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Hulu now lets subscribers download videos for offline viewing.
The benefit of this feature is that you don’t need an internet connection to watch Hulu. This makes downloads a great option when travelling, or just away from a reliable Wi-Fi connection in general.
Here’s how you can get started with Hulu downloads on your smartphone.
Make sure you’re on the right plan
The first thing to know about Hulu downloads is that not all Hulu subscribers have access to the feature.
Hulu downloads are only available to No Ads subscribers. This is the service’s $11.99 per month ad-free subscription plan. Those on the cheaper $5.99 ad-supported subscription plan are not eligible for downloads.
The same rule also applies to live TV subscribers. For example, if you’re on the $50.99 per month Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV plan then you can download Hulu videos. If you’re on the $44.99 per month Hulu + Live TV plan, then you can’t download.
How to download Hulu videos on your phone
If you’re traveling or simply in an area where there’s no Wi-Fi and don’t want to consume mobile data, then downloads is a great feature to take advantage of.
To get started you’ll need to make sure your phone has a newer version of the app installed.
- If using an iOS device then this means version 6.3.1 of the Hulu app. Download the iOS app.
- If using an Android device then this means 3.61.1 of Hulu app. Download the Android app.
With the right version of the app installed and launched, you’ll notice a change to the bottom bar thanks to the addition of the “Downloads” tab. This is where all the videos you have downloaded will be stored.
To actually download a video you just need to navigate to a video’s listing within the app. For example, if you search for “The Handmaid’s Tale” then you’ll see a new “download” icon beside each episode. Clicking this icon will start the download for that episode.
If a TV show or movie does not display a download icon then that title is not available to download.
There is also a new “See What’s Downloadable” section. In this section, Hulu promotes all of the titles that can currently be downloaded. This section makes it much easier to find something to download compared to manually searching.
To access the universal Downloadable section, tap on the search icon in the top right corner and then select the “Downloadable” option from the menu.
What are the limitations?
As with most things, there are limitations with Hulu downloads. Here’s the main ones you should be aware of.
- Not all Hulu videos can be downloaded.
- Only 25 videos can be downloaded at the same time per account.
- Videos can only be downloaded on 5 different devices at one time.
- Downloads will expire and are removed after 30 days.
- If a video has been started or watched, the download will expire in 48 hours.
- Videos can only be downloaded in Standard or High definition.
Downloading using mobile data
Hulu downloads are not just for when you are connected to Wi-Fi. Users can also download videos using their mobile data plan.
Using mobile data to download videos is not recommended and especially for those who are on a limited or metered data plan. Make sure you are aware of any data charges that may be incurred when downloading on your mobile plan.
If you would like to make sure you can’t download when on mobile data then you can adjust this in the app’s settings.
How to prohibit mobile data downloads
- Tap on “Downloads” in the navigation bar.
- Select “Settings”
- Turn the “Cellular Downloading” toggle to Off
If you do plan on downloading over mobile data, then it might be wise to limit the quality of the downloads. The lower the quality, the less data will be consumed when downloading. Currently, users can opt between SD and HD for downloads.
How to limit downloads to SD quality
- Tap on “Downloads” in the navigation bar.
- Select “Settings.”
- Tap on “Video Quality.”
- Select either Standard or High quality
If you’ve already watched a downloaded video or just want to free up storage space on the device then you can delete a downloaded video
How to delete downloads
- Tap “Downloads ” in the navigation bar.
- Tap “Edit.”
- Select the videos you want to delete.
- Tap on the “Trash Can” icon.
- Tap “Confirm” to delete the videos.
That’s about it. There are some other options and settings for downloads but here we’ve covered the main ones you’ll need to know about. Especially for those just getting started with Hulu downloads.