How to download videos from Hulu: a step by step guide (updated)

Here’s a step by step guide to downloading videos from Hulu using free software Freemake Video Downloader. This post updated Oct 23rd 2012.

Note that while other tools were mentioned in previous versions of this article (e.g. Streamtransport), Hulu had changed their encryption since, and at the time of writing this article Freemake Video Downloader is the only free tool that we know of that will download Hulu videos. (Do you know of others? If so, please let us know in the comments section).

This article is for informational purposes only and you are responsible for abiding with the relevant laws that govern copyright in the state or country where you reside.

How to download from hulu illustration

Four Simple Steps:

Step #1: Install the video downloading software. Download and install Freemake Video Downloader.

Step #2: Browse to the video you want. Use any browser to browse to the video that you want to download. Once you select your video and the pre-video advertisements start, copy the URL of the the video you want to download. (Note: you could also use the integrated Freemake Downloader browser buttons, which are installed by default in most cases)

Copy the Hulu URL

Step #3: Open Freemake Downloader. Then click on the ‘Paste URL’.

Freemake Video Downloader paste URL

Step #4: That’s it. After a brief wait, your video should start downloading. Unlike other tools mentioned previously, you do not need to keep the video downloading in the browser; you can safely close the browser and the download will continue. You can also download multiple video simultaneously (see below).

Downloading from Hulu using Freemake Video Downloader

Troubleshooting:

(1) If you are using a VPN to access Hulu, and the video refuses to download, then this is most likely due to your VPN, not the download tool. Try using the Ultrasurf anonymous browsing proxy in conjunction with the VPN and see if it works (You will need IE on your machine).

(2) If your video does not respond to attempts to fast forward the video and/or the video fails to play, then your video lacks keyframe objects. This may sometimes be the case for FLV videos; if so, you can add them with a tool called FLVMDI. See instructions on how to do so below.

Click here for a quick tutorial on how to add keyframes (if you need it).

1 Download FLVMDI, a tool that can inject keyframe objects into FLVs. The reason FLV videos downloaded from Hulu do not fast forward is because they lack keyframe objects (little markers interspersed across a video that enable the media player to navigate back and forth). Hulu videos probably do not contain these by design, to make it harder for people view videos downloaded from Hulu. This is easily fixed, however.

  • Go to the FLVMDIwebsite. Scroll down to the “Downloads” section (towards the bottom of the screen) and download the latest versions of FLVMDI and FLVMDIGUI (at the time of this writing these were versions 2.95 and 1.05, respectively).
  • Extract both FLVMDI and FLVMDIGUI, then move flvmdi.exe to the FLVMDIGUI folder.

HULU FLVMDIGUI screenshot12: Run FLVMDIGUI.exe and process your FLV. Once you launch this program the dialog is self-explanatory:

  • For the input file, browse to your downloaded FLV video file. Note: to process a number of FLV files in batch use”All files in a folder” tab. This will let you point to a folder rather than a single file and process all the FLV files inside.
  • For Output, you can use the same name as the original, which auto-populates. Really no need to create a different output file name.
  • Check the “Include ’keyframes’ object” box
  • That’s it. You can now click the “Run FLVMDI” button on the bottom right to process.
  • Processing should conclude in a few seconds.

3:You’re done. Your downloaded file should now be fully playable on any media player that plays FLV files.


Any comments or thoughts are welcome!


 
 
 
Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
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  • Zig

    Thank you for this write up. I also see the post before this but thanks for step by step!!

  • Sundeep

    Thanks for the instructions. When I run this program I do not see the download button. It looks the right side of the screen is somehow cut off. I use google chrome as my default browser could that be an issue? Any advice?

  • Varun

    But will this work outside of US where its blocked? Thanks

  • Stephen

    That was fast. Hulu have already been onto it and had SteamTransport’s site taken down.

    • Samer

      Stephen. The program can be downloaded here

  • Zero3K

    Hulu DID NOT take down the site. They just ran into a payment problem. Anyways, its site is back up.

  • Pingback: Download Videos from Hulu :: TinyHacker

  • Dave

    Funny how Malwarebytes blocks their website as being dangerous. Wonder if the media companies have an agreement or if their website actually does something bad.

