Adding Local Subtitles to Your Media

Enable "Local Media Assets"

If your media contains embedded subtitles or you have an external subtitle file, you have local subtitles. To include either of these, ensure the Local Media Assets source is configured as follows:

  • Launch the Plex Web App
  • Choose Settings from the top right of the Home screen
  • Select your Plex Media Server from the horizontal list
  • Choose Agents
  • Choose the Library type and Agent to change
  • Ensure Local Media Assets is checked
  • Ensure Local Media Assets is topmost in the list

Related Page: Plex Media Server > Server Settings > Agents

Refresh the Entire Library

If a Library didn't have the Local Media Assets source enabled or correctly ordered, the Library must be refreshed to pick up the embedded subtitles using "Refresh All". See the Libraries guide for details.

Related Page: Server > Libraries > Update or Refresh a Library

Supported Subtitle Formats

The following formats are fully supported either as embedded tracks or external subtitle files. Full support means they are compatible with all Plex Apps, including clients that require transcoded media.

  • SRT (.srt)
  • SMI (.smi)
  • SSA (or ASS) (.ssa or .ass)
  • WebVTT (.vtt)

Other formats such as VOBSUB, PGS, etc. may work on some Plex apps but not all. For almost all apps, both VOBSUB and PGS subtitles will require the video be transcoded to "burned in" the subtitles for streaming.

Tip!: You'll want to make sure the subtitle file is saved as the UTF-8 character encoding. Other encodings may work, but could also result in strange character displays.

Related Pages: Server > Transcoding Media

Embedded Subtitles

Media that have subtitle tracks included within the file are said to have Embedded Subtitle tracks. These are the most convenient way to include subtitles for your shows as they are probably perfectly matched to the show. (Sometimes there might be several versions of a show with extra or fewer scenes. This means you need a subtitle track that matches a particular version of the show.)

To include embedded subtitles:

  • Set the Plex Media Server Languages settings
  • Ensure the Local Media Assets source is configured as previously described
  • "Refresh All" the library if necessary to recognize the embedded subtitles

External Subtitle Files

There are many internet websites that offer subtitle files. These are External Subtitle files and are sometimes called "sidecar" subtitle files since they sit next to the regular video.

Naming External Subtitle Files

Subtitle files need to be named as follows:


  • Movie_Name (Release Date).[Language_Code].ext OR
  • Movies/Movie_Name (Release Date).[Language_Code].ext
  • Movies/Movie_Name (Release Date).[Language_Code].forced.ext

Where [Language_Code] is defined by the ISO-639-1 (2-letter) or ISO-639-2/B (3-letter) standard and ext is the file extension. (Some operating systems such as Windows may hide your file extensions by default.)

Tip!:"forced" is a special tag which make the subtitle enabled even if it does not necessarily follow the rules set in your server's language settings. Normally used for subs which only contain the translation for foreign parts.

Related Page: ISO-639-1 codes (2-letter)
Related Page: ISO-639-2/B codes (3-letter)

   Avatar (2009).mkv
   Avatar (2009)


   /Avatar (2009)
      Avatar (2009).mkv
      Avatar (2009).eng.ass

TV Shows

  • TV Shows/Show_Name/Season XX/Show_Name SxxEyy.[Language_Code].ext

Where [Language_Code] is defined by the ISO-639-1 (2-letter) or ISO-639-2/B (3-letter) standard.

Related Page: ISO-639-1 codes (2-letter)
Related Page: ISO-639-2/B codes (3-letter)

/TV Shows
   /Absolutely Fabulous
      /Season 2
         Absolutely Fabulous - s02e03.avi
         Absolutely Fabulous - s02e03.eng.smi