Whether you're hard of hearing, watching a foreign movie, or just like reading along when you're watching a TV show or film on your smartphone, Netflix includes captions and subtitles that you can use. Best of all, if you don't like the way the default captions and subtitles look (color, background, font, or size), Netflix has your back.
You can easily customize the look of your captions and subtitles on Netflix whether you're using an Android device or an iPhone. However, the process is slightly different from Android to iOS, but we'll show you how to do it on both mobile operating systems below.
Netflix has made it easy for you to customize captions and subtitles on any Android-compatible device. On Android, you aren't doing any of the customization inside the app, but the app will play your specialized subtitles that are saved to your Netflix profile. Here's what you do:
- Tap the hamburger icon in the top left of the display to open the side menu.
- Scroll down and tap "Account." This will automatically launch Netflix in your web browser.
- Scroll down to MY PROFILE, then tap "Subtitle appearance."
From here, you have an incredible amount of control over the appearance of your subtitles. Choose the font, text size, background and window color, and shadow type and color. You can make some funky choices here, so just do what looks best for you depending on your situation.
These changes affect the look of subtitles and captions for all of your compatible devices, so whatever style you've decided works best for your smartphone may differ from what works on your TV. If you are going to be watching Netflix on different types of displays, it might be worth doing some experimenting to find the style that works best for you across all of those displays.
Unfortunately, this method above for Android doesn't work for iPhones. The captions and subtitles look the same for every TV show and every movie on an iPhone (as well as an Apple TV), no matter what you set in the cross-platform editor above. What iPhone users have to do is something a little off the beaten path:
- Head to the Settings app, then navigate to General –> Accessibility.
- Scroll down the list, then tap on "Subtitles & Captioning."
- Make sure Closed Captions + SDH is enabled, then tap on "Style."
The next steps mirror the options Netflix itself offers, but Apple differs by giving users four default looks — Transparent Background, Large Text, Classic, and Outline Text. If none of these stock styles appeal to you, tap "Create New Style." Many of the options here will be familiar to those who used the Netflix editor. You have control over the font, size, color, background color, etc.
Interestingly, Apple does offer some more advanced features than Netflix. You can choose the background and text opacity, as well as text edge styles. In addition, a cool feature called Video Override accompanies most of the options here, which will let videos that have specified a certain style take precedence over your own settings.
Just note that this will control the subtitles for anything you watch on your iPhone, not just Netflix. Make sure the subtitles and caption style will work for you in all situations.