This guide will show you what to do if you have an issue with your Roku not working.
If you’ve ever heard people describing their struggles with broken or malfunctioning streaming devices, you’ve probably heard the weirdest or most unusual problems. You might be surprised to learn that almost all Roku problems, where a Roku streaming device quit working, can be solved by 3 simple steps. If you’re having Roku issues, it’s almost guaranteed that one of these steps will fix your Roku.
3 Fixes: Roku Not Working
That’s right, we’re cutting right to the chase. If you’re having trouble with a broken Roku, then you’ll want to try these three things before you do anything else:
- Reset your Roku
- Make sure your Internet connection is solid
- Update your system
Don’t worry if you need a little more help. We’ll go through a detailed breakdown of each of these broken Roku solutions below. But in addition to these 3 fixes, which solve pretty much everyone’s issues, we also have several more Roku fixes below these magic 3 Roku fix steps, just in case you do have one of the more unusual Roku problems. No matter what is the problem with your Roku, this guide has got you covered.
Roku Not Working FIX #1: Reset Roku
This should probably be the first thing you try almost any time your Roku malfunctions or doesn’t work. Rebooting your Roku is especially good for when Roku apps freeze or you have a Roku glitch. If that sounds like what you’re experiencing, follow along with this Roku reboot process.
How to Reset Roku:
- Press the home button 5 times
- Then the up arrow 1 time
- Press rewind 2 times
- And finally, fast forward 2 times
This is like Contra Code for any time you find your Roku not working. Wait about 30 seconds (you should see the Roku going through the reboot process), and then see if your Roku is fixed.
If you have trouble doing it with the remote, you can also try unplugging your Roku from the wall for a few seconds and then plugging it back in.
Roku Not Working FIX #2: Check Your Internet Connection
Another very common issue that can make your Roku slow or laggy, is a bad internet connection with your Roku. This especially true if your Roku is connected to WiFi. Luckily, it’s easy to test to see if this is the problem. From your Home menu:
- Go to Settings
- Select Network
- Scroll to About
Once you’re there, check the signal strength. You want it to be somewhere in the Good to Excellent range. If it’s in the Weak or Poor range, then you should do things to increase the WiFi signal strength, such as move the Roku closer to your router.
If the Status does not say Connected, then you definitely need to investigate your WiFi connection. To check your connection:
- Press Check Connection on your Roku
- Make sure you get the two check marks to verify the quality of your internet connection.
Once your Status says Connected and your WiFi Signal strength is at least Good, move on to FIX #3 below. If you are having trouble with your WiFi Connection to Roku, take a look at our guide: Roku Not Connecting to WiFi.
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Roku Not Working FIX #3: Update Your Roku
Look, we get it. Nobody likes to do software updates. We’re all perpetually hitting the “Ask Me Later” button on our computers whenever the little pop up asks us for the 1,000th time if we’d like to update our OS (the answer is still no).
Even though it’s annoying, trust us; software updates are important and you should do them. If you notice that a lot of your apps have stopped working, it may be because they are no longer compatible with your Roku’s current software. Time to update your Roku software! Here’s what you need to do:
- Go to Settings on your Roku
- Choose System
- Select System Update
- Wait for Roku to check for updates and/or download and install a system update
- Then restart your Roku streaming TV device
That’s it! Not so bad, right? We promise it doesn’t even take that long. Just go make yourself a sandwich while your Roku updates, and you’ll be back to streaming TV shows and movies in no time!
Issue: Roku Not Connecting to WiFi / Internet
If you’ve tried all the solutions above and your Roku is still not working, don’t lose hope. We’ll walk you through several other ways to fix your broken Roku. First, let’s look at WiFi connection problems with Roku.
If your Roku has trouble connecting to WiFi, then it could be these issues:
Your WiFi Password is Not Entered Correctly
A common problem with Roku WiFi connection is just an incorrect WiFi password. This usually happens if you (or somebody else) changed some settings in your router or modem and forgot to update the password in the Roku.
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To check if this is the case,
- Log in to your WiFi from another device (like your smartphone)
- Forget your WiFi network
- Connect to it again to re-enter your password to verify that it’s correct.
If you have trouble connecting with your usual password, that means something has changed. Either check the side of your router for the default device password, or ask your techy housemate if they changed things around without telling you.
Roku WiFi is Out of Range
Since the Roku has a relatively small WiFi antenna (internal), it can have issues reaching your WiFi network with a strong connection. If this is the problem with your Roku try:
- Move the router closer to your Roku, or vice versa
- Remove obstacles from the line-of-sight between your router and your Roku
- Don’t put your Roku near other electronic equipment, if possible. The signals coming from other devices can cause interference with the Roku’s WiFi signal.
- Make sure your WiFi router isn’t in an enclosed place that will deaden the WiFi signal, such as a broom closet. Keep in mind that every wall in between your router and your device will decrease the signal strength.
- Re-arrange the WiFi antennas to see if that makes a difference
- If your Roku has an Ethernet port, then connect it to your Router via Ethernet.
Your Roku Needs a Restart
Restarting, or power cycling, your router will fix a ton of Roku problems. Try to power cycle your Roku and your router by doing this:
- Remove the power cord from your Roku.
- Wait 30 seconds
- Plug the power back in
After that, repeat the power cycle steps with your router, and then try the process to connect Roku to WiFi once more
Your Roku IP Address is Wrong
It’s possible that your Roku has been set up to use a Manual IP address which, in most cases, we do not want. To check this and fix it:
- Go to Settings in your Roku
- Select Wifi
- Then choose Network Settings
- Look at the method for obtaining Roku’s IP address
- If it’s set to Manual, then change it to Auto
Issue: Roku Video Quality Low
Is your Roku connected to high speed WiFi but showing low quality video? Here are a couple of reasons you might be having this problem, and the ways you can fix your Roku streaming quality.
