Skip to content

How to Add Captions and Subtitles to Videos in Google Drive

Google Drive Captions and Subtitles

RevBlogCaptionsHow to Add Captions and Subtitles to Videos in Google Drive

Google Drive videos are a powerful way to communicate and collaborate online. The videos you upload to your drive will playback using YouTube’s player, so clients and colleagues won’t have any technical difficulties watching them. But you can make life even easier for them by adding video captions.

In some circumstances, Google Drive video captions are a necessity. When hearing-impaired viewers see your video, the spoken text must be readable. And speakers of different languages should be able to access foreign language subtitles.

Thankfully, you can add captions to a Google Drive video in Google Drive. You can even translate them automatically. Here’s how to add captions to videos in Google Drive.

Google Drive video captions step-by-step

It takes three steps to add video captions to a Google Drive video. First, create your caption file in *.SRT or *.SUB format. Next, upload it to Google Drive and connect it to your video. Finally, add language and title details to make your captions useful.

Here’s a closer look at each step, including some common errors and their solutions.

Create your caption file

There are only two caption file formats that Google Drive videos support: SubRip (*.SRT) and SubViewer (*.SUB). It is possible to upload other file formats, but you might have problems later.

The simplest way to prepare your caption file in the right format is to use a service like Rev. Send us your video first, and our professional captioners will transcribe your material and provide you with a caption file – usually within 24 hours.

Rather not use caption files, and get captions added directly to your videos? Rev now offers burned-in captions (open captions). Just check the “burned-in captions” box at checkout and you’ll receive a video with permanent, hard-coded captions added straight to your videos. Also available for foreign language subtitles!

open captions

If you create the captions yourself, add sound cues such as [music] or [screaming] where appropriate. It also helps to add two little arrows – >> – whenever a new speaker begins. Remember to choose *.SRT or *.SUB when you export your captions.

Add captions to Google Drive

To connect your captions to your Google Drive video, navigate to your video on and click to select it. In the top right corner of the screen, there is a 3-dot menu next to the trash can. Click this and select “Manage caption tracks.”

Your video should open up in a new tab or window. Click “ADD NEW CAPTION TRACKS.” You can now connect a caption file from your Google Drive or upload your captions directly from your computer. Choose your file and hit “Select.”

Now, you have the chance to add some details about your caption file. You can change the file name, specify the language, and give the subtitles a unique “Track title.” Once you’re done, click “UPLOAD” and the caption file should upload quickly.

Edit your caption tracks in Google Drive

If you use multiple video caption tracks in Google Drive, you might want to return to specify the name and language details.

To do so, navigate to your video in Google Drive, and click to select it. Next, click the 3-dot menu on the top-right of the screen as you did before. Select “Manage caption tracks” again.

The caption files associated with this video will be on the right of the screen, where you last saw them. Click the 3-dot menu next to a caption track name for the option to edit, download, or delete that particular track.

If you choose “Edit,” you will see similar options to when you added the file. One of these is the option to change language. This doesn’t translate your captions, but you can use it to specify the language of this track. You can also add or rename the track title. And you have the option to untick the “Enable” box, which disables the caption track for this Google Drive video.

Google Drive video captions error?

If you experience an error while adding captions to your Google Drive video, Google suggests three possible solutions:

  • Make sure your caption file is in SubRip (*.SRT) or SubViewer (*.SUB) format.
  • Make sure your caption file is no larger than 2MB.
  • Make sure your captions don’t last longer than the video itself (this can cause auto-sync problems.)

Be aware that Google Drive video captions have the same sharing settings as the video to which they belong. This means anybody with permission to edit the video will be able to upload, download, and edit your Google Video captions. Check out Google’s guide to sharing settings to find out more.

How to Translate Google Drive video captions

Adding translated *.SRT files to your Google Drive Video, gives viewers the option to select from the available languages. To get top quality foreign language Google Drive video captions, consider a professional translation service. A captions translator will provide you with additional *.SRT files to add to your video.

However, if that’s not for you, then Google does a pretty good job at auto-translating. Open your video by double-clicking it in your Google Drive. Next, click the Settings wheel at the bottom right of the video.

Click “Subtitles/CC” to reveal your options. From here, you can choose from the captions you uploaded, or click “Auto-translate” to bring up a list of Google’s supported languages. Next, select the one you want.

If you share your Google Drive video with somebody who would benefit from subtitles, remember to let them know about the auto-translate option.

Get started adding captions to Google Drive video

Adding captions isn’t the most exciting part of working with video. Rev can do the work for you, transcribing the video and creating the caption file. You can upload your video captions to Google Drive automatically, using Rev with Zapier’s application integration system. Check out Rev’s captioning service to find out how to get started.

By presenting your video on Google Drive, you get to choose who can see and edit your video. There are no adverts or suggested videos to distract from your content. Google Drive video is the professional way to present your work, so make sure it’s accessible to your audience by adding professional video captions.

Affordable, fast transcription. 100% Guaranteed.