8 Fixes for a Roku TV Remote That’s Not Working

Dan Price 09-12-2019

Is your Roku remote not working? It could be one of a number of different problems, some of which are simple, and others which are more complex.


In this article we’ll help you troubleshoot why your Roku remote has stopped working, and hopefully get your Roku remote working again.

1. Check Your Roku Remote Batteries

Let’s start with the most simple explanation… Are you sure that your device’s batteries haven’t run out? A slowly degrading performance is a sure-fire indicator that the power supply could be the problem.

Some Roku remote controls require two AA batteries; others require two AAAs. Check the sticker on the remote to check. The batteries are accessible from behind the sliding panel on the rear of the device.

2. How to Pair a Roku Remote

Another common cause for a Roku remote not working is that control has become unpaired from the box it is supposed to operate.

System updates, low power, changing Wi-Fi networks, using the device with another Roku box, or a simple technical glitch could all theoretically trigger an unexpected unpairing.


Thankfully, it is easy to pair a Roku remote with a Roku box or streaming stick. Just follow the instructions below:

  1. Disconnect your Roku box from its power supply.
  2. Wait 10 seconds, reconnect the box, and wait for the Home page to load.
  3. Locate the pairing button on your remote. It is typically found on the front of the device or in the battery compartment.
  4. Hold the button down for five seconds or until you see the Roku remote blinking.

And remember, some older Roku models come with an IR pointer instead of using your Wi-Fi connection. If you have IR Roku remote that’s not working, check that no dirt is blocking the receiver on either the control or the box/TV. Also, ensure that there are no obstructions in the remote’s line-of-sight to the Roku box.

3. Reset Your Roku Remote

You can reset Roku remotes by performing a specific sequence during the box or stick’s boot process.

To reset a Roku remote, follow the steps below:

  1. Remove the batteries from your Roku remote.
  2. Remove the power supply from the Roku box/stick (or go to Settings > System > System Restart > Restart if you have an IR Roku remote that’s still working).
  3. Wait 10 seconds and then reconnect your Roku box to the power.
  4. Wait for the Home screen to load.
  5. Reinsert the batteries into your Roku remote.

If the Roku TV remote still doesn’t work, move onto our next tip.

4. Check for HDMI Interference

In its official literature, Roku accepts that the remotes for some of its models are affected by interference from nearby HDMI cables. The issue is especially prevalent on Roku streaming sticks which connect directly to the HDMI port on your TV.

The solution is to use an HDMI cable extender, thus allowing your streaming stick to be positioned further away from the TV’s HDMI port.

You can use any HDMI extender you have lying around your home. However, if you don’t already own one, Roku will ship you a short extender for free. To claim your free cable, you just need to fill out the appropriate form on the Roku website.


5. Check Your Wi-Fi Connection

roku wifi connection

If you’ve worked through all the Roku remote troubleshooting tips but you’ve still not had any success, your Wi-Fi connection could be the culprit.

The Roku remote does not require an internet connection in order to connect to your box, but it does need a functioning local network. If your local network is down for any reason, the remote will not function until the connection is restored.

If you have enough technical knowledge, it might be worth digging into the router’s settings; something might have happened that’s causing the remote’s connection to get blocked.


6. Use the Official Roku Remote App

Although using your smartphone as a Roku remote isn’t ideal, there is an official Roku remote app that you can download and use for free on both Android and iOS. It’s a reliable temporary stop-gap.

Before you open the app for the first time, ensure that it is on the same Wi-Fi network as your Roku streaming device.

As soon as the app loads, you will see the Discovery screen. Allow the process a few seconds to complete, and you should see your Roku box listed. Tap on the name to make the connection.

In addition to being used as a Roku TV remote, the Roku app has plenty of other cool features that are worth using.

This includes access to free TV shows and movies on your device via The Roku Channel, the ability to use your device’s headphone connection for private listening, support for keyboard (and, on some models, voice input), and a way to cast content from your device to the TV screen.

