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All Roku Common Problems and How to Fix Them | 2021 Update

Roku is known for its streaming media device that comes with a useful and clean user interface. Most importantly, with the help of the Roku Remote, users can literally get the best user experience whatsoever. However, just like other streaming devices, Roku has also multiple issues that plenty of users may experience sometimes. That’s why here we’ve shared All Roku Common Problems and steps to fix them in 2021.

Now, there may be a glitch or some kind of system/hardware regarding issues that can be found which is quite common these days. Sometimes even issues with the app compatibility can cause multiple problems to the users. Luckily, most of the common issues can be fixed easily by following the methods below.

All Roku Common Problems and How to Fix Them | 2021 Update

So, without wasting any more time, let’s get into it.

1. Steps to Update, Restart, and Reset your Roku

It seems that most of the Roku problems can be easily fixed by simply restarting or updating the device. In some cases, performing a factory reset can do the job.

A. Restart your Roku

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote control.
  • Scroll up or down > Select Settings.
  • Select System > Select System Restart.
  • Now, highlight the Restart button and press OK.
  • Your Roku device will now restart automatically.

However, sometimes your Roku streaming device gets stuck or the remote controller seems not responding at all. In that scenario, you’ll have to use the on-screen menu option by following the steps below:

  • Press the Home button continuously five times on the Roku device.
  • Now, press the Up arrow one time and the Rewind button twice.
  • Press the Fast Forward button twice and the Roku device should restart after a couple of seconds.

B. Update Roku Software

If in case, a simple restart doesn’t help you out, then the chances are high that your software is problematic. Although the Roku software updates basically run in the background, sometimes it may not. So, it’s better to manually check for software updates and install the update completely. To do so:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Scroll up or down > Select Settings.
  • Select System > Select System Update.
  • Now, you’ll see the current software and build number as well as the date & time on the Roku.
  • Select Check Now to manually check for updates.
  • If a software update of the Roku device is available then it’ll be downloaded and installed automatically.
  • Finally, your Roku device will reboot automatically to apply changes.

If not available, then you’re good to go.

C. Factory Reset your Roku

Well, if nothing seems working for you, try performing a factory reset to the Roku device by following the steps below. It’s the most common solution for the Roku Common Problems when it comes to electronic devices and especially for the OS running devices.

Keep in mind that you’ll lose the installed apps, signed-in data, networking configurations, and adjusted settings from the Roku device.

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote control.
  • Scroll up or down > Select Settings.
  • Select System > Select Advanced system settings.
  • Then select Factory Reset > Select Factory reset everything.
  • Finally, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the factory reset process.
  • Once done, your Roku device will automatically reboot into the system again.
  • Make sure to go through the initial setup process after the factory reset and you’re good to go.

Whereas some of the Roku products such as the Roku Streaming Stick and Streaming Stick+ have a slightly different method to reset the device. You’ll need to push the reset button using your finger.

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While for set-top box devices like the Roku Ultra, you’ll require a paperclip or a pin to press and hold the reset button hole for around 10 seconds. Once the LED indicator starts blinking rapidly, your device will reset. Once done, make sure your Roku device is powered on.

2. Roku Wi-Fi Problems

If in case, you’re experiencing Wi-Fi connectivity issues or somehow the video/audio quality has been degraded unexpectedly for a while that means there are some issues with the wireless networking. Now, it can be either issue with the networking device or glitch or even issues with the ISP such as slow internet or signal blockage, etc.

Therefore, you’ll need to check out your Wi-Fi connection properly on another device or streaming online content on the computer or mobile device to cross-check the issue. If there is an issue actually then make sure to resolve the Wi-Fi problems completely by contacting your ISP (Internet Service Provider).

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Whereas if the network connectivity is good enough and the Roku device is only causing some issues then make sure to perform a software update or factory reset by following the methods above to easily fix the system-related issue.

