Download Subtitles From YouTube In 6 Free Ways 2024

YouTube is the most popular and well-known online video-sharing platform, providing extensive content for viewers worldwide. To maximize the utility of this resource, people download subtitles from YouTube for various purposes, such as language study, enhancing accessibility, creating translated versions, or personal archiving.

In this post, we’ll explore six free YouTube downloaders with subtitles for saving YouTube captions in different formats, each suited to different needs and preferences.

Download YouTube SRT Subtitles with Timestamps Automatically on the Computer

Subtitle Format: SRT

Suitable for: Any desktop user who’s looking for an automatic subtitle downloader with timestamps.

Pro: Quickly and easily download SRT subtitles with timestamps for 1000 sites.

Con: Paid tool with free trials.

EaseUS Video Downloader is a powerful video downloader on Windows and macOS, which allows you to download YouTube videos to computer with SRT subtitles, thumbnails, and timestamps included. Available in English, Japanese, Korean, and more languages, the software offers a wide selection of languages for subtitles, making it easy to capture and save your favorite content.

It supports downloading from over 1,000 websites, including TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, and offers high-speed downloads with multiple format options, ensuring high-quality video and audio results.

Main Features

Now, let’s learn how to download YouTube closed captions in an SRT file:

Step 1. Open EaseUS Video Downloader, select the output format and quality you want, and click on the gear button for more settings. You can check “Download Thumbnail” and “Original Subtitles” to get them. Choose a language based on the subtitle and the location to save the file.

Step 2. Tap on “Paste Link” to start downloading.

Step 3. In the “Finished” tab, click on the folder icon or three dots next to the downloaded video and choose “Open File Location.”

Step 4. Find the SRT file below the video and right-click it to open with Word or Note.

The SRT file will be displayed with timestamps.

Extract YouTube Transcript Manually as Text Free

Subtitle Format: TXT

Suitable for: For quickly obtaining subtitles without additional software.

Pro: Simple, no extra software needed.

Con: Limited to the subtitles provided by YouTube.

YouTube allows users to copy the transcript text manually, and they can choose to switch timestamps on or off. However, the transcript may not be 100% accurate, and it only works with a video with a CC sign in the bottom right corner.

Anyhow, you can follow the method to copy the YouTube transcript manually:

Step 1. Open YouTube and find the video. Click on the three dots below the video and choose “Show Transcript.”

Step 2. Click on the three dots and choose “Toggle timestamps” if you need them.

Step 3. Select the text, right-click and choose “Copy.” Or use shortcut keys Ctrl/Command + C.

Step 4. Paste the text into your notepad.

Note: If you encounter the “Show Transcript” is not showing the issue, you can restart the app, clear the cache, or update the app. But if it doesn’t solve the issue, try other proven ways in the post.

Download YouTube Video with Subtitles Embedded Online Free

There are times when you prefer not to install an app, and the built-in “Show Transcript” button is missing. In such cases, an online service can be a lifesaver. These services are fast, easy to use, and require no login. However, they can be susceptible to restrictions due to copyright complaints. Here, I’ll introduce two free online YouTube subtitle generators.

Subtitle Format: SRT, TXT, VTT

Suitable for: When you need a quick and online-only method.

Pro: Work for YouTube, VIU, Viki, and Vlive and export various subtitles.

Con: Annoying ads.

The first free subtitle downloader is Downsub, a free web application that downloads SRT, EXT, and VTT files from multiple platforms, such as YouTube, MGTV, Erosnow, or Brightcove. With it, you can download the full video with subtitles in supported languages or browse the download history. However, like any other online tool, Downsub is filled with sponsored ads, which can be very annoying.

Subtitle Format: SRT, VTT, TXT, ASS, STL, etc.

Suitable for: Ideal for users who need to download subtitles infrequently.

Pro: Download YouTube subtitles in TXT/SRT/VTT format without ads.

Con: Sometimes it won’t work.

Savesubs downloads subtitles from YouTube, Viki, Facebook, Dailymotion, and other sites. Users can edit the start, end, and content of the subtitle file. It supports multiple subtitle formats, such as XML, SRT, JSON, and more. You can also enable file history for recording.

However, you should note that occasionally, an error message reading “This page has no download link or is temporarily blocked. Please try again later” appears.

Step 1. Copy and paste the URL into the box and click on “Download.”

Step 2. Tap on “EDIT” to adjust the subtitles, or choose a format and press the download button.

Step 3. Change the timestamps or contents and click “SAVE CHANGES.” Then tap the arrow to proceed.

Step 4. Click the downward arrow to select an output format if you don’t want the listed ones. Click “DOWNLOAD” to save. After that, you can click “OPTIONS” for more detailed settings.

Open the subtitles file with a language chosen.

Download YouTube Subtitles Easily in a Click Using Extension

Subtitle Format: SRT, VTT, TXT

Suitable for: Perfect for Chrome users who don’t want to install an app.

Pro: One click of subtitles downloading from YouTube.

Con: May fail to work due to frequent updates and changes in YouTube’s code.

