How to Add Closed Captions and Subtitles to YouTube

Adding closed captions to your video is a must, and much easier to do if you have a script. Not only does help people with a hearing disability, but it also helps Google understand what your content is all about.

Today I’m going to show you how you can take your script and add it as a closed caption in YouTube.


YouTube automatically creates closed captions for your video after uploading, but it’s often imperfect so you have to fix it a little bit.

But if you don’t want to go through every word, you can just upload your script or transcribe your video.

Add Closed Captions from a Script

  1. Login to YouTube
  2. Click your avatar on the upper right corner and click Creator Studio
  3. Find the video you want to add closed captions to. You can either:
    • Click the down arrow to reveal a dropdown menu and choose Subtitles/CC, or
    • Click Edit, then go to the Subtitles/CC tab.
  4. Click Add new subtitles or CC and choose English (or whatever language you want your subtitles to be in). Under Select Method you can either:
    • Upload a file – if you have a transcription of your video with timecodes, or
    • Transcribe and auto-sync – if you want to create the transcription right then and there or if you have a script. This is what we’re going to do.
  5. Click Transcribe and auto-sync. Copy and paste the script in the text box on the right.
  6. Click Set timings. This will take a few minutes, so while waiting you can go through the other tabs and add the description, tags, cards, end screen and/or annotations.
  7. Once it’s done, click English under My Drafts. Here you can go through the video and verify if the timings are correct.
  8. If everything looks good, click Publish.

You would want to unpublish the automatic captions by YouTube. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. In the Subtitles/CC tab, under Published, click English (Automatic)
  2. Click Unpublish

Give this a try and let me know how it works for you!

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