How to Get the Transcript of a YouTube Video Complete Guide

In this guide, we'll explore the straightforward steps to access and utilize YouTube's transcript feature. Whether you're using a desktop or a mobile device, you'll learn how to easily find and view transcripts for YouTube videos. This functionality is particularly useful for those who want to follow along with the video content, reference specific sections, or need written content for accessibility purposes. Let's dive into the simple process of accessing YouTube transcripts on different devices.

Written by
Andre Smith
Updated On
February 6, 2024

Getting Transcription directly from YouTube on Desktop

Let's jump right into finding YouTube's built-in transcript capabilities. Here's how to access this hidden gem

1. Open the video

Navigate to your chosen YouTube video on your desktop browser.

Get your YouTube Video transcript

2. Click on the "...more" in the grey box below the video

3. Click on "Show Transcript"

Scroll to the bottom of the now expanded box

4. Read Transcript

The Transcript will show on the top right hand side of the window.

5. Export

You can now export by copy and pasting the transcript into Word Doc format, txt, RTF or paste it into an AI Summary tool like ScreenApp or ChatGPT

Getting Transcription directly from YouTube on Mobile

1. Open the video

Access the video on the YouTube app on your mobile device.

2. Tap the "More" button

Look for the "More" button (often represented by three vertical dots) located below the video player.

3. Select "Show transcript"

This will reveal the transcript within the app.

Transcript Varieties: Auto-Generated vs. Creator-Uploaded

Not all transcripts are created equal! YouTube offers two main types:

  • Auto-Generated Transcripts: Created automatically by YouTube's AI, offering a quick-and-easy option. However, accuracy can vary, especially with complex content, accents, or background noise.
  • Creator-Uploaded Transcripts: Manually provided by the video creator, ensuring higher accuracy and often including additional details and formatting.

Language Choices and Timestamp Toggles

Customize your transcript experience with these handy features:

  • Language Selection: If the video has multiple language options, you can choose your preferred language from the transcript settings.
  • Timestamp Toggle: Prefer a cleaner transcript without timestamps? Simply click on the three dots within the transcript panel and select "Toggle timestamps" to hide or reveal them.

Third Party Tools

YouTube's native transcripts provide a basic solution, but for those seeking a more sophisticated approach, a range of online tools like ScreenApp, Tactiq, and Temi offer advanced capabilities. These tools transform the transcript experience, providing functionalities such as automatic downloading, in-depth editing, and specialized formatting.


  • Primary Features: ScreenApp stands out for its simplicity and user-friendly interface. It enables automatic generation and downloading of transcripts in various formats (txt, doc, etc.) with just one click.
  • Ideal Users: Content creators who need quick transcript downloads and basic editing.
  • Unique Advantage: Integrates seamlessly with other productivity tools like Google Docs.
  • Pricing: Free basic service, with premium options available.


  • Primary Features: Tactiq excels in online editing and speaker identification. It allows users to directly edit transcripts within the platform, enhancing accuracy and clarity.
  • Ideal Users: Professionals and students who require polished transcripts with clear speaker identification.
  • Unique Advantage: Offers a free basic plan, catering to users with limited requirements.
  • Pricing: Free basic plan, with premium features for advanced users.


  • Primary Features: Rev specializes in advanced features and customization options. It caters to professional needs, offering specific formatting and detailed transcription services.
  • Ideal Users: Professionals with complex transcription needs, such as researchers or language learners requiring precise and formatted transcripts.
  • Unique Advantage: High-quality, professional service with a range of customization options.
  • Pricing: Paid subscription, with various tiers to suit different needs.

Why Use Transcripts?

  • Research Powerhouse: Dig deeper into complex topics by easily referencing key points and timestamps. No more frantically scribbling notes!
  • Accessibility Champion: Help viewers with hearing impairments or noisy environments fully engage with the content. Closed captions can be a lifesaver!
  • Quick Reference Guru: Need a refresher on that recipe tip or DIY hack? A transcript lets you skip straight to the good stuff, saving you precious time.
  • Quote Master: Nail those academic citations by capturing exact quotes with ease. No more relying on fuzzy memories.
  • Language Learner's Friend: Boost your comprehension by following along with the written text, especially for videos in unfamiliar languages.

These are just a few of the pain points that plague the transcript seeker. It's enough to make you throw your hands up in despair and resign yourself to a life of fuzzy memories and unintelligible captions. But fret not, fellow video enthusiast! There's a better way, and this guide is your map to transcript Nirvana. So, buckle up, and let's conquer the transcript wasteland together!

Pain Points of getting YouTube Transcripts

Forget the transcript-hunting frustration! Ditch the sketchy hacks and unreliable downloads. This guide is your secret weapon to unlocking YouTube transcripts with ease and accuracy. No more sifting through cryptic menus or deciphering gibberish captions. We'll cut through the confusion and show you exactly how to access transcripts, whether they're native YouTube offerings or hidden gems from powerful tools.