  • Richard

    Looks like Hulu found a way to block this. Using the browser inside of stream transport gives me an error saying “Sorry, we are unable to stream this video”

  • Kathy

    I wanted to thank you so much. I tried several other programs and internet sites that was suppose to be able to download hulu videos but had no luck. I really appreciate people like you who take the time to help people like me. Thanks for all your time you took looking and posting instructions up for us.

  • Pingback: ClipNabber: download videos from a wide range of services, on any browser (including Chrome) | freewaregenius.com

  • Cory

    I’m wondering, does this allow those outside the US who can’t normally watch Hulu videos (unless changing their IP with a program to look like a US one or something) to download the videos with this method? Or will the Hulu video simply still not play in StreamTransport, making you unable to do so with this as well?

  • http://www.movie-trailer-download.com movie trailer download

    I use a free guide on how to download movie trailers from the internet but you can also use it to download any videos that you like.

  • http://www.getflv.net sheldoncooper

    I use GetFLV (www.getflv.net/)to download hulu videos.
    It Download ANY Web Video to your PC in mere minutes
    Support Hundreds Video Sites including: Youtube, HuLu, MTV, CBS…
    Convert ANY videos for your portable devices like iPod, iPhone, PSP, Zune, etc. devices
    Conver ANY Video to FLV and put it on ANY web site

  • Pingback: ClipNabber: download videos from a wide range of services, on any browser (including Chrome) - hypershare.info

  • Kendra

    Thank so much for the software suggestion to download videos online for offline viewing & explaining step by step on to enable the videos to fast forward once it is finished downloading for a pleasurable viewing experiencing without it crashing when you try to skip to the next scene. You are true blessing because I was really confused as of why when I went to watch the movie I downloaded from Megavideo crashed the player when I skipped the next scene.

    Have a safe, wonderful day & please keep up the excellent work, my friend! : – )

    Sincerely,
    Ken

  • Mark

    Greetings !

    Thank you soooo much for this invaluable software, something I can actually use!
    Keep up the awesome job!

    Graciously Happy,

    Mark

  • william

    thanks!
    keep up the good work!
    God bless!

  • http://custombots.com Tracy

    This is a really cool trick! I didn’t know that we could actually download videos form hulu… Thank you very much for this information, I will pass it on to my friends who are die hard sitcom fans.

  • freud2000

    Unfortunately i ran into this problem: try downloading Still Crazy from Hulu. It will ask for your email and password. No problem … have an account. Movie starts playing in Firefox. OK … so cut and paste same URL to StreamTransport … asks for password … enter same password (my other screen is closed so not playing movie at same time) …. password not accepted through StreamTransport. Even tried using StreamTransport’s browser to same site … again password is not accepted. Another block ….

  • Jim

    Doesn’t work

  • Rice

    Works great! Downloading two episodes of Medium and the latest SNL from Hulu right now!

  • D-Pain

    I did 5 mins of research and thanks to this site I got what I came for. Streamtransport is really user friendly. I have no problem downloading videos from hulu. If you’re the one that is having problem then you are the problem. You need to better educate yourself on “how to” use a computer. Do some reading dude. It’s not that hard. My nephew is 8 and he knows what to do without me having to say anything. Lol…

  • hansekarl

    Thank you that you can take your time from your busy scheduel, it is very kind of you to provide this precious information for us
    i used handbrake for video conversion before.

  • Anonymous

    Works great, thanks for the guide.

  • grtdrgn

    I have found a limitation to the batch process. I have not found any options in the software to allow a way around it, even if you have a large amount of bandwidth.

    It seems I am limited to 4 concurrent downloads at one time. Considering that the download process does appear to take almost the entire running time of the video for it to complete, this seems to make it fairly inconvenient to try to download from Hulu, but I’m sure that is the point.

    If I put more than 4 titles in the task queue through StreamTransport, it inactively queues the extra videos until one of the current 4 completes. It then tries to query the URL to download, but by the time it does this, it is forced to a timeout. Therefore, I have to go back and restart the process again.

    So, if you are doing the batch process, I recommend only doing 4 at a time, or you will have to go through your later ones again.

  • Mike

    do you have a linux based equivalent to DVD43?

  • Mike

    do you know of linux equivalents for these programs?

