How To Disable or Add Youtube Captions recently added closed-captioning as a default to all videos on their site. 

The problem with this move is that much of the audio-to-text conversion is grossly inaccurate.
(Just Go watch any video you’ve uploaded and added to Youtube)

This is NOT what he said or is saying in this video!!

Now I understand that the long-term goal is to try and create audio SEO by converting your audio-to-text and then add the closed-captioned text file, but it’s machine generated, and if the text is all wrong to begin with, then what good will the mis-typed and mis-converted text really do for SEO and the search engines?

Couldn’t this actually hurt the SEO of your Youtube Video?

Until they get this resolved, my first wish would be to have Youtube go back to making the closed-captioning feature NOT ON by default, or allow user/members to turn it off with a single click option available in the settings.  As it stands now, you’ll have to disable this feature one video at a time.  It’s a major pain in the carcass.

Alternatively, you can also download the close-caption file, correct all the typos, then reload it back up to your video which would be the ultimate suggestion here, but very time consuming depending on how many videos you currently have uploaded to the site. (see instructions in 2nd half of this post)


1) How To Disable Youtube’s default Closed-Captioning on Videos.

STEP ONE:  Log into your Youtube account, and click on the  “VIDEO MANAGER” button

STEP TWO: Click the “edit” button located next to the video of choice

STEP THREE: Select the “Captions” tab or button at the top of the page

STEP FOUR: Click on the “Green Button” to disable the closed-captioning text track.

Now just repeat these steps and procedure to disable or remove the closed-caption tracks from the rest of your videos.  If you do wish to correct and keep the closed-captioned track, simply follow these next few steps.


2) To Correct/Edit and Keep Youtube’s Closed-Captioned tracks:

STEP ONE: Repeat steps ONE-thru-THREE, but instead of the green button to disable on STEP FOUR, click on the pencil instead.
Now select the “Download” button/option to begin the closed-caption editing process. Save the file to desktop or hard-drive.

STEP TWO:  Open the downloaded “captions.sbv” file in any file editor
(ie: notepad, textedit etc.)

STEP THREE: Correct all the typos, spelling and grammar, and save file with same name “captions.sbv”

Note: DO NOT change the time stamp codes if you want the text to appear in the correct location of the video

STEP FOUR: Click on the “Add New Captions…button” to upload the edited file back to the Youtube video.

That’s it, you’re done.  It’s really a pretty simple task, but it is time consuming and a pain in the AR$E in my opinion.



Now if you are watching a Youtube video and the author has NOT taken either of the steps above, you as a viewer have the option of shutting off or modifying the closed-captioning.

STEP ONE: Click on the red “CC” button on the Youtube Video toolbar

STEP TWO: Select option to “Turn Captions Off” which will disable the closed-captioning

STEP THREE: Select the “Settings” option to modify or customize the Closed-Captioning


Now you know how to 1. disable closed-captioning on your uploaded videos, 2. take advantage of the opportunity to correct and keep the closed-captioning on your uploaded videos, or 3. modify or turn off closed-captioning on Youtube videos you’re watching.

One thing for sure about the Internet and sites like Youtube; there are and always will be changes.  These changes are what motivate me to create posts just like this one.  Hope this helps.  Please excuse me for not posting a video on this, I don’t have time to go in and edit the closed-caption file. :-O

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