Download: Roku for Android | iOS (Free)

7. Troubleshooting the Roku App

If your phone app cannot see your Roku box, there are a couple of possible causes:

  • Network Access: Make sure your Roku box has not disabled its network access. Go to Settings > System > Advanced System Settings > Control By Mobile Apps > Network Access to check. You need to ensure either the Default or Permissive option is selected.
  • VPN: Remember, the Roku remote app will not work if either your phone or you Roku box are connected to a VPN.

Sadly, if your Roku remote is still not working after checking all of these things, you may need to take the plunge and buy a new Roku remote.

8. Replace the Remote for Your Roku

None of the different remotes cost more than a few bucks. Here’s the RC108 Roku Remote that is compatible with most models, for example:

RC108 Roku Remote RC108 Roku Remote Buy Now On Amazon $11.99

Just make sure you check that your Roku box or streaming stick is supported by the remote you’re about to purchase before you hit the Buy button.

More Roku Troubleshooting Tips

We hope the tips we’ve discussed in this piece have managed to get your Roku remote working again. If not, please let us know in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to help you further.

If you’re experiencing other problems with your Roku, we’ve also written articles detailing how to set up and use a Roku streaming stick How to Set Up and Use Your Roku Streaming Stick So, you have bought a new Roku Streaming Stick and are wondering what to do next. We're here to help, with the complete guide to setting up your new Roku Streaming Stick. Read More and how to control a Roku using Amazon Echo You Can Now Control Roku Using Your Amazon Echo Thanks to the new Roku skill for Alexa, you can now control your Roku using your Amazon Echo. Read More .

Related topics: Remote Control, Roku, Troubleshooting.

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    June 26, 2020 at 12:12 am

    I get a message that my Roku remote did not pair with my set top box. It says to press setup and nothing happens when I do.

  2. cody j Brooks
    May 7, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    I have a roku/Onn soundbar. The remote is not enhanced. All features on remote work except i cant turn on TV. It turns off. Volume up and down. Mute. But cant turn TV on.

  3. Elizabeth Smith
    April 21, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    ps - no light flashes on my remote.

  4. Elizabeth Smith
    April 21, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Have tried everything and still my Ruko will not work. Can the remote be dead? Keeps saying go to settings, but since the remote will not even turn on anything how can I do that? I thought Ruko was suppose to be excellent but am so frustrated right now. HELP

  5. Cheryl
    March 2, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    Roku stick just abruptly stopped working all other devices work. Any ideas?

  6. Frank
    January 22, 2020 at 12:51 am

    How is someone outside of my house able to turn my Roku TV on and off and control it ?

  7. Eliza
    December 21, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    I have enjoyed my Rôku for 3-4 yes. Very few problems. I've reset it a few times (4).
    Love it. But after since about early Nov /late Oct it can't seem to maintain connection. All other inlet/WiFi systems in house fine. When I reset, it can reconnect, then loses connection after about 1-5 min. Read that Roku was updating , so I was patient. But still not on. Read that Netflix updated, causing disconnect w old Roku sticks; but î don't use Netflix. Still have green light flash when I try to reconnect. No luck. Baffled. Prefer not to buy a new one, w/o knowing problem cause.

  8. frances
    October 27, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    dont understand no problem until now, perhaps it has something to do with my ROKU REMOTE not working time to buy a new TV<

  9. Ashley Schutte
    October 25, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Tried all of the above and the Roku remote still won’t work. It worked for about a week and now nothing. The app works fine but that’s not going to work for our kids trying to watch tv. Help please :(

  10. Lee Jacintho
    August 15, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    Remote works but volume control and off control do not.
    I have to use my regular tv remote to control/mute bolume, and to shut off tv.

    • cc
      August 16, 2019 at 4:51 pm

      Volume buttons on Roku remote don't work for all TVs, it depends on how much of HDMI spec the TV maker implemented. On the several TVs I own, only one can have its volume controlled by the Roku, the others don't. Also, none of my TVs can be shut off with Roku, two of them will switch to HDMI input source when touching a button on the Roku.