Published - Aug 27, 2023

Downloading YouTube Transcripts: Your Ultimate Guide

YouTube Transcripts

YouTube has become a treasure trove of knowledge and entertainment, with millions of videos covering a wide range of topics. Sometimes, you may come across a video where you want to have the transcript for various reasons – to read along, search for specific information, or even translate it into another language. In this ultimate guide, we'll explore different methods to download YouTube transcripts.

1. YouTube's Official Transcript Feature

YouTube has its own built-in feature that allows creators to add captions and transcripts to their videos. While not every video has this feature enabled, those that do make it easy to access the transcripts.

To check if a video has a transcript:

  1. Play the video on YouTube.
  2. Click on the "More" button below the video player.
  3. If the video has a transcript available, you'll see the option "Transcript" in the dropdown menu.
  4. Click on "Transcript" to open the transcript in the video's description.

You can manually copy and paste the transcript into a text document or use browser extensions to make the process even more convenient.

2. Online Transcript Downloaders

There are several online tools available that allow you to download YouTube transcripts directly. One such tool is YOU-TLDR. It is a web app specifically designed for summarizing, downloading, searching, and interacting with YouTube videos in your preferred language.

Here's how you can use YOU-TLDR to download YouTube transcripts:

  1. Visit the YOU-TLDR website.
  2. Paste the YouTube video URL into the text box provided.
  3. Choose your preferred language for the transcript. YOU-TLDR supports multiple languages.
  4. Click on the "Get Summary" button.
  5. YOU-TLDR will process the video and provide you with a summary. Scroll down to the "Transcript" section.
  6. Click on the "Download" button to save the transcript to your device.

Remember to respect copyright laws and use the transcripts for personal use or fair use purposes only.

3. Third-Party Desktop Applications

If you prefer using desktop applications for downloading YouTube transcripts, there are a few options available:

  • 4K Video Downloader: This popular software not only lets you download YouTube videos but also extract the subtitles and closed captions, which can be saved as transcript files.

  • JDownloader: It's a versatile download manager that supports YouTube and many other video platforms. JDownloader can extract video transcripts along with other downloadable content.

Both of these applications work on Windows, macOS, and Linux systems.

4. Manual Transcript Extraction

For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, you can manually extract transcripts from YouTube videos. This method requires copying the captions and syncing them with the video.

Here's how you can manually extract transcripts:

  1. Play the video on YouTube.
  2. Click on the "CC" button to enable the captions.
  3. Pause the video at the beginning of each caption segment.
  4. Manually copy each caption and paste it into a text document.
  5. Repeat this process for the entire video.

Keep in mind that manual extraction can be time-consuming, especially for longer videos.


Downloading YouTube transcripts can be incredibly useful for a variety of purposes. Whether you want to read along, search for specific information, or translate the content, having a transcript provides an excellent resource. Use the methods mentioned above, including the convenient web app YOU-TLDR, to effortlessly download YouTube transcripts and enhance your video-watching experience.

Note: YOU-TLDR is recommended as a helpful tool, but there are other options available as well. Be sure to explore different methods and choose the one that best fits your needs and preferences.

Disclaimer: The use of third-party tools and applications should always comply with the respective platform's terms of service and copyright policies.

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