Poor Roku WiFi Signal Strength
In most cases, low video quality on Roku is due to bad WiFi signal strength. There are a few ways to get a strong connection to the internet from your Roku. See the Roku Not Connecting to WiFi / Internet section above which shows tips for improving Roku signal strength!
Your Internet Speed is Too Slow
If you’re sure that your Roku has a good WiFi connection, but you still have bad quality streaming video on your Roku, it’s likely that your internet speed is too slow. To fix this you can try to:
- Power off or disconnect other devices that are using your Network connection, such as smartphones, tablets, PCs, laptops, other streaming sticks, etc. Every Internet connection has its limits!
- Power cycle your router (see Roku Not Connecting to WiFi / Internet, above)
- Call your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to upgrade your internet plan. You should have at bare minimum 5mbps download speed.
Roku Not Working: Remote Issues
Does your Roku seem to be working fine, but your Roku remote is broken? Roku remote problems are common, but usually very easy to fix. Below are a few reasons you might have a broken Roku remote.
For more help with malfunctioning Roku remotes check out our guide: Lost Roku Remote? Can’t Connect to WiFi? No Problemo!
Roku Remote Battery Replacement
If you’ve had your Roku remote for a while, it may just be time to replace the batteries in your Roku remote!
If you think Roku remote batteries should still have power, you can also try taking the batteries out and putting them back in. You’d be surprised how often it works!
Note: There should be a little LED light on the front of the remote that will flash when the remote has battery power. After the remote starts working again, Roku should display the window on your screen to re-pair your remote if it became un-paired.
Roku Remote Pairing Issues
If your remote has become unpaired or unlinked from your Roku streaming device. Just re-pair your Roku remote by following these steps:
- Press the pairing button for at least 5 seconds (inside the Roku remote battery compartment)
That’s it! That’s all the steps. You know the pairing works when the LED light on the Roku remote flashes and your Roku displays the Pair new device window on-screen.
Roku and Roku Remote Need a Restart
It’s possible that both your Roku and the remote need to be restarted in order to pair properly. Just power-cycle both the remote and Roku at the same time (see above for instructions on how to do this).
After that, press down and then hold down the pair button inside your Roku remote’s battery compartment. Hold the pair button down for at least three seconds as the Roku device is starting up. After this, your Roku remote pairing should be complete.
Roku Remote Needs Cleared
Just like you sometimes need to clear the cache on your internet browser, sometimes you need to clear and re-pair your Roku remote. To do this you need to:
- Remove the Roku remote battery cover
- Unplug your Roku streaming device
- Hold down A, B, and the black pairing button all at the same time until the light flashes
- You’ll know the remote has been cleared, when the light flashes three times
- Plug in the Roku streaming device
- Hold the purple pairing button down until the light flashes again to show that the remote has finished pairing.
Issue: Applications Crashing
Is your Roku still broken? Sometimes the easy solutions don’t do the trick, but we’ve still got a few things you can try. Read below to see what to do if you’re seeing Roku app bugs and glitches, and how you can repair your Roku if apps crash or freeze.
Roku App Not Working
This happens on Roku, just like it does on your iPhone or Android. Sometimes apps will crash or freeze. The easiest way to fix this is usually to completely close the app and open it back up again.
If you still have problems with the app after restarting, we recommend trying another Roku app to see if you experience the same issue. If so, it’s time to try rebooting your Roku. To reboot your Roku streaming device:
- Unplug the power cord from your Roku.
- Let your Roku rest for 30 seconds
- Then plug the power back in
Outdated Roku Firmware
If it’s been a long time since you updated your Roku’s operating system, then we recommend taking a moment to do so. If your Roku firmware is out of date, then it may no longer be compatible with your apps, and cause Roku apps to crash, freeze, or malfunction.
To update your Roku:
- Go to your Roku Home Screen
- Select Settings
- Scroll down to System
- Then choose System Update
- Select Check Now
If there are firmware updates available, then download and install them. Once you’ve done that, check your apps again and see if your Roku apps are working.
Issue: Roku Updates Not Working
Speaking of updates, if you’re having trouble getting the latest operating software on your Roku or you’re getting an error message, here are some possible reasons Roku updates don’t work.
Firewall Blocking Roku Updates
If you have a firewall installed on your network, it’s likely that this is the problem. You can fix this in your router settings.
To fix this try the following steps:
- Open a browser
- Type 192.168.1.1 into your URL bar
- Select Firewall
- Turn off Firewall
If that doesn’t work, you may have to look up a set of instructions specific to your particular router and firewall set up. Once you’ve turned off the firewall, try to update your Roku streaming device again.
Roku Not Working With Update Server
If you don’t have a Roku firewall, then your Roku may not be able to connect with the Roku update server. The best way to fix this is is to try to update from the secret menu (you heard right, there’s a secret menu)!
To do this from your remote:
- Press the Home button five times
- Fast Forward three times
- Rewind two times
- Scroll to Update Software
- Click OK
Issue: Roku Power Light Not Working
You may have noticed that the power light on your Roku streaming device is not working. Sometimes there’s a small buzzing sound that goes along with this. This usually happens when the power light touches the RF antenna.
Fixing this is going to require some minor surgery on your Roku, but we’re here to walk you through the steps!
- Unplug your Roku (very important!)
- Open the Roku Streaming Device
- Take out the motherboard
- Look for the white-colored power light
- Make sure the back pin is not touching the antenna
- If necessary remove the black cover over the light to get a better look at the pins.
Once that’s done, try to plug your Roku in again to see if the light is working and the buzzing has stopped.