Live Auto-Captions for Zoom and Teams

Now, both Microsoft Teams and Zoom have auto-captioning capability in English for live meetings. This may be helpful to some students, but it should not be relied on for accuracy.

Please note: Auto-captioning does not constitute an accommodation. Accommodations for captioning must be done by human captioners, not auto, machine-generated captioning.


Zoom now has automatic Live Transcription (closed captioning) available in English. Once enabled, this automatically adds text to the bottom of the video with what the host and others are saying. You are required to enable the “Closed Captioning” and “Enable live transcription service to show transcript on the side panel in-meeting” settings within “Settings” on the Zoom website. This article will review how to enable the automatic live transcription (closed captioning) settings and how to leverage them within a meeting.

There are three parts to using Live Transcription/Closed Captioning:

  1. Host – Enable the “Closed Captioning” and “Enable live transcription service to show transcript on the side panel in-meeting” accounts settings prior to starting a meeting (only have to complete once).
  2. Host – Enable “Auto-Transcription” after you’ve started your meeting (must complete for each meeting you want to have live auto-transcription available).
  3. Participant – Click the “Live Transcript” button from the in-meeting Zoom toolbar and select one of the options from the pop-up menu (must complete for each meeting that has auto-transcription enabled).

Enable Closed Captioning/Live Transcription User Settings

You are required to manually enable the “Closed captioning” and “Enable live transcription service to show transcript on the side panel in-meeting” settings within your Zoom account in order for live transcription to work. This can be done by signing into and click “Settings” from the left-hand navigation panel.

  1. Log in to your Pellissippi issued Zoom pro account (Has to be a Pro account where the administrator has enabled captions)
  2. Click “Settings” in the left-hand navigation panel under “Profile
  3. Under “Meeting” click “In Meeting (Advanced)” then scroll down to find “Closed Captioning

  1. Enable the “Closed Captioning” setting and Turn on the “Save Captions” setting.
  2. Check the box next to “Enable live transcription service to show transcript on the side panel in-meeting” and then click “Save“.

Enable and Disable Auto-Transcription (In a Meeting)

After enabling the two account settings above, you can now enable/disable live-transcription in your Zoom meetings. Live-transcription (closed captioning) is not automatically enabled for all of your meetings by default, you must enable them in order for your participants to have the ability to enable/view them.

  1. To enable live-transcription, first, start your meeting
  2. Click on the “CC Live Transcript” icon in your Zoom meeting controls.
    Note: If you cannot see this button, click on the “More” icon.

  1. From the pop-up panel, click “Enable Auto Transcription” button

Please note: Once enabled, you will see the live-transcript below your video, but they do not automatically appear for your participants. Participants must click the CC button to view the live-transcription (closed captioning).

Enable/View Live Transcription (Closed Captions) as a Participant

Participants may see a “Live Transcript is available” message above the “CC Live Transcript” button when a Zoom host has enabled live transcriptions.

Once the host enables live transcription, participants have the option to choose how they want to view the transcription by clicking the “CC Live Transcript” button. As a participant, click on the “CC” (Closed captioning) button to view your options.

  1. Click the “CC Live Transcript” button
  2. Click one of the following:
  • Show Subtitles – Displays captioning on the bottom of the video. You can also select Hide Subtitle once subtitles are selected to hide them.
  • View Full Transcript – Opens a panel/pop-up and displays captions in real-time with both the speaker’s name and time stamp. In that pop-up, participants will also see a button to save the transcript (this button might not be available if the host has disabled this functionality). If enabled, click Save Transcript. A copy of the transcript as a .txt file will be downloaded to your machine.
           Note: Transcripts save up to the moment when you click Save Transcript. If you click Save Transcript multiple times throughout the event, it will overwrite/update the existing file. We recommend clicking Save Transcript just before the meeting ends to ensure you have the transcript from the entire meeting. There is no option to auto-save these transcripts.

Important Additional Information

  • Hosts are required to enable the “Closed Captioning” and “Enable live transcription service to show transcript on the side panel in-meeting” settings within “Settings” on the Zoom website in order to have the ability to enable/disable live transcription during your meetings.
  • If a host enables live transcription (closed captioning) during a meeting, they do not automatically appear for the participants. Participants must click the “CC Live Transcript” button and select one of the options to enable/view them.
  • Live transcription does not work in breakout rooms, only within the main session.
  • If recording your meeting, the CC live transcript (closed captions) will not be shown in your recordings. You can request captions in your Zoom account once the recording has processed.

Best Practices for Using Auto Live Transcription

  • Consider using a headset that has a microphone built-in, it will clear up the quality of your audio for the live transcription.
  • Listen to the room you are in and consider during down/off anything that makes a considerable amount of background noise.
  • Speak slowly, it will help the system capture the words you are saying
  • If there are any loud disruptions (i.e. fire truck/train driving by) pause and hold your thoughts until the noise passes.

Microsoft Teams

Teams can detect what’s said in a meeting and present real-time captions. And, if you’ve turned on the new meeting experience, your captions will include speaker attribution—so you’ll see not only what’s being said, but who’s saying it.

Please note: Captions are only available in English and they are not saved. You can add auto-captions to Teams recordings by using Stream.

To use live captions in a meeting, go to your meeting controls and select More options  More options button > Turn on live captions.

To stop using live captions, go to the meeting controls and select More options More options button  > Turn off live captions.

Get the most out of your captions

To make sure your live captions are as accurate as possible, try to follow these best practices:

  • Speak clearly, slowly, and directly into the mic. As your distance from the mic increases, captions may become less accurate.
  • Avoid locations with background noise.
  • Avoid having multiple people speak at the same time.


Information for this page was taken from an Oregon State University’s Service Desk Knowledge Base article. and a Microsoft Teams Support article.