Hulu Offline Viewing: How It Works and When to Use It
Hulu offers thousands of great movies and TV shows to watch, with a library of content that’s always updating. Up until now, you needed some kind of internet connection to connect to your Hulu account and watch content. Well, as of October of 2019, that’s no longer the case.
You can now download anything you want to watch to your smartphone using the Hulu mobile app. Then later, whether you have an internet connection or not, you can watch that content wherever you are. Currently, this feature doesn’t work on desktop devices when you access the Hulu website.
Upgrade To Use Hulu Offline Viewing
Hulu offers a few different subscription plans, and not all of them include the offline viewing feature.
The four plans for Hulu include:
- Hulu (ad-supported)
- Hulu (No Ads)
- Hulu + Live TV (ad-supported)
- Hulu + Live TV (No Ads)
The only plans that support the offline viewing feature are the two “No Ads” plans. Once you’re done reading this article and decide you want to use Hulu’s offline viewing feature, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the No Ads plans.
How To Use Hulu Offline Viewing
If you haven’t updated the Hulu mobile app in a while, you may not see the ability to download content. Visit the Google Play store or the Apple store and make sure to run an app update.
Once updated, open the Hulu mobile app and browse to the content that you want to download.
On any TV shows with multiple episodes, you’ll see a small download icon to the right of the episode title, next to the three dot menu icon.
Once you select this, the download for that episode will begin. You’ll see a status for the percentage downloaded show up as a circular line moving around the outside of the download icon.
For movies, it’s slightly different. When you’re browsing a movie title, you’ll see a new Download link and icon displayed right under the Watch Movie button.
Selecting this will initiate the download for that movie.
Managing Hulu Offline Viewing Downloads
In addition to the download status displayed on the download icons in the app itself, you can see the status of individual movie or TV show downloads in your notifications area as well.
You can initiate multiple downloads at a time. Which means if you have an upcoming trip coming up and you know you’re going to be “off the grid” for a while, connect to a good Wi-Fi network either at home or your local internet cafe, and initiate as many content downloads as you like.
The only limit to the number of content items in Hulu that you can download is the storage capacity of your smartphone. As downloads complete, you can manage all of your downloaded content in the Downloads area of the Hulu app.
To access this, select the Downloads button at the bottom of the main page of the Hulu app.
This will take you to the Downloads page, where you can find all of your downloaded content.
From here, you can simply tap any of the downloaded content to start playing it. This works whether or not you’re connected to the internet or a Wi-Fi network, since the content is streaming directly off your local device storage.
Not All Hulu Content Is Downloadable
You may notice as you’re browsing that some of the movies or TV shows don’t feature a Download link or icon.
This is because not all content on Hulu is downloadable. You could take your chances and just randomly check movies or TV shows that you want to download. But there’s an easier way.
On the Downloads page mentioned above, if you scroll down to the bottom you’ll see a See What’s Downloadable button you can select to see a list of all content on Hulu that you can download to your device.
Selecting this will open a new area on the Hulu app where you can browse all of the downloadable content.
As you can see, this area is organized into TV, Movies, Kids, or Newly Added Movies. Save some time by using this area, and you’re guaranteed that if you see something you like, you can download it to your local device.
When To Use Hulu Offline Viewing
The Hulu offline viewing feature is perfect for a number of situations you may find yourself in. A few of the most common include:
- Taking a road trip with kids, you can download children’s TV shows to their mobile devices before the drive.
- If you’re staying at a campground far away from internet access, you can download movies to watch at night in your tent.
- When traveling to another country and you want to conserve data usage costs, load plenty of movies for the trip.
- Protect your mobile device security by watching movies at a hotel without having to connect to a dangerous public Wi-Fi network.
If you’re considering upgrading to a No-Ad Hulu subscription, this could be one excellent reason to do it.