Get ready to:

  • Locate existing transcripts on YouTube with ninja-like precision (desktop and mobile methods revealed!).
  • Master the intricacies of auto-generated and creator-uploaded transcripts.
  • Explore alternative tools that take transcript access to the next level (automatic downloads, editing features, and more!).
  • Download and save transcripts in formats that suit your needs, from simple text files to fancy documents.
  • Troubleshoot any transcript hiccups you might encounter along the way, with clear solutions for missing transcripts and inaccurate captions.

This is your one-stop shop for decoding the YouTube transcript mystery. By the end of this guide, you'll be a transcribing pro, navigating the video world with newfound confidence and efficiency. So, grab your favorite YouTube video and prepare to experience the power of the written word, unlocked from the depths of your favorite audiovisual content. Let's get started!

Transcript Management

Ready to take your transcript game to the next level? Here's how to handle those transcripts like a pro:

Downloading and Saving in Different Formats:

  • Native YouTube Option: While YouTube doesn't offer direct downloads, a simple copy-paste into a text editor like Notepad or Word does the trick. Save as .txt, .docx, or other preferred formats.
  • Online Tools: Many tools like ScreenApp and Tactiq offer automatic downloads in various formats (TXT, DOCX, SRT, etc.), saving you time and effort.

Browser Extensions for Integrated Transcripts:

  • Transcribe for YouTube: Displays a transcript panel right within YouTube, with customization options and the ability to export as TXT or SRT files.
  • Invideo for YouTube: Offers a searchable transcript overlay for quick reference and easy navigation within the video.

Advanced Tasks for Transcript Pros:

  • Editing and Polishing: Enhance accuracy and clarity by editing transcripts using online tools like Tactiq or dedicated transcription software.
  • Translating Transcripts: Reach a wider audience by translating transcripts into different languages using translation services or tools like Google Translate.
  • Creating Subtitles: Turn accurate transcripts into subtitles for increased accessibility and engagement using video editing software or online subtitle generators.

Remember: Always respect copyright laws and obtain permission from creators if you plan to use transcripts for commercial purposes or public distribution.


Transcripts are your friends, but sometimes those friends can be a bit... unreliable. Let's tackle some common snags and explore solutions:

1. Where's the transcript? It's missing!

  • Check twice: Sometimes the "Show transcript" button hides! Scroll down the video description and confirm it's not already displayed.
  • Creator's choice: Not all creators provide transcripts. Try searching their website or social media for additional resources.
  • Language options: If the video has multiple languages, ensure you've selected the desired language for the transcript.
  • Alternative solutions: Consider online tools like or Notta, which can automatically transcribe the video for you (accuracy may vary).

2. Help! The captions are gibberish!

  • Auto-gen woes: Unfortunately, auto-generated captions can make Shakespeare look clear. Try finding a creator-uploaded transcript if available.
  • Technical difficulties: Check your internet connection and try refreshing the page. Sometimes glitches can cause inaccurate captions.
  • Community power: If the video has a large community, consider searching for user-created subtitles or transcripts (may require further verification).
  • Alternative solutions: Use online tools like Tactiq for editing and polishing the transcript to improve accuracy.

3. Accessibility matters: How can I use transcripts with screen readers?

  • Native YouTube: For existing transcripts, open the transcript panel and activate your screen reader. It should automatically announce the text along with the video audio.
  • Downloaded transcripts: Ensure your downloaded transcripts are in a screen reader-friendly format like plain text (.txt) or HTML. Most tools offer compatible download options.
  • Additional resources: YouTube features an accessibility help center with guides on using screen readers and closed captions.

Remember: These are just some common issues. If you encounter unique problems, don't hesitate to explore online forums and communities for advice and solutions. Don't let transcript troubles dim your YouTube experience!

Conclusion and Summary

Let's recap: you've unlocked the secrets of accessing, managing, and even enhancing YouTube transcripts. No more fuzzy memories or struggling through incomprehensible captions. You're now a transcript ninja, wielding the power of written words to:

  • Deepen your understanding: Research with ease, reference key points, and never miss a crucial quote.
  • Boost accessibility: Open up the world of video to hearing-impaired viewers or anyone in noisy environments.
  • Save time and sanity: Skip irrelevant parts, quickly find specific moments, and avoid endlessly rewinding.
  • Enhance learning: Follow along in another language, analyze complex topics, and create study materials easily.
  • Empower creators: Streamline your workflow, generate captions or descriptions, and even translate your content for wider reach.

But this journey isn't a solo mission! Share your transcript triumphs and struggles in the comments below. Did you find a favorite online tool? Uncover a hidden creator-uploaded gem? We're all here to learn from each other and conquer the transcript frontier together.

So, whether you're a research guru, a language learner, or just a curious video enthusiast, remember this: transcripts are your friends. Embrace their power, explore the tools and options, and unlock a richer, more rewarding YouTube experience.

And for even more transcript tips and tricks, consider subscribing to my blog (insert link here)! Until next time, happy transcribing!

ScreenApp effortlessly captures your screen recordings and leverages AI to transcribe, summarize and take notes of your videos and audio, making it simple to share insights with your team, clients, and prospects.

Table of Contents