Accessibility features on HBO Max

You can use accessibility features to help you navigate the HBO Max app and stream shows and movies. HBO Max supports the following:

  • Closed captions
  • Audio description
  • Screen readers
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Voice commands

Closed captions

Most shows and movies on HBO Max can be watched with closed captions. When closed captions are on, audio is displayed as text on the screen (speech and sounds are transcribed into text).

During playback, you can turn closed captions on or off by choosing Audio and Captions (speech bubble). To learn more, see Subtitles, captions, and audio.

Which device are you using?

Audio description

Audio description is an alternate audio track that describes what's happening on screen (for example, a detailed narration of the scene or action that's taking place). HBO Max has a collection of audio description content.

To find titles with audio description:

  • Choose Browse (3 horizontal lines), then scroll down and choose Audio Description.

Audio description will be added for more shows and movies in the future.

To play a title with audio description:

With a screen reader

  1. Start playing a show or movie, then double-tap the screen to open the player menu.
  2. Swipe to move the focus to Audio and Captions, then double-tap to select it (this opens the Audio and Captions menu).
  3. Swipe to move the focus to English - Audio Description (in the Audio section, if available), then double-tap to select it.
  4. Swipe to move the focus to Close Audio and Captions Settings, then double-tap to select it.

Without a screen reader

  1. Start playing a show or movie, then tap the screen to open the player controls.
  2. In the upper-right corner, tap the Audio and Captions icon (speech bubble).
  3. In the Audio section, tap English - Audio Description (if available) and then tap X to close.

To turn off audio descriptions, re-open the Audio and Captions menu and choose the original language in the Audio section.

Keyboard shortcuts

You can use an external keyboard to navigate HBO Max and control playback. Here’s how:

Navigate HBO Max

  • Press Tab or the arrow keys to move between items.
  • Press Spacebar to choose the selected item.

Control playback

Start watching a show or movie, then use the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Press the Spacebar or p to pause and open the playback controls. Then, press Tab or an arrow key to move between items.
iOS: Keyboard Not Working?
On your iOS device, go to Settings > Accessibility > Keyboards > Full Keyboard Access > turn on Full Keyboard Access. For more info, go to iPhone: Adjust Keyboard Setting or iPad: Adjust Keyboard Settings.

Screen readers

You can use screen readers to help you find and play titles. HBO Max supports the following screen readers:

You can also stream using AirPlay or Chromecast and use the screen reader on your phone or tablet to control video playback.

Audio description

Audio description is an alternate audio track that describes what's happening on screen (for example, a detailed narration of the scene or action that's taking place). HBO Max has a collection of audio description content.

To find titles with audio description:

  • Choose Browse (3 horizontal lines), then scroll down and choose Audio Description.

Audio description will be added for more shows and movies in the future.

To play a title with audio description:

With a screen reader

Keyboard shortcuts: When browsing HBO Max, you can press Tab to move the focus and Enter to select.

  1. Start playing a show or movie, then press Spacebar or p to pause playback.
  2. Move the focus to Audio and Captions, then select it (this opens the Audio and Captions menu).
  3. Move the focus to English - Audio Description (if available, in the Audio section), then select it.
  4. Move the focus to Close Audio and Captions Settings, then select it.

Without a screen reader

  1. Start playing something, then click the screen.
  2. In the lower-right corner, click the Audio and Captions icon (speech bubble).
  3. In the Audio section, choose English - Audio Description (if available), then click X to close.

To turn off audio descriptions, re-open Audio and Captions and choose the original language in the Audio section.

Keyboard shortcuts

You can use your computer keyboard to navigate HBOMax.com and control playback. Here's how:

Navigate HBOMax.com

  • Press Tab to move between items.
  • Press Enter to choose the selected item.
  • Press Esc to close menus and overlays.

Control playback

Start watching a show or movie, then use the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Press the Spacebar or p to pause and open the playback controls. Then, press Tab to move between items. Press the Esc to close the playback controls.
  • Full screen: Press f to enter and exit full screen.

Screen readers

You can use screen readers to help you find and play titles. HBO Max supports the following screen readers:

You can also stream using AirPlay or Chromecast and use the screen reader on your computer to control video playback.

Audio description

Audio description is an alternate audio track that describes what's happening on screen (for example, a detailed narration of the scene or action that's taking place). HBO Max has a collection of audio description content.

To find titles with audio description:

  • Choose Browse (3 horizontal lines), then scroll down and choose Audio Description.

Audio description will be added for more shows and movies in the future.

To play a title with audio description:

Apple TV

  1. Start playing a show or movie, then press the Play/Pause button to bring up the playback controls.
  2. Swipe up on your remote to move the focus to Subtitles then swipe right to Audio and select it.
  3. Swipe down to move the focus to English (US) AD (if available, in the Language section) then select it. To turn off audio descriptions, reopen the Audio menu and choose the original language.

Other TV devices

  1. Start playing a show or movie and then pause playback to bring up the player menu.
  2. Using your remote, move the focus to Audio and Captions (speech bubble), then select it (this opens the Audio and Captions menu).
  3. Move the focus to English - Audio Description (if available, in the Audio section) then select it. To turn off audio descriptions, re-open the Audio and Captions menu and choose the original language in the Audio section.

Screen readers

You can use screen readers to help you find and play titles. HBO Max supports the following screen readers:

We're working to improve the screen reader experience on all supported TV devices.

Alexa voice commands

You can use Alexa voice commands to find and play titles on Amazon Fire TV devices. To learn more, see Use Alexa commands on your Fire TV.

Siri dictation

You can use speech-to-text to search for shows or movies on your Apple TV.

  1. Open HBO Max on your Apple TV and choose Search (magnifying-glass).
  2. Press and hold the microphone on your remote.
  3. Speak your search term into the remote.

You can search HBO Max by title, genre, actors, and more. For a list of ways to search HBO Max, see Browse and searchi HBO Max.