HTML5 Video Captions – Current Browser Status

The topic of HTML5 videos and captions is something that I have written extensively about in the past, specifically talking about creating your own UI via JavaScript to access multiple tracks since browser support is generally quite poor at the moment. I have decided to document here what the current browser support is actually like, at the time of writing.

Each of the major browsers behaves differently, some offering a full UI which provides access to the multiple defined text tracks, whilst others choose one themselves giving the user no choice.

Internet Explorer 11

Internet Explorer 11 provides a menu which lists the available text tracks and allows the user to choose which one they want. If one of the defined text tracks has the default attribute set, then this one is loaded by default. Otherwise the default is off.

Microsft Edge

Microsoft Edge provides the same experience as Internet Explorer 11.


Safari 9.1 provides the same experience as Internet Explorer 11, except that its menu also provides an option for “Auto (recommended)”, but this appears to do nothing.


Chrome doesn’t provide a menu for the user to make their choice. Instead, it loads the text track set that has the default attribute set. If this is not present, it will display the first one it can find.


Opera provides the same experience as Chrome.


Vivaldi provides the same experience as Chrome.


Brave provides the same experience as Chrome.


Firefox provides no text track menu at all, but will load the first defined text track only if it has default set.

As you can see, at the moment native support for HTML5 text tracks isn’t great, but all the text tracks are accessible via JavaScript.