Hey there fellow Roku user! How is your streaming experience going? If you’re anything like me, you have probably developed a love/hate relationship with those little words at the bottom of your TV screen. After all, why else would you be here learning how to turn off closed captions on Roku?
Sometimes I find them incredibly helpful, like when I’m trying to understand the quiet dialogue between characters, which can get drowned out by background sounds and music. And closed captions are your best friend when it comes to programming from other countries that are not in English. Michelle and I are obsessed with foreign language content. Thanks to closed captions, we have an entirely new genre of content to explore and enjoy.
But then there are times when I find those words so distracting, like when I’m trying to watch a fast-paced action movie, I need them to be gone. Those closed captions always divert my attention from what’s happening, and I always miss some part of the fight scene or cool special effects. So whatever your reasons are, knowing how to turn off closed captions on Roku is worth learning. So, just like I taught you what to do when your Roku TV has no sound with my easy-to-follow instructions,
I’ve got another Roku guide to show you a couple of ways to turn closed captions off and back on again.
You can turn closed captions (CC) on or off across all streaming services through Roku’s setting options on the Home screen. Navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Caption Mode, where you will find the CC options: Off, Always on, On replay, and On mute (on newer devices).
To turn CC on or off just for the particular title you are watching, press the Star [*] button on your Roku remote control while playing to open a pop-up menu with the same CC option.
How to Turn On Closed Captions on Roku
Turning CC on in Roku is a piece of cake, and you can do it for all your streaming channels in one go or a specific TV show or movie. I’ve explained both ways here.
For All Streaming Channels
- Go to the Home Screen
Turn your Roku TV on, and it should start at the Home Screen. If it doesn’t, press the Home Button on your Roku remote control to get back to the main screen.
- Open Settings
On the left-hand side, you will see a list of options. Use the arrows on your Roku remote to navigate down the list, get to the Settings, open it and scroll down to find Accessibility.
- Open Accessibility
Navigate this menu to the section named Subtitles and Captioning. Here, you will find the Captions Mode that lets you turn captions on and off and change the caption language.
There is also a fun and useful Captions Styles menu, where you can change everything from the text size and color to the window color and opacity. These options allow you to customize the appearance of the closed captions to your personal preference.
- Open Caption Mode
There are three modes: Off, On always, On replay, and On mute (on newer devices). The first two are universal settings that will turn the captions off or on across all streaming platforms. On replay is for when you say, “Huh, what did they say?” You can rewind and replay the scene in question, and Roku will only show captions for those few seconds. On mute only shows subtitles when you mute the volume.
To turn CC on, select On always, and there you go. I told you it was easy.
For a Single Show or Movie
You can use your Roku remote control if you just want closed captions for a particular title.
- Play the TV show or movie
- Press the [*] button on your Roku remote control to open the closed caption and audio menu. If closed captions are available for that program, a pop-up menu will show the same caption options: Off, On Always, On replay, and On mute.
- Select On always to show captions on the screen
Note, it is possible that these two methods don’t work for all streaming services. In that case, you will have to change the CC settings from within the channel. Usually, it will be on the description page of the
TV show or movie you are watching. You can pause the title and check for the [cc] icon in one of the corners. Use the arrows on your Roku remote to navigate to it. There, you should find options to turn subtitles on and off.
That’s it; now you know how to turn on closed captions on Roku.
How to Turn Off Closed Captions on Roku
It is just as easy to learn how to remove CC on Roku. Follow the same steps above to get to the caption options. Here’s a quick review:
- Go to the Home Screen
- Open Settings
- Open Accessibility
- Open Caption Mode
In the Caption Mode menu, select Off. Remember, this is a universal setting, so this will turn closed captions off across all your streaming services.
This method can be problematic, especially if you want closed captions for particular streaming services. Turning captions off globally can cause more work for you in the long run. You are just going back and forth, turning it on and off, which gets irritating.
Another more selective way to learn how to get CC off Roku is to use your Roku remote control, as I explained for turning the captions on:
- Play the TV show or movie
- Press the Star * button on your Roku
- Select Off from the pop-up menu
Closed Caption is OFF But Still Showing
Many users have complained that even while following these steps that explain how to get CC off Roku, somehow, Roku keeps turning captions on. This issue can be very frustrating, but don’t worry; I have some tips on how you can troubleshoot this annoying problem.
