Easy Steps to Remove Soft/Hardcoded Subtitles from MP4, MKV, AVI

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

Subtitles are the on-screen captions that translate or transcribe the dialogue or narrative to help viewers who are disabled (deaf/mute, hearing impaired) or who have problems understanding the spoken language.

When no option allows the viewer to switch the caption on or off, it's known as hardcoded subtitles, sometimes hc subs for short. They are permanent and burned-in as a part of the video. People might not always like subtitles because they can be distractions or be of the wrong language at times.

So here's our guide on how to remove soft/hardcoded subtitles from MP4, MKV, AVI, and other video files.

How to Remove Hardcoded Subtitles from MP4

How to Remove Hardcoded Subtitles from MP4

Since hardcoded subtitles are not separate files and are forced or embedded into the frames, you can't just change or remove them in theory, just like you can't remove the eggs from an omelet. But there are ways to get rid of hardcoded subtitles in effect.

VideoProc Converter - Subtitle Remover for MP4, MKV, AVI, etc

  • Be capable of removing both soft and hardcoded subtitles
  • Runs under both Windows and macOS
  • Supports 370+ codecs and 420+ output file formats
  • Edits 4K/8K/HDR/DVD Blu-ray videos with highest possible quality
  • Delivers buttery smooth video processing with Hardware Acceleration
  • Supports batch removal of hardcoded subtitles

Step 1. Load the MP4 file with hardcoded subtitles in VideoProc Converter.

Launch VideoProc Converter and click Video on the main interface.

Click the "+Video" button to import the MP4 file with hardcoded subtitles to VideoProc Converter.

Add MP4 file to VideoProc Converter

Step 2. Edit video to remove hardcoded subtitles.

Click on the Crop icon below the video information.

Tick Enable Crop in the pop-up window.

Drag the dotted line to adjust the edge of the crop area, so that you can cut off the hard coded portion of the video file.

Hit Done when you are satisfied with the cropping effect in the preview window.

Crop to Remove Hardcoded Subtitles

To Batch Remove Hardcoded Subtitles:

Repeat steps 1 and 2 if you have multiple MP4 files that need to remove hardcoded subtitles at the same time. Add the file and crop the subtitles respectively.

Step 3. Output the file with no hardcoded subtitles.

Set the format and the path of the output file as you like.

Hit Run to start removing hardcoded subtitles from your MP4 video file.

Bonus Tip: Remove soft subtitles from a video with VideoProc Converter

When you load a video file with soft subtitles in VideoProc Converter, the video information below the title will be "Disable Subtitle", which means your output files will get rid of all soft subtitles by default.

Of course, for the video with multiple subtitle tracks, here you can also choose to hard burn any of the soft subtitles into the output file.

In contrast, for hardcoded subtitles, the information of the video file will be "No Subtitle", because there are actually no separate subtitle files in the video file itself.

Difference between Soft and Hardcoded Subs

Remove Subtitles from MP4 Online

You can also remove hardcoded subtitles from MP4 online with Clideo.

The advantage of online tools is you don't have to download any software, just upload the video, remove subtitles, and re-download it. Besides, you can also choose the MP4 file from Google Drive and Dropbox.

But like the shortcomings of all online tools, the entire process of removing subtitles depends on your network situation and may take a very long time. And most online tools have restrictions on file size. For Clideo, when the file size exceeds 500MB, you have to register and buy a plan to remove subtitles. Worse, some online tools will add their own watermark to the video after removing subtitles. You’ll have to register and pay to remove this watermark.

Anyway, follow the steps below to remove subtitles from MP4 online.

Step 1. Upload the MP4 file by clicking the blue Choose file button.

Step 2. Drag the edge of the crop area to crop out the hardcoded part of the image.

Step 3. Press Export to save the edits and download your MP4 file.

Remove Subtitles from MP4 Online with Clideo

How to Remove Subtitles in VLC Media Player

People keep asking how to remove hardcoded subtitles in VLC Media Player. Unfortunately, the answer is there's no way for you to remove hardcoded subtitles from videos in VLC. You can only turn off the subtitles if they are soft coded.

Follow the steps below to disable subtitles in VLC Media Player.

Step 1. Click on the Subtitle menu.

Step 2. Hover your mouse over the Sub Track tab and expand it.

Step 3. Select Disable to turn off the soft subtitles.

Steps to Remove Subtitles in VLC Media Player

HandBrake Remove Subtitles

HandBrake is a widely-used transcoder for digital video files of nearly any format. You can also use HandBrake to remove subtitles. But before any further, HandBrake can only remove soft subtitles from MP4 and other video files. Just like VLC Media Player, HandBrake cannot remove hardcoded subtitles from MP4.

Use the following method to remove subtitles from MP4 with HandBrake.

Step 1. Open HandBrake, then drag and drop the MP4 file to the interface.

Step 2. Go to the Subtitles tab. Click the Clear button.

Step 3. Hit the green Start Encode button to start removing subtitles using HandBrake.

Remove Subtitles in HandBrake


How do I remove captions from a video?

For YouTube videos, go to YouTube Studio and click the Subtitles tab from the left menu. Select Options and click delete. For local videos, use VideoProc Converter to remove both soft and hardcoded subtitles. You can also see our roundup of best subtitle editors.

How do I remove hardcoded subtitles from a video?

Since hardcoded subtitles are burned-in to the frames, you can only remove them by editing the video. Use VideoProc Converter. Import your video, click Crop from the interface, and adjust the crop area to cut off the hard-coded portion of the video file.

What are hardcoded subtitles?

Hardcoded subtitles are built-in or forced subtitles. They are burned into the video frames as a sequence of images. There's no option for you to turn them on or off.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

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