How to Add Captions and Subtitles to QuickTime Player Videos and Movies in 2022

Captions are a simple way to make video content, such as in QuickTime Player, more accessible to people by allowing viewing without sound. A change that can be especially beneficial to people with hearing loss or who prefer not to listen to the audio. 


Get a Captioned Video for QuickTime



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

There may be a time when you want to have your foreign language titles showing on your video, to be viewed only when you want to see them – and not have them burned in as part of the video.

There are three ways to turn on subtitles while watching a video in QuickTime, assuming the video already has a subtitle track added. 

(Is the video your own? Do you not have the subtitles added yet? You can get a 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.)

If your video is already subtitled, there 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)

There’s another neat feature of Mac computers that film viewers enjoy. It’s the Sidecar caption files, and they allow you to use an iPad as an extension of your desktop to display captions on a separate screen.

To use this option, the following requirements must be met:

  • Both devices must be signed into the same iCloud account
  • Both devices must be located within 10 meters of each other. (Too far away, and they won’t connect or be able to communicate with one another.)
  • 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.

If you have everything ready to go and compatible, you can open Sidecar captions by following 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.