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Peacock Subtitles: How to Turn Closed Captioning On or Off

Peacock subtitles (closed captions) can be turned on or off through the app, but the accessibility option is not as accessible as it could be.

Subtitles (closed captions) on Peacock can be turned on or off directly through the app on a smart TV or smartphone. Generally speaking, there is no difference in how subtitles are enabled or disabled on different device types. However, the option can be difficult to find on all devices, considering there are no closed captioning options in the settings menu for any of the Peacock apps.

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Peacock launched in 2020 and brings together popular shows and movies from the NBCUniversal and Universal vaults. Apps are available to download on multiple devices types, including smart TVs and smartphones. In addition, Peacock shows, movies and originals can also be watched on many devices directly through a web browser.

As is the case with many streaming services, Peacock includes a number of accessibility options in a bid to improve the experience. Closed captioning support is a prime example with the feature adding a text-based copy of the show episode or movie’s dialogue and related audio. Whether subtitles are needed will depend on the individual, but understanding how to turn them on or off can affect any viewer at some point.

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Turn Peacock subtitles on or off

There is no option to turn Peacock subtitles on or off through a smart TV app’s settings menu. Therefore, the only way to control when closed captioning is active is while watching a video.

Turn subtitles on or off: smart TV

  1. Press select or down (while watching a video)
  2. Click left to reach the speech bubble icon.
  3. Click on speech bubble
  4. Click on a language to turn on
  5. Click on “None” to turn off

To turn subtitles on or off on a mobile device is largely the same. Again, as there’s no option to enable or disable closed captions through the smartphone app’s settings menu, subtitles can only be controlled while watching a show episode or movie.

Turn subtitles on or off: mobile

  1. Tap on screen (while watching a video)
  2. Tap on the speech bubble in top right corner
  3. Tap on a language to turn on
  4. Tap on “None” to turn off

Subtitles on Peacock are disabled by default and there will be times when a viewer needs to turn them on to enjoy the viewing experience. However, once enabled, they will remain on until disabled again. This also applies when streaming across devices. For example, if enabled on a smart TV, subtitles will remain on when accessing Peacock on a smartphone or any other device through the same account.

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In cases where a single Peacock subscription is shared between family members, there may be times when someone enables closed captioning, resulting in someone else needing to disable them again at a later time. In busier households this issue can be avoided by making use of Peacock profiles. If closed caption are enabled on one Peacock profile, the change will only apply to that profile going forward.

Issues with subtitles on Peacock

Besides the fact, there is no clear option to turn subtitles on or off through the settings menus in Peacock apps, some users have encountered additional issues. One such issue is that subtitles do not remain on permanently. In other words, closed captioning has to be enabled each time a new video is played. This should not be happening and does not appear to be an issue on all platforms and devices. For users encountering this specific issue, and in need of permanently enabling subtitles, it may be worth trying a different device.

Another common issue with Peacock’s approach to subtitles is the difficulty in adjusting the size. As there is no subtitles section in the app settings, there are also no customization options. However, subscribers can make permanent adjustments to the font color, size and more through the Peacock website. Although not the most convenient solution, if they are currently too large or too small, it is currently the only way to make changes.

Other common issues include subtitles not remaining on the screen long enough or sometimes not working at all. Unfortunately, there are currently no fixes for these problems. Some devices do offer the option to universally enable captions at the system level through the device’s settings menu. While this can be a solution, and one Peacock recommends, subscriber miles will vary. This system-wide accessibility features relies on the app supporting the feature and the Peacock app does not seem to abide by the system-level accessibility preference on all platforms.

Peacock subtitles summary

Peacock does offer the option to enable closed captioning for show episodes and movies through its many apps. However, there is no specific subtitles section. Instead, subscribers are expected to turn subtitles on or off while watching a video by accessing the playback menu and clicking on the speech bubble icon.

While closed captions are available through Peacock, the implementation is not perfect. Users may find that subtitles are too small, disappear too quickly or don’t work at all. In addition, some users may encounter an issue where they don’t remain on permanently, requiring the subtitles to be reenabled each time a show episode or movie starts.

Read more: How to cancel a Peacock subscription

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By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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