How to Get the Written Transcript for Any YouTube Video

Key takeaways:

  • YouTube offers auto-generated transcripts for most videos, but they may contain inaccuracies
  • Third-party tools and professional transcription services can provide more accurate transcripts
  • Transcripts can be easily accessed and downloaded using various methods on desktop and mobile devices

Why You Need YouTube Video Transcripts

Getting the written transcript of a YouTube video can be incredibly useful for a variety of reasons. Whether you’re a content creator looking to make your videos more accessible or a viewer who wants to quickly skim through the content, having a transcript can save you time and effort. Here are some benefits of using YouTube video transcripts:

  • Accessibility: Transcripts make your content accessible to a wider audience, including those with hearing impairments or those who prefer reading over watching videos.
  • SEO: Including transcripts can improve your video’s search engine optimization (SEO) by providing additional text content for search engines to index.
  • Repurposing content: Transcripts allow you to easily repurpose your video content into blog posts, articles, or social media posts.
  • Translation: With a transcript, you can easily translate your content into different languages to reach a global audience.

How to Access YouTube’s Auto-Generated Transcripts

YouTube automatically generates transcripts for most videos using its speech recognition technology. While these transcripts may contain some inaccuracies, they can still be a useful starting point. Here’s how to access them:

  1. Go to the YouTube video page and click on the “More” icon (three vertical dots) below the video title.
  2. From the dropdown menu, select “Open Transcript.”
  3. The transcript will appear in a pane below the video player, allowing you to scroll through and copy the text.

Keep in mind that not all videos have auto-generated transcripts available, and the accuracy may vary depending on factors like audio quality, accents, and background noise.

Using Third-Party Tools for More Accurate Transcripts

If you need a more accurate transcript than what YouTube’s auto-generated feature provides, several third-party tools can help. These tools often combine automation with human verification to deliver high-quality transcripts. Some popular options include:

  • Rev: Rev offers both automated and human-generated transcripts with a 99% accuracy guarantee. Prices start at $1.25 per minute for human-generated transcripts.
  • Trint: Trint uses AI to generate transcripts and allows users to easily edit and collaborate on the resulting text. Prices start at $60 per month for 3 hours of transcription.
  • offers real-time transcription and can generate transcripts from pre-recorded audio or video files. The service offers both free and paid plans, with prices starting at $8.33 per month.

These tools often integrate directly with YouTube, allowing you to easily import your video and generate a transcript with just a few clicks.

Professional Transcription Services for Maximum Accuracy

For situations where you need 100% accuracy, such as legal or medical content, it’s best to use a professional transcription service. These services employ trained human transcribers to ensure the highest level of accuracy. Some reputable options include:

  • TranscribeMe: TranscribeMe offers a 99% accuracy guarantee and prices starting at $0.79 per minute. They also provide additional services like translation and subtitling.
  • GoTranscript: GoTranscript boasts a 99% accuracy rate and offers both verbatim and clean-read transcripts. Prices start at $0.77 per minute.
  • Rev: In addition to their automated transcription service, Rev also offers human-generated transcripts with a 99% accuracy guarantee. Prices start at $1.25 per minute.

While professional transcription services are more expensive than automated tools, they can save you time and ensure the highest level of accuracy for your transcripts.

Downloading and Using Your Transcript

Once you have your transcript, you can easily download it in various formats like .txt, .srt, or .docx, depending on the tool or service you used. Here are some ways to use your transcript:

  • Closed captions: Upload your transcript file to YouTube to add closed captions to your video, making it more accessible to viewers.
  • Blog posts: Use the transcript as the basis for a blog post or article, expanding on key points and adding additional insights.
  • Social media: Extract quotes or highlights from the transcript to create engaging social media posts that drive traffic back to your video.
  • Email marketing: Include excerpts from the transcript in your email newsletters to give subscribers a preview of your video content.

By leveraging your YouTube video transcripts, you can extend the reach and impact of your content across multiple platforms and formats.


Getting the written transcript for your YouTube videos is a simple yet powerful way to enhance your content’s accessibility, SEO, and overall reach. Whether you use YouTube’s auto-generated transcripts, third-party tools, or professional transcription services, having a text version of your video can open up new opportunities for repurposing and distributing your content. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to creating more engaging and impactful video content.


How accurate are YouTube’s auto-generated transcripts?

YouTube’s auto-generated transcripts are generally 60-70% accurate, depending on factors like audio quality, accents, and background noise. While they can be a useful starting point, they often require manual editing for optimal accuracy.

Can I edit YouTube’s auto-generated transcripts?

Yes, you can edit YouTube’s auto-generated transcripts using the platform’s built-in tools. Simply click on the “More” icon below the video and select “Open Transcript.” From there, you can click on any line of text to make edits or corrections.

How much do professional transcription services cost?

Professional transcription services typically charge per minute of audio or video, with prices ranging from $0.75 to $2.00 per minute. The exact cost will depend on factors like turnaround time, audio quality, and the level of accuracy required.

Can I translate my YouTube video transcripts?

Yes, many third-party tools and professional transcription services offer translation services in addition to transcription. This can be a great way to make your content accessible to a global audience.

How can I add closed captions to my YouTube videos?

To add closed captions to your YouTube videos, you’ll need to upload a transcript file in a compatible format (.srt, .sub, .sbv, or .cap). You can do this by going to your YouTube Studio, selecting the video you want to add captions to, and clicking on the “Subtitles” tab. From there, you can upload your transcript file and adjust the timing as needed.