Common Hulu Error Codes and How to Resolve Them

By Jayden Andrews. March 20, 2020

Hulu is one of the major players in the online streaming industry and is probably the biggest competitor of giant Netflix. Hulu is home to thousands of movies, TV series, and documentaries in various genres. It differs from other popular streaming sites like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix in that users get earlier access to the latest series from various traditional networks. In most cases, you only have to wait a few days or a week to watch episodes of popular TV series after they have been aired.

Hulu has more than 28.5 million subscribers and is available for Android phones, iOS devices, smart TVs, Nintendo Switch, Macs and PCs, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Roku and Roku Stick, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Most of these devices, especially smart TVs and gaming consoles, come with the app pre-installed. For the other devices, installing Hulu should be pretty straightforward. Users just need to download the app from its website or the device’s dedicated app store.

Once the app has been installed, users will be asked to sign in or create an account to access Hulu’s extensive library of movies and TV series. Once you’re signed in, you can then enjoy binge-watching your favorite flicks or catch up on the latest episodes of popular TV shows. Just click or tap on the video you want to watch, and the app will automatically play it for you, complete with subtitles.

However, Hulu is not flawless. Just like with any other app, running into errors and performance issues is common. Hulu error codes are assigned to each error, but the error messages are not always helpful in explaining the cause of the problem. Some Hulu error codes are caused by a poor internet connection, and others indicate a problem with your device. There are also Hulu error codes that are due to hardware problems. There are also times when the problem users are experiencing is caused by service disruptions or Hulu server problems.

Unfortunately, the error message won’t explicitly lay it out for you. When Hulu is not working or you encounter an error, you need to do some research and a bit of guesswork to resolve the issue. To make it easier for Hulu users, we’ve listed the common Hulu error codes that are usually encountered when running the app.

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Basic Hulu Troubleshooting Tips

When Hulu is not working as it normally does, you need to investigate a lot of factors to find the cause. The problem can be caused by a poor internet connection, defective hardware, incorrect device settings, corruption in the Hulu app, or the Hulu service itself.

So when you encounter a problem with Hulu, here are some of the basic troubleshooting steps you should try:

  • Restart your TV, Mac, PC, Android phone, iPhone, or any other streaming device.
  • Restart your router or modem.
  • Unplug your device and router. Leave them unplugged for at least one minute, then plug them back in.
  • Switch from Wi-Fi to a wired internet connection.
  • Update your Hulu app. If it doesn’t work, you can try reinstalling it.
  • Update the OS of your streaming device as well.

Most Hulu errors can be resolved by completing these basic troubleshooting tips. But if they don’t work, you should take a look at the error code that appeared when the error happened. The error code can help you determine the problem and understand the cause of it a lot better. If you know the error code, you can scroll down below for information on how to fix your specific problem.

How to Fix Common Hulu Error Codes

If Hulu provided you with an error code, you can refer to our list of common Hulu issues below and find out more about the problem you are experiencing. We’ve included the possible causes of these errors and various ways to resolve them.

Error Codes 3 and 5

These two errors are actually very similar, so we’ve grouped them together. These errors appear when you try to load a video using the Hulu app. Both error codes 3 and 5 indicate some kind of internet issue because the app is not able to play the movie or video.

Error Messages

Here are some of the error messages you might encounter with Error code 3

  • Error playing this video
  • Error code: 3(-996)
  • We’re having trouble loading this right now
  • Sorry, we encountered an error playing this video. Please try restarting the video or select something else to watch.
  • Please check your internet connection and try again. Error Code: -3: An unexpected problem (but not server timeout or HTTP error) has been detected.

Error code 5, on the other hand, is usually accompanied by any of the following notifications:

  • We’re having trouble loading this right now
  • If this problem persists, try restarting your device.
  • Please check your internet connection and try again. Error Code: -5: malformed data.

Solution

Since the problem is probably related to your internet connection and there is nothing wrong with the Hulu server, you can fix the problem on your own. Here are the steps you need to take to resolve the error:

1. Turn off your streaming device for at least a minute, then turn it back on again. Do not put it on sleep, hibernate, or standby mode because what you need is to refresh the system. Putting it into sleep or standby mode is not good enough. You need to shut it down to do so.

2. If you still see the error after restarting your device, unplug your network modem and router for one minute. Plug them back in and check if the problem has been resolved. If possible, connect your device using a physical Ethernet cable instead of a wireless Wi-Fi connection.