Sometimes your Roku streaming device may show you an error notice something like “not connected” in the top-right corner of the home screen. As we’ve already mentioned, you’ll have to cross-check the Wi-Fi connectivity, range, signal, speed, etc. To do this, you can go to Settings > Network.

We’re assuming that you’re already connected to the Wi-Fi network. Therefore, you can see whether the specific network strength is Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor. If in case, it’s listed under Fair or Poor, then you should look into it for improvements. Keep in mind that your Wi-Fi router is placed very near to the TV and Roku streaming device for seamless connectivity.

While you can also power off the router > Unplug the power cable from it > Wait for around 30 seconds then plug back the power cable in > Power on the router to check for the networking issue properly.

Additionally, if your Roku device has an ethernet port and you’re able to connect it to an ethernet cable, then you can easily check out the Wi-Fi connection and its faults precisely. Make sure that you’re connected to the valid Wi-Fi network and using the correct SSID/Password if you’re getting the “not connected” error.

Meanwhile, it’s also worth mentioning to try changing the Wi-Fi password, and you’ll be able to fix the issue. Whereas if you’re seeing the ‘Roku error code 009’ that means your Roku is successfully connected to your Wi-Fi router but it can’t reach the internet. So, try restarting your Roku device first. if that didn’t help you out, try restarting the router as well.

3. Roku Remote Control Problems

Roku streaming device comes with two different kinds of remote controls such as the ‘IR Blaster’ remote and the ‘point-anywhere” remote. Therefore, you should check out which kind of remote controller you’re using. To check that:

  1. Make sure to remove the battery cover from the back of the Roku remote controller.
  2. You can find out a small button just below the battery compartment. That means you have an enhanced ‘point-anywhere’ remote controller for your Roku device. If you don’t, that means it’s an IR remote controller.

Alternatively, you can always try downloading the Roku Remote app from the iOS or Google Play store on your mobile device to use your mobile as the Roku remote controller if in case, your physical remote isn’t working or somehow it’s damaged.

A. For IR Remotes

IR (Infrared) remote controllers perfectly work with the specified device if the connection between them is flawless or free from any kind of obstacles. IR signals can also work behind the walls or ceilings but there should not be something like that or any kind of other barriers.

Also, keep in mind that your Roku device is facing you and the IR remote can easily reach it directly without any issues. Otherwise, slightly move your Roku device by adjusting it or place it close to you. Avoid keeping the Roku device behind the TV or inside a cabinet.

Well, the batteries of your remote can also be another problem in some cases. Try replacing the batteries on the remote and check for the issue again.

Weak IR signals can be another problem. Think of an IR remote as a flashlight that shines a light that you can’t see. If the batteries are old, that light will be too weak. If the batteries are really depleted, the remote might not respond to button presses at all. Try replacing the batteries with new ones.

B. For “point-anywhere” Remotes

The enhanced “point-anywhere” precision remotes for Roku problems can be fixed by following the steps below.

  • First of all, make sure to remove and replace the batteries.
  • Otherwise, power cycle both the Roku streaming device and the remote:
    • Just remove the power cable from the Roku device > Remove the batteries from the remote.
    • Plug the Roku device back into the power source > Wait for it to restart.
    • Once the home screen appears, try reinserting the batteries into the remote and wait around 30 seconds.
    • Your remote should now work fine with the remote.

If the problem still persists for you, make sure to pair the remote again to your Roku device by following the steps below:

  • Remove the power cable from the Roku device and remove the batteries from the remote too.
  • Now, plug the Roku device back into the power source, and wait for it to boot up.
  • Once you’re on the home screen, just reinsert the batteries into the remote again. Do not close the battery cover now.
  • Press and hold the pairing button inside the battery compartment of the remote for 3-4 seconds until you see the pairing light on the remote start blinking.

Note: It fully depends on the remote that whether the pairing light is beside the button or on top of the surface or at the bottom.

