This guide will show you how to watch Hulu offline. Learn how to record, instead of download, Hulu TV shows to your computer so that you can load them to your iPhone, iPad or Android to watch when you are traveling. This will allow you to watch Hulu offline to save data or when you have no connection to stream, like on an airplane.
In order to download Hulu shows or Hulu Plus shows to your computer you need to first download a program called PlayOn which will allow you to use the PlayOn Recording option to record Hulu shows to your computer to watch offline.
To use the PlayOn Recording tool you need to upgrade to PlayOn Plus, which is $29.99 a year or $49.99 for life.
The biggest hurdle for some users is that you need a Windows computer to use the PlayOn tool to download Hulu videos to your computer. There is no Mac PlayOn app.
Keep in mind that when you use the PlayOn Recording feature it will embed your IP address and user information in each file. This is because the tool is designed to let you record the programming for personal use, not for sharing.
How to Watch Hulu Offline
To get started you need to download PlayOn. Sign up for a free account and then choose to upgrade to PlayOn Plus, which unlocks the PlayOn Recording tool.
With this enabled you will need to add your Hulu login information to the app under the channels section. If you don’t already have a Hulu account, sign up for one. You can use a free account if you don’t have Hulu Plus.
In Settings, choose Channels and enter your Hulu login information. This is how you will turn on the option to see the Hulu shows.
On the main PlayLater recording screen you will be able to search for shows on Hulu or browse. Once you find the show you want, click on Record and the software will start to download the TV show. You can also subscribe to your favorite shows to automatically record when a new episode goes online so that you can watch Hulu shows offline without manually recording.
Downloading is how you might think of it, and it’s a way to describe what is happening, but in reality the software is playing and recording the episode. Even if you have a fast Internet connection this will take about as long as the show is. That means a 30 minute show will take about 30 minutes to record to your computer.
You can set the tool to record several shows one after the other, which is handy for setting up recordings to happen overnight when you aren’t otherwise going to use the computer.
The PlayOn PlayLater app will show you the progress of your recordings and when they are complete you can transfer them to your iPhone, iPad, another computer or an Android device.
In our tests there are occasional issues where you may need to re-record one show, but overall this is a reliable tool. Overall the quality of videos you record is at or near the same level as streaming.
Is it Legal To Record Hulu Shows?
Before you record a Hulu show to your computer to watch Hulu offline you need to decide if this is something you want to do.
The Hulu terms and conditions specifically state that you cannot, “directly or through the use of any device, software, internet site, web-based service, or other means copy, download, stream capture, reproduce, duplicate, archive, distribute, upload, publish, modify, translate, broadcast, perform, display, sell, transmit or retransmit the Content unless expressly permitted by Hulu in writing.”
If Hulu catches you using a tool like this to watch Hulu offline they could close your account. Tom’s Guide offers a closer look at the legality of using a tool like this to space shift your Hulu watching.