No auto-generated YouTube captioning/subtitles after January 2024 update?

The last couple of days, after what appears to be an UI update, I haven’t been able to turn on closed captions (subtitles) for YouTube videos. It used to be available through the gear, I believe. Will the feature be available again soon?

[edit] It appears that videos which have captioning separately provided will appear in the “gear”, but ones with only auto-generated captions don’t.

Thanks for your feedback. The update only affects the default colors and some minor design changes. The player component was not touched at all. So I doubt it’s related to the update. Youtube’s player API is not very consistent when it comes to subtitles. It could very well be that it was an issue with a specific video and not a general problem.

So after checking a bunch of videos, it seems that videos that make “auto-generated” captions available don’t have them accessible in w2g. As a couple of examples,

  • this video has “auto-generated” captions as well as uploader-provided captions in several languages, but the “auto-generated” option doesn’t show up in w2g
  • this video has only auto-generated captions, and the entire Captions menu is hidden

If this isn’t a recent change, I think perhaps YouTube’s embedded player’s keyboard shortcuts (‘c’ for turning on captions, as well as ‘f’ for fullscreen, etc.) had been defaulting to auto-generated captions when no others were available, but the shortcuts don’t work anymore. I’m not sure keyboard shortcuts were ever intended to function in w2g, but it just happened to work around the inability to access those automatic captions.

Thanks a lot for figuring this out! We are limited to what YouTube’s player API offers when it comes to setting the captions. So far I have not seen an option to differenciate between different caption types. But I’ll have another look if something has changed.