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Enable or Disable Live Captions in the Google Chrome browser

Need to enable or disable Google Chrome's Live Caption feature? Learn how to toggle and customize this feature on and off in Chrome settings.

Google Chrome offers a Live Caption feature that automatically transcribes the online media and displays the on-screen subtitles. We can enable and customize the caption appearance from accessibility settings and global media control.

The Live Caption is currently supported in fewer languages. However, it has been expanding to all national and regional languages.

In this guide, we have shared the steps to enable live captions in Google Chrome on a computer.

Enable the Live Captions in the Chrome browser

Live caption functionality first appeared with Chrome version 85, but it is an experimental feature. However, from version 91 onwards, it has now been added as a stable feature, and you can enable it immediately.

There are two different methods, and we have shared both of them below. Try out the one that you find easy to deal with.

Method 1: Enable Live Caption from Settings

The Live caption is part of the accessibility feature in Google Chrome. We can enable the feature to be used for an online video. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Launch the Google Chrome browser.
  2. Click on the More vertical 3-dots icon menu and select the Settings menu.
  3. Switch to the Accessibility tab in the left sidebar.
  4. Enable the toggle switch for the Live Caption option.
    Live Caption Toggle button Enabled in Google Chrome accessibility

Relaunch the browser and play the online video to see the Live Caption in action.

Method 2: Enable Live Caption using Global Media Controls

A media control option will be visible next to the address bar when you play any video or music. You will have the option to configure the Live Caption toggle while playing the media. Here are the steps:

  1. Play any audio or video in the Chrome app.
    It will bring up the Global Media Controls icon.
  2. Click on the Media Control icon.
  3. Enable the Live Captions toggle switch.
    Live Caption Toggle button under Toolbar

If you’re using the Live Caption feature for the first time, then language files will be downloaded, and the option will be enabled.

Customize the Live Captions Preferences

In its default state, the captions would occupy the bottom portion of your screen. Furthermore, it would be in plain white text with a black background. However, you could customize each of these aspects. Let’s check out how:

First, if you wish to place the captions in any other location on your screen, drag and drop them to the desired position.

Chrome Live Caption real-time demo

Likewise, you could also expand by clicking on the downward arrow. This way, you can get hold of around 9-10 lines at one instead of the default two.

Expand Closed Live Caption in Chrome

There’s also the option to customize the caption’s color, transparency, style, size, and effects. Here are the steps to customize:

  1. Launch the Google Chrome browser.
  2. Click on the More vertical 3-dots icon menu and select the Settings from the list
  3. Switch to the Accessibility tab and select the Captions Preferences option.
    Open Caption Preferences from Google ChromeIt will open the Caption Preference settings page.
  4. Customize the captions as per your liking.

You could also change the caption background color and its transparency (opaque, translucent, etc., along the same lines).

It also allows you to tweak the contrast of the other window components. This will help the captions stand out from other elements on your screen.
Closed Caption settings in Windows OS

Once you have carried out the desired customizations, disable (instructions given below) and re-enable this feature for the changes to occur.

Similarly, for the macOS user, it will open the Caption Accessibility preference page with similar options to customize the live captions feeds.

MacOS Accessibility Captions setting

Disable Live Captions for Audio and Video

If you wish to close the ongoing captions, click on the cross icon at the top right. However, if you prefer to turn off this feature, then refer to the below steps:

  1. Launch the Chrome app browser.
  2. Click on the More vertical 3-dots icon menu and select the Settings menu.
  3. Switch to the Accessibility tab in the left sidebar and toggle off the Live Caption button.
    Live Caption Toggle Disabled in Google Chrome accessibility

You could also turn off this feature from the Global Media Control menu in the address bar.

Enable Live Caption from Chrome Toolbar

It will turn off the live caption instantly on your browser.

Bottom Line

While this is undoubtedly quite a handy feature, it’s yet to be completely polished.

Some issues needed to be immediately addressed. First, it works and supports a few languages only for now. If you seek forward or backward a video, all the captions get distorted and generate random lines.

Overall, having a live caption for the running video is a good start.

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Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza is a Google Certified IT Professional, Digital Content Creator, and Go-To Digital Marketer with Engineering Degree. He has over a decade of experience solving tech problems, troubleshooting, and innovating digital solutions. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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