You can now customise subtitles on Netflix

Mike Wheatley

Netflix is rolling out a useful update that allows users to adjust the size and style of the subtitles they see on TVs.


The update, which is going live globally from today, brings the same functionality that was already available to web browsers to Smart televisions, media players and video game consoles. That said, it’s not immediately clear if Apple TV devices will also get the new subtitle options, as Netflix has traditionally withheld many new features from Apple’s platforms. For instance, it cannot access the ad-supported subscription plan, nor does it have interactive content and top-10 lists.

Still, everyone else at least will now be able to choose between three text sizes for their subtitles, as well as different text styles and colours. They can, of course, also stick with the classic Netflix subtitles.

While it may seem like a minor update, it’s likely to be appreciated by those purists who regularly watch foreign language movies and shows without dubbing. Sometimes, there are occasions when Netflix’s traditional white subtitles become obscured in certain scenes, making them difficult to read, so this update provides a solution to that. It can also be helpful to the visually impaired as well, as they’ll be able to increase the size of the text and read more easily.

Netflix said that video streaming on Smart TVs, media players and consoles accounts for about 77% of all streaming time worldwide, citing a 2022 study by the analyst firm Conviva. Subtitles are widely used by all Netflix subscribers, with 50% of Americans often using them, a second study by Verizon Media and Publicis Media shows.

The update brings Netflix into line with rival streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, Peacock and Discovery+, all of which allow users to customise their subtitles.