How to Fix It When Hulu Dims Randomly or Goes Dark

Restart the stream or check for updates

In this article, we’ll discuss fixing random dimming with Hulu. This can be either a dark “filter” over the image making it difficult to see, or a brief blackout of the signal with no audio or video. 

Why Does Hulu Go Black?

The primary cause of Hulu’s dimming and temporary blackouts appears to be its advertising system.

  • Anecdotal evidence finds these issues tend to occur during and after ad breaks, especially if it takes a moment for the ad to load.
  • Even if you’ve opted for the ad-free tier, the server may take a moment to “realize” it isn’t supposed to play an ad.
  • In some cases, there appear to be errors where ads don't play at all. You may experience the service appears to buffer before returning to the content.
  • Similarly, Hulu uses filters and overlays to present more advertising, such as when you pause the screen. Those appear to ‘stick’ occasionally, often if you let the service automatically start streaming the next episode of a series or leave it on pause for a long period of time.
  • Older programs may have brief periods of black spliced into them for ad placement, which Hulu hasn't removed.

How to Fix It When Hulu Goes Dark

There are a few different solutions to solve this problem. Go through these step by step, in order, until you diagnose and fix the exact problem.

  1. Pause and restart the video, or go back to the program menu and restart the program.  


    In our testing, we found if you leave a program on pause for a long period of time, the advertising overlay screen may "stick." Stopping the program altogether instead of leaving it on pause seems to resolve the issue.

  2. Check for updates on both your streaming system and your Hulu app. These options are usually found in the settings menu of your device and in the app store. 


    If possible, set up your device to automatically update your streaming apps.

  3. Clear the cache on the Hulu app. How you do this will depend on your specific device. Hulu's site has step-by-step instructions to clear the cache for each platform.

  4. Check Hulu's servers with a site such as Downdetector or Is It Down Right Now. Also, Hulu Support is on Twitter and provides updates. You may also want to check your internet service provider's social media feeds for service issues and outages.

  5. Test your internet speed. Hulu recommends a minimum of 3.0 Mbps for streaming shows, 8.0 Mbps for live streaming of networks, and 16.0 Mbps for its 4K content. Check for multiple connections to your router or Wi-Fi access point, either other devices or other users, and remove unnecessary or unwanted connections. If your signal remains slow, restart your router and modem.

  6. Remove and reinstall the Hulu app. This will require you to log back into the app once it's reinstalled.

  • How do I fix subtitles on Hulu?

    If Hulu's subtitles aren't working, the first thing you should try is switching them off and then back on. You should also reset the app, check your streaming device's accessibility settings, and check for an update to the Hulu app.

  • How do I fix Hulu Error Code p-dev320?

    Error Code p-dev320 usually describes a network or connection error. It may go away on its own if you wait a moment. Otherwise, try resetting your streaming device and troubleshooting your internet.

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