How to turn on Subtitles on Apple TV with captioning

August 19, 2021

Subtitles on Apple TV helps content creators deliver better access to content for hearing-impaired audience. However, its importance is not just limited to entertainment but extends far beyond it. You can even customize the look of subtitles and captions to help it accurately deliver the intended message.

Subtitles on Apple TV

How to enable Subtitles on Apple TV?

Launching a video that has either captions or subtitles on Apple TV enabled, allows audience who have hearing difficulties to enjoy video, receive the intended message, and interact with it.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to Accessibility section.
  4. Choose the Subtitles and Captioning heading.
  5. Turn On the Closed Captions and SDH option.
  6. To change Style and create a new one, select the Style tile.
  7. Navigate to Edit Styles menu.
  8. Hit the New Style button.
  9. Add a description.
  10. Manage Text, Background, and other options.

Apart from helping hard of hearing individuals, subtitles and captioning services help to increase the reach of a video.

How to get subtitles on Apple TV?

On your Apple TV Home Screen, go to Settings tile.

When the Settings panel opens, switch to the General tab.

Apple TV Accessibility Settings
Apple TV Accessibility Settings

Scroll down to the Accessibility section.

Caption Subtitles
Caption Subtitles

Next, under the Accessibility screen, navigate to the Hearing section. Under it, choose the Subtitles and Captioning entry.

Subtitles Closed Captions
Subtitles Closed Captions

Now, turn on the Closed Captions and SDH option.


Similarly, you can create a new style for your subtitles and captions and customize it. Here’s how!

Just below the Closed Captions and SDH entry, you’ll find the Style tile. Click to open it.

Apple TV Edit Styles
Apple TV Edit Styles

Scroll down to Edit Styles option. Select it.

Next, hit the New Style tab and add a description to it.

Once done, change or customize the Text and Background options. For instance, under Text, you can customize the following.

Style Color
Style Color
  • Font – Helvetica font is set as Default. Change it to Trebuchet, Copperplate or to whatever you may like.
  • Size – Small, Medium (Default), Large or Extra Large.
  • Color – Cyan, Green, Blue, Yellow, Magenta, Red or Black. White is set as default.
Opacity Tile
Opacity Tile

Similarly, Background section allows you to adjust the Color and the Opacity of the content. Apart from these, you can manage Color Balance settings.

How to turn off Subtitles on Apple TV?

You can turn off Subtitles on Apple TV by simply heading to Subtitles and Captioning under Accessibility setting and turning off the Closed Caption Subtitles (SDH) option.

Are captions and subtitles the same?

When referring to texts appearing on the screen of a video, we tend to use the terms Captions and Subtitles interchangeably. However, they are not the same. While Captions represent text version of the spoken part on a screen, without any change in the the language of the medium, subtitles are texts that help people understand what is being said on screen by translating spoken words into a language that can be understood.

Hope that makes sense!


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Hemant Saxena
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