Automatically Display Closed Captions For YouTube Videos

by | Apr 29, 2021

Accessibility on the web is nothing new, but the demand and need for it has never been greater. The W3C has released recommendations for web accessibility in the WCAG 2.1 and draft of WCAG 3.0 to assist content creators, UX designers, and developers. It’s important to know which online platforms are embracing these best practices and how you can use their tools to create great online experiences for the widest audience possible.  

Video is a marvellous and powerful tool to convey a message, entertain an audience, and teach your students. However, if that tool is not given an edge of accessibility in the shape of perfectly transcribed and synchronised captions, it might not prove to be very effective for the millions of people who are D/deaf or hard-of hearing, have auditory processing challenges, or are not native speakers of the language in the media. Additionally, the WCAG 2.1 considers captions (open or closed captions) essential for prerecorded video. 

Did you know that after you upload your closed captions to YouTube, there’s a setting that enables them to be displayed automatically whenever anyone loads your video? 


Why should you enable closed captions to display automatically for your YouTube videos?

There are few reasons!

  1. Did you know that on mobile devices 85% of videos are watched with the sound turned off, and 80% of people tend to completely watch a video to the end when provided with captions, instead of just quickly skipping through?
  2.  According to a study conducted by University of South Florida on “Closed Captioning Matters,” captions have a profound impact on improving student learning outcomes by helping them take note more easily and in their overall comprehension of the subject matter. Similarly, there were modest increases in the overall ratings of an instructor when facilitation of learning and respect and concern for students were observed and experienced.

So, if you are producing online lectures or tutorials, captions are a key factor to attaining higher viewership.

  1.   Accessibility is the third and most important factor as to why you should always have closed captions on, as they allow your audience to enjoy your videos in sound-sensitive environments, such as in a library or at places where too much noise makes it impossible to hear your own voice like in a crowded local train station or while in an airport waiting for your flight.

Now that you’ve learned the why factor of always having closed captions on, let’s dive into the how and explore the ways of doing so. 


How Do You Force Closed Captions On?

Before you read further, it is important to mention here that in order to leave a lasting impression on your audience, you should have professionally transcribed and well-synchronized caption files of your video.

Explore our fast, accurate, and budget-friendly service options HERE.

If you haven’t had the chance to go through our article on “How to Add Subtitles/Captions to Your YouTube Videos,” explore it first HERE.

Now that you have the caption file, you can easily enable the captions for your viewers by following some simple steps.

Step #1: “Sign In” to YouTube Studio: 

Login to your YouTube Studio account and you will find yourself in the dashboard, which is a main hub to operate your YouTube channel.


Step #2: Go to Content Library:

Under Dashboard, in the left vertical tabs menu, look for the tab named “Content” and click on it.




Step #3: Select the Video:

In the Content menu, you will find the list of all the videos you have uploaded to your channel. Now, select the video you want to enable closed captions “On” for and click the “Details” menu as shown below:



Step #4: Click Show More:

In the Details menu, scroll down and click “Show More” to explore further options.



Step #5: Add the Tag in the Tag Field:

Add the tag yt:cc=on in the “Tags” field. Save your changes as shown below and voilà!




Now, whenever the video is played on YouTube, viewers will find the closed captions On.

 ECS takes pride in having worked with a diverse set of clients to provide captioning and subtitling services for corporate meetings, online lectures, webinars, seminars, museum tours, poetry readings, musical performances, films, documentaries, graduations, religious ceremonies, and marketing videos.  

View our easy and budget-friendly service options HERE.

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