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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:
- Disconnect your Roku box from its power supply.
- Wait 10 seconds, reconnect the box, and wait for the Home page to load.
- Locate the pairing button on your remote. It is typically found on the front of the device or in the battery compartment.
- 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:
- Remove the batteries from your Roku remote.
- 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).
- Wait 10 seconds and then reconnect your Roku box to the power.
- Wait for the Home screen to load.
- 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
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.
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:
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.