Do you have a Hulu subscription? You must try these 8 tips

Hulu has some lesser-known features that can improve your streaming experience.

James Martin/CNET

With over 40 million subscribers, Hulu has secured its place among the big streaming services – even if it does not have the global reach of netflix, HBO Max and Disney+. Hulu offers an impressive range of originals, movies, current episodes from major TV networks and even a live TV option. All together, that’s more than enough to keep you watching for hours.

Now we know Netflix has a pile of obscure settings, but did you know that Hulu also offers a few benefits? Stream live news channels on any plan. Host a remote monitoring party. Or upgrade your subscription: In addition to Hulu’s basic $6 tier, you can pay more to remove ads or upgrade to Hulu Plus Live TV, which comes with a Unlimited DVRs and access to Disney Plus and ESPN Plus.

But what about Hulu’s features? Although the platform is not as intuitive to use as I would like, I found many ways to improve the viewing experience. I’m sorry to say that Hulu is missing secret codes which unlock genre menus and other content categories like Netflix, but with these tricks, you can still add some dazzle to your streaming stream.


One thing before we dive in: I learned the hard way that Hulu’s features don’t work the same on all devices. This inconsistency can be frustrating, but you can check which supported devices work best with these tips by visiting Hulu’s Help Center.

Use widgets for your mobile phone

Are you used to watching the Hulu app on your phone? Android and iPhone users can upgrade to a personalized Hulu widget that offers one-click access to content you’ve already been watching or suggestions for new titles.

iOS users can press and hold an empty space on their screens and when the add sign appears, type Hulu. You will be prompted to choose one of two widgets: “Jump Back In” or “Discover”.

If you have an Android phone, tap an empty spot on your screen, then click the widgets icon. Search Hulu in the search bar, then click on the widget you want to use. You will have the option to choose between “Continue watching” or new content.

Add and remove channels in your schedule

This tip applies to basic live TV and Hulu subscribers. You know how you select your preferred networks when you first set up your Hulu profile? Well, that doesn’t need to be set in stone. If you want to add a channel to your broadcast list, you will need to store your favorite networks in the “My stufftab in Hulu.

From the main screen, find the TV tab and scroll down to find the “All TV Networks“. Click on the channel that has a steady stream of content you want to watch. For example, if you like ABC shows, select its icon and in the top corner, click “Add to my stuffYou will now see ABC content in your main Hulu page rotation. Repeat the process for other networks. When you navigate to the My Stuff tab and tap Networks, you will see a list of all the channels you have. Quickly access your favorite shows or movies by clicking the channel icon.


Add specific channels to your main Hulu lineup.

Screenshot by Kourtnee Jackson/CNET

Live TV subscribers go through a series of different steps. Open the Hulu app and click Hubs. Scroll to the AZ section to select the network channels you want, then press Add to my stuffor choose them from one of the other rows for entertainment, sports, etc. To verify that they are part of your channel list, tap the icon To live tab and click My Channels.

To remove any of these networks from your main Hulu page, simply find the network icon in My stuff and click delete.

Customize your subtitles

Like Netflix, Hulu gives you the ability to customize on-screen subtitles. You can change the font, background, and window appearance for your programming. Open the app on your TV and navigate to your profile icon. Click on Settings and open subtitles and captions menu. You can change the font color, opacity, and shading, and make the same adjustments to your background and viewport.

This formatting process will only work on supported devices that are running the latest version of Hulu. Some models of Roku, Android TV, Samsung TVs and Apple TV (pre-fourth generation) may not have this feature.

However, if you’re watching from a web browser, you can toggle the subtitle font settings. When a video is streaming, click the gear icon. To choose Subtitles. In the subtitle menu, tap Settings, and a box will open allowing you to choose the font type, color, size and opacity. Click on Ended after making your selections.

Protect your eyes with night mode

For those who watch Hulu late at night on a laptop, there’s a feature that will make your eye doctor happy: Night Mode. It changes your screen from a bright white background to a dark background to reduce blue light strain on your eyes.

To enable it, hover over your profile until you see the drop-down menu. To toggle night mode in the on or off position. Although this option is only available on computers, you can use the casting feature to cast Hulu from your laptop to Chromecast or your smart TV.

hulu-night mode

Reduce blue light exposure with Hulu’s night mode.

Screenshot by Kourtnee Jackson/CNET

Pause your subscription

Going on a trip? Need a break on one of your monthly bills? You can temporarily put Hulu on ice for up to 12 weeks. Go to your account page and find your subscription column. Click on Pause on the Suspend your subscription bar and choose how long you want Hulu to stop.

You will not be billed during this period, but note that the freeze takes effect on the first day of your next billing cycle. Also, be aware that if you have linked Disney Plus and/or ESPN Plus to your Hulu subscription, access to those apps will also be suspended.

Unless you restart your subscription manually, your account will automatically reactivate when your break expires. This will become your new billing date.

Disable autoplay

If you use Netflix regularly, you’re probably used to its autoplay feature that rolls into the next episode or preview. Hulu does the same thing, and you can turn it on or off.

For TVs and mobile devices, click your profile icon, then select Settings. To toggle Autoplay disabled for videos or previews. If you’re streaming Hulu on a web browser, click the gear icon while playing to open Settings. To toggle Autoplay to off.

Clean up your watched video history

Have you finished watching every season of a few shows on repeat? What about that last Halloween series of horror movies? If you want to rewatch content from the beginning, or if you feel like decluttering your watch history, there’s a way to delete what you’ve already seen.

On your TV, go to the details page for a show or movie. Click the gear icon that says Manage Series. You will be prompted to confirm if you want to remove the title from your watch history. To choose Remove Not only will it remove it from your history and watchlist, but it will also erase your viewing progress for an entire series or movie. This is handy if you want to review something.

Mobile and web users should start from the homepage and find the Keep watching section on Hulu. Locate the title thumbnail to open the menu options. Click X Where Delete from watch history and check your selection.

Lost remote? Let your phone guide you

If a gremlin has hidden your TV remote, never fear, you can still watch Hulu on your big screen using your phone. How? ‘Or’ What? If you have Chromecast or Airplay on your TV, install the Hulu app on your phone (or other mobile device) and stream.

Make sure your phone and TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, then open the app on your phone. Choose the content you want to watch and press either the Live reading Where To throw icon. Select Chromecast or your smart TV from the menu and enjoy streaming. You can control playback functions with your phone.

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