YouTube logo.

Closed captions are a handy feature on YouTube, but they only appear in real-time along with the video. You can get a transcript of those captions to read at your own speed. It works on desktops, iPhones, and Android.

The full transcript of a YouTube video can be useful for a variety of reasons. You can avoid manually transcribing quotes by copying the direct text. It’s also handy to be able to search for specific words or parts of the video by text.

How to Get YouTube Transcripts on Desktop

On a desktop or laptop, head on over to YouTube.com in a web browser such as Google Chrome and open a video to watch.

Select a video.

Next, click the three-dot menu icon underneath the title of the video.

Select “Show Transcript” from the menu.

Select "Show Transcript."

The transcript box will open and you’ll see the captions listed along with timestamps. You can click a caption to jump to that part of the video.

Select caption to jump to timestamp.

Lastly, at the bottom of the transcript box, you can switch between the available languages.

Switch languages.

How to Get YouTube Transcripts on iPhone and Android

To get a transcript on mobile, open the YouTube app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device and select a video to watch.

Choose video to watch.

Next, tap the down arrow on the right side of the video title.

Tap the down arrow.

The video description will appear along with a “Show Transcript” button, tap it.

Tap "Show Transcript" button.

The captions will appear in a box listed along with timestamps. You can tap a caption to jump to that part of the video.

Select caption to jump to timestamp.

Tap the three-dot menu icon to switch between the available languages.

Switch between languages.

That’s it! This is one of those lesser-known YouTube features that can be really handy in certain situations. It’s a nice trick to know about.

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Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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