Use live captions in a Teams meeting

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. 

Note: People can choose not to be identified in captions. For details, see Hide your identity in meeting captions and transcripts.

Teams-meetings-live captions screen

Note: Teams doesn't save captions. If you'd like a transcript of the meeting, turn on transcription. You'll be able to download the transcript after the meeting.

Tip: To learn how to use CART captions in a Microsoft Teams meeting, refer to Use CART captions in a Microsoft Teams meeting (human generated captions).

There are a couple ways to get live captions in Teams:

  • From the built-in captioning provided by Teams

  • From a Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) captioner

Use built-in captions

Teams has built-in closed captioning you can turn on from the meeting controls.

Turn captions on and off

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

    The option to turn live captions on in a meeting's call controls

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

Change the language of your captions

  1. To the right of the captions, select Captions settings  More options button.

    Button to open captions settings

  2. Select Change spoken language.

    Button to change the spoken language

  3. Select the language spoken during the meeting. (This is the language of your captions and meeting transcript.) 

  4. Select Confirm.

Important: 

  • Make sure the language you select is the language everyone is speaking in the meeting.

  • When you change the spoken language setting, it affects everyone. The captions and transcript language will change for all meeting participants.

Live translated captions 

By default, live captions are displayed in the language that’s spoken during the meeting. Live translated captions allow users to see captions translated into the language they’re most comfortable with.

Important: Microsoft reserves the right to restrict or place limitations on the use of Speaker Coach, with reasonable notice, in order to limit excessive use and/or fraud, and to maintain optimal service performance.

To use live translated captions: 

  1. Turn on live captions in your meeting.

  2. Next to the meeting captions, select More options More options button > Subtitles.

    Screenshot of language selection in live translated captions for Teams meetings.

  3. Choose the language you want your captions translated to.

Note: Live translated captions are available as part of the public preview program. To get access to this and other upcoming features, switch to the Teams public preview.

Supported languages:

English (US), English (Canada), English (India), English (UK), English (Australia), English (New Zealand), Arabic (Arab Emirates) (Preview), Arabic (Saudi Arabia) (Preview), Chinese (Simplified China), Chinese (Traditional, Hong Kong SAR), Chinese (Traditional, Taiwan) (Preview), Czech (Czechia) (Preview), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Belgium) (Preview), Dutch (Netherlands), French (Canada), French (France), Finnish (Finland) (Preview), German (Germany), Greek (Greece) (Preview), Hebrew (Israel) (Preview), Hindi (India), Hungarian (Hungary) (Preview), Italian (Italy), Japanese (Japan), Korean (Korea) (Preview), Norwegian (Norway), Polish (Poland) (Preview), Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal) (Preview), Romanian (Romania) (Preview), Russian (Russia) (Preview), Slovak (Slovakia) (Preview), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), Swedish (Sweden), Thai (Thailand) (Preview), Turkish (Turkey) (Preview), Ukrainian (Ukraine) (Preview), Vietnamese (Vietnam) (Preview)

Supported translation languages:  

Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional (Preview), Czech, Danish, Dutch (Preview), English, Finnish, French, French (Canada), German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian (Preview), Italian, Japanese (Preview), Korean (Preview), Norwegian, Polish (Preview), Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian (Preview), Russian (Preview), Slovak (Preview), Spanish, Swedish, Thai (Preview), Turkish (Preview), Ukrainian, Vietnamese (Preview) 

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.

  • Use the highest-quality Teams-certified equipment available to you.

Note: Obscenities are obscured by asterisks. 

FAQ

These questions apply to the built-in live captions provided by Teams. 

Where does Teams process the data it uses to provide live captions?

We process the data in the geographical region where your organization is based.

What data does Teams use to create the captions?

The Microsoft Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology service, which generates Teams meeting captions, may use a meeting's subject, invitation, participant names, attachments, and recent emails of the participants to improve the accuracy of captions.

How does Teams translate live captions?

We use the Microsoft Speech Translation technology service for translating live captions.

Who has access to this data?

No one. Microsoft ASR involves no human intervention, and no one can access the meeting audio or any other meeting information at any time. 

Does Teams store any caption data?

No. Caption data is permanently deleted after the meeting is over.

If I don't want Teams to process this data to begin with, can I prevent it?

Yes. Simply don't turn on live captions. Your admin can also disable the feature altogether. Go here for more info about how to do that.

Important: Microsoft reserves the right to restrict transcription and translation services, with reasonable notice, in order to limit excessive use and/or fraud, and to maintain service performance. These services include live captions, subtitles, and transcription functionality available across Office 365 products like Microsoft Teams, PowerPoint, Stream, and others. 

Teams can detect what's said in a meeting or group call and present real-time captions.

Note: Captions aren't yet available in government clouds on the Teams mobile app.

Live captions displayed in a meeting on the Teams mobile app

Turn captions on and off

In the meeting controls, select More options  More options button  > Turn on live captions.

Button to turn on live captions

Note: Teams doesn't save captions.

Choose More options  More options button  > Turn off live captions to turn them off.

Get the most out of your captions

For the most accurate captions 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.

Notes: 

  • Obscenities will be obscured by asterisks.

  • Teams may use a meeting's subject, invitation, participant names, and attachments to improve caption accuracy.

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