So you’ve optimized your Netflixing and learned to navigate Amazon better. Now what about Hulu? Don’t discount the service just because it lost the Criterion Collection to Filmstruck! With original programming including the critically adored Handmaid’s Tale, the streaming platform has officially entered prestige TV territory with 18 Emmy nominations, will soon offer all of your family-friendly ‘90s TV favorites, and is still the most reliable source for streaming basic cable. (Where else are cord-cutters supposed to watch Bachelor in Paradise when it returns next month?)
So before you start binging Harlots or catching up on Casual, read on for five game-changing Hulu tips and tricks.
1. Search smarter
Hulu’s regular search function is… not always the best. However! You can much more efficiently hone in on what you want with the Advanced Video Search, which is easy to miss. You have to search something, anything at all, in the general search bar first; then, in the top right corner of the search results page, select Advanced Video Search to search videos by exact phrase, actor, director, TV season and episode number, genre, network, and other specific criteria.
2. Make your screen juuuuust right
Hey, if you aren’t watching something in an actual theater, there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be able to customize every aspect of the viewing experience. Hulu’s View Modes menu allows you to move the video to a pop-out window from a browser, turn off autoplay, adjust background lights, and customize caption settings, among other controls.
3. Hold, please
If for whatever reason you know you won’t be using Hulu for a few weeks, you shouldn’t have to pay for it, right? Believe it or not, Hulu thinks so! You have the option to put your subscription on hold for up to 12 weeks, during which time you won’t be able to stream anything and won’t be charged (though you can log in to resume or cancel your subscription at any time).
4. Track what’s available
The streaming site’s extensive library is constantly evolving, so pay attention! There’s no greater joy than finding out one of your forgotten childhood favorites will soon be available, and there’s no worse feeling than putting off watching something only for it to vanish before you finally get around to it. Check back right here at EW to see what’s coming and going every month — you can see how the library is changing in August here.
5. Don’t forget about add-ons!
You don’t have to create accounts on multiple services to get access to every kind of premium cable! Select Add-Ons on the menu bar at the top of the screen to add HBO, Showtime, and/or Cinemax to your existing subscription. In addition to premium options, there’s the Hulu with Live TV (beta) plan to stream live and on-demand programming from more than 50 channels on select devices.