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.
Note: These automatic captions are generated by machine learning algorithms, so the quality of the captions may vary. We encourage creators to provide professional captions first. 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.

Automatic captions on videos on demand

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

We encourage creators to provide professional captions first. 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. 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. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left-hand menu, select Subtitles.
  3. Click the video that you want to add captions or subtitles to.
  4. Under Subtitles, click More  next to the subtitles that you want to edit.
  5. Review automatic captions and edit or remove any parts that haven't been properly transcribed.

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.
  • Automatic captions don't support the language in the video.
  • The video is too long.
  • The video has poor sound quality or YouTube doesn't recognise the speech.
  • There is a long period of silence at the beginning of the video.
  • There are multiple speakers whose speech overlaps.  

Automatic captions on live stream videos

Note: Automatic captions for live streams are available in English only.

Automatic captions for live streams are currently being rolled out to English channels. These channels have over 1,000 subscribers and are streaming at 'normal latency' with professional captions unavailable. We encourage creators to use professional captions first. Learn about live caption requirements.

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

Learn how viewers get 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 turned on for the channel, as we're slowly rolling out to channels with more than 1,000 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.
  • Automatic captions don't support the language in the video.
  • The video has poor sound quality or YouTube doesn't recognise the speech.
  • There are multiple speakers whose speech overlaps or multiple languages at the same time.
Note: To prevent automatic captions from being shown on your live streams, get in touch with the Creator Support Team.

Automatic captioning advanced settings

Potentially inappropriate words in automatic captions

The 'Don't show potentially inappropriate words' setting in YouTube Studio will replace potentially inappropriate words with an open bracket, two underscores, and a closed bracket '[ __ ]' by default in automatic captions. This setting doesn't affect any audio tracks or manually edited captions, and is intended to help prevent potentially inappropriate words mistakenly appearing in automatic captions. It also doesn't affect your video's monetisation status.

While we continue to improve our speech-recognition software and reduce automatic-captioning errors, we still encourage creators to review all of their automatically generated captions.

Here's how you can turn off the 'Don't show potentially inappropriate words' setting, if needed:

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left-hand menu, select Settings .
  3. Select Channel and then Advanced settings.
  4. Under the 'Auto-generated captions', deselect Don't show potentially inappropriate words.  
Note: This setting is available in English only. We're gradually expanding to include all other languages supported by automatic captions
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