Apple TV Subtitles & Captions: How to Turn On & Off

It’s happened to all of us. You settle in to watch a movie or binge your favorite TV show on Apple TV, and right when it gets to a critical monologue, the neighbor’s dog starts barking. Or your baby starts to cry. Or maybe a loud car drives by. Now, you’re forced to rewind the video and watch it again to make sure you didn’t miss a major detail.


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It doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but it takes you out of the dramatic moment and makes it hard to dive back into the movie again. A quick and easy way to avoid constantly rewinding and re-watching important movie moments is to turn on your Apple TV subtitles or captions.

If you didn’t know closed captions on Apple TV were an option, or you want to know exactly how to turn on/off captions on Apple TV, follow these steps.

1. Navigate to Settings

Open your main menu and navigate to the Settings option with your Apple TV remote. It should be a gear icon.

Screenshot of Apple TV settings gear icon. Step 1 of Apple TV subtitles management.

2. Click General

Next, click on General within Settings.

Screenshot of Apple TV general settings. Step 2 of Apple TV subtitles management.

3. Click Accessibility

You’ll see an option to see Accessibility features, click on that.

Screenshot of Apple TV Accessibility features. Step 1 of Apple TV subtitles management.

4. Click Closed Captions + SDH

Finally, click on Closed Captions + SDH to turn on closed captions.

Screenshot of Apple TV subtitles and closed captions menu.

Additional Ways to Turn on Apple TV Subtitles

Users who have the 4th generation of Apple TV can use the swipe feature to pull up the Settings menu to turn on subtitles and captions. On your controller, swipe down from the top to see a menu that includes a Subtitles option. Select English (or your preferred language) to turn on captions.

Another option is to hold down the round Select button on your remote while you’re watching the movie or video. After a few seconds, a menu will appear that allows you to turn on Apple TV captions. Unlike the other options, which turn on your captions for all Apple TV content, this process has to be repeated for every video you watch.

How to Turn Off Apple TV Subtitles and Captions

To turn off your Apple TV subtitles and captions, navigate back to the Accessibility screen in your Settings and deselect Closed Captions + SDH. As we mentioned above, if you only want captions for one video and don’t want to worry about turning them on and off, try holding down the Select button on videos that require captions.

Customize Your Subtitles and Captions

Apple TV also allows users to customize their experience. The goal is to make sure Apple TV captions and subtitles are always more helpful and less distracting to the video content. To change the appearance on your device, navigate to the Accessibility menu again, but this time, select Style. That will show you your different options. You only need to make this selection once. It will remain your default style until you decide to change it.

Learn More about Closed Captioning

Learn more about the difference between subtitles and closed captioning and iTunes caption requirements on our blog.