  • JD

    @D-Pain

    Don’t be so mean, D-Pain. Just thank God that you have such an intelligent young child and that you’re blessed to know everything.

  • af

    Thanks so much. I found your directions to be quite thorough and simple to understand. I couldnt download direct from IMDB but pulling HULU up in stream transport I was able to get the same programs.

  • Chip

    MDII doesn’t work. It quickly says that the “Reading FLV Header” is completed. But when it starts “Reading FLV Tags” it hangs at 1%.. Does anyone have a suggestion as to what to do? Thanks

    MDI = 2.96; MDIGUI = 1.05

  • Chip

    Re above post: Well, it did work.Or at least it finished. Seems it needed more time to do it.

  • http://HULU clara

    how can i download with the CC ( english sub) with the video?

  • http://yootoobee.com Klipton

    Hi !New way of downloading videos directly from Youtube!

    Get direct links to download YouTube videos as MP4 and FLV. Unlike other websites, this one has a simple user interface and it downloads videos directly from YouTube.

    Just go to – http://www.yootoobee.com

  • Anonymous

    I downloaded a movie, took more than two hours, was over 400MB, but when I went to play it, it only had about 5000 KB and wouldn’t play, which I didn’t expect that it would with so small a file. Just wondering why it took so long to download such a small file. Also, many times nothing shows up in the window where the files are supposed to be in order fo them to be downloaded. Oh, well, at least it didn’t cost me any money like that program another commenter recommended

  • NO WORKING

    this dose not work at all

  • Mark

    Streamtransport no longer works with Hulu. Actually, it doesn’t work with any streaming site. Need to remove or update this article.

  • jinroh

    Seems like any program work anymore. The only one who works is GETflv 9.0 and theres no crack till now.

  • jsrice

    I have installed the program and all seems to work then when I move for it to pick up the URL I get an 404 error. I am not a novice at computers but I am at a loss here, Any help would be appreciated.

  • Joe Bob

    The ads show up for download but not the show. Any help would be appreciated.

  • R. W. Tompkins

    Streamtransport does not work anymore, it gives err404s and won’t even download a commercial on Hulu…

  • Tom

    Doesn’t work

  • http://rwpcs.com Nope

    Hulu has blocked the use of StreamTransport. Your can download ads but the videos are not working.

  • Targ

    Yeah, just tried it myself. As of this date Stream Transport still says on their site that it works with Hulu, but it absolutely does not. I tried everything I could think of and it just can’t see the video at all. Bummer. Someone (with more programming skill than me) needs to make a brute force capture utility that lets you lasso an area in a window, and then records that and the sound card output.

  • http://420GanjaGoblin420@gmail.com GanjaGoblin

    please help it will show links for ads but never shows a link for the movie please help i can’t never find a program to download Hulu vids for offline viewing :(

  • http://420GanjaGoblin420@gmail.com GanjaGoblin

    please release update to fix Hulu Download issues thanks for are your hard work on the program

  • http://www.videohelp.com/download/rtmpexplorer.zip Derek Domino

    Rtmpexplorer now succeeds where Stream Transport fails.

    Rtmpexplorer does not have the kind of slick, polished interface that Stream Transport has. In fact it is just a front-end GUI to a command line tool called rtmpsuck. But the command line tool is useless to anyone without a lot of technical knowledge. The GUI makes it transparent.

    Download the zip file from this link:

    http://www.videohelp.com/download/rtmpexplorer.zip

    The program can be found elsewhere also, but some of the other archives don’t contain all the necessary files in one place, as this one does.

    After downloaiding, unzip the entire archive into any directory.. Then run rtmpexplorer.exe.

    Two windows will open: The command prompt and the GUI. The GUI is a very bare bones web browser. Use it to navigate to the video you want to capture. When it starts playing, the command line programs will take over and try to download the file. It could take a lot of time, and depending on the particular site you are downloading from, the movie you want might be broken up into several files with obscure names. But they will all be FLV files that you can play in many of the popular video players.

  • Leo Valdez

    hey ,leo here, this is pretty cool it really helps thanks by the way who reads percy jackson?

  • Bob

    does it work with Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard?
    Thank you

  • Ken MAddux

    What a waste of time. It does not work DO NOT USE IT!!! WASTE OF TIME!