Download YouTube Subtitles is a free, easy, unlimited subtitle download extension for YouTube. It displays all subtitles shown in the video and enables two language transcriptions for language learning. Besides, you can download versions in different languages for auto-generated subtitles. Here’s how to use the extension.

Step 1. Add the extension to your Chrome and navigate to your preferred YouTube video. Tap on “Get Subtitles.”

Step 2. Choose the subtitle format in different languages. Set modes for bilingual subtitles if you need them.

Step 3. Once you made your decision, tap on the format you want, and it starts downloading. Open the subtitle in Words or Notepad.

Save Local YouTube CC File on Mac Using VLC Media Player

Subtitle Format: SRT, IDX, SVCD, SSA, SMI, etc.

Suitable for: For users already familiar with VLC and prefer not to use additional tools.

Pro: Download various formats of subtitles easily.

Con: Only for videos in the local library.

VLC Media Player is a multipurpose, cross-platform media player for Windows, macOS, Ubuntu, Android, and iOS. It is completely free to use and transcodes audio and video files. You can simply edit your videos, extract images from videos, or download original subtitles using the tool. You can use the method to extract subtitles from local YouTube videos:

Step 1. Download YouTube videos and open VLC Media Player. Go up to “View” > “VLsub.”

Step 2. Click on “Search by name” and it will locate the subtitles available.

Step 3. Choose the caption version you want and press “Download selection.”

Step 4. Find and open the subtitle file. If you fail to find it, try searching for the subtitle on your PC, such as SRT.

Get YouTube Captions in Various Formats Using YouTube-DL Command

Subtitle Format: SRT, ASS, VTT, Best, etc.

Suitable for: For tech-savvy users who prefer command line tools.

Pro: Powerful, highly customizable, supports various formats and options.

Con: Requires command line knowledge.

YouTube-DL is a free and open-source tool that allows users to download audio and video from YouTube and over 1,000 other websites. Compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS, it requires Python 2.6, 2.7, or 3.2+ to run. With YouTube-DL, you can download entire playlists, thumbnails, and subtitles, offering extensive customization and functionality.

While it is a powerful tool for tech-savvy users, its command-line interface can be challenging for beginners, making it more suited to those with some technical expertise. And it fails sometimes due to a change in the metadata served by YouTube.

Step 1. Install Python on your system, and make sure you select the compatible version.

Step 2. Run the exe file and check “Add python.exe to PATH.” Click “Install Now.”

Step 3. Windows: press “Win + R” or type cmd in the search bar to bring up the Command Prompt and run as administrator. Mac: click the spotlight icon at the top right corner of your screen, type terminal and double-click the result.

Step 4. Enter the command pip install youtube-dlg and press enter to install YouTube-DL.

Step 5. Use the following command format to download YouTube subtitles.

youtube-dl –write-sub –sub-lang <language_code> –skip-download <video_URL>

  • Replace <language_code> with the language code of the subtitles you want (e.g., en for English, es for Spanish).
  • Replace <video_URL> with the URL of the YouTube video.

To download English subtitles from a YouTube video without downloading the video, the command would look like this:

youtube-dl –write-sub –sub-lang en –skip-download

Note: This should work, but if you encounter the error “unable to extract uploader id” like I do, you can upgrade the command to the latest version, or install the master version using the command pip install –force-reinstall Unfortunately, they are not working for me. So if you have the same problem, my suggestion is going for the easier methods mentioned in the article.

Wrapping up

Downloading subtitles from YouTube is useful for language learning, accessibility, content creation, and archiving. This article covered six free methods, each catering to different needs:

  1. EaseUS Video Downloader: Desktop users needing automatic subtitle downloads with timestamps, offering a reliable, high-quality solution.
  2. Manual Transcript Extraction: Users wanting a quick, no-software-needed method, preferring simplicity for occasional use.
  3. Online Subtitle Downloaders (Downsub, SaveSubs): Users preferring fast online methods without installation, who can tolerate ads.
  4. Browser Extensions: Chrome users seeking a quick, one-click subtitle download solution without extra apps.
  5. VLC Media Player: VLC users wanting to avoid additional tools, leveraging VLC for media playback and subtitle downloads.
  6. YouTube-DL: Tech-savvy users needing a powerful, customizable command-line tool.

Choose the method that best fits your needs to efficiently download YouTube subtitles and enhance your viewing experience.

Download Captions from YouTube FAQs

1. How to download subtitles from YouTube on Android?

  • Go to Google Play Store and install ccTube-Closed Caption, language study.
  • Open the YouTube app and go to the video with the subtitles you need.
  • Tap on the share button and share it to ccTube.

Tap the download button and find the file in the folder.

2. How to download auto-generated subtitles from YouTube?

To download auto generated subtitles from YouTube, in the video manager, select the video and click on “More” > “Transcript.” Then, you can choose the subtitle format to download.

3. How do you convert YouTube videos to subtitles?

You can convert YouTube videos to subtitles using its built-in transcript feature, online subtitle downloaders, third-party software, or YouTube-DL command lines. Simply copy the URL of the YouTube video and paste the link to EaseUS Video Downloader, you can get the video with subtitles.

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