How to Add Captions and Subtitles to QuickTime Player Videos and Movies in 2021

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This article covers how to open a sidecar captions file in QuickTime Player, as well as is how to embed captions into media files.

Captions are a simple way to make video content more accessible to people by allowing viewing without sound. This can be especially beneficial to people with hearing loss or who prefer not to listen to the audio. Videos can also be subtitled in multiple languages, giving video creators access to an international audience.

What Caption Formats Can I Use in Quicktime Player?

QuickTime does not accept SRT or SubRip files that many platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube, support.

There are two main ways to use closed captions in QuickTime:

Can I Add Captions or Subtitles Directly onto QuickTime Videos?

You can use a captioning service like Rev to embed captions directly onto your videos. Then you will be able to view captions in all media players, including QuickTime.

Learn how to burn-in or embed captions straight onto videos here. Rev will send you a fully captioned video, worked on by our network of 60,000+ professional captioners. Rev guarantees a 99% accuracy rate on all video captions if you use this option.

You’ll just need to submit your video content to, which provides affordable video captioning services and subtitling services in multiple foreign languages. Be sure to select “Burned-In Captions” at checkout so that your captions & subtitles are added straight to your video.

open captions

How do you turn on & view subtitles in QuickTime on a Mac?

There are three ways to turn on subtitles while watching a video in QuickTime, assuming the video already has a subtitle track added. You can get subtitle track for a video through a captioning service, such as an SRT caption file from Then, you can use this guide for the free tool Handbrake to encode the closed caption file into the video.

Here are different ways to view the subtitle or caption file in QuickTime:

  1. Select “View > Subtitles,” and then select your language of choice.
  2. In Playback control, click the subtitles button, which looks like this:
  3. If you have a newer Mac with a touch bar, then press and hold the subtitles button.

How to Open a Sidecar Caption File in QuickTime (iPad Screen Extension option)

Sidecar caption files allow you to use an iPad as an extension of your desktop to display captions on a separate screen.

To use this option, both devices must be signed into the same iCloud account and located within 10 meters of each other. Your MacBook must use macOS Catalina, and your iPad must use iPadOS 13 or later. Models using an earlier OS will not have the required capabilities.

To open Sidecar captions, follow these steps:

  1. On your Mac, select Apple Menu, then “System Preferences.”
  2. Click “Sidecar” (Note that not all Apple products support this option.)
  3. Select whether you want the captions to display on the right or left side of the screen
  4. Click the Airplay icon located on the menu bar of your Mac computer.
  5. Follow the prompts to connect your iPad and Mac

Your iPad should now work as an extension of your Mac, allowing you to move windows between the two screens.

Captioning on more video platforms

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