Use automatic captioning

Captions are a great way to make content accessible for viewers. YouTube can use speech recognition technology to automatically create captions for your videos. These automatic captions are generated by machine learning algorithms, so the quality of the captions may vary.

Automatic captions on videos-on-demand

Automatic captions are available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

If automatic captions are available, they'll automatically be published on the video. Automatic captions may not be ready at the time that you upload a video. Processing time depends on the complexity of the video's audio.

YouTube is constantly improving its speech recognition technology. However, automatic captions might misrepresent the spoken content due to mispronunciations, accents, dialects, or background noise. You should always review automatic captions and edit any parts that haven't been properly transcribed.

Here's how you can review automatic captions and make changes, if needed:

  1. Go to your Video Manager by clicking your account in the top right > Creator Studio > Video Manager > Videos.
  2. Next to the video you want to add captions or subtitles to, click the drop-down menu next to the Edit button.
  3. Select Subtitles and CC.
  4. If automatic captions are available, you'll see Language (Automatic) in the "Published" section to the right of the video.
  5. Review automatic captions and use the instructions to edit or remove any parts that haven't been properly transcribed.
You can also enable the video for community contributions and let your viewers caption and translate your content instead.

Troubleshoot automatic captions issues

If your video doesn't generate automatic captions, it could be due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • The captions aren't available yet due to processing complex audio in the video.
  • The language in the video is not yet supported by automatic captions.
  • The video is too long.
  • The video has poor sound quality or contains speech that YouTube doesn't recognize.
  • There is a long period of silence at the beginning of the video.
  • There are multiple speakers whose speech overlaps.  

 

Automatic captions on livestream videos

Automatic captions for livestreams are available in English only.

Automatic captions for livestreams are currently being rolled out to English channels with over 10,000 subscribers, streaming at "normal latency," when professional captions are not available. We encourage creators to provide professional captions first; to learn how, follow the steps here.

After the live stream ends, live automatic captions will not remain and automatic captions will be generated based on the VOD process. 

Learn how viewers see captions on your live stream.

Troubleshoot live automatic captions 

If the live stream doesn't show automatic captions, it could be due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • The feature hasn’t been enabled for the channel, as we are slowly rolling out to channels with more than 10k subscribers.
  • Channel is streaming in ultra low or low latency (such as a mobile live stream). Live automatic captions are only available for normal latency streaming.
  • The language in the video is not yet supported by automatic captions.
  • The video has poor sound quality or contains speech that YouTube doesn't recognize.
  • There are multiple speakers whose speech overlaps or multiple languages at the same time. 
     
Note: If you would like to prevent automatic captions from being shown on livestreams on your YouTube channel, please contact the Creator Support Team.
Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?