Roku Remote Not Working? Simple Tips to Help You Out

Roku remote not working

Is your Roku remote not working? There are few things more frustrating than settling down on the couch to binge watch your favorite show only to discover your Roku remote isn’t working. After suppressing the impulse to chuck the hunk of plastic across the room in a fit of first world problem rage, your rationale kicks in. When was the last time I replaced the batteries? Can something be interrupting the infrared signal? Has the dog used it as a chew toy? Before you give up and purchase a new remote from the Roku accessory store, try some of these fixes to get your Roku remote working again.

Roku devices ship with one of two types of Roku remotes. The first is an infrared or IR remote and relies on infrared signals to relay button presses from the remote to your Roku box. The other is a “point anywhere” remote that relays commands from your remote to your Roku wirelessly through a process called “pairing”. The following guide will discuss troubleshooting techniques for both remote types.


Roku Remote Not Working? Here’s What to Do

Before you buy a new one or give up in frustration, you should know that there are a number of common fixes to help get Roku remotes working again. There are different methods for each of the two types of Roku remote, so we’ll break it up into sections below. Additionally, there is also a Roku smartphone app that you can use as a controller, if all else fails.


For IR Remotes

If you find your IR-based Roku remote not working properly, use some of the fixes below to get you back going.


Check the Batteries

It sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many remote failures can be chalked up to dead batteries. If you don’t have any spare batteries handy, open up your smart phone’s camera app and point it at the IR transmitter on the front of the remote. While looking through your phone’s camera app, press some buttons. If you don’t see flashes of red light as you press buttons, chuck those batteries in the garbage.


Reseat Batteries

If you’re hesitant to admit that your batteries are dead, try pulling them out of the remote and reinstalling them to get it working properly again. Sometimes the batteries are not sitting on the contacts correctly, which results in a seemingly DOA remote.


Check for Obstructions

Infrared needs a clear line of sight to work properly, so make sure you can see the front of your Roku device from where you are sitting. Keep in mind that anything (e.g. furniture) that could impede the IR signal from the remote to the Roku should be moved out of the way.


For Point Anywhere Remotes

If you find that your point-anywhere Roku remote not working properly, use the below fixes.


Restart Your Roku

Remove the batteries from your remote. Remove the power cable from your Roku device, wait five seconds, and plug the power cable back in. Your Roku will reboot, and when it displays the home screen, pop your batteries back in to the remote. Wait for 30 seconds as the Roku and remote pair up again.


Re-pair the Remote

Remove the batteries from your remote. Notice the little purple button on the side of the battery compartment? We’ll come back to it a little later. Remove the power cable from the Roku, wait five seconds and plug it back in. When the Roku displays the home screen, put the batteries back in the remote and press and hold the purple pairing button for three seconds.

The pairing light on the remote should flash. If it doesn’t, repeat these steps. If it still doesn’t flash, try replacing the batteries. It can take up to 30 seconds for the pairing process to complete. You will know it is successful when the pairing dialogue appears on your screen.


If All Else Fails

Grab the Roku remote control app and install it on your phone or tablet. The app gives you full control over your Roku device, meaning you can start streaming straight away. In fact, with the recent overhaul of the Roku remote app, we would argue that the app does a better job of navigating the Roku than the actual remote. But if you really love the remote, at the every least the app is a good substitute for when the remote slips in between the couch cushions.

Another possible workaround to get your remote working again is to use the Roku remote control app. Remove the batteries from your remote and use the app to navigate to your Roku’s settings menu. In Settings, select “pair new remote”. Put the batteries back into your remote and hopefully the remote and your Roku will pair.


Can’t get any of these to work?

We hate to say it, but you might have a faulty remote. Luckily, Roku sells replacements on their website.

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Ryan Lynch

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