It appears that Google has unwittingly added some magic to the Live Caption feature found on some Pixel models. With Live Caption, users get to see subtitles on the screen, even with live content (hence the name of the feature). It was included with the release of Android 10 and is turned on with a press of the volume rocker. On the bottom of the screen you’ll see an on/off button that includes the message “Captions appear when speech is detected.”
Not everyone wants to use Live Caption. Some streaming apps have their own closed caption option that works better than Live Caption while others just would prefer not to have the feature enabled on their phone taking up some screen space. To disable Live Caption, take your compatible Pixel device and go to Settings > Sound & vibration > Live Caption and toggle off Live Caption in volume control.
As we said at the beginning of this article, Google has added some magic to the Live Captions feature. No, it doesn’t involve pulling a rabbit out of a hat or cutting someone in half and restoring them. Actually, some Pixel users who have disabled Live Caption have discovered that even after disabling the feature, the Live Caption button returns following a reboot of the device. What is this dark magic? On Reddit, this issue has captured the attention of subscribers, some of whom thought that they were going nuts when the button kept returning. As one Pixel user with the Reddit handle detective1k said, “I thought I was going bonkers so I’m glad I found this post. Yes, my live caption button randomly shows back up in the volume controls too. I just now had to turn it back off hence my search for answers. Well, at least I’m not going crazy.”
Another Reddit member with the user name dhruvsmalik discovered this problem on his Pixel 3 and Pixel 4a. He stumbled into a workaround which he shared with fellow Reddit users. “Turned it on, rebooted, turned it off (all toggles) rebooted and it doesn’t reappear (so far) after reboot,” he posted. 9to5Google discovered that the phones that had the magical Live Caption button had in common Device Personalization Services version R.12.playstore.pixel5.357001175. We would expect Google to fix this problem with a functional patch coming as soon as the beginning of April.