How to turn TikTok’s auto captions on (or off)

How to turn TikTok’s auto captions on (or off)

TIKTOK: The importance of video captioning cannot be overstated. For starters, they can be an important accessibility aid for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Furthermore, captioning can be useful for persons who are in situations where they can’t use the audio and/or don’t have access to headphones. Or, like me, who likes to converse while watching videos and uses captions to keep track of what’s being said.

Many TikTok artists were manually adding captions to their TikTok videos before TikTok enabled automatic captions to its app in April of this year, either using the app’s text feature or third-party apps. However, it is no longer necessary, as TikTok now has an auto caption option, due to organizations like The Deaf Collective, which collaborated with TikTok to build it.

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As a result, enabling auto-captioning for all of your videos is an excellent idea. Don’t worry: if someone watching one of your films doesn’t want the captions on, they can easily turn them off (more on that later).


  • After you’ve created or uploaded your video, hit the checkmark to indicate you’re ready to start working on it. You’ll now be in the first editing page.
  • Look for the “Captions” icon on the right side of the screen and tap it.
  • The first time you enable captions, you will get a screen that explains how they work and will ask for you to consent to the “collection and use of the audio.”
  • Depending on the length of your video and the power of your phone, it may take a moment or two for TikTok to process your captions. Keep in mind that auto captions will not work for sung music that has been added to your video; this is for speech only.
  • Once your audio has been processed, you’ll be taken to a screen that has a smaller version of the video with the captions listed underneath.
  • If you’re happy with the captions, tap the “Save” button in the top right corner.
  • If you’re not happy with them — because there are misspellings or wrong words — you can edit them. Tap the edit icon (that looks like a pencil and a piece of paper) to the right of the word “Captions.” You can then use your phone’s keyboard to change any textual problems.
  • You can also split lines that you think are too long — however, you can’t join lines that you think are too short. If you accidentally split a line and change your mind, you’ll have to hit your phone’s back button, discard your edits, and try again.
  • Tap on “Save” when you’re done.

Unfortunately, you can’t stylize your captions — you’re pretty much stuck with what you get, which tends to be white lettering on a slightly darkened rectangle. If you want to get fancy with your captions, then you’ll have to disable the auto caption feature (using the same Caption icon) and use the Text feature (which is at the bottom of the edit screen) to manually create captions in a variety of colors, sizes, and typefaces.


I personally love having captions on videos, but some people find them distracting. If you don’t want captions on your TikTok videos, you can disable them. (Of course, you won’t be actually getting rid of them, just hiding them on your device.)

  • While you’re watching a captioned video, tap on the caption, and then on “Hide captions.”
  • Auto captions will not be turned off for all the videos you watch. There will be a small rectangle to the side of each video to indicate that it normally has captions.
  • If you want to re-enable captions, just tap on that rectangle

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