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How to download shows and movies from Hulu for offline viewing

Hulu is a juggernaut when it comes to serving up your favorite shows and movies. What separates the popular streaming platform from Netflix is that, with Hulu, you can often watch new network TV episodes the day after they air. Netflix only streams complete seasons once the final episode airs, and only does so after securing the rights.

That said, if you’re a busy bee and you missed last night’s episode of Prodigal Son or Saturday Night Live, Hulu has you covered. Even better, you can download content for offline viewing — a handy feature for when you’re traveling and Wi-Fi connectivity flows at a snail’s pace or not at all.

Here, we show you how to download TV shows and movies from Hulu for offline viewing. First, however, you need to understand the limitations of the feature.

Make sure you have a compatible device

Unfortunately, you currently cannot download your favorite shows and movies to your computer, a set-top box, or a gaming console. Instead, media is only downloadable through Hulu’s official mobile apps. Yes, we’re aware Windows 10 has a Hulu app, but it’s excluded from the download club. To watch offline, you’ll need a mobile device from Amazon, Android, or Apple.

Here’s the complete list of compatible devices:

Amazon

  • Fire OS 5 or higher
  • Fire HD 6 (4th generation)
  • Fire HD 7 (4th generation)
  • Fire HDX 8.9 (4th generation)
  • Fire (5th generation or higher)
  • Fire HD 8 (5th generation or higher)
  • Fire HD 10 (5th generation or higher)

Android

  • Android 5.0 or newer
  • Screen with 800 x 480 resolution minimum

Apple

  • iOS 12 or iPadOS 12 or newer
  • iPhone 5S or later
  • iPad 5th generation or later (iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, and iPad mini 2, 3, and 4)
  • iPod Touch 6th generation

Opt for a different plan, if necessary

So you have a compatible device and a Hulu subscription, but you see no option to download your favorite movie or show. If you’re only paying for the basic, ad-ridden $6 plan, you’re out of luck. The download function is only offered on the following three tiers:

  • Hulu (No Ads) — $12/month
  • Hulu + Live TV — $55/month
  • Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV — $61/month

If you need to switch plans to benefit from offline viewing, do the following:

Step 1: Open Hulu in your web browser. You cannot make account changes using Hulu’s mobile apps.

Step 2: Click or tap the account icon located in the upper-right corner.

Step 3: Select Account in the drop-down menu.

Step 4: Enter your password, if prompted.

Step 5: In the Your Subscription panel, select Manage Plan.

Step 6: Click the toggle next to one of the three plans that support downloads.

Step 7: Click the Review Changes button.

Step 8: Review the changes and click the black Submit button.

Note that timing is limited

Downloading content to your device is similar to renting digital media. You can store it for a specific amount of time, but once you click play, that timeframe shrinks significantly.

Hulu restricts you to 25 downloads

You can store up to five downloads per device, totaling a maximum of 25 at one time. That’s per device, not per profile. If you go over that limit, the Hulu app prompts you do delete a previous download.

You have 30 days to start programming

You can store downloaded content for 30 days. Once you start watching the show or film in question, your time limit moves to the next step.

There’s a two-day watch period

You only get 48 hours after clicking play. If you never complete a specific show or movie in that timeframe, the download expires, and you must renew the content.

How to find and download content

With all that out of the way, finding and downloading content is extremely easy.

Step 1: Tap the Search icon located in the global navigation bar at the bottom.

Step 2: Tap the Downloadable option on the following screen.

Step 3: Swipe through Hulu’s library and find the content you want to view offline.

Step 4: For shows, tap the Download icon — it resembles an arrow — next to each episode.

For movies, tap the Download icon displayed beneath the Watch Movie button.

How to delete downloaded content

Once you finish watching offline content, you can delete it immediately. The following steps pertain to deleting the media at a later date.

Step 1: Tap the Downloads option in the navigation bar at the bottom.

Step 2: Tap the checkmark icon located to the right of your downloaded content.

Step 3: Tap the Delete Download option in the resulting pop-up menu.

How to adjust video quality for downloads

Hulu uses Standard resolution by default, which allows for faster downloads and less storage. You can switch to High, but the content will take longer to download and consume more space on your device.

Step 1: Tap the Downloads option in the navigation bar at the bottom.

Step 2: On the resulting screen, tap the “gear” icon located in the upper-left corner (iOS) or upper-right corner (Android).

Step 3: Tap the Video Quality setting on the following screen.

Step 4: Select the Standard or High option.

How to renew expired downloads

There are two types of expired media. If you downloaded content and didn’t finish watching before your 48-hour limit, it expires, forcing you to renew your temporary license. The second type is media that’s currently leaving or removed from Hulu. Typically you’ll also see this content listed under the Expiring section in My Stuff. Once Hulu removes this programming, you cannot watch it.

Step 1: Tap the Downloads option in the navigation bar at the bottom.

Step 2: Tap the “expired” icon located to the right of your expired media.

Step 3: If available, tap the Renew Download option.

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