{Solved} 9 Ways to Fix Hulu Playback Failure

Video Streaming is the new “in” when it comes to watching television series, web series, movies, or anything else. And various platforms like YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, and of course Hulu are some of the platforms that provide custom as well original content for their users. With this being said, Hulu is a video-streaming service provider. It’s an American Entertainment company, owned by Hulu LLC and is a joint venture with The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Comcast, and AT&T. It offers current and past episodes of various television series, movies, and original content as well. Nowadays, many users are  facing Hulu Playback failure issue. Hulu can be accessed through your PC, mobile, and other connected devices also. It also offers live television streaming service, which was launched on May 3, 2017.

Features And Services

A monthly subscription will offers all these features. A user can have a free trial first which can last from a week to a month, depending upon the plan that s/he chooses. Various plans and packs are available so that a user can choose according to his/her needs and demands. A user can choose from packs as low as $5.99/month for 1 year to$39.99/month, with more features and services like no commercials, access to live and on-demand TV, recording of Live TV, regional sports networks, etc.  A user can also opt for additional services like ‘Enhanced Cloud DVR’ and ‘Unlimited Screens’ by paying some extra amount.

Hulu’s services are currently only available in America, its territories, and Japan. With Netflix and Amazon being its biggest competitors, Hulu has a US subscriber base of 20 million as of 2018.

Users of Hulu face Hulu playback failure error sometimes. It displays message on the screen stating that the hulu server key has expired and you need to restart the application. But what causes this error?

Reasons for Hulu Playback Failure Error

Reasons that can be the root cause of Hulu Playback failure error can be issues with your device, software, internet connection, etc. that can be solved by following the fixes given below.

Many a time, this error can be from the Hulu’s servers end. Whenever a user requests to stream a video, and if the request remains unanswered from Hulu’s servers end, it causes the hulu server key to expire. This leads to playback failure error. In such a case, all you can do is just let them know about the issue that you are facing and wait for their response.

But if the issue is from your end, you can try the following fixes.

Best Methods to Fix Hulu Playback Failure Error

Method 1: Solving Internet Connectivity Issues

Hulu videos may buffer and may not play due to very slow internet speed.

  • Regular Hulu videos require a minimum internet speed of 3.0 Mbps.
  • Hulu with Live TV requires a minimum internet speed of 8.0 Mbps.
  • Restart your modem and router and check if your router needs any modifications or configurations to compete with your connection.
  • Try using an Ethernet Cable, as it provides a more stable connection as compared to a wireless one.

Method 2: Device and networking equipment

Turn off or shut down your device that you are using to play videos on Hulu, and leave it that way for about one minute. Even unplug it if required. Turn it back on and try streaming videos now. Check whether the issue Hulu Playback failure gets resolved. If it still persists, try other fixes.

Method 3: Avoid connecting too many devices

If you have a lot of other devices like smartphones, tablets, notebooks, etc. connected to your Wi-Fi, then make sure they are disconnected. Connecting too many devices at the same time with the same connection slows its speed and Hulu videos face playback error. So try disconnecting all other devices, or keeping the connected  to a minimum devices, and see whether the error hulu server key expired is fixed or not.

Method 4: Checking Hulu’s Social Media Accounts

Hulu may have stopped their services for a while due to maintenance or other technical issues. So if that’s the case, then you can go through their various social media accounts like their Twitter handle to see whether they have turned down their servers intentionally.

Method 5: Streaming videos in low-quality

Although not preferred, but streaming videos in low-quality can help if you have a poor internet connection.You can also enable Hulu’s services Auto-quality mode. This will let the app change the video quality according to your per minute internet speed.

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Method 6: Clearing the Hulu Cache

Clearing the Hulu cache will clear up space and allow the app to run efficiently and smoothly. To clear Hulu Cache, follow the below-mentioned steps:

  1. Go to Settings in your device.
  2. Go to the Apps section and open Hulu.
  3. Select Clear Cache.
  4. Clear all the unnecessary files as well.
  5. Save these changes.
Clear Hulu Cache
Clear Hulu Cache

This will allow to stream videos on Hulu faster and in a better manner.

Method 7: Update Hulu app

The app releases newer and better versions from time to time to fix bugs and improve performance. So check for the latest versions and update your app. This will fix most of the issues that you are facing. Also, older versions of the app may not be compatible with the service anymore.

Method 8: Restart Hulu service

Hulu services may face interruptions if the app isn’t open correctly. Try restarting the app and see whether the issue Hulu Playback failure is fixed. And if not, try restarting your device as well.

Method 9: Closing the background tabs

Hulu takes up a lot of your RAM space, so closing all other apps or services that are running in the background will ensure the smooth running of the service. This will help you to solve hulu server key expired issue.


You can also try changing DNS settings in your router or changing your DNS as well. If none of the above-mentioned methods work, you can try filing a complaint with Hulu. If there is an issue from their end, due to server outage, or any other reason, then it can be solved from Hulu’s end only. You can also refer to support offered by Hulu through https://help.hulu.com/en-us/general-troubleshooting.




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