions

Once you upload caption tracks to your videos, you can translate them.

  1. Open a video in Drive.
  2. In the bottom right of the video player, click the settings button .
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the language list and click Translate captions.
Sharing settings for captions

The video's sharing settings will also apply to the captions. If someone has edit access to the video, they'll also be able to upload and download captions for the video. Learn more about sharing files in Google Drive.

Caption error messages

If you received an error while uploading your file, check if the file is:

  • In the correct format. We support formats that are compatible with SubViewer(*SUB) and SubRip (*SRT) formats.
  • Too big. Your file needs to be less than 2MB.
  • Longer than the video. If the transcript file or caption track is longer than the video, the auto-syncing feature won't work properly.

If the instructions above don’t work, you might be using the classic version of Google Drive. Follow the alternative instructions below:

Upload and manage captions in the classic Drive

Upload captions

Once you have uploaded your video, you can add captions to it.

  1. Open Drive at drive.google.com.
  2. Check the box next to the video you want to upload captions to.
  3. Click More in the toolbar and choose Manage caption tracks.
  4. Click the Select file button.
  5. Click Select file... and choose the caption or transcript file from your file selector.
  6. Select the language for your captions. The default language for your captions will change depending on your language setting.
  7. If you want to change the title of your caption track, type it in the text box.

Edit and manage captions

  1. Open Drive at drive.google.com.
  2. Check the box next to the video that has caption tracks you want to edit.
  3. Click More in the toolbar and choose Manage caption tracks.
  4. To change the title or language of the caption, or to enable and disable a caption track, click a track's Edit button.
  5. To delete tracks, click the X at the end of each row.

To edit the text of your captions, download the caption track, edit the text, then upload the file again.