Hulu Error Code 503: Here’s How I Resolved It

A few months ago, I ditched my cable service and switched to Hulu.

I have been enjoying the vast collection of content Hulu provides, whether movies or shows.

However, a couple of days ago, while watching the latest episode of ‘Fleishman is in Trouble’ on my laptop, the video got stuck.

I reloaded the webpage and tried to resume the episode but was greeted by an ‘Error Code 503’.

Not paying much attention to it, I relaunched the web browser and tried again with no success.

I read a few troubleshooting guides online to help me out, but the error persisted.

Fortunately, after a few hours of consistent research, I came across a simple yet effective solution that resolved the error for good. 

If you get ‘Error Code 503’ on Hulu, check the Hulu server status by visiting DownDetector and clear your web browser’s (or Hulu app) cache and cookies. 

What does ‘Error Code 503’ on Hulu mean?

Irrespective of your streaming device, you may encounter some error codes while streaming Hulu content, and most of these codes do not clearly explain what’s wrong.

‘Error Code 503’ is one such error, which is related to server availability.

Encountering this error on Hulu means a communication problem between the Hulu website/app and its servers.

This error is usually accompanied by one of these messages: 

  • HTTP Server Error 503.
  • Service Unavailable.
  • Error: 503. 

Why am I Getting ‘Error Code 503’ on Hulu?

You can get ‘Error Code 503’ while watching Hulu, mainly due to server outages or maintenance downtime.

A slow Internet connection can also be a reason for the occurrence of this error.

Apart from these two major causes, here are some other factors that can lead to this error creeping up on Hulu: 

  • App/Browser malfunction.
  • Ad blockers.
  • Too many devices are logged in simultaneously.
  • Outdated App. 

Check Hulu Server Status

Before trying out anything on your end to resolve ‘Error Code 503’ on Hulu, you should check its server status.

This is because most HTTP errors are usually caused by servers facing an outage or being under maintenance.

Several third-party websites let you check the server status of streaming services like Hulu; DownDetector is a prominent one.

You can also visit Hulu Help Center or their Twitter handle for information about an outage in your area.

If Hulu servers are down, your only option is to wait for their Tech team to fix this problem. 

Check Your Internet Speed

In case Hulu servers are up and running and you are still facing ‘Error Code 503’, your next step should be to check your Wi-Fi connection.

A buggy Wi-Fi router or low Internet speed can create numerous hurdles for Hulu streaming, including error codes.

You can check your Internet speed by using Google’s built-in speed test or visiting Speedtest by Ookla.

If your Internet is slow or facing hiccups, power cycling the Wi-Fi router can help you get it back to normal.

To power cycle your router: 

  1. Switch off the router.
  2. Disconnect it from the power source.
  3. Wait for 1-2 minutes before reconnecting it.
  4. Switch on the router and wait for it to boot completely. 

If you see no improvement in your Internet speed, using an Ethernet cable to connect your streaming device to the Wi-Fi router can help you boost it up. 

Clear Cache and Cookies

Whenever you visit the Hulu website or open its app, you store cache and cookies in your streaming device’s memory.

These files help in the quick reloading of Hulu and its content the next time you launch it.

That being said, these files can eat up a lot of space on your device and create several problems for a smooth streaming experience, like ‘Error Code 503’.

Clearing the cache and cookies can help you resolve these problems.

Clear Your Web Browser’s Cache and Cookies

If you encounter ‘Error Code 503’ while watching Hulu on a web browser, clearing its cache and cookies will resolve the error within seconds.

Here are the steps to clear the cache and cookies of various web browsers: 

Google Chrome

  1. Launch the browser.
  2. Tap on the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner.
  3. Hover on ‘More tools’ and choose ‘Clear Browsing Data’.
  4. Select a ‘Time Range’.
  5. Make sure to check ‘Cookies and Other Site Data’ and ‘Cached Images and Files’.
  6. Tap on ‘Clear Data’. 

