transcribe YouTube videos

Transcribe YouTube Video to Text with 5 Easy and Efficient Ways

Rivi Richards authorRivi Richards
Apr 26, 20236 mins
Why Transcribe YouTube Video to Text?

While YouTube videos can provide a lot of entertainment and information, for some, the text creates an even better experience, because sometimes the audio quality may be poor or the speaker's accent is difficult to understand, and text can provide additional clarity.

Therefore, a transcription of YouTube videos is necessary — it is an often overlooked yet powerful way to boost your video content's reach and impact. 

If you are wondering how can I transcribe my YouTube videos and if YouTube transcription is free, you’ll find the answers here.

We'll walk you through five free and efficient methods for transcribing YouTube videos to text, ensuring you get the most out of your content. 

Why Transcribe YouTube Video to Text?

Transcribing YouTube videos to a text offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Accessibility: Transcription makes video content more accessible to people with hearing impairments or those who prefer watching videos on mute, allowing them to follow and engage with the content easily.

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Search engines like Google cannot index video content directly. Therefore providing a text transcript helps improve the video's visibility in search results by allowing search engines to crawl and index the text, boosting your content's SEO.

  • Increased engagement: Transcriptions promote increased engagement by offering viewers multiple ways to consume your content—watching, listening, and reading. Besides, the text is more friendly for those who benefit from reading, helping them understand and retain information better.

  • Breaking Language barriers: Transcripts can be translated into multiple languages, making your content more accessible to a global audience who might otherwise struggle with language barriers.

  • Note-taking and quoting: Transcripts are helpful for journalists, researchers, and students who need to reference quotes or take notes from video content accurately.

3 Free Ways to Transcribe YouTube Videos [on PC]

Whether you're a content creator, marketer, or just looking to make your videos more accessible, below are three ways to convert YouTube videos to text on a computer easily. 

Method 1: YouTube's Inbuilt Transcription Service

Many users aren't aware of this, but YouTube offers a helpful transcription tool that relies on advanced speech recognition technology to generate a transcript for your videos. 

To get a YouTube video transcript, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the video you want to transcribe.

Step 2: Click on the three dots (ellipsis) at the video's bottom right and choose ‘Show transcript.’

YouTube video show transcript

A video transcript will appear on the right side of the screen. 

YouTube video transcript

However, you may find that not every YouTube video has a 'Show transcript' option, that’s because the video's creator doesn’t turn on automatic captioning or YouTube's automatic speech recognition (ASR) system cannot generate an accurate transcript due to poor audio quality or background noise.

Here is how to enable automatic captioning on YouTube:

  1. Sign in to your YouTube account and go to the YouTube Studio.

  2. On the left-hand menu, click ‘Content’ to see a list of your uploaded videos.

  3. Find the video to which you want to add captions and click the ‘Details’ button (a pencil icon).

  4. In the Details page, scroll down to the "Language, subtitles, and closed captions" section, and click on ‘ADD’ next to ‘Subtitles and CC.’

  5. Choose the video's language from the drop-down menu and click ‘Confirm.’

  6. You will see two options: ‘Upload a file’ and "Auto-sync.’ Choose Auto-sync to let YouTube automatically generate captions using its speech recognition technology.

  7. The captions will appear automatically in your video. Please note that it may take some time for YouTube to process the automatic captions, depending on the video's length and the audio's complexity.

Advantages of YouTube transcription tool:

  • Free and simple to use

  • Ability to jump to different parts of the transcription with timestamps and play the video


  • Limited accuracy

  • No option to edit or highlight text

  • Unavailable for certain videos

Overall, YouTube's inbuilt transcription service is a handy and cost-effective tool for users seeking an easy way to convert their videos to text. 

However, if you require more precise transcriptions or a solution for videos lacking the 'Show transcript' option, go for the below methods.  

Method 2: Use Airgram Automatic Transcription Tool

One of the easiest ways to convert YouTube videos to text is by using a third-party transcription tool, which requires minimum human effort and can transcribe fastly.

The one I’m using today is Airgram. It is a meeting management tool with an automatic transcription feature, allowing you to effortlessly transcribe audio and video from multiple sources, including YouTube, into accurately written text, saving you time and energy.

  • AI-powered transcription with an accuracy rate as high as 95%.

  • It supports all popular video formats like mp4, mov, webm, ogg files and rmvb.

  • A media player and editing tool inside the app enables you to edit easily.

  • The transcript comes with timestamps, making locating specific parts of the video more accessible.

Follow these easy steps to transcribe YouTube videos free with Airgram:

Step 1: Download the YouTube video

Before you can transcribe your video, you'll need to download it from YouTube in a compatible format. 

If you are not the video creator, one popular option is a free online YouTube video downloader. Copy the video URL, paste it into the downloader's search bar, choose the desired format (e.g., MP4 or MP3), and download it.

Step 2: Upload the video file to Airgram

Log in to your Airgram account (sign up for free if you don't have one) and navigate to the top right corner; click 'Import files.' 

upload a file for transcription in Airgram

Please select the appropriate transcription language and drag your video file into the pop-up box or manually select it. 

