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Is this governed by the author of the video and whether or not they enable or disable some transcript setting? Is there some YouTube backlog that's processing videos and making transcripts available once they finished? Are longer videos more likely not to have transcripts? Are low view count videos more likely to not have transcripts, like is the translation service giving priority to popular content?

I'm baffled by the inconsistent experience across YouTube. I can understand some old videos will lack that feature, but some new stuff seems to have transcripts available right away while others do not. Is there something client side I'm missing that displays transcripts when they're available beyond the CC button?

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Official source: Reasons can be both technical or editorial

  • Technical: Automatic processing not ready yet. 🖥 marked in quoted text with computer symbol.
  • Editorial: Creator intentionally deleted it. ✍️ marked in quoted text with handwriting symbol.

This information comes from official documentation. See quoted below.

Use automatic captioning [ # ]

YouTube can use speech recognition technology to automatically create captions for your videos. […] generated by machine learning algorithms, so the quality of the captions may vary.

Automatic captions on long-form videos and Shorts

Automatic captions are available in English, French, German, […]

We encourage creators to add professional captions first.

🖥 If automatic captions are available, they'll automatically be published on the video.
🖥 Automatic captions may not be ready at the time that you upload a video.

Processing time depends on the complexity of the video's audio.

[…] automatic captions might misrepresent the spoken content due to mispronunciations, accents, dialects, or background noise. You should always review automatic captions and edit any parts that haven't been properly transcribed.

Here's how you can review automatic captions and make changes, if needed:

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Subtitles.
  3. Click the video you want to add captions or subtitles to.
  4. Under “Subtitles”, click More next to the subtitles you want to edit.
  5. Review automatic captions and ✍️ edit or remove any parts that haven't been properly transcribed.

Edit or remove captions [ # ]

Remove captions

To stop captions from showing on your video, you can delete them completely from your video and Google Account.

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Subtitles.
  3. For the language you’d like to delete, in the “Subtitles” column, select "Options" and then "Delete".
  4. ✍️ You’ll be asked to confirm that you want to delete the captions. Click DELETE CAPTIONS.

✍️ NOTE: Once the automatic captions are deleted for a video, you cannot turn them back on.

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  • Note: When you answer your own question with a preliminary and later final answer you can then accept NONE. Reported this usability issue here. Therefore I deleted my old preliminary answer, which was entitled "I have no answer based on official sources but observations and conclusions".
    – porg
    Feb 4, 2022 at 16:16
  • @jxramos hope this final answer reaches you.
    – porg
    Feb 4, 2022 at 16:17
  • 4
    Are you user jxramos as well as being user porg? If not, you didn't ask the question
    – Rick
    Feb 4, 2022 at 16:55

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