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7 ways to fix Hulu's error code RUNUNK13

You'll probably be watching movies and shows again in no time.
By
January 25, 2024

We’ve often complained about cryptic online error messages here at Android Authority. Believe it or not, “RUNUNK13” isn’t the worst we’ve seen, although it’s certainly in the upper tiers. It’s bound to be especially frustrating too, since it can pop up right when you’re settling down with Hulu after a hard day of work or school. So what causes the error, and how can you try to fix it quickly?

What does the Hulu error code RUNUNK13 mean?

Hulu stock photo green background 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Simply put, it means that Hulu can’t complete a video playback request. The error message never pinpoints an exact cause though, much less a way to solve it. The good news is that it’s usually temporary, and in at least some situations there are steps you can use to diagnose the cause and work around it.

How to fix Hulu error code RUNUNK13

We recommend running through these troubleshooting steps from top to bottom unless a particular option jumps out at you. We’ve organized this list to rule out easy fixes first, saving more complicated and/or time-consuming ones for later. Don’t worry — you won’t be resetting any devices or deleting any accounts.

  1. Doublecheck that you have a functioning internet connection. Even if you’re able to load Hulu’s interface, it could be that your connection is too weak or intermittent to reliably stream videos. Try running a bandwidth test using a site like Speedtest — you need a steady 3Mbps for on-demand videos, 8Mbps for live content, and 16Mbps for anything in 4K. Whether or not your test results are problematic, you may want to switch to Wi-Fi if you’re on cellular. If you’re already on Wi-Fi, try moving closer to your router and/or halting other high-bandwidth activities, such as file downloads or YouTube streams. When watching on a computer, media streamer, or smart TV, consider switching to Ethernet if you have an open port and cable available. In more dire situations there could be a problem with your router, modem, and/or ISP (internet service provider).
  2. Try reloading the video’s page. You’re probably here because of repeated problems, but sometimes the error might be a one-off glitch on Hulu’s end or caused by a hiccup in your internet connection. If you’re watching with a web browser, refresh the video’s webpage — if you’re using the dedicated Hulu app, try backing out of a video’s page and then returning.
  3. If you’re using the Hulu app, close it and relaunch it. The app could be encountering a temporary cache- or process-related issue, in which case force-quitting it and relaunching might be the solution. Most people know how to do this with Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone/iPad apps, but the process can be a little confusing on TV platforms. With Google TV devices, for example, you need to open Settings, click Apps, select the app you want to close, then choose Force stop. Simply switching apps doesn’t automatically close anything.
  4. Check Hulu’s server status. Video services like Hulu depend on a complex network infrastructure that can be affected by things like server failures, scheduled maintenance, or overloaded connections. Use a site like Downdetector to see if an unusual number of people are reporting outages. If they are, you’ll probably just have to wait until support technicians can get things back to normal. You may not be able to access Hulu at all until then, never mind specific videos.
  5. Try clear out your app cache. Bad cache data can sometimes “confuse” an app or otherwise interfere with processes, and it won’t always go away with a relaunch. If you’re watching on the web, manually clear out your browser’s cache and/or cookies. For the Android app, go to Settings > Apps > Hulu > Storage and tap Clear cache. From here things get a little more troublesome — there’s no such option for iPhones and iPads, and even on Macs you’ll need a third-party app if you don’t want to manually scour folders. Windows 11 users can search for Installed apps via the taskbar and click on the triple-dot icon next to Hulu. Select Advanced options, then Repair. Try Reset if Hulu still isn’t working. Some media streamers and smart TVs have app cache options, but often it’s just easier to unplug them and plug them back in.
  6. Restart your device. There could be a temporary OS-level cache or process problem, in which case a reboot is in order. You’ll want to use software controls to restart whenever possible, but it may sometimes be simpler to unplug TVs and media streamers, as when dealing with cache issues.
  7. Scan for app updates. Bugs are inevitable with any app, and one could hypothetically be triggering RUNUNK13 when Hulu would otherwise be running smoothly. If it’s been a while since you’ve checked for updates, you can update Android apps using the Google Play Store, iPhone or iPad apps using the Apple App Store, and Windows 11 apps via the Microsoft Store (if they were installed that way, as with Hulu). You should turn on automatic updates if you haven’t previously. Media streamers and smart TVs tend to be set to automatic by default, but you may have to force an update check if you don’t want to wait on their schedules.