How to enable automatic captions in Google Chrome to appear in real time on Instagram, YouTube, Netflix and more

Chrome 89 has brought important news to its users that have not been activated by default. The first was the search between open tabs, which we already explained how to activate. Today, as they have in Engadget, we have learned thanks to XDA that the browser already includes the automatic subtitles generation function in real time.

With them, the browser can "listen" to all the audios we see on websites and platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, or even podcasts, and show them as if those responsible for the service had included them for accessibility, which is just one of the advantages it can provide for people with hearing problems. The main downside is that at the moment It's only available in English and that the generated text cannot be copied.

How to activate automatic subtitles

Chrome Subtitles

To activate the automatic subtitles of Google Chrome, just go to Settings -> Advanced settings -> Accessibility. There we will find "automatic subtitles", and all we have to do is press the button that we see in the image above.

Once we click on it, as Chrome says, this novelty will work with voice files downloaded by browser, as mobile phones do for offline voice recognition. With that enabled, we will see a subtitle box every time we play audio in a Chrome window or tab.


Chrome captions on YouTube.

As we see in the image, there are options to modify how the subtitles look in "Subtitle Preference". In our case, being on macOS, those preferences have led to System Preferences, in a section that Apple dedicates to the aspect of subtitles in Accessibility.

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The operation is good and Google allows you to control playback and turn subtitles on and off without having to go into settings. At the moment the function has stayed in Chrome, because neither in Edge 89 nor in Brave we have seen anything similar. We will have to wait to see if it reaches Chromium.

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