How to Add Subtitles on YouTube

In this article, I'm sharing how to add your own subtitles to YouTube videos to improve accessibility. Add subtitles in YouTube Studio or create a custom SRT file for closed captions!

How to Add Subtitles on YouTube

Looking for an easy way to boost your views on YouTube? If so, add subtitles to your videos and watch your views steadily increase!

So, why are subtitles helpful to a video creator's strategy? The answer is accessibility. The use of video content shows no signs of slowing down, and creators need to meet this demand by supporting a multitude of viewers with unique needs. While YouTube's automatically provided captions get the job done, you can get better results by auto-generating your own subtitles.

There are several ways to add subtitles to YouTube videos, and when you're finished reading this article, you'll know which one is best for you.

Step 1: Open YouTube Studio

Login to your Youtube channel and click your profile picture in the top-right corner. Then click YouTube Studio. Next, click subtitles, located on the left side of the screen under your profile picture and channel name.

screenshot of the YouTube Studio with an emoji pointing to the word subtitles

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Step 2: Select a YouTube Video

Click a video, published or a draft, then click add language to browse and select a language from the dropdown menu. Head over to the right of your screen and click add under the "subtitles" heading.

screenshot of YouTube studio with emojis showing how to add language and subtitles

Step 3: Choose How to Add Your Subtitles

You have 4 options to decide how you want to add subtitles to your YouTube videos. The options are listed below and after reading, choose the one that best suits your needs.

  • Upload file: This option lets you upload a subtitle file type with or without timing. If you choose without timing, YouTube will sync your subtitles to the audio. Supported file types that are commonly used are .SRT, .SBV, .MPSUB, and .LRC.  Style info isn't recognized with .SRT and .SBV files.

If you need to make an SRT file, I recommend trying Kapwing's subtitle maker. This tool is free to use and can be accessed on any iPhone, Android, PC or tablet with a Chrome or Safari browser. Simply upload a video or paste a video URL to get started. I recommend using shorter videos with this tool then click auto-generate.

  • Auto-sync: With auto-sync, you can type or paste a transcript. The transcript has to be in the same language as the audio and supported by YouTube's speech recognition technology. Your transcript will be automatically synchronized to your video.

  • Type manually: If you're looking for a more hands-on option, this is the one to pick. You can manually type your subtitles as the video plays and pause the video as necessary, then continue typing. Add sound representation such as (laughter) to give your video more context.

  • Auto-translate: To auto-translate your video, you have to publish captions in the original language first. This option doesn't work for video with auto-generated captions.  

Step 4: Publish Your Video

After you've selected an option and edited your subtitles, click publish or save draft to continue editing your video at another time.

Adding subtitles isn't difficult after all! Continue to follow along by reading the related articles below and make sure to check out our YouTube channel. You'll find trendy TikTok tutorials and tips to make videos in Kapwing. Follow us Twitter to connect with us directly and be in the know on new memes, articles and more.

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