How to Enable and Use System-Wide Live Captions in Windows 11

The System-Wide Live Captions is a part of Microsoft’s 22H2 initiative. The 22H2 update adds vital features to Windows 11 while improving its performance. One of these new features is System-Wide Live Captions. Enabling this feature means Windows will show live captions whenever audio or video is playing on your computer.

It’s a great step to make using Windows more convenient for hearing-deficit users all over the globe. The feature is disabled by default. You have to enable it manually. The following article shows the steps; check it out.

What are Live Captions in Windows 11?

Live Captions is a new accessibility feature in Windows 11. Microsoft rolled out this new feature with the new 22H2 update. The feature automatically analyses the audio playing on your computer and creates or generates captions.

The feature even works for online videos and provides the option to connect a microphone for in-person conversations. It is a system-wide feature designed to help hearing-impaired Windows users all over the globe.

The Live Caption feature uses local language files to process and analyze the playing audio. After that, it transcribes and creates captions in real time. Microsoft is also very serious about the privacy of its users.

So, the live caption data isn’t shared with Microsoft servers. After downloading the required package, users can enjoy live captioning offline. Users can also customize the captions, like the text and the position.

Currently, Live captions only support English content (US), but Microsoft will likely provide support for other languages soon.

How to Enable System-Wide Live Captions on Windows 11

The system-wide live caption is a part of the Windows 11 22H2 update. So, if you are using an older Windows build, the feature will not be accessible to you. So, update Windows 11 Settings >> Windows Update. If you haven’t updated Windows 11, the option to install 22H2 will be visible here. If you are already using Windows 11 22H2, skip the update section.

Windows Update

From Windows Settings

Follow the steps below to enable live captions in Windows 11 from Windows settings.

1. Go to Windows Settings. Press Win + I to launch Settings.

2. Navigate to Accessibility.

3. Click on Captions under Hearing.

Captions Windows Settings

4. Toggle the switch to turn on Live Captions.

Enable Live Captions Windows 11

5. A confirmation pop-up will appear. Click the Download option to download the required files.

Download Speech Pack to Enable Live Captions

From Quick Settings

You can enable Live Captions from Quick Settings. But before that, you need to add Accessibility to the Quick Settings. Only after that enabling the Live Captions feature is possible.

1. Access the Quick Settings from the Taskbar. You can also press Win + A to access it.

2. Click on the Edit Icon in Quick Settings.

3. Click the + Add Icon.

Go to Quick Settings

4. Choose Accessibility from the list to add it in Quick Settings.

5. Click Done to complete editing.

6. Now, open Quick Settings and click on the Accessibility tile.

Click Accessibility

7. Toggle the switch for Live Captions.

Toggle to Enable Live Captions Switch

Again, pop-ups will appear, and you have to click the Download button to get the required files.

With Keyboard Shortcuts

It is the easiest way to enable system-wide live captions in Windows 11. Press Win + Ctrl + L on your keyboard to enable live captions. You can press the same keyboard shortcut to disable it when you are done.

These are the ways to enable system-wide live captions in Windows. After activating it, you will see live cations for any audio in real-time.

Customize System-Wide Live Captions

After enabling the Live Captions in Windows 11, it is time to customize them. You can change the text, fonts, and other aspects according to your preference. Follow the steps below.

1. Launch Windows Settings by pressing Win + I on the keyboard.

2. Navigate to Accessibility and click on Captions.

3. Select Caption Style. You can also click the Gear-Shaped Icon on the captions windows to choose Caption Style.

Gear Icon

4. Select a caption style from the drop menu. If you want a particular caption style, click on the Edit Button.

Caption Style

You can change the Text, Color, Font, Size, Opacity, and Effect from the Caption Style Menu. You can also change the Caption Background and the Window Color. The changes will save automatically, and you can preview them from the Theme Preview segment.

Customize Live Captions in Windows 11 1

Finally, change the name of your caption style to easily identify it.

Use System-Wide Live Captions In Windows 11

You have enabled Live Captions in Windows 11, learned how to customize it, and now, it is time to learn how to use it effectively. After enabling the Live Captions, play a video on your computer. The captions will appear. The same will happen with the audio files. You can listen to your favourite songs while reading the lyrics.

Note: Currently, Live Captions can support only one language, English (United States).

Besides the audio and video files, Live Captions will also work while you are on a video call. The captions will be displayed by default when the other person or persons are talking.

You can also choose to view captions when you are speaking. You have to click the gear-shaped icon in the captions window, navigate to the Caption options, and select Include Microphone Audio from the sub-menu.

After that, options for your speech will appear. The best part is that you don’t need to worry about privacy. The live captions are generated on your computer, and Microsoft won’t collect that data.

Now, for the captions box. You can also set the box anywhere on your screen. Click the gear icon in the captions window, go to Position, and choose from the options available. After using live captions, click the cross icon on the captions window to close it. But the easy option is to click the caption block and move it around.


What is the Different Between Subtitles and Captions?

Well, they are different. They are different in definition and purpose. The captions are for viewers who can’t hear the audio in a video. The subtitles are for the viewers who can hear but are unable to understand the language of the played video.

What is Caption Preference?

You can tap the Caption size and style to change the caption size and text size. You can also change the style and the color of the caption. Background too.

Is It Possible to Translate Live Captions?

In theory, it is possible. But Microsoft hasn’t provided the technology or is not currently advanced enough. The best alternative is to translate in near real-time and hire a professional translator to assist in the process.

Enjoy Windows 11 with Live Captions

Microsoft is doing a great job of inducing new vital features with the 22H2 updates. The company has already introduced several features; one is better than the next one. But Live Captions takes the trophy.

It is an excellent Windows 11 feature. Microsoft did an astounding job for its hearing-impaired customer base. Additionally, users are getting numerous customization options, and total privacy as Microsoft is not collecting any data.

Posted by
Ratnesh Kumar

Founder Yorker Media, Tech Writer

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