How to Enable Live Captions on iPhone with iOS 16

If you are hard of hearing or come across circumstances where you use your iPhone without sound, then you might appreciate the new Live Captions feature in iOS 16. Live Captions use on-device intelligence to auto-generate captions for speech (in audio or video) playing on the device or real-time conversation happening around you. The accuracy of the machine-generated caption is heavily reliant on the clarity of speech or audio, hence it is not recommended to give or take directions in dire or heavy-risk situations using the feature.

But, it can come in handy, especially to engage in a FaceTime conversation or to enjoy a video playing on the device even without the sound.

Related: How to Hide Photos on iOS 16

How to enable Live Captions on iPhone

Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

Scroll down and tap on Accessibility.

Scroll down and under “HEARING”, tap Live Captions (Beta).

Toggle on Live Captions to enable the feature.

Done, you have completed all the required steps to enable the live captions feature.

Related: How to use multiple pictures on your iPhone’s Lock Screen

How to enable Live Captions for Facetime

Apple offers a special option to enable live captions for FaceTime and RTT for users who are hard of hearing.

To enable live captions for FaceTime, open the Settings app on your iPhone, select Accessibility settings, tap Live Captions (Beta), and under, “IN-APP LIVE CAPTIONS”, turn on the toggle button against Live Captions in FaceTime.

That’s it! Next time you are in a FaceTime call with a friend or family, you can use the live captions feature to get live “subtitles” for what’s being said.

What happens when you enable Live Captions?

A floating widget appears on-screen as soon as Live Captions are toggled on. You can move the widget anywhere on-screen and even pause live caption generation, or activate the microphone function to get live captions for catching a real-world conversation.

When you are not using it, you can even minimize it to a floating button that rests unsuspectingly on any nook you place it. Since it is in the beta phase, much is unknown about the efficiency and full functionality of the feature, but, when we tried it on a couple of random YouTube videos and to catch some real-world convos, the results weren’t too bad.

How to customize your Live Captions on iOS 16?

You can customize the appearance of Live Captions from the Settings app. This can help you improve legibility and customize its appearance based on your preferred aesthetic. Follow the steps below to customize Live Captions on your iPhone.

Open the Settings app and tap Accessibility.

Now tap Live Captions (Beta).

Tap Appearance.

Now tap Bold Text at the top.

Choose On if you wish to bold the text for Live Captions displayed on your iPhone.

Tap < Appearance once you’ve made your choice.

Tap Text Size to select the font size for your Live Captions.

Use the slider at the bottom to adjust the text size for your Live Captions. Use the real-time preview at the top to find a size that best fits your needs. 

Once you’re done, tap < Appearance again.

Tap Text Color to choose a custom color for your Live Captions text. This can help improve legibility if you have trouble distinguishing the Live Captions text from the background. 

Dial in your preferred color from the options on your screen. You can use a Color Grid, Color Spectrum or RGB sliders to dial in your custom values. Use the tabs at the top to switch to your preferred method. 

You can also type in the HEX value for your preferred custom color in the Sliders tab. 

You can also use the Droppper to pick a custom color from your screen.


Tap once you’ve chosen your preferred color. 

Tap Background Color to choose a custom background color for your Live Captions. 

Dial in your preferred custom color like we did for Live Captions text.


Lastly use the slider at the bottom to adjust the opacity for the Live Captions icon when it is not in use. 

Close the Settings app once done. 

And that’s how you can customize the appearance of Live Captions on your iPhone. 

Hope you found the information you were looking for. Share your feedback or suggestions with us in the comments.


1 Comment

  1. This feature doesn’t show up on my iPhone 13 with iOS 16. I’ve even switched the languages and regions to English and United States. What gives?

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