Microsoft Edge

  1. Open the browser.
  2. Tap on the three horizontal dots in the top-right corner.
  3. Select ‘History’ from the panel.
  4. Click on ‘Clear History’.
  5. Check the boxes for ‘Cookies and Saved Website Data’ and ‘Cached Data and Files’.
  6. Tap on ‘Clear’. 

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Launch the browser.
  2. Tap on the three horizontal lines in the upper-right corner.
  3. Select ‘Privacy and Security’.
  4. Click on ‘Clear Data’ under ‘Cookies and Site Data’.
  5. Make sure to check the box for ‘Cache’.
  6. Click on ‘Clear’ to confirm. 

Safari

  1. Open ‘Safari’ from the menu bar.
  2. Tap on ‘Preferences’.
  3. Select ‘Privacy’.
  4. Choose ‘Manage Website Data’.
  5. Click on ‘Remove All’.
  6. Select ‘Remove Now’ to confirm. 

Clear the Hulu App Cache

Follow these steps to clear cache files of your Hulu app: 

  1. Go to ‘Home’ on your streaming device.
  2. Click on ‘Settings’.
  3. Choose ‘Apps’.
  4. Tap on ‘Hulu’.
  5. Select the ‘Storage’ option.
  6. Click on ‘Clear Cache’. 

Note: The location of various options may vary depending on your streaming device. 

Disable Ad Blocker/VPN

Ad blockers are useful services for skipping ads online, but they are known to create hindrances while trying to load streaming services like Hulu.

On the other hand, a VPN is good for safeguarding your online activities, but it can also be a reason for you facing various error codes while watching Hulu.

If you use one or both of these services on your streaming device, disable them and launch Hulu to check if ‘Error Code 503’ is resolved. 

Reinstall the Hulu App

In case you use the Hulu app, and none of the above-mentioned solutions help you get rid of ‘Error Code 503’, the app data may be corrupt or missing a vital directory.

You can eliminate this problem by deleting the app and installing it back.

Follow these steps to do so: 

  1. Go to ‘Home’ on your streaming device.
  2. Click on ‘Settings’.
  3. Open ‘Apps’.
  4. Choose ‘Hulu’.
  5. Select the ‘Delete’ or ‘Uninstall’ option.
  6. Confirm your selection.
  7. Restart your device.
  8. Launch the App Store or Play Store.
  9. Search for ‘Hulu’ and install the app.
  10. Once finished, open the app and log into your account. 

Note: The process or options may vary based on your device. 

What to Do if ‘Error Code 503’ Persists

If you face ‘Error Code 503’ on Hulu even after trying all the solutions covered in this article, you should check how many devices are logged into your Hulu account.

For the basic plan, you can simultaneously watch Hulu content only on two devices.

Trying to stream Hulu on a third device at the same time may be the reason why you are getting the error message.

If you want to watch Hulu on several devices simultaneously, you can opt for their Unlimited Screens Add-on

Is ‘Error Code 503’ Common on Hulu?

‘Error Code 503’ has pestered many Hulu subscribers over the years, but it’s not something to be afraid of.

The most common reason for this error is the Hulu server outage, and in this case, you will have to wait for Hulu to carry their baggage.

However, if servers are working fine, clearing the browser’s (or Hulu app) cache and cookies should do the trick for you.

If nothing seems to work, delete the Hulu app and reinstall it. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I stop Hulu from freezing?

You can stop Hulu from freezing by power cycling your streaming device and Wi-Fi router.

If this does not help, clear your web browser or Hulu app cache. 

What does ‘Error Code 301’ on Hulu mean?

‘Error Code 301’ on Hulu means the website or app cannot access the content you requested. 

How much does Hulu Live TV cost?

Hulu Live TV costs $68.99 per month. 

About the author

Maria Chan, or MC, as we call her, is the genius girl-boss who gave up on her cushy silicon-valley job to grind it out with us. Her undying pursuit of wanting Zeebox to the best makes it very clear that she has no interest in running a generic tech-site.