1. Check Universal Setting
Sometimes, when Roku devices automatically update over the network, the settings change, reverting to their default settings. If multiple users share your Roku device, it is also possible that another user changed the settings. So before doing anything rash, go to the Home screen and recheck the caption options, Settings > Accessibility > Captions mode. From here, select the Off option if it isn’t already.
2. Check the Streaming Service Settings
If the closed caption is off but still showing on specific channels, it might be because your streaming service has captions turned on. In these situations, the channel’s setting overrides the closed caption setting in Roku. Depending on the channel, you will have to go to their settings or options menu to turn CC off. Check out the FAQs below for steps to turn CC off for popular services.
3. Check Program Settings
Pause the content you are watching and check if the [CC] icon is on. If it is on, then captions will show regardless of the system and channel settings. You can try turning the captions setting off from here.
4. Restart Your Roku Device
Sometimes, smart devices just freeze and stop responding. The reasons are a subject for another article (don’t worry; I’m working on that), so just know they do for now. When this happens, system changes aren’t saved. So if the closed caption is off but still showing on your screen, this could be a reason.
Restarting your device can clear its internal memory, slowing it down and preventing it from saving changes. Restarting your Roku device doesn’t just mean turning it off and on. You have two choices:
- Turn your TV or device off and unplug the power cord for 15 seconds
- Navigate to the System restart option from the Home Screen by pressing the Home Button on your Roku device and selecting Settings > System > Power
5. Factory Reset Your Roku Device
You can always try to factory reset your device when all else fails. This method is extreme but will delete every setting and user profile info on your device, effectively taking it back to how it was when you took it out of its box. After you do this, you will have to reconfigure your Roku device. There are two ways to do this:
- From the Roku home screen, which you can access by pressing the Home button on your Roku remote control, navigate to the Factory reset option from Settings > Advanced system settings > Factory reset and follow the on-screen directions.
- On the back of your Roku device is a Reset push button or pinhole. Press and hold the button for 10 seconds. If it is a pinhole, do the same with a straightened paper clip.
When the reset is complete, the LED will blink rapidly, and your device will restart. Then set up your device just like you did when you first got it.
With your device cleared, you can turn captions off again by going through the Home screen settings to Accessibility > Caption Modes.
Q1. How to Turn ON and OFF Subtitles on Disney Plus?
Answer – Roku has the facility to turn subtitles on and off on Disney Plus through the system settings:
- To Turn ON: Settings > Accessibility > Caption Mode and select On
- To Turn OFF: Settings > Accessibility > Caption Mode and select Off.
Another option with the latest models is using the Roku remote control to access the caption pop-up menu by pressing the Star * button. This pop-up has the same caption options as the system settings: Off, On Always, On replay, and On mute. Choose the appropriate one as per your requirement.
Note that the remote only changes the caption option for the title playing, not for all content.
In case you have an older device model, you will have to change caption settings within the Disney Plus app as given in the steps below:
- Open Disney Plus
- Go to the content description of the title you want to watch.
- Use the arrows on the Roku remote to open the sidebar where you will find Options
- Open Options to see the closed captioning setting
- Select Off or On as required.
Q2. How to Change Subtitle Language on Disney Plus?
Answer – Roku gives users the option to change the subtitle language from its system settings via Settings > Accessibility > Captions > Captions preferred language. Here you can scroll through the different options to pick the subtitle language you want.
Note, Roku may have a subtitle language option that is not available in Disney Plus, in which case the subtitles will either be in English or turned off.
If Roku does not have the language you are looking for, you can open Disney Plus and change the subtitle language in the app. Navigate to the Options menu on the title’s description page to find the subtitle language options. Scroll through to find the one you want, if it is available.
Q3. How to Turn Subtitles ON and OFF on Other Streaming Services?
Answer – Roku can change the subtitles settings on many streaming services via Settings > Accessibility > Caption Mode. You can switch caption settings from Off, On Always, On replay, and On mute.
Check out the Roku Channel Store for a complete list of supported services, including Netflix, HBO Max, Paramount Plus, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, Sling TV and Direct TV.
Alternatively, you can always use your Roku remote control to change the subtitle settings for any title playing. Just press the Star * button to open a pop-up menu with the closed caption options and select the required settings.
As an engineering graduate (and a full-time layabout), I am always looking for smart technological innovations to make my life simpler and more automated so that I can be even lazier than usual.