Edit Your Own YouTube Video Captions

We recommend professionally captioning your videos. However, if you do not have the budget available to professionally caption your videos, there are tools available to help you caption your videos.

For videos that are hosted on YouTube, there is usually an auto-generated caption file that you can start with to edit so that it is accurate enough to meet accessibility standards.


To begin captioning your own videos on YouTube, navigate to https://studio.youtube.com/ and login in to your account. 


In the search bar, search for the video you want to add captions to and click on the pencil icon next to the video to go to the “Video Details” page.

In the left navigation, select “Subtitles”:

A screenshot of the webpage for a youtube video. A red arrow points at the "Subtitles" button found in the left-hand sidebar navigation.

If prompted, set the language to English (or the desired language) from the drop down menu and push “Confirm”.


You should now be on the “Video Subtitles” page that lists any subtitle files.

Usually the only one that will exist is the automatic (and inaccurate) “English (Automatic)” subtitle. To edit this file select “Duplicate and Edit” in the right column to bring up the caption editor.

Click “Edit Timings” to go into preferred edit mode:

A red arrow pointing at a button called "Edit timings", found above the video's transcript.


Now you are ready to edit the captions using the USU Captioning Guidelines.



We recommend reviewing the text and ensure it is accurate and follows the guidelines before adjusting any timings. 



If needed, caption timings(when they appear on screen) can be adjusted in two ways:

  1. Manually entering times in the boxes on the right side of the text, or 
  2. Sliding the text boxes to the corresponding time at the bottom of the caption box. 

(Note: Sometimes both of these processes are very touchy. It’s best to experiment with both and see what works best for you!)


After you have finished adding the text and adjusting the timings of the captions, give your video one final watch!

If you are satisfied with the captions, click “Publish” in the top right corner. 


  • If you are editing the automatic captions and they have lots of typos, it may be easier to delete that file and start from scratch. 
  • A link to some helpful keyboard shortcuts can be found in the caption editor:
An arrow points at a link called "Keyboard shortcuts."

Additional Resources