How to turn closed captions on or off on Roku

Closed captioning is a pretty essential option on any streaming device. Even if you’re not hard of hearing, dialogue can sometimes be tough to understand these days, especially in loud action scenes. Here’s how to turn closed captions on and off on Roku.

Read more: Roku buyer’s guide

QUICK ANSWER

To turn closed captions on and off on Roku, go to Settings > Accessibility > Captions mode from the Roku home screen. Choose from one of the four options that appear.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to turn off closed captions on Roku

roku remote in basket

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Closed captions should be off by default. If they’re on and you want to revert to an unobstructed screen, however, disabling them is simple. Using your Roku remote:

  • Hit the home button to go to the homescreen (if you’re not already there).
  • Select and open the Accessibility menu. On some devices, there might be a straight-up Captions menu.
  • Within Accessibility, click on Captions mode.
  • Choose Off.

You can also toggle captions during playback by hitting the asterisk/star button and going into the Closed captioning menu. Either method has a system-wide impact.

How to turn on closed captions on Roku (including different modes)

The process here is similar to the one above, except for selecting “Off,” but there are a few things to note. First, switching captions on doesn’t guarantee them in every movie or TV show — videos have to include them specifically. Some apps may also force you to use their own closed caption settings, in which case you may have to check support websites for specific instructions.

Roku offers three different “on” modes:

  • On always forces captions to appear whenever they’re supported.
  • On replay enables captions whenever you hit the replay button on your remote, as long as that content supports Roku’s instant replay functions.
  • On mute leaves captions off most of the time but turns them on whenever audio is completely muted. Only some Roku devices support this.

Most people should choose On always if they want captioning. The other options do have their uses, of course — On mute is great if you usually avoid captions but, say, want to catch news updates while listening to something else.


Frequently asked questions

Typically, you should be able to tap the asterisk/star button to bring up a mid-video window with a Closed captioning menu.

Yes, but you may need to turn these on separately from Roku’s general settings. During a video, hit the up button, then select the Dialog button (a speech bubble) to see options.

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