If the error continues to appear even after fully restarting your streaming device and unplugging your modem and router, you should try reinstalling the Hulu app on your device and see if the problem persists. These error codes usually appear after Hulu releases a new update, causing incompatibility issues. It is, therefore, important to keep both your Hulu app and streaming device updated at all times.

Error Code 500

This means that the error lies with the Hulu server. Since this is a server error, there isn’t much you can do except to refresh the Hulu app or website and make sure your internet connection is stable.

Error Message

When this error pops up, you’ll usually see this message that accompanies the error code:

There was an error on this page (500 error)
Sorry – We’ve encountered an unexpected error. We’ve been notified about this issue, and we’ll take a look at it shortly.

Solution

This error usually happens when you are using the Hulu website to stream movies or TV shows, but it can also appear on streaming devices. This error occurs because the web browser or app you are using gets disconnected from the Hulu server for some reason. So when you’re faced with this problem, simply refresh the page to reload the website or reboot the app. If you’re streaming using a web browser, you can try it on a different web browser or a different computer. If the error happens on your streaming device, try opening the app on another device if you have one available. Switch to a different network connection or a wired connection to make sure that the error code 500 is not being caused by a spotty internet connection.

Error Code 400

Error code 400 is associated with a problematic account profile. This means that there is probably a problem with your account information, preventing the Hulu app from working properly on your mobile or streaming device. Logging out of and logging back into your account, reinstalling the app, or removing the device from your account should easily resolve this error.

Error Message

When you encounter the Hulu error code 400, you should see an error message that looks like this:

We’re having trouble loading this right now. Check your internet connection and try again.Error code: 400

Solution

The first thing to do when you get this error is do what it tells you to do – check your internet connection. Connect to a different, more stable network if there’s one available. Or you can connect via an Ethernet cable if possible. If you’re on a wireless connection and you’re using a mobile device for streaming, move your device closer to the router to see if it helps.

If there’s nothing wrong with your internet connection but you’re still getting the error code 400, you can try these steps instead:

1. Uninstall the Hulu app from your device and delete all cached files.
2. Download a clean copy of the installer, then reinstall the Hulu app.
3. Log into your Hulu account.
4. Try to stream any video to see if the error has been resolved.

If you’re still seeing the error 400 when you start the Hulu app, this means that you have to remove your streaming device from your Hulu account, then add it back in. You can call Hulu’s customer support to do this for you, but this would mean a lot of waiting time. If you do not want to wait on the phone for the customer service representative to do it for you, you can do it yourself on the Hulu website.

Here are the steps to remove a device from your account:

1. Go to Hulu.com using any web browser.
2. Log in using your account details.
3. Click on your name located in the upper right corner of the screen.
4. Click on Account.
5. Enter your password if prompted.
6. Click Log In.
7. Click on Manage Devices.
8. Find the device that is getting the error 400, then click Remove.

After you have deleted the device from your account, remove the Hulu app from your device, reinstall it, then log back in. This should finally fix error 400.

Error Code 16

When you get error code 16 on Hulu, which is an invalid region code, this means that Hulu is not available where you are. This problem usually appears when users are trying to access Hulu from outside of the United States.

Error message

Error code 16 and other invalid region error codes usually come with the following notifications:

  • We’re sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed within the United States. For more information on Hulu’s international availability, click here.
  • If you’re inside the United States and believe you’ve received this message in error, please click here.

Solution

If you’re outside the US and you want to access Hulu, your best option is to use a reliable VPN. The best VPNs would mask your real IP address and location and assign you a temporary IP address so that it seems like you’re accessing the service within the US.

But if you’re currently located in the United States and you’re getting this error, it must be because Hulu detects that you are using a virtual private network (VPN) or an anonymous proxy. This happens when you use a free or poor-quality VPN service. So even if you have a US IP address, Hulu will still block it if it detects that your IP is being used by a proxy service.

If you are in the US and you are using a VPN or anonymous proxy, turning it off should easily fix the problem.

To turn off your VPN on Android, follow the steps below:
1. Tap Settings, then Network and Internet.
2. Tap on VPN, and then tap the gear icon to access the settings.
3. If the VPN feature is switched on, adjust the slider to turn it off.

To turn off your VPN on your iOS devices, follow the steps below:
1. Tap the Settings icon.
2. Tap on General.
3. Scroll down to VPN.
4. If the VPN is turned on, switch it off.

To turn off an HTTP proxy on iOS devices, follow the steps below:
1. Tap the Settings app on your iPhone, iPad, or another iOS device.
2. Tap on Wi-Fi.
3. Tap on the blue circle with the letter I icon located beside your Wi-Fi connection.
4. Scroll down and look for the HTTP Proxy section.
5. Tap Configure Proxy and set it to Off.

