HBO Max Subtitles Out Of Sync? 6 Quick Fixes To Try

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Couple stuck with HBO Max issue on TV

Are your HBO Max subtitles out of sync? The answer could be much simpler than you think. Here are 6 quick fixes to try.

What would be of our lives without subtitles? We’ve grown so accustomed to them, that it’s easy to forget how important they are. If they did not exist, it would be nearly impossible to keep track of our favorite characters’ dialogue while eating chips or watching the TV at low volumes.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg! Can you imagine trying to watch a foreign film without them? Your only options would be to either choose a different movie or learn the language overnight.

Luckily, we don’t have to wonder about these scenarios too much, as subtitles are readily available on any streaming platform. However, what happens when they go out of sync?

To me, that’s just anticlimactic.

There are many reasons why this could be happening. From an outdated HBO Max version to an improper configuration in your devices’ settings.

Below, you will find a list of the most common causes behind this occurrence and the simplest steps you can take to address them. I’m certain that, if you follow them carefully, your subtitles will be back in sync in the blink of an eye.

Sounds good? Let’s get to work!

Fixing Out of Sync Subtitles

Before delving into the specifics, I want you to keep something in mind. While most of the culprits can be easily addressed, some scenarios will be out of your hands or might require you to find alternatives to your favorite software.

I tell you this not to discourage you, but to make sure you’re aware of all the possibilities. That being said, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I’m sure your particular case will have a swift solution.

Here are some things you can try to get your subtitles back in sync:

#1 Restart or Uninstall HBO Max

Unistall Button In App Store

A simple restart could do the trick

Let’s kick off this list with the simplest issue.

There’s probably not a single person on Earth who hasn’t experienced a bug or crash in an app or program. It’s simply a part of technology. This happens to banking, educational, and communication apps, as well as to streaming platforms.

If your HBO Max’s subtitles were working just fine and suddenly went out of sync, there’s a very good chance the platform encountered a bug and needs to be restarted.

More often than not, doing this should solve the problem.

On some rare occasions, you might have to delete the app or restart your computer, and then reinstall it. You can think of it as a “forced restart”.

#2 Update HBO Max

Up To Date Symbol

Make sure to keep your browser and app up to date

I have discussed this in the past, and I simply can’t stress enough how important it is.

Keeping your Internet browser or app updated is essential to guaranteeing its adequate functioning.  While most developers try to keep as much backward compatibility as possible, it’s not always achievable.

Failing to update your HBO Max app or Internet browser can cause more problems than just out-of-sync subtitles. In some cases, you might even be unable to log into your account or watch your favorite shows.

That being said, this is not as common as it used to be a couple of years ago.

These days, most apps will automatically update to their latest version without requiring your input; however, it can’t hurt to double-check.

Solution: More often than not, you have nothing to worry about. Most phones, smart TVs, and Internet browsers will notify you when a new version of the app becomes available. Just make sure to agree to the update when prompted to.

On the off chance that you’re not getting these notifications, you can install HBO Max’s latest version manually. To do so, please follow these steps:

  1. Open “App Store”
  1. Locate your profile button in the upper right corner of the screen, and tap on it
Cellphone Updating First Step
  1. Find the “Update All” button. This should Update HBO Max if there’s a newer version available
Cellphone Example Step two Update

#3 Check HBO Max’s Servers Status

Servers Hardware

The problem might not be on your end

Remember, back at the beginning when I told you that the problem might not be on your end? Well… this is what I was talking about.

Even with their millions of dollars of investment in infrastructure, technology, and development, streaming companies can still encounter major server issues. And if you think about it, it makes total sense.

After all, their server rooms are undertaking the load of billions of people streaming millions of shows and movies simultaneously all around the world.

A failure or two are to be expected along the way.

Solution: A decade ago, it probably would have been impossible for you to check the status of HBO Max’s servers. But luckily, these days it’s quite simple. All you have to do is follow these steps:

  1. Open Google, and type “Is HBO Max Down?”, then hit Enter to search your query
Searching Is HBO Max Down
  1. Locate “Downdetector” on the search results, and click on it (or simply click on this link:
HBO Max Downdetector
  1. Once you’ve entered the webpage, you’ll see a bunch of data, and a large graph
Downdetector Spikes

The higher the spikes, the more likely you are to be experiencing issues

If the platform is experiencing issues, there’s nothing you can do about it. All that’s left for you to do is wait.

