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How to Get a Transcript of a YouTube Video

how to get transcript of youtube video

In an age where digital content is more accessible than ever, knowing how to get a transcript of a YouTube video is an essential skill. Transcripts not only make content more accessible but also serve as valuable resources for students, professionals, and enthusiasts who prefer reading over watching. This comprehensive guide will detail how to get a transcript of a YouTube video across various platforms and explain the mechanics behind it.

How to Get a Transcript of a YouTube Video on Desktop

When it comes to desktop users, the steps to get a transcript of a YouTube video are user-friendly:

  1. Navigate to YouTube: Open your preferred browser and visit the YouTube website.
  2. Select the Desired Video: Search for and play the video you want a transcript of.
  3. Accessing the Transcript: Beneath the video player, click on the three dots for more options and select ‘Open transcript’.
  4. Utilizing the Transcript: The transcript panel opens on the right side of the video. You can scroll through this panel to read the transcript. For copying, simply highlight the text and copy it for your use.

This feature is a boon for research purposes, where you might need direct quotes or for reviewing educational content without watching the entire video.

How to Get a Transcript of a YouTube Video on Phone

For mobile users, the process to get a transcript of a YouTube video is slightly different:

  1. Open YouTube App: Launch the YouTube application on your smartphone.
  2. Choose the Video: Find and play the video for which you need the transcript.
  3. Accessing Transcript Options: Tap the video to see on-screen options. Then, click on the three dots on the top right to see more options.
  4. Viewing the Transcript: If available, you will find a ‘Transcript’ option here. Tapping on it will open the transcript for the video.

This method is particularly handy for users who rely heavily on mobile devices and need quick access to the textual content of videos.

How Does YouTube Transcription Work?

To fully understand how to get a transcript of a YouTube video, it’s important to comprehend how YouTube’s transcription process works. YouTube uses sophisticated speech recognition technology to generate transcripts. This technology analyzes the video’s audio track, identifying spoken words and converting them into written text. The quality of this transcription can vary based on factors like the clarity of the audio, accents of the speakers, and background noise.

Automatic vs. Professional Transcription

In your quest to get a transcript of a YouTube video, you’ll encounter two types of transcriptions: automatic and professional.

Automatic Transcription: Generated by YouTube’s AI, this type of transcription is quick and generally accurate for clear, well-spoken audio. However, it may struggle with heavy accents, technical jargon, or poor audio quality.

Professional Transcription: This involves human transcriptionists who listen to the video and manually transcribe the content. It’s more accurate, especially for videos with complex terminology or accented speech, but it can be costly and time-consuming.

Enhancing Accessibility and Utility

Transcripts greatly enhance the accessibility of video content, making it available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Moreover, for non-native speakers, transcripts can be an invaluable tool for understanding and language learning.


Understanding how to get a transcript of a YouTube video is more than just a technical skill; it’s a step towards making digital content more accessible and usable for a diverse audience. Whether you’re a student needing quotes for a research paper, a professional looking to reference a key point from a webinar, or someone who simply prefers reading to watching, YouTube transcripts are a valuable resource. The platform’s commitment to improving this feature reflects the growing need for inclusive, accessible digital content in our global, interconnected world.

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