If your HTTP proxy is already off and you are still getting the error 16 notification on your iOS device, it is recommended that you delete your configuration profiles by following the steps below:

1. On your iOS device, tap Settings.
2. Tap on General.
3. Scroll to the bottom, then tap on Profiles.
4. Tap Delete Profiles, and try to stream using Hulu.

Error Code 5003

This playback error usually means that there is an issue with your streaming device or the app installed on your device.

Error Message

The error message for error code 5003 usually reads like this:

Playback failure
We’re sorry, but there was an issue while playing this video.
Please check your connection and try again. (5003)

Solution

This error usually happens when the Hulu app is outdated. The easiest way to fix this error is to update the app. If that doesn’t work, delete and then reinstall the Hulu app. You also need to update the OS of the streaming device.

If you’re still encountering the error code 5003 after updating both your device and the Hulu app, then there must be something wrong with the app itself. You can just report the problem to Hulu and use a different device for the meantime.

Protected Content Errors: 3343, 3322, 3336, 3307, 2203, 3321, and 0326

There are a lot of error codes that indicate you’re trying to watch protected content on a device that doesn’t support it. However, these protected content errors can also be the result of a temporary glitch.

Error Message

There are a lot of error codes that might appear when you try to watch protected content, but the error messages are basically the same. The message usually reads like this:

There was an error playing this protected content.
(Error code: 3343)

Solution

The protected content error on Hulu can be caused by several different factors. Here are some of the things you should check:

  • Incorrect monitor connection – If you are using a VGA cable to connect your monitor to your CPU, you will not be able to watch protected content. Use an HDMI cable, or switch to a different monitor instead.
  • Multiple monitors connected – Hulu can work with multiple monitors, but sometimes, disconnecting one of the monitors can help resolve protected content errors.
  • Browser problems – If your web browser is outdated or does not support Hulu, there’s a chance you’ll get this error. Updating your browser or switching to a different one should fix this.
  • Computer is in Sleep Mode – This error appears when your computer goes into sleep mode while you are streaming a video. Try refreshing the page on Hulu, and the video should start playing.

HDCP Errors

One of the not-so-common errors you might encounter when using Hulu is the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) error message. This error is device-specific, but the error message usually looks the same.

Error Message

Here are some of the variations of the HDCP error you might come across:

  • This content requires HDCP for playback.
  • HDCP isn’t supported by your HDMI connection.

Solution

For streaming services like Hulu to work, the video source should be able to communicate with the monitor or the television, and this is done via HDCP. When your monitor or screen is too old or is unable to communicate with your streaming device, you might encounter HDCP issues. Another reason behind the HDCP error is an HDMI cable problem.

When you get an HDCP error when streaming with Hulu, here are the steps you can take to fix the problem:

1. Disconnect the HDMI cable from your streaming device and the monitor or the television.
2. Turn off your TV/monitor and streaming device, then unplug them for at least a minute.
3. Plug the HDMI cable back into the TV/monitor and your streaming device.
4. Ensure that both ends of the cable are connected correctly.
5. Reconnect your TV/monitor to your streaming device, then turn them back on.

Error Code BYA-403-007

Hulu error codes starting with the letters BYA can mean any of the various playback errors. However, this error usually indicates a problem with the Hulu service itself.

Message

The error code BYA-403-007 may seem like a mouthful, but the error message that goes with it is pretty straightforward.

Error playing this video
Sorry, we encountered an error playing this video. Please try restarting the video or select something else to watch.
Error code: BYA-403-007

Solution

When you encounter the Hulu error code BYA-403-007, the first thing you need to do is check if playing all the other videos on Hulu will result in the same error. If the other videos are able to play, then Hulu might be experiencing a partial outage that affects some selected content.

But if the same error message pops up when you play the other videos, there’s nothing you can do but wait for Hulu to sort out the problem.

Is Hulu Down?

If everything looks alright on your end yet you’re getting errors when playing videos on Hulu, the problem probably lies on Hulu’s end. If you want to check who else is having problems with Hulu, you can use a service like Down Detector. This might not fix your Hulu error, but at least you’ll know if other people are also having the same problem.

Here are the steps for using Down Detector:

1. Go to the Down Detector website.
2. On the search box, type in Hulu. Then press Enter.
3. You can look at the Hulu problems timeline to check if there has been a spike in consumer reports.
4. Scroll down and click Live Outages. This will show you the outage hotspots in your location.

If there are a lot of outages in your area, then there might be a problem with the service and you can only wait for Hulu to sort it out.

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