After that, the tool will start transcribing, and you can make a cup of coffee while waiting.

Step 3: Review and edit your transcript

When the transcription is complete, check it out and make edits simply by moving the cursor to wherever needed.

Airgram video-to-text transcription

As you review the transcript, you can also listen to the audio while editing the transcript to ensure accuracy.

Step 4: Export the transcript

When you're satisfied with the transcript, click on the three dots in the top right corner of the screen and select 'Export' from the drop-down menu. 

export Airgram transcript

You can export the transcript to Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Notion, HubSpot, or Slack, depending on your preference.

Overall, Airgram simplifies transcription, providing an intuitive platform to review, edit, and export your transcripts. 

Method 3: Transcribe a YouTube video with Google Docs

Do you know that Google Docs offers a unique feature called Voice Typing that you can utilize to transcribe YouTube videos? 

Although not designed explicitly for transcription, this versatile tool can still be a helpful hand as you transcribe Youtube videos to text. 

  1. Open a blank Google Docs document and navigate to the ‘Tools’ menu.

  2. Select ‘Voice Typing’ from the drop-down list.

    Google Docs voice typing

  3. A microphone icon will appear on your screen; select the transcription language you need by clicking on the dropdown menu.

    select voice typing language Google Docs

  4. Play the YouTube video you want to transcribe and click on the microphone icon to start (allow Google Doc to access your microphone when prompted). Ensure the video's audio is clear and loud enough for Google Docs to pick up.

    transcribe using Google Docs

  5. Google Docs will transcribe the audio in real-time as the video plays. You may need to pause the video periodically to make any necessary edits or adjustments to the transcript.

Advantages of using Google Docs Voice Typing

  • Free and easily accessible for anyone with a Google account.

  • Real-time transcription

  • Able to correct the transcript timely during the transcription process.


  • Limited accuracy: The voice typing feature may not capture every word accurately, especially if the video's audio quality is poor or the speaker has a strong accent.

  • Manual syncing required: You'll need to play the YouTube video and click the microphone icon simultaneously, which can be cumbersome.

  • No automatic timestamping: Google Docs Voice Typing does not automatically timestamp the transcript, making it more challenging to sync the text with the video later.

Transcribing YouTube videos with Google Docs is convenient and cost-effective, especially for those familiar with the platform. While it may not be as accurate or efficient as dedicated transcription tools like Airgram, it's still useful for transcribing video content on a budget. 

2 Ways to Get the Transcript of a YouTube Video on Mobile

Method 1: Use the YouTube app

To make the most of autogenerated captions on the YouTube app, ensure that you have the latest version installed on your device. You can download it from the App Store or Google Play Store and sign in to your account.

To access captions, follow these steps:

  • Open the YouTube app and select a video to play.

  • While playing the video, tap on the screen to display the control overlay. Tap the gear icon on the top-right corner to access additional settings and select ‘Captions’.

  • You'll see options for "English" or "English (auto-generated)" captions. Choose the one that suits your needs.

Optionally, you can enable captions for all videos across your devices by visiting the Account page, selecting ‘Settings’ > "Captions’ and toggling the switch on.

For a more personalized experience, you can also adjust the language, text size, and style of captions.

Method 2: Google Live Transcribe for Android

Designed to help people with hearing impairments, Google Live Transcript is a fantastic feature that provides real-time transcription for conversations and media, including YouTube videos. 

Note: This tool is available in the Android Accessibility settings of Google Pixel devices (Pixel 3 and above) and most modern Android phones. If it's not on your device, you can download the standalone app from the Google Play Store for devices running Android 9.0 and above. 

  • Open the Settings app on your Android device, scroll down, and select ‘Accessibility.’

  • Then, scroll to the Captions section and choose ‘Live Transcribe.’ 

  • Click ‘Allow’ when you open the app to permit it to record audio. 

  • Now open the YouTube app and play the video you want to transcribe. 

  • Tap the Accessibility button (usually at the bottom right of the screen) to start Live Transcript.

You can also personalize Live Transcript settings to suit your preferences and improve transcription accuracy: Access these options by tapping the gear icon within the app and selecting 'More Settings.' 

Some options include text size adjustments, transcription history, theme changes, and adding custom words for better accuracy.

Ready to Unleash Your Transcription Potential?

YouTube transcripts are becoming increasingly important, with accessibility, SEO rankings, and content repurposing becoming key considerations for creators, marketers, and viewers. 

As a result, finding the best transcription method that works for you is vital. While YouTube's automatic transcription feature may be free and straightforward, more accurate options exist. 

That's where Airgram video transcription comes in, offering an innovative and efficient solution for converting Youtube videos into accurately written text. Most importantly, it offers 5 free transcription quotas each month and that’s definitely worth a try!

Rivi Richards

Passionate about productivity and workplace efficiency, Rivi delivers content that keeps you informed and ready to tackle your next meeting. Dive into Rivi's articles for a fresh, interesting take on staying ahead in today's fast-paced world!

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