  • If the light does not flash, then try again. If the light still does not flash, try replacing the batteries now.
  • Then wait for around 30 seconds while the remote make a proper connection with your Roku device.
  • Next, you should see the Roku remote pairing dialog on your TV screen.
  • If you’re using a Roku Streaming Stick or Streaming Stick+ and the device is plugged into an HDMI port to the TV, then try extending the HDMI cable to reduce any kind of possible interference to the TV.

Additionally, keep in mind that using the 2.4GHz frequency on the Wi-Fi may also cause issues with the congestion of the users or the active number of connected devices. Either you can try using another Wi-Fi network or go with the 5GHz network frequency.

4. Roku Audio Problems

Plenty of Roku device users are experiencing issues with the audio such as no sound, distorted sound, audio drops, and more. Well, such kinds of problems may appear whenever there is an issue with the software settings or hardware directly.

So, it’s worth recommending you to turn off your Roku streaming device at first > Unplug the power cable from the Roku > Wait for around 30 seconds and then plug back the power cable in > Finally, turn on the Roku device to check for the issue. This power cycle method should gonna help you out of the issue.

A. No Audio

  • If you’re experiencing no audio issue on your Roku device streaming to the TV then make sure to check out your connections and selected inputs properly.
  • You should also check out your HDMI, optical, or component cables that are properly connected to the Roku device apart from the A/V receiver, HDMI switcher, or soundbar, etc.
  • Keep in mind that all the connected items or components are turned on completely.
  • Also, check whether you’ve selected the correct input on your A/V receiver, HDMI switcher, or soundbar or not.
  • Check out if your audio component is mute or not. If in case, the audio is mute then unmute it, obviously.
  • Make sure to adjust the volume level on your audio component from lower to higher and vice versa to check if this fixes the issue or not.

B. Still No Audio?

  • Check your Roku’s Audio Settings option from the streaming device itself.
  • If in case, your Roku streaming device is connected to an A/V receiver or soundbar using an optical cable, also known as TOSLink then do the steps below:
    • Press the Home button on your Roku remote controller.
    • Now, scroll up or down > Select Settings.
    • Select Audio > Set HDMI and S/PDIF to Dolby D (Dolby Digital).

If your Roku device is connected to an A/V receiver, soundbar, or a TV via HDMI cable, then try using the following steps:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Scroll up or down and select Settings.
  • Select Audio > Set Audio mode to Stereo.
  • Set HDMI to PCM-Stereo.

C. Swap Cables

The chances are high enough that you’re using either older cables or physically damaged ones which are eventually troubling you a lot. If in case, none of the steps fixed your issue then make sure to replace cables and see if that helps you or not. There are plenty of cables available online that you can find on multiple reliable platforms. Additionally, you can also get them from offline markets as well.

D. Select Audio Format

In some cases, you’ll hear audio on some kinds of content but not others. It’s one kind of compatibility issue with the audio formats that you’re trying to play on the TV using the Roku device. Well, that’s a common thing and if that happens to you, make sure to set the HDMI and S/PDIF to PCM-Stereo format for audio just like the above process.

E. Only Getting Stereo Sound Except for Surround Sound

Usually, the Roku can determine all the capabilities of your TV, A/V receiver, or soundbar automatically. But sometimes it also requires manual help due to software glitches or cache data issues. So, if you’re watching surround sound content using the Dolby 5.1 or Dolby Atmos, but you can only hear the stereo sound effect then do the following steps:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote control.
  • Scroll up or down and go to Settings.
  • Select Audio > Your HDMI or HDMI and S/PDIF on Roku players with an optical connector should be set to Auto Detect mode. However, you should choose the option that matches the capabilities of your TV, A/V receiver, or soundbar quite easily.
  • TV channels can have their own sort of audio settings or formats such as Netflix may require you to select English (5.1) under the “Audio and Subtitles” section.

F. Distorted Audio

There are several reports available online that the Roku Ultra as well as some other Roku models are causing issues with the distorted audio streaming on the TV. To fix it:

  • Press the Star or Asterisk (*) button on the Roku remote controller.
  • Head over to the Volume Mode > Select OFF by scrolling right.
  • Make sure to select Audio and video are out of sync.

