Hulu Says “We’re having trouble playing this”: How I Fixed It

A couple of days ago, I wanted to watch some of the latest dramas on Hulu, so I launched the app on my Smart TV and started browsing. 

After settling on a newly released murder mystery, I made some popcorn and sat down, ready to be gripped by the show. 

To my utter dismay, I was met with the infamous “We’re having trouble playing this” error.

I returned to the Home page and replayed the episode, but I was again met with the error message.

The nature of the error message added to my annoyance, as it did not tell me what was causing the error or what could be done to fix it.

I spent the next few hours crawling through Hulu community forums, and this is what my research revealed: 

Hulu says “We’re having trouble playing this” when it encounters an error trying to communicate with the servers. The easiest way to fix this problem is to power cycle your streaming device by disconnecting it from the power source and reconnecting it after 60 seconds. 

Check Hulu Server Status First

One of the most common reasons for Hulu’s inability to play a video is linked to its server status.

If Hulu servers are down due to a power outage or maintenance, the Hulu app will give you a myriad of troubles.

You can check if the Hulu servers are down by visiting Downdetector or the Hulu Twitter handle for updates.

If you find a problem with their server, you have no option but to wait for Hulu to resolve it. 

Power Cycle Your Streaming Device

An easy fix to get Hulu to play videos as intended is to power cycle your streaming device.

To do so, you have to unplug the device from the power source, wait for a couple of minutes, and plug it back in.

Power cycling helps eliminate various performance-hindering bugs and drains any residual power from the device.

Once you have powered on your device, play the video you were trying to stream, and it should work as it usually would.

Power cycling your devices can also help if Hulu keeps freezing on you.

Check Your Internet Connection

There are times when your Internet speed drops dramatically below what it should be due to the router facing bugs and glitches, causing Hulu to give errors while trying to play a video.

You can check your Internet speed by visiting Speed Test by Ookla

If your Internet is slow or buggy, you can fix it by unplugging your Wi-Fi router and replugging it after waiting a couple of minutes.

If your Internet continues to give you trouble, you should contact your Internet Service Provider. 

Reinstall the Hulu App

Sometimes, Hulu fails to play a video due to corrupt cache files or an outdated app version. 

At this point, you can kill two birds with one stone and simply reinstall the app. 

For an Android device, open the “Play Store”, search for the Hulu app, and click “Uninstall”.

Once the Uninstall is complete, you will see the option to “Download” the app right there. 

For an iOS device, long-press the Hulu app until it starts jiggling. Click on the “X” that appears and “Uninstall” the app when prompted. 

To reinstall the app, head to the “App store”, search for Hulu, and “Install” the app.

For Windows 10 or higher, go to the “Control Panel”, click on “Programs and Features”, right-click on Hulu, and choose “Uninstall”.

To reinstall Hulu, head to the Microsoft Store and download it. 

If you own a Roku, press the “Home” button and select the “Streaming Channels” tab to open the “Channel Store”.

Next, look for Hulu, press “OK” on the remote, and select the “Remove” option.

To reinstall the app, go to the “Search” bar and search for Hulu. Click on it and tap on “Add Channel”. 

For a Fire TV, go to the “Settings” tab on the Home screen and select it.

Once done, select the “Applications” tab and click “Manage Installed Applications”. Select the Hulu app and click on “Uninstall”.

To reinstall Hulu, search for Hulu, either through the “Search” bar or by asking “Alexa”.

A page for Hulu should open, where you will be given the option to download it. 

No More Hulu Cryptic Errors

Hulu is a good streaming service with a ton of content, but its cryptic error messages are pretty annoying, especially the “We’re having trouble playing this” one.

Thankfully, I was able to rectify this error within a few minutes by power cycling my streaming device. 

If this does not work for you, reinstalling the app will do the trick. 

In case none of them fix your problem, you should visit Hulu Help Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I keep getting error codes on Hulu instead of messages about the actual problem?

Hulu displays error codes so their support team can help you resolve your problem as efficiently as possible. 

How can I clear the cache of the Hulu app on my Android TV?

To clear the Hulu app’s cache and data, follow the given steps: 

Head to Settings > Click on the Applications tab > Choose Hulu > Select Clear Cache. 

How often should I clear the app cache?

You should clear your app cache at least once every two months. 

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.