How to Remove Automatic Captions from Your YouTube Videos

July 22, 2014 BY SOFIA ENAMORADO
Updated: January 4, 2018

YouTube Play Button

Once you’ve uploaded a video to YouTube, you’ll notice that YouTube’s automatic captions are turned on. Even if you’ve uploaded your own captions, or created captions in YouTube’s transcription interface, automatic captions will still show up as an option on your video. YouTube fully admits that their automatic captions are not the most accurate (they claim approximately 80% accuracy). Automatic captions can instead be a detriment to both SEO and accessibility.

How to Replace or Hide Automatic Captions

So, can you remove the automatic captions? Well, you can’t remove them, but you can upload your own accurate captions and hide the automatic captions:

  1. Go to your Video Manager and click Edit next to a video
  2. Select the Subtitles/CC tab
  3. Select English (Automatic), or whichever language is used
  4. Click Unpublish

How to Replace or Hide Automatic Captions

If you never get around to uploading your own captions, this process is reversible. You can upload your own caption file, create captions in YouTube, or submit your video for captioning to 3PlayMedia.com to add accurate, accessible, and SEO-friendly captions in place of the automatic captions.

How to Remove and Replace an Uploaded Caption File from YouTube

If you added your own captions and for some reason want to remove this file (maybe it’s inaccurate, or maybe you uploaded the wrong file by accident), you can delete uploaded caption files.

  1. Go to your Video Manager and click Edit next to a video
  2. Select the Subtitles/CC tab
  3. Select English, or whichever language is used
  4. Click Unpublish
  5. Select Upload from the Actions menu to add a new caption file

Editing YouTube’s Automatic Captions: A Word to the Wise

While you can edit YouTube’s automatic captions, doing so will create a copy of the automatic captions that will overwrite any caption file that you may have uploaded. Be careful if you choose to do this! If you do not plan to upload your own caption file, this is a good way to increase accessibility. Because editing the automatic captions creates a copy of the file, you will still have to follow the steps above for hiding the automatic captions. However, editing the automatic captions will not help you with SEO: in order to get SEO benefits, you must upload or create your own caption file.

Our recommendation is to upload or create a new caption file and hide the automatic captions. This will provide your video with accurate captions that improve accessibility and SEO.

3play media logo in blue

Subscribe to the Blog Digest

Sign up to receive our blog digest and other information on this topic. You can unsubscribe anytime.


By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy.