Hulu Subtitles Not Working: I Found The Culprit

Hulu has been my go-to platform to watch Live TV and stream my favorite shows for more than a year now. 

I usually work with Live TV running in the background as white noise, so the Hulu app is literally always on. 

A few days ago, while working I noticed that the subtitles were all over the place and they did not match the audio. 

I tried fixing them but the subtitles vanished altogether. 

The issue was rather confusing and annoying, so I decided to do some research of my own. 

After spending some time going through the Hulu community and talking to people who had the same issue, I finally found a solution that fixed the subtitles. 

If Hulu subtitles are not working or are out of sync, close the app and clear the app’s cache data by navigating to the app settings. After this, relaunch the app.

Why Are Hulu Subtitles Out Of Sync?

Subtitles might not work or may be out of sync on Hulu due to various factors like issues with the internet or corrupted cache files.

I have narrowed down 5 key causes and ways to fix them.

The 5 key issues that cause subtitle problems with Hulu are

  1. Issues with cached data
  2. Bugs with the Hulu app
  3. Outdated Hulu app version
  4. Outdated firmware and device software
  5. Issues with accessibility settings.

Clear Hulu’s Cached Data

All applications create cache data, enabling the app to serve content faster and provide a better user experience.

Sometimes due to corrupted app cache data, the app might not function as it should, resulting in errors and issues with playback.

Clearing the app’s cached data will empty the cache fixing the issues you are facing with the subtitles on Hulu.

To clear the cache data on your Android phone:

  • Go to Settings
  • Select Apps or ‘Manage Apps’
  • Tap on show all apps
  • Select the Hulu app
  • Tap on storage & cache
  • Tap on clear cache or Clear data

To clear cache data on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap General
  3. Select iPhone storage/ iPad storage
  4. Wait for the list of your apps to load
  5. Select the Hulu app
  6. Click on the offload app option

To clear cache data on your TV:

  1. Navigate to settings
  2. Select System
  3. Select storage
  4. Selected internal storage
  5. Select clear cache

To clear the cache on your browser 

  • Press Control + H 
  • Click on clear browsing data
  • In the time range dropdown, select all time
  • Select “Cached images & files.”
  • Click on clear data  

To clear the cache on Fire TV

  • Navigate to settings 
  • Select applications
  • Select Manage Installed Applications.
  • Select the Hulu app
  • Select clear cache

After clearing the app cache, relaunch the Hulu app and check if the issue with the subtitles has been fixed.

Corrupted cache can also lead to Hulu playback errors.

Close And Relaunch The Hulu App

The Hulu app might stop performing properly due to temporary bugs and glitches. 

Closing the Hulu app completely and relaunching it can get rid of these temporary problems.

In case the app is stuck, you can always force close it.

The steps to force close your Hulu app will vary based on your device. Here’s how you can force close the app:

On Apple Tv (Gen 4 or later)

  1. Double-click the home button to bring up the app switcher
  2. Swipe up on the remote’s trackpad to close the Hulu app

On Android TV, Phone, and tablets:

  1. Open settings app
  2. Navigate to apps in the settings menu
  3. Select Hulu from the list of installed apps
  4. Select force stop

On Fire TV and fire TV stick/ Fire TV cube:

  • Open settings
  • Navigate to “Manage installed applications”
  • Select the Hulu app
  • Select force stop

Update Hulu App To The Latest Version

App developers regularly release updates that fix bugs and bring about feature improvements. 

Updating your app to the latest version gets rid of these issues. 

An outdated app is home to several issues and they can also lead to the subtitle issue you are facing.

Update the Hulu app to the latest version by opening the play store or app store on your streaming device, searching for Hulu, and selecting Update Now.

After the process is complete, relaunch the app to check if the problem with subtitles is fixed.

Update Your Streaming Device

All iOS and Android devices get periodic updates to fix bugs and bring feature improvements.

Make sure you are running the latest software and you have updated the device firmware.

To check for new system updates navigate to settings, go to system settings and check for updates.

If an update is available, click on the update now button.

Relaunch the Hulu app to check if the issue has been resolved.

Enable Closed Captions

Most devices come with closed caption settings.

If these are disabled, your Hulu app might not be able to display subtitles, especially on Live TV. 

To fix the issue, you will have to enable closed captions.

Generally, you can find the closed caption settings in the accessibility settings on iOS, Android, Roku, Fire TV, or Apple TV.

I have listed the steps to set up closed captions on both Android and iOS.

To enable closed captions on an Android TV, Phone or Tablet, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap Accessibility
  3. Select Captions / Caption preferences
  4. Toggle the “Use captions” switch

To enable closed captions on an iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Scroll down and tap on Accessibility
  3. Tap on “Subtitles and captioning”
  4. Turn on the “Closed captions + SDH” toggle switch

To enable closed captions on Roku, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Home button on your Roku remote
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Accessibility
  4. Select Captions Mode
  5. Set Captions to on position

To enable closed captions on Fire TV, follow the instructions:

  1. Press the Menu button on your Fire TV remote to open additional playback settings
  2. Select Subtitles and Audio
  3. Select the Off button and change it to the available subtitle languages. 

Bonus Fix: A Workaround That’s Working For Some

Here’s a workaround that works for some people who face the issue of subtitles being out of sync:

  1. ⁠Start your movie or series and skip ahead
  2. ⁠Exit playback and return to the episode/show selection screen
  3. ⁠Resume your movie/ show. 
  4. ⁠Rewind to the spot from where you forwarded, and subtitles should stay in sync

Contact Hulu support.

Suppose all the above methods fail to fix the issue. The last resort is to contact Hulu customer support by heading to Hulu’s official Help page

Note that you have to log in to be able to contact customer care services.

Alternatively, you can also call on their toll-free number, which is available on Hulu’s help page.

Frequently Asked Questions.

How much does Hulu + Live TV cost?

Hulu + Live TV comes in 2 plans. While the Hulu live TV plan with advertisements will cost you $69.99 a month, an ad-free Hulu experience will cost you $82.99

How to contact Hulu’s customer support?

You can contact Hulu customer support by heading to Hulu’s official Help page

How to fix Issues with subtitles on Hulu?

You can fix subtitles issues with Hulu by closing the app and clearing the cached app data by navigating to the app settings in the app menu and relaunching the app.

Is my device compatible with Hulu?

Hulu is compatible with a good number of streaming devices and gaming consoles.

Here is a list of devices that can run Hulu.

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.