How to Manage Subtitles for CBS All Access [All Major Devices]

Subtitles are the way to go if you want to enjoy your favorite movie or TV show in silence. Similar to other streaming platforms, CBS All Access lets you turn the subtitles on and off with ease.

In addition, there are plenty of customizations to make the subtitles fit your viewing preferences. The following sections tell you how to enable CBS All Access subtitles for various devices. Plus, you’ll find an FAQ section at the end to help you troubleshoot and personalize the subtitles.

How to Turn On and Off CBS All Access Subtitles

You should know that some CBS All Access users have been complaining that subtitles don’t work on certain devices. Or, they need to manually turn them on for every piece of content they’re watching.

CBS originals

Luckily, these are temporary glitches and appear to have been fixed at the time of writing. Here’s how to turn the subtitles on and off for different streaming gadgets.

From a Firestick Device

Launch CBS All Access, find the content you’d like to watch and play it. While the stream is on, press the pause or menu button and you should be able to see a dialog box. It’s in the upper-right corner of the screen.


Use the arrow keys on your remote to navigate to the dialog box and select it. Then, you need to choose the Subtitles and Audio (Closed Captioning) menu and toggle the option on or off.

Important Note:

After hitting the menu button, there’s a possibility you’ll see just the Audio option, without any subtitles. Don’t worry. This has happened to other users before and you still need to navigate to the CC dialog box. If there’s no dialog box, pause the playback and it should appear on the screen.

From a Roku Device

Enabling and disabling CBS All Access subtitles on Roku is super simple. You start by playing the show or movie you want to watch.

closed captioning off

Grab your remote and press the asterisk button (it’s like a small star). This action reveals the side menu and closed captioning options should be one of the first two.

To disable the subtitles for the video you’re watching, select the “Don’t show closed captioning” option. You can also navigate to the Closed Captioning tab and choose one of the four options – On Always, On Mute, Off, or On Replay.


Changing the subtitle preferences on your Roku might not affect the CBS All Access settings on other devices. That is, you might need to tweak the settings again when accessing the platform via a mobile app or web client.

From an Android or iPhone

The interface of the CBS All Access app is pretty much the same on Android and iOS devices. Therefore, there’s no need to include separate instructions for each operating system. And of course, this section assumes you’ve downloaded, installed, and logged into the app.

cbs watch now

Open the CBS All Access app and tap on the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) in the upper-left section of the screen. Once inside the More menu, choose Settings, then tap on Closed Captions.

Thereon, you should follow the on-screen instructions to turn the subtitles on and off or choose different display preferences. The changes should apply to all your devices as long as you’re logged in with the same account.

From a PC or Mac

CBS All Access has a very good web client if you prefer to access the service via a browser. Again, the interface is the same on PCs and Macs, and we won’t be including separate instructions.

closed captions normal

Launch your preferred browser, log in to CBS All Access, choose the content, and play it. As soon as the playback starts hit pause and click on the CC icon on the screen. It should be located in the upper right section in front of the gear icon.

The pop-up menu allows you to enable and disable the subtitles and change the display preferences. The great thing is that you get to see the changes instantly on the screen.

From a Smart TV (Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, Vizio)

After you install CBS All Access app for smart TVs, turning the subtitles on and off is pretty much the same as when you’re using a web client. The CC icon pops up the moment you pause the playback. You then need to navigate to it to enable the subtitles.

With this in mind, the subtitles on your TV need to be enabled as well. In the following sections, we’ll show you how to make sure they’re on.


Go to your TV’s home screen and use the remote to access Settings. Thereon, choose General, then Accessibility.

caption settings

Under Accessibility, navigate to Caption Settings, then choose Caption to turn the subtitles on or off. There’s a small circle next to Caption and it turns green when the subtitles are enabled. Now you can launch CBS All Access and turn on the captions there.


Take your LG remote and press the home button, then choose the settings icon from the home screen menu. Navigate down to the Accessibility menu and select it for more actions.

closed caption

To turn the subtitles on or off, select Closed caption, and choose the desired option from the drop-down menu. Needless to say, you can now exit and launch CBS all access and make the changes there. If you prefer to keep the subtitles off, the action should apply to the app as well.


