How to put subtitles on YouTube video automatically? [Full Guide]

Automatically subtitling YouTube videos is possible thanks to the platform’s audio transcription technology. Algorithms are able to recognize what is spoken and turn it into text. Afterward, all you have to do is review and edit the details, but most of the work is up to the service.

For those who prefer the traditional method of subtitling, the site offers three other manual options. If desired, you can download the subtitle later for use with conventional players and watch the movie offline.

To follow the next steps, you must have a YouTube account and, of course, post the video on the platform. If you don’t want others to see your post, just mark it as unlisted when you upload it. Thus, only those who have the link will have access.

How to put subtitles on YouTube video automatically

If you’d like to take advantage of YouTube’s auto-transcription feature, be aware that you’ll need to make adjustments. Although technology captures much of what is said, there are often some misinterpretations. Especially if the video was recorded in a noisy or poor quality environment.

The functionality is available in Portuguese, English, and Spanish. The following languages ​​are also supported: German, Korean, French, Dutch, Italian, Japanese and Russian.

In order to maintain the quality standard, YouTube recommends using movies that are no more than one hour long.

1. Access YouTube Studio and, if you are not logged in, log into your account on the platform. Then click on Videos from the menu on the left side of the screen;

2. Hover your mouse over the video you want to include a subtitle. When a pencil icon appears, click on it;

3. Under Video Details, go to the More Options tab ;


4. Scroll down to the Original Video Language, Subtitles, and CC section. Go to Portuguese translation provided by YouTube (automatic) ;

5. In the menu that appears, choose Edit in the classic version of the Creation Studio ;

6. On the next screen, go to Edit, in the upper right corner of the player;

7. Press play to check the automatic transcription made by Google and make any corrections you deem necessary.

  • To edit the text, click on the corresponding content in the boxes located on the left side of the screen. Just erase and fix the way you like.
  • If you want to change the minute, ie the time the subtitle starts and ends, click on the numbers to the left of the subtitle texts. Erase and enter the value you think is correct.
  • If you prefer, this text tempo editing can be done directly on the timeline, located below the player. In this way, just drag the caption to the correct position.


8. If you want to split insert new content (not just edit a finished one), compose in the text box that reads Type caption, and press Enter.

9. Once all desired corrections and edits have been made, complete the process at Save Changes.


How to put subtitles on YouTube videos manually

YouTube offers three other ways to insert subtitles into videos. It is possible to upload a subtitle file, write the lines manually with automatic synchronization, perform the transcription and synchronization manually.

To upload or write follow the path below.

1. Still in YouTube Studio, go to Video, in the menu located on the left side of the screen;

2. Mouse over the video and, when a pencil icon appears, click on it;

3. Again on the left side menu, now go to Subtitles ;

4. Click Add, just below Subtitles ;


5. Now you will see that there are three subtitling options. Are they:

A) Send files: option for those who already have a file with the video subtitles ready and just want to insert it into the video. The material must already contain the timestamp and be in one of the following basic formats: .srt, .sbv or .sub, .mpsub, .lrc, .cap. The advanced extensions supported are: .smi or .sami, .rt, .vtt and .ttml or .dfxp.

  • In this case, the path to include the subtitle is: Upload file → Subtitle file → Choose to file → Select file on PC → Upload. Make the necessary adjustments and finish with Publish.

B) Automatically transcribe and sync: this option is intended for those who want to manually transcribe the video. The tool allows the user to compose everything that is being said and synchronizes text with speech automatically.

  • To do this, just write the words in the box next to the video and, when finished, go to Adjust time. On the next screen, click on the language under My drafts to check the synchronization and make adjustments if you think necessary. It is essential that the selected language is the same one spoken in the video.
  • In the settings screen, you can edit the text, start and end time of a subtitle and delete it. Changes can be made either in the side menu or in the timeline below the player.
  • Once the review is complete, go to Save changes. Soon after, the caption will be published.

C) Create new subtitles or closed captions: in this case, the user will also have to write the lines of the video. The difference is that, while typing, he adjusts the subtitle’s tempo himself: when the display of each sentence starts and ends.

  • While the video is playing, write the lines in the box on the left side of the screen. Press Enter when you have completed each section. The time adjustment can be done by dragging the snippet on the timeline below the player or by clicking on the value and entering the new minute manually.
  • Once the editing is complete, go to Save changes.

How to turn on subtitles in a YouTube video

Subtitles included, now it’s only fair that viewers of your channel can read the content. To do this, just click on the icon shown in the image above. However, if you want to edit the subtitles and change the language if you have this option, go to the gear icon (⚙️), right next to it.

How to download subtitles for YouTube videos

As we said at the beginning of this article, YouTube allows content creators to download subtitles created and edited through Studio. The platform makes the files available in .sbv, .vtt and .srt formats.

1. Access YouTube Studio and, if you are not logged in, log into your account on the platform. Then click on Videos from the menu on the left side of the screen;

2. Hover your mouse over the video you want to include a subtitle. When a pencil icon appears, click on it;

3. Under Video Details, go to the More Options tab ;

4. Scroll down to the Original Video Language, Subtitles, and CC section. If you have manually written the caption, it is possible that there is more than one option available. Click on the one you want to use (manual or automatic) and go to Edit in the classic version of the Creation Studio ;

5. Click Actions and under Download, choose the format of the caption. Save the file in the folder of your choice.

The feature is useful if you want to view the video offline, in a traditional player. In this case, it is enough that the video and subtitle file are in the same folder and have exactly the same name (only with a different format).

You may have to turn on the player’s subtitle option if it doesn’t appear automatically.

But how do I publish the video on YouTube?

To insert the subtitle into a video on YouTube, of course, you need to have the video hosted on the platform. So if you’ve never published a movie there, don’t worry. We explain below how to do it and choose not to make it visible to strangers if you don’t want to.

Once you’ve done the process, just choose one of the subtitling methods we’ve shown above.

1. Access YouTube Studio and, if you are not logged in, log into your account on the platform;

2. Click on Create at the top right of the page and go to Upload Video


3. Click Select File , choose the video you want to edit on your computer and confirm;

4. Once the video is uploaded, the user will need to provide information and select some options about the display. The process is divided into three simple steps. Are they:

  • Details: Enter the title, description and choose the image that will appear in the movie thumbnail. Also say if the content is suitable for children.
  • Video Elements: The Video Elements screen is useful for anyone who wants to publish content on the platform. The tool allows inserting cards, channel subscription button, as well as videos related to the one that will be edited;
  • Visibility: indicate whether you want the video to be private, unlisted (does not appear in searches, access is only possible with the link) or public. Also define whether you want to publish it immediately or schedule publication.

5. Click Save to finish publishing.

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