How to Enable and Use Automated Live Captions in Zoom

Zoom's automated live captions feature allows you to transcribe spoken language into text, making it easier for everyone to understand what is being discussed in meetings and conferences. Whether you have difficulty hearing, the audio is unclear, or you struggle with accents, live captions can be incredibly helpful. In this article, we'll show you how to enable and use automated live captions in Zoom, as well as the requirements you need to meet.

What Is Automated Live Captions in Zoom

Automated live captions are a real-time conversion of spoken language or audio into text during live events such as presentations, meetings, webinars, and video conferences. This feature is made possible through speech recognition algorithms. With the rise of remote work and video conferencing platforms, automated live captions have become increasingly popular.

Requirements to Use Automated Live Captions

While automated live captions are accessible on both the Zoom desktop and mobile applications, there are a few prerequisites you need to meet. It's important to keep your Zoom software up to date, as Zoom enforces a new version every three months. The version you're using should be the global minimum version or a higher one for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android devices. Additionally, the host of the meeting needs to enable live captions for participants to view them.

How to Enable Automated Live Captions on Zoom

Previously, live captions were only available to paid Zoom users. However, as of late 2021, Zoom made this feature free for all users. To enable automated live captions in Zoom, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Zoom account from your preferred web browser.
  2. Click on “Settings” from the list of options on the left side.
  3. Select “In Meeting (Advanced).”
  4. Enable “Automated captions” in the settings.
  5. Confirm your selection by clicking on “Enable.”

Please note that these changes will not apply to ongoing meetings. You'll need to start a new meeting for the changes to take effect.

How to Use Automated Captions in Zoom Meetings

By default, live captions are turned off during a meeting. However, you can easily enable them. Here's how you can do it on both desktop and mobile devices:

On Desktop

  1. In your Zoom meeting on the desktop, click on “Show Captions.”
  2. A confirmation will appear to verify the language, which is English by default. Click “Save.”

On Mobile

  1. In your Zoom meeting on mobile, slide the options at the bottom and tap on “Captions.”
  2. Tap on “Show Captions.”

How to Request Automated Live Captions

Participants can only use live captions in a meeting if the host has enabled them. If live captions are not available, you can request them by following these steps:

  1. In the bottom toolbar, click on “Request Captions.”
  2. A confirmation will pop up for sending the request to the host. Click “Send.”
  3. The host will receive a notification to enable captions. Once confirmed, participants can use live captions in their meetings.

Please note that mobile application users do not have the option to request captions. Use the desktop version of Zoom to make the request.

Limitations of Using Live Captions

It's important to be aware of the limitations of using live captions in Zoom. HIPAA-enabled accounts, which aim to safeguard personal health information, do not have access to automated captions. To enable this feature, contact your administration to update the account.

How to Change Language

By default, captions in Zoom are generated in English. However, you can change the language according to the speaker's language for the automated live captions to work. Zoom supports more than 30 languages for automated live captions. Here's how you can change the language:

On Desktop

  1. In your Zoom meeting on the desktop, click on “Show Captions.”
  2. You will see a confirmation with the default language, English. Click on the dropdown and select the language of the speaker.
  3. Click “Save” to apply the changes.
  4. To change the language after enabling captions, click on the up arrow next to the Closed Caption button. Under “Your Caption Settings,” click on “Speaking language” and select the desired language.

On Mobile

  1. Slide the options available at the bottom of the meeting and tap on “More.”
  2. Tap on “Meeting Settings.”
  3. From the list of settings, tap on “Speaking Language.”
  4. Select the language of the speaker and tap “Done.”

What Is Manual Caption

In addition to automated live captions, there's also the option for manual captions in Zoom. With manual captions, a participant selected by the host manually types the captions. This can result in more accurate captions compared to automated live captions.


  1. What factors affect the accuracy of Automated Live Captions?
    Automated live captions use AI-generated captions, which improve over time. The accuracy can be affected by internet connectivity, the language of the speaker, audio clarity, and volume.

  2. Can we save Closed Captions?
    Yes, you can save closed captions during and after a meeting. To enable this feature, go to “Settings” in your browser, then navigate to “In Meeting (Advanced) > Save Captions.”

  3. Can we use a third-party caption generator?
    Yes, third-party caption generators can be used in Zoom for highly accurate captions. This feature is available under the manual caption generator.

  4. What is the difference between Subtitles and Closed Captions?
    Captions provide a written version of what is being said in a video in real time, while subtitles are translations in different languages. Both are useful for individuals who can't hear the audio.

Automated live captions in Zoom are an essential feature that enhances communication and understanding during meetings. While manual captions may be more accurate, automated captions provide a convenient solution by generating captions in real time. It's like having a personal stenographer at your fingertips!