That being said, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Even in the most extreme scenarios, it takes the hardworking people at HBO Max no more than 24 hours (at the most) to have everything back up and running at a 100%.

#4 Make Sure Your VPN Is Working

Man Connecting PC To VPN

Your software of choice could be playing tricks on you

We all love a good VPN, right?

Not only are these private networks great at allowing us to watch international content with ease, but they also protect our privacy when browsing the web. There are a ton of upsides to using them and very few downsides.

That being said, some streaming platforms are unfriendly to VPNs, and HBO Max is one of the strictest in this area.

The streaming service has been known to block these networks and make it nearly impossible for their users to watch their favorite content.

I suppose that, if you think about it, it makes sense. After all, a lot of these streaming services collect data from their watched shows and use it to develop new content for a specific country.

Having people from all around the world connect to the USA, for example, can mess up their metrics and make the Marketing department’s job much harder.

If you’re one of those lucky few who have managed to use HBO Max with a VPN, that’s great, but you’re not off the hook. Even if you’re able to watch your favorite shows and movies, there’s a chance your VPN is interfering with the platform’s subtitling system.

Solution: The best way to tell whether your virtual private network is causing your subtitles to be out of sync, is to disable it and try streaming some content normally.

Do this for a couple of days and see what happens. If you stop experiencing this issue, the answer is clear. You’ll either have to stop using your VPN altogether or find an alternative that works better.

#5 Enable Closed Captioning on Your Devices’ Settings


Flipping a virtual switch could solve all your problems

If you’ve already tried the potential solutions listed above and none have worked, it might be time to start considering that the problem lies elsewhere.

Maybe HBO Max is not to blame. Maybe your devices’ settings are interfering with the platform’s subtitling system.

If this is the case, you have nothing to worry about. Fixing this is simpler than it sounds.

Solution: Please follow these steps to enable Closed Captioning on your IOS device:

  1. Go to “Settings”
Arrow Pointing IOS Settings Icon
  1. Scroll down, and tap on Accessibility
Red Arrow Pointing IOS Settings Accesibility Option
  1. Tap on “Subtitles & Captioning”
Arrow Pointing Subtitles And Captioning Option In IOS Settings
  1. Enable “Closed Captions + SDH”
Red Arrow Pointing Closed Captions And SDH

After doing this, try streaming something on HBO Max and make sure to also enable subtitles within the platform. This should take care of the issue.

#6 Delete Your Cookies

Cookies Icon With Keyboard Behind

Cookies are useful, but they can also cause some problems

Lastly, let’s take look at cookies.

If you’re not familiar with what they are, that’s ok! Unless you’re a programmer or a Marketing agent, it makes sense that they’d be uninteresting to you. That being said, you must understand them, so let me give you a brief explanation.

Cookies are programming tools that gather information from you, such as login credentials, and personal preferences. This is why you’re bombarded with ads for vacuums and mops after Google searching for cleaning products.

And while they can sometimes be useful, they can also create some problems and be the reason behind your out-of-sync subtitles. If this is the case, your only choice is to delete them and test.

Solution: Here’s how you can get rid of your cookies:

  1. Open Google Chrome
  1. Click the Menu button (the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen) > Select “More Tools” > Choose “Clear browsing data”
Google Chrome More Tools Access Keys
  1. Select “All time” when prompted with a window asking the time range you want to delete data for.
Clean Browse Data Tool
  1. Make sure “Cookies and other site data” is ticked.

If your cookies were, in fact, the issue, your subtitles should now be in sync. Good news, right?!


Out-of-sync subtitles can render even the most stressful, action-packed scene, anticlimactic. I can think of few things that are as distracting as hearing a character say something and reading an entirely different text on screen.

Luckily, as I hope you’ve learned in this piece, addressing most of the causes behind this problem is easy and quick. More often than not, making sure to enable closed captioning on your devices and using the right VPN, will do the trick.

Thank you for reading. If you found this article helpful, you’ll be glad to know that we upload new content every week. Make sure to stay tuned to become an expert troubleshooter!