Some users have also reported that their audio and video lose synchronization while playing any content on the TV. It’s another common issue to Roku device users for a while. Luckily, there are a couple of steps to fix this issue.

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote control.
  • Scroll up or down and select Settings.
  • Select System > Select Advanced system settings.
  • Next, select Advanced display settings.
  • make sure to choose to Auto-adjust display refresh rate.
  • Finally, select Disabled to turn it off.

Note: Although this particular trick may fix the audio sync issue, it may also trigger video streaming-related issues to several users. If so, just switch on the ‘Auto-adjust display refresh rate’ option again.

5. Roku Video Problems

Well, the video quality and streaming regarding issues can appear a lot to the Roku device users such as buffering, stuttering, or degraded details, etc. All of these issues can be appeared due to the slower or unstable internet connection. Just make sure to have a stable and faster Wi-Fi network which is really important. Additionally, keep in mind that you’ve enough bandwidth data to stream content online.

Usually, Roku recommends a 3.0 Mbps of minimum download speed for normal definition video quality and up to 9.0 Mbps for HD (High Definition) content. Whereas the 4K HDR content may require up to 25 Mbps. So, all of the content streaming quality will purely depend on the network signal strength and faster internet speed.

If in case, your data plan doesn’t have enough data limit or faster speed then you should contact your ISP and increase the plan according to the data limit and speed.

A. Manually Adjust Bitrate

If somehow nothing seems working for you, make sure to resolve the buffering issue with your video streaming using the Roku device by following the steps below.

Although the Roku device will continue choosing the best bitrate quality for the content according to the active network connection speed limit, it may also be stuck in between the confusion which is also known as a temporary glitch or cache data issue. So, you’ll need to manually adjust the settings by following the steps below:

  • Press the Home button for 5 times continuously on your Roku remote control.
  • Now, press the Reverse scan three times.
  • Press the Forward scan twice > Here you’ll need to select Manual Selection from the “Bit Rate Override” screen.

Alternatively, you can select a lower bitrate quality to see if that fixes the issue or not. If not, make sure to repeat this same process or choose a lower bitrate quality manually.

6. Roku HDMI Problems

HDMI problems are one of the most common Roku problems while using the HDMI cables to the TV. While using two or more devices connect via HDMI, the problem starts appearing in most scenarios which is quite unexpected. The ‘handshake’ connectivity gets interrupted for several reasons.

When this happens, it can cause a variety of problems from black screens to flashing video, to HDCP error messages. As with many problems, a reliable fix is to power everything down, remove and reinsert the HDMI cable ends into each device, and then restart.

A. HDCP Errors

HDCP errors are also known as “High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection”. It’s a way of preventing users from violating copyrights of exclusive movies and shows that they stream on Roku devices and even on others. But if each streaming device in the HDMI chain supports the same level of HDCP, the video signal can’t get through as well as broadcast.

In that scenario, you’ll see an HDCP error. For example, if you’re using a Roku Streaming Stick+ or a Roku Ultra device to stream 4K content from a streaming service like Netflix and all of your devices must support HDCP 2.2 but the A/V receiver or soundbar doesn’t support HDCP 2.2 then the problem start appearing.

Whether there is an HDCP problem present or not, you should follow some of the steps below:

  • Try connecting your Roku device directly to your TV. If the problem goes away, it’s a possible sign that your connected devices aren’t HDCP 2.2-compliant. So, you’ll need to stick to non-4K content (only 4K requires HDCP 2.2) as of now.
  • Whereas you’ll have to find out a way to bypass your A/V receiver or soundbar for video or upgrade your connected devices (if possible).

B. Replacing Cables

However, if you’re consistently receiving the flashing video or no video issue on the TV screen then the chances are high that you’re using a faulty HDMI cable. We’ll also recommend you swapping the HDMI cable with the Roku’s HDMI cable to check for the issue again. If the same issue persists, then you can simply buy a new HDMI cable.