    • Rykuu

      Wrong in some ways you are mate. This used to work, but never updated so it cannot download videos from new Hulu database.

  • John

    doesn’t work because the video I want to save won’t be streamed outside the US and Steam Transport has no proxy ability…

  • Joshua

    Everyone, please note that while StreamTransport no longer works for Hulu, it still works on a slew of other sites, and is still a very valuable tool to have. I have downloaded many encrypted videos with it that I never would have been able to otherwise.

    Also, thanks so much for telling us about Freemake. I went searching recently for a program like StreamTransport, and even for the paid options, the possibilities were limited. I certainly didn’t expect to find another FREE program for a long time.

  • se

    How dare you post this illegal crap. This is Bit Torrent/ FireWire. Post responsibly, or not at all.

    • Samer Kurdi

      ?. Nothing is illegal here. Next time comment intelligently, or none at all.

    • Anonymous

      This doesn’t rely on BitTorrent whatsoever. Even if it did, that would not make it illegal. It’s not about the product, but how you use it. Furthermore, Samer is a regular poster on this site, and he has the right to post what he wants. If you are dissatisfied, leave this place. You won’t be missed.

      • dav_daddy

        Dr. It appears Hulu changed their encryption again. I tried to download a show and all I got was the commercials!

  • Pillendreher

    Great guide, works like a charm! Got one question though: Any chance to download the vids in HD? The only choosable resolution is 640×360…

  • se

    Samer and “Anonymous”, you guys are just wrong. This involves torrent file-sharing, and if that isn’t enough, look at the Hulu terms you agreed to; …”You may not either 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….”

    • Joshua

      Hulu doesn’t rely on P2P methods for delivering content. Doing so would be extremely unreliable. As far as copying goes, I can’t argue that it’s against their ToS. Regardless, this program is quite useful for many websites, and simply because it CAN be used to download video off of Hulu, it doesn’t mean that it’s the ONLY use.

  • se

    Joshua, I’m not sure what your point is. The post is entitled “How to download videos from Hulu: a step by step guide (updated)”. Notice that the title refers to Hulu specifically. Also, I didn’t say that Hulu uses file-sharing – of course they do not, and why would they?

  • Ozzie Zee

    Looks like Freemake contains Open Candy. I don’t think that’s safe.

  • Alex

    You can also try “Tubedigger” (tubedigger.com). As kinda promotion it runs for free (“TubeDigger is temporarily working in free mode. Use ‘TubeDiggerTempFree’ as registration key and have fun.”) It works for a lot of sites and also Hulu+ (HD Content, shows all available streams).

    The problem with these “Hulu” downloaders: Hulu is changing their download system quite often and makes it complicated. Freeware authors lose interest maintaining their software. That’s why I bought Tubedigger (lifetime license). If something’s not working (anymore) I can email the author and usually get a fixed developer version the same day.

  • jothar

    According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultrasurf), Ultrasurf is funded by the US government. Using it to download videos illegally is … well … a little bit risky.

  • Ross Presser

    se, you wrote “This involves torrent file-sharing…”

    It does not involve torrent file-sharing. This post describes how to download videos from Hulu using a particular tool. PERIOD. It does not describe or endorse sharing those videos via torrents or by any other method.

    Downloading a video from Hulu may be against its TOS, but it is NOT illegal. If Hulu found out you did it, they could ban you, but they could not sue you for damages, nor could any US government jail you or fine you.

    Sharing the video would definitely provide Hulu the grounds to sue you and (depending on how much sharing you did) could probably get the government involved too. So don’t do that.

    Someone will probably bring up the DMCA at this point and say that use of the tool is a violation of the DMCA. Arguable. Again, if you don’t share, I seriously doubt it would ever become a court case.

  • Ross Presser

    jothar, what I wrote above to se goes for your comment too. Downloading a video in violation of Hulu’s TOS is not illegal.

  • Brian

    im curious would this download the subtitles for the hearing impaired audience?

  • Dr, Pepper

    I just downloaded an episode of a tv show from Hulu. I was all excited because it seemed to work but at some point into the show there was nothing! It just went dark. It appears it only downloaded part of it successfully not the entire show. What went wrong?

  • smb

    I just downloaded Freemake Video and it won’t allow me to download a Hulu video. In fact, it states on it’s help menu that it does not support Hulu.