At the time of writing, CBS All Access did not provide support for Panasonic smart TVs. But if you have a streaming device or a gaming console hooked up to your Panasonic, you’ll be able to enjoy the featured content.

Manage Subtitles for CBS All Access [All Major Devices]

The supported consoles and streaming devices include AppleTV, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and more. And the good news is that there might be native app support for Panasonic TVs in the future.


Sony Bravia smart TVs actually run on Android, so you’ll be able to install the app directly onto your TV. Here’s how to make sure Bravia’s subtitles are on.

How to Manage Subtitles for CBS All Access

Hit the home button on your remote and then choose Settings (it’s the briefcase icon). Then, choose Digital Set-up and press the round button to confirm.

In the following menu, choose Subtitle Set-up and then subtitle preferences. There’s an option to turn them off and on, plus the TV allows you to display visual aids for those with hearing impairments. It’s important to note that the visual aids might not be available for all CBS All Access content.


To turn the subtitles on your Vizio TV on or off, press the menu button on the remote. Then, navigate down to Closed Captions and press the OK button.

Manage Subtitles for CBS All Access

Select On or Off using the arrow buttons and press OK again to finish up. Of course, the in-app subtitles should be enabled as well when you play the video.

Additional FAQs

CBS All Access is relatively easy to use, but the streaming services isn’t without its quirks. Aside from the troubleshooting tips, this section also tells you about the different subtitle customizations.

Can I Change the Subtitle Language?

By default, the CBS All Access subtitles are in English, but you can change it to a different language. However, the included languages may vary depending on the content you’re watching.

How to Manage Subtitles for CBS All Access [Major Devices]

To make the changes, you need to access the CC menu after you pause the video playback. Then, navigate to the language options and select your preferred input.

Subtitles Keep Coming Back On. What Can I Do?

The first line of defense is to inspect the subtitle or closed caption settings on your TV, console, or streaming gadget. If they remain on, there’s a possibility the preference might override the in-app settings.

Manage Subtitles for CBS All Access [Major Devices]

Another thing you can do is inspect the CBS All Access setting via the main in-app menu. To access this, you should press the asterisk button on your remote and navigate to Captions. Then make sure they’re Off.

Can the Text Size Be Adjusted?

CBS All Access doesn’t feature an option to change just the text size, but there’s no reason to worry. The subtitle settings on your streaming device or TV might have that option. Navigate to the Subtitles or CC Setting on the device and try to find the option to tweak the text size.

If that doesn’t work, a neat hack is to actually change the font size, something we’ll discuss in the following section.

CBS All Access

Can the Font Size Be Changed?

Yes, it can and you’re doing this from the CC menu that appears on the playback screen. So, use your remote or mouse to access the menu. The font size should be the first option on the far left.


There are three sizes to choose from – Small, Normal, and Large. You should know that the Large font size might be too big when streaming on mobile devices.

My Subtitles Aren’t Syncing Properly. What Can I Do?

Out-of-sync subtitles are a rare glitch on CBS all Access. And if you’re using the default subtitles, they follow the framerate of the given video.

full episodes

Nevertheless, if the subtitles start lagging or speeding up, it’s best to exit the playback and then try to play the video again. Another trick is to disable the subtitles, then enable them again.

While you’re at it, move down the video timeline to make sure the subtitles are synced all the way through.

Subtitles Everywhere

There’s still room to improve the subtitles on CBS All Access, but they’re generally easy to turn off and on. The improvements might come in the customization menu and accessibility on smart TVs.

Have you encountered any problems with CBS All Access subtitles? What device do you most often use to stream content? Tell us more in the comments section below.

4 thoughts on “How to Manage Subtitles for CBS All Access [All Major Devices]”

Avatar Kira L Bricknell says:
My Sony XBR-55X950H television has the CBS All Access app. I turned on the closed captioning with my Sony remote but they appeared in the middle of the screen about a third of the way from the top blocking the faces and the program I was watching. This only happens on the CBS All Access app.

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