How Do I Optimize Hulu to Run the Smoothest?

By Matt Skaggs

Hulu is one of the most popular streaming video providers available online, and it has free and paid options you can pick from. When you watch an online video, Hulu normally does a good job of adjusting its video resolution to fit your Internet connection's capabilities, but if Hulu stops frequently to buffer, you can manually lower the resolution to try to fix the problem. If you still encounter problems, you can take a few steps to improve your computer's efficiency and help it run Hulu at the best rate possible.

Change Player Settings

Step 1

Hover your mouse over the "Video Settings" option while a video is playing in Hulu. This option is the gear-shaped icon in the lower-right corner of the player.

Step 2

Select a lower resolution for the video, such as 360p or even 288p. The video requires less bandwidth at a lower resolution, and it's easier for an older graphics card to process.

Click "Update." You may want to also check the box beside the option labeled "Save this as my default" if you want all videos to play at that resolution in the future.

Improve Player Efficiency

Step 1

Pause the video in Hulu. With the video paused, you will see a buffer progress indicator at the top of the movie. When all of the bars in the indicator are full, your computer has buffered as much as possible and will most likely run Hulu smoothly after you click the "Play" button. If later Hulu halts playback again to buffer, you can click the "Pause" button then and watch the progress indicator to let Hulu buffer more content.

Step 2

Pause or cancel any current downloads, whether they're in your browser or in another program, like the "Windows Update" utility. If your Internet connection speed isn't fast enough, other downloads may keep Hulu from streaming smoothly to your computer.

Step 3

Click the maximize button in the lower-right corner of the viewer to make the video full screen. This lets your processor and video card focus more on the video, which can help it run more smoothly on an older computer.

Step 4

Close other tabs in your Web browser to free up space in your RAM and to minimize demand on your processor.

Close other programs that are running on your computer, especially media programs such as "Windows Media Player" and "Real Player." This will especially help older computers with less powerful graphics cards. You can also right-click and close out unnecessary programs listed in the "System Tray" in the lower-right corner of your monitor.