Additionally, keep in mind that you’re buying a good quality HDMI cable that can perfectly stream 4K HDR content and its signal because it uses a lot of bandwidth. Therefore, older HDMI cables may get stressed out or can’t even carry the data between multiple devices with a distance like 10 feet or more.

You’ll find out plenty of options to choose from and buy from the both online or offline market according to your preference.

7. Roku App Problems

The Roku app for both the Android and iOS platforms is really important as a Roku user. It works as an add-on and can work as an additional remote controller that simply navigates through channels, uses the private listening function, removes channels, casts videos & photos, etc from your mobile device to your TV.

A. Tweak Network Adjustments

But none of these features or options will work if the Roku mobile app can’t get paired with the Roku streaming device properly. Whereas if the Wi-Fi network seems not working for you, try performing some of the possible steps below:

  • Make sure your phone and Roku are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Some Wi-Fi routers can create a different Wi-Fi network for the guest account or users. Make sure to check that out from the router’s admin dashboard.
  • Similarly, most Wi-Fi routers can create two separate Wi-Fi networks for each Wi-Fi frequency band (2.4GHz and 5GHz). Therefore, it’s always better to use the 2.4GHz frequency on all devices initially. If you’re still having some issues then try using the 5GHz frequency as well.

B. Check Roku’s Network Access

It may possible that the specific network access to your Roku device isn’t properly reached or has been disabled from its settings menu. You can easily check and configure it by following the steps below:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote control.
  • Select Settings > Choose to System.
  • Next, select Advanced system settings.
  • Select External Control > Choose to Network Access.
  • Make sure to select the Default or Permissive option.
  • ‘Default’ should work in most cases. If not, try ‘Permissive’.

C. Can’t Find Your Device? Connect Manually

  1. Head over to the Roku mobile app > Scroll down at the bottom of the device discovery screen (three-dots menu).
  2. Tap on Connect Manually > Enter the IP address of your Roku device.
  3. Now, you can find the IP address by heading over to Settings > Network > About on your Roku device.
  4. Restart your Roku device and check if it’s connected to the correct Wi-Fi network or not.
  5. Then restart the Roku mobile app.

For iOS Devices:

  • Head over to the Home screen on your iPhone > Swipe up from the bottom while on the Roku app page to close it.
  • Next, tap on the Roku app icon to launch it again.

For Android Devices:

  • Press the Recents button or swipe up from the bottom and hold at the middle screen.
  • Now, from the recent panel, simply swipe up the Roku app card from the bottom of the screen to close it.
  • Once closed, tap on the Roku app icon to open it again.

8. Roku Hardware Problems

There is nothing new to it that sometimes due to hardware-related issues or flaws, your Roku device may get stuck with an unexpected problem or error whatsoever.

A. Overheating

If your Roku streaming device is placed on another gadget or very close to the TV or doesn’t have proper ventilation/airflow then the chances are high that it may start overheating a lot in very quick intervals. So, just like any other electronics item, you should place it in a properly ventilated area where the airflow is well or the temperature is low enough.

Make sure to keep checking the overheating indicator (red LED) on some Roku Ultra or Roku Express whenever they get overheated. So, if your Roku device overheats a lot, then immediately turn it off, unplug the power cable, and give it some rest for around half an hour before using it again. It also depends on the room temperature and outside weather as well as the type of airflow.

B. Insufficient Power

If your Roku device is running on a USB connection such as Streaming Sticks or Roku Express then it may possible that it’s not getting enough power source. If that’s the reason, simply unplug the USB cable and connect it to the TV port or A/V receiver for a better power source.

It’s always best to connect the USB cable into a power adapter and then plug the adapter into a power outlet so that your Roku streaming device can get a sufficient power supply until you turn it off. This will also ensure that there is no lack of power source or issues with the loose cables, issues with the USB ports, and more. So, a wall socket for a power source is a good idea to easily fix the issue.

That’s it, guys. We assume this guide was helpful to you. Feel free to ask in the comment below.

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