  • Jeff

    Freemake was working for me on Hulu. Now it won’t. When you paste the url you get a message stating freemake has stopped working. This happens every time. I have uninstalled and restalled, redownloaded, etc. Nothing works! What is going on here?

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/110765036334827012485 Samer Kurdi

      @ Jeff: what is going on most likely is that Hulu changed their encryption. The only thing to do, I think, is to hope for a Freemake update.

  • Mark Ackleys

    Hotspot Shield allows you to surf anonymously from a US IP address and gives you uncensored access to Hulu outside US.
    check it out here: http://www.hotspotshield.com/en

  • mike

    Does not work

  • Harvey

    When I use freemake to download a hulu tv show it only downloads about 90 seconds of it and then says it completed the download. Can anyone help me?

  • Israel

    I can download hulu videos if I’m outside the US?

  • FAKE

    Guys, this is FAKE. you download the the thing, then when you try to download the video it says “could not install reqired info” and then “this has expired. get full version” . DOES NOT WORK ..

    • Samer Kurdi

      @ Fake: I don’t know what you downloaded or did, but this is a serious site that publishes serious content, so if you don’t know how to use something I suggest you try to figure it out before leaving annoying comments that will mislead other users.

      • rasya

        samer, can you teach me how to reconnect vpn? coz i’ve succeed using freemake to download hulu video for about 5 episodes, but then i turned off my pc, and when i wanted to continue download the rest of the episode in hulu, it’s already undownloadable.. :( i’ve tried to close my chrome and restart my pc, even clear all the hiistory and cache in my pc, but it’s still doesn’t work.. please help and share.. thanks..

  • Schuan

    it shows no downloadable video when i paste the url. not working,

  • Dutch

    I tried downloading a movie from Hulu using freemake video converter and got a message saying “Failed to obtain video info”. So then I tried it again with Ultrasurf downloaded and running but got the same result. Has this happened for anyone else and if so, have you figured out a way around this problem?

    Thanks

  • Curtis

    After pasting the link for the video. Freemake video downloader only downloads the pre Advertisement.
    anyone know how to download the video after the advertisement??

  • Jimmy

    Thank you for the posting Samer Kurdi re: Freemake video. I saw a few people commented that this tool didn’t work, but it did for me, and hence I want to share my experience. First, I am using a VPN to access, and it does work (which means it can work for overseas audiences), but not all the time. I find that it depends on the session. When a download didn’t work, I would close my browser (Chrome), and reconnect my VPN, then try again. If once I get one video to download, I find the rest of the videos in the session are usually downloadable. The opposite is also true, one video doesn’t work, the rest won’t work. Mind you, in order to confirm a video in Hulu is downloadable, it takes a while (i.e. 1 to 2 minutes), so be patient and wait till it gives you a definite yes or no.

    • rasya

      jimmy, can you teach me how to reconnect vpn? coz i’ve succeed using freemake to download hulu video for about 5 episodes, but then i turned off my pc, and when i wanted to continue download the rest of the episode in hulu, it’s already undownloadable.. :( i’ve tried to close my chrome and restart my pc, even clear all the hiistory and cache in my pc, but it’s still doesn’t work.. please help and share.. thanks..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=551300379 Annette Perreault

    The BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WORKS GREAT even with SPOTFLUX installed

  • anisah

    if you go on help then supported sites it has hulu under unsupported

  • Anonymous

    I’m only getting 1 minute of the video. Samer please help! What do I do?

  • angie

    only getting about a minute and a half of shows. I subscribe to HuluPlus, but still the full video does not download.

  • Howard Hughes

    I tried Freemake but it doesn’t seem to work now.

    I was able to download form Hulu using: http://www.freedvdvideo.com/free-download/free-video-downloader.php (I’m outside the U.S.A. so I used: http://www.hotspotshield.com/ (free version) to be able to connect to the site).

  • E.A.R.

    I just use it and worked fine

  • Jessica

    thanks for sharing but do you know how to download the subtitles from hulu i don’t want them to be attached to the videos i just want the .srt format if you know how please share thank you

  • edweird

    Still no luck at my end, but I can tell you this: DO NOT let anyone trick you into installing AVGO free video downloader. It is MALWARE and does not work with Hulu.