Enjoy your favorite TV shows without missing a word.

Follow these instructions on how to use closed captions on streaming apps to watch your favorite movies or shows in a hearing loss-friendly way.

Streaming apps have become the go-to way to keep up with your favorite movies and shows in today’s ever-connected world. Since you can watch programs on these apps at your own pace, they’re perfect for winding down at the end of a long day or entertaining a group.

If you have hearing loss, it can sometimes be difficult to understand or catch the dialogue using the audio from your television. Fortunately, you can easily turn on closed captioning to get the most out of entertainment for you and your family.

Here’s how to use closed captions for popular streaming apps and devices, including:

  1. Roku
  2. Disney+
  3. Apple TV
  4. YouTube

For the programs and devices listed above, keep reading to learn how to use closed captions! If you’re looking for guidance on how to use closed captions on other apps, check out our previous article about turning on captions in Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Roku

Captions on channels within your Roku device do not appear until they are turned on. Some channels or apps require that you turn captions on inside the channel itself, rather than through your Roku device. For all other channels, captions can be turned on with the latest instructions from Roku. There are many customizable features for captions, too. For a complete list of instructions on all devices, see Roku Support. 

Here’s how to turn on general closed captions from your Roku device:

  1. On your Roku remote, press the Home button.
  2. Press the directional arrow buttons until you highlight and select Settings on the screen.
  3. Now you can open the captions menu by selecting Accessibility. Or, select Captions if Accessibility is not listed.
  4. In Captions mode, you can choose how often captions appear:
    • Captions never appear in the Off setting.
    • On always means captions always appear, unless captions can only be activated within a select service provider channel.
    • On mute means that captions only appear when the volume is muted. This is available on select Roku devices.
    • With the On replay setting, captions appear after the Replay button on the Roku remote is pressed. Content that supports instant replay can use this setting.

Disney+

When watching Disney+, closed captions are available on multiple devices, including web browsers, Xbox, PlayStation, smartphones, and smart TVs. You can turn on captions from any of these devices with the following instructions:

  1. Select the keyboard icon within the Disney+ video player in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  2. Select your language of choice for the captions.

Captions can be further customized by navigating to the accessibility settings on the device you’re watching from. For additional instructions on your specific device, see the Disney+ Help Center.

Apple TV

If you’re wondering how to use closed captions with Apple TV, follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Settings icon
  2. Select General
  3. Select Accessibility
  4. Select Subtitles and Captioning.
  5. From the Subtitles and Captioning menu, turn Closed Captions on.
  6. To turn captions on and off during video playback, press the Touch surface three times on the Siri Remote.
  7. You can use the VoiceOver function to turn audio descriptions off and on.

To customize captions and review the complete instructions for AppleTV, you can browse through the AppleTV User Guide.

YouTube

It’s easy to turn on captions when watching content from your favorite YouTube channels. The instructions are simple:

  1. Click the CC Icon at the bottom of the screen within the YouTube video. A red line can be seen under the icon when captions are turned on.
  2. You can adjust caption settings by clicking the Gear Icon. A choice of caption formats will appear if they are available for the selected video.

To turn captions on automatically for on-demand videos (if captioning is available), you can change your default settings with these instructions:

  1. Click on your profile picture
  2. Select Settings
  3. From the left-hand menu, select Playback and performance
  4. From there, you can turn Always show captions on or off
  5. You can also choose whether you see captions that have been generated automatically by selecting Include auto-generated captions (when available).

For more assistance choosing when and how you see closed captions on YouTube, visit YouTube Help for complete instructions.

If your favorite streaming app or device was not mentioned above, you can typically find instructions on how to use closed captions on their website. That way, everyone can join in on family movie night or catch up with the most talked-about shows without missing a second of the action.

You can also “turn on” captions for your everyday phone calls with the help of a captioned telephone for hearing loss! Captions are provided for every word the other caller says, so you can read along and never miss a word.

CapTel Captioned Telephone