Published - August 28, 2023

Making Use of YouTube's Auto-Generated Subtitles

YouTube has become the go-to platform for video content in recent years, offering a vast array of videos on various topics. However, not all videos come with accurate subtitles or captions, making it difficult for viewers with hearing impairments or those who prefer to read the content. Thankfully, YouTube's auto-generated subtitles feature can provide a solution to this problem.

What are Auto-Generated Subtitles?

Auto-generated subtitles, also known as closed captions, are subtitles that are automatically generated by YouTube's speech recognition technology. When enabled, these subtitles appear at the bottom of the video and display the spoken words in text form.

While auto-generated subtitles are not 100% accurate, they can still be quite helpful. The accuracy may vary depending on factors such as audio quality, background noise, accents, and the clarity of the speaker's diction. However, YouTube's speech recognition technology has made significant improvements over the years, resulting in relatively accurate subtitles for many videos.

How to Enable Auto-Generated Subtitles

Enabling auto-generated subtitles on YouTube is simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Start playing a video on YouTube.
  2. Click on the "CC" button located at the bottom right corner of the video player.
  3. Select the "Auto-generated" option from the available subtitles or captions.
  4. The auto-generated subtitles will now appear on the video.

Benefits of Auto-Generated Subtitles

Accessibility for People with Hearing Impairments

Auto-generated subtitles provide accessibility for people with hearing impairments. They allow these individuals to watch videos and understand the content by reading the text instead of solely relying on audio.

Language Barriers

Auto-generated subtitles are also beneficial for people who speak different languages. By using YouTube's auto-translate feature, viewers can translate the subtitles into their preferred language, making it easier to understand the content of the video.

Content Searchability

With auto-generated subtitles, YouTube videos become more searchable. Viewers can search for specific keywords within the subtitles, allowing them to find relevant information quickly within the video.

Enhancing Auto-Generated Subtitles

While auto-generated subtitles are useful, they might not be perfect for every video. Accurate subtitles are crucial, especially for videos containing complex or technical information. In such cases, it is recommended to enhance the auto-generated subtitles manually.

Several online tools can assist in this process. One such tool is YOU-TLDR, a web app that allows users to effortlessly summarize, download, search, and interact with YouTube videos in their preferred language. YOU-TLDR provides accurate and concise summaries of video content, making it easier to review and edit the auto-generated subtitles as needed.


By combining YouTube's auto-generated subtitles with tools like YOU-TLDR, content creators and viewers can improve the accessibility and usability of videos, making them more inclusive for a wider audience.

In conclusion, YouTube's auto-generated subtitles feature is a valuable tool that enhances accessibility and usability for viewers. While not perfect, they provide a good starting point for understanding video content. By using additional tools like YOU-TLDR, users can further improve and customize the subtitles to meet their needs. So, make the most of auto-generated subtitles and enjoy a more inclusive YouTube experience!

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