It’s difficult to fathom that there was a time when televisions didn’t have remote controls. Today, it’s near-impossible to acquire almost any electronic product that doesn’t include a remote control. The Roku family of devices is no different.
If you have a Roku device, it’s not much use if you have to get up every time to change the channel or manually navigate the menu. It is true that you can utilize your smartphone to control your Roku, but doing so does not offer the same one-button convenience as using a traditional remote.
If your Roku remote stops functioning for any reason, it might be inconvenient. In this post, I’ll show you how to resolve some common issues with your Roku remote.
Which kind of remote do I have?
Since the platform’s debut in 2002, there have been numerous Roku versions released, as well as various types of remote controls.
However, there are really only two distinct sorts of Roku remotes: infrared remotes, which send coded pulses of infrared light to the receiver and work precisely like TV remote controls; and WiFi-enabled removes (often known as “Enhanced” remotes by Roku) that may be pointed any which way and yet function because they connect directly to the Roku device via the WiFi network.
Take a look at the back of your remote. Remove the battery cover to see if there is a button near or inside the pairing compartment labeled Pairing. If your remote has a Pairing button, it’s an Enhanced remote.
Otherwise, it’s an infrared remote. There are some troubleshooting techniques that work on either type of remote and others that are specific to each type, so let’s go through them next.
5 Common Troubleshooting Methods
Here are some troubleshooting tips for both remote types.
- Remove the batteries from the remote, leave them out for a second, then replace them and retest.
- Change the batteries in the remote control and retest the device.
- If your Roku model connects directly into an HDMI port, try removing it and replacing it to troubleshoot.
- Retest if necessary.
- If your Roku device is connected directly into an HDMI connection, remove it and replace it with a USB extension cable instead of connecting straight to your TV.
Standard Infrared Roku Remotes: How to Use Them
The Roku standard remote sends signals to the gadget using an infrared beam. If the previous methods don’t work, try these:
- Place the remote control toward the Roku box and press buttons. As you do so, look at the box’s front. If the status light blinks as the box receives infrared signals, your remote is working properly and the problem is with the device. The status light does not flash if it is not functioning correctly.
- Check your line of sight from the remote to the box. In order for infrared signals to work, there must be an unobstructed line of sight between them.
- Place the Roku remote directly in front of the box and press a button. If the batteries are depleted, yet not entirely empty, the beam’s strength may be sufficient to reach the box. If it works, change the batteries.
- Make sure the mobile app is installed and working on your smartphone. Examine the box to ensure it isn’t broken rather than blaming the remote.
If the remote does not detect the signal from the box and the mobile app works, it’s broken. If you can borrow a remote for a while, go ahead; but if you replace it straight away, it will be best.
If the box detects the signal and illuminates the status light, there is a problem with the box. If this is the case, I recommend resetting your Roku device’s factory settings. This is a last-ditch effort, but if you’ve demonstrated that the remote works and the box isn’t responding to the signal it’s receiving,
Techniques for Enhanced Roku Remotes
The Enhanced Roku remote is Wi-Fi enabled, so it requires a few more troubleshooting steps than the IR version. Follow the procedures outlined above, then follow these steps:
- Remove the batteries and remove the remote from the Roku, leaving it for a second or two before turning it back on. Replace the batteries in the remote after seeing the pairing light flash on the Home screen. Hold down and press the Pairing button beneath the remote or in its battery compartment until you see a flashing pairing light. Allow 30 seconds for everything
- With the mobile app, reconnect the device. The Enhanced Roku remote might lose connection and stop functioning from time to time. If this happens, use the Roku Controller App and go to Settings > Pair a new remote. Follow the steps above again to re-pair your remote. This frees up the box so it can be used with the remote again
If the box responds to the Roku Controller App but not to the Enhanced Roku remote, and you’ve gone through all of these steps, it’s conceivable that your remote needs to be replaced. Continue these procedures a few times first just to make sure. If you have a buddy with a Roku, try swapping remotes for him or her to see if it works. This will show which device is at fault with absolute certainty.
Other Suggestions for Repairs
Here are a few additional tips to remedy your Roku remote problem in a pinch.
- As Rob points out in the comments, your remote problem may be due to faulty hardware, such as a corroded connection on the circuit board of the remote. If you’re familiar with technical jargon, take apart the remote and look for corrosion buildup, burn marks, or other indicators of trouble. Gently clean away any debris with a toothbrush and rubbing alcohol if it’scorrosion caused by moisture, for example. After waiting at least 30 seconds for it to dry completely, reassemble the remote and note that this will void your warranty.
- Perform a power drain on your Roku remote. Remove the batteries, press and hold any button on the remote for 10-30 seconds, then replace them and test the device again. Electronics can sometimes suffer from aberrant charge accumulation in circuit components, which can be resolved by this technique.
You can use the same approaches to troubleshoot and repair a Roku remote as you would any other remote, with the exception of using the Roku app or device menu. You begin with the obvious issue of bad batteries or a signal block between the remote’s IR transmitter and TV receiver, and work your way forward.
We’ve got more tips, tricks, and tutorials to help you with your Roku.