How to Find Forced Subtitles

Updated April 17, 2017

In most films, when a language spoken differs from the audio track's main language, a subtitle will appear so that the viewer can read what is being said. These subtitles are called forced subtitles, because they are displayed regardless of whether a subtitle track is on or not. With digital video computer programs, you can find where these forced subtitle tracks are stored on the video file, so that you can add, remove or modify them to your liking.

Launch your web browser and navigate to a website that offers a DVD ripping program, such as Handbrake, DVD Shrink or Free DVD Ripper. Download and install the program onto your computer.

Run the program installed in Step 1, then open the movie file in which you wish to locate the forced subtitles.

Click the "Subtitles" tab, then select the "Track" option, which will open a drop-down menu.

Select "Foreign Audio Search (Bitmap)" and check the box next to the "Forced" option. Click "OK" to begin the scan for any forced subtitles (subtitles that appear for less than 10 per cent of the movie).


If forced subtitle tracks are found in the scan in Step 4, the tracks will be displayed once the scan is complete. If no subtitle files appear after the scan, click the "Subtitles" tab and return to the "Track" drop-down menu. The list of subtitle tracks will be listed in this menu. Any subtitle track with the word "forced" in its text is a forced subtitle track. An example of a forced subtitle track would look like this: "[10:08:16] Subtitle stream 0x20bd 'English': 421 hits (0 forced)."

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About the Author

Alexander Poirier began writing professionally in 2005. He worked as the editor-in-chief of the literary magazine "Calliope," garnering the magazine two APEX Awards for excellence in publication. Poirer graduated from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor of Arts in English.