Roku Remote Not Working? Troubleshooting Tips for Every Type

In this post, we will cover every type of Roku remote and provide troubleshooting tips for each one. The guide is intended for all types of Roku streaming devices and Roku TVs. We will also talk about some networking adjustments that might help improve the performance of your Roku remote. So, whether you have a simple or voice-enabled remote, we have you covered!

The quickest way to fix a Roku remote that is not working is by replacing or recharging the batteries and re-pairing the remote after power cycling the Roku device, TV and remote. If your Roku remote is still not working, you can always work around it by using the Roku smartphone app to control your Roku device.

Establishing that the problem is with the Roku Remote

The easiest way to ensure that it is the remote that is not working and not your Roku box is by switching to the Roku mobile app for remote control. If the controls are working when you use the app, it is likely an issue with the remote. However, if the Roku app is also not working, the problem is most likely with your Roku device. If you didn’t know already, the Roku app can be used to turn on Roku TV without the remote.

Identifying Your Roku Remote

The first step to troubleshooting your Roku remote that is not working is to identify the type of Roku remote you own.

There are two main types of Roku remotes:

Simple Remotes 

These are standard Roku IR remotes with limited functionality and buttons. They act as a pointer to help navigate Roku menus, enable text entry using onscreen keyboards, and provide media control features.

Voice Remotes

These Roku remotes have enhanced functionality and buttons. They act as a pointer to help navigate through Roku menus, enable text entry by using onscreen keyboards, provide media control features, and allow you to use voice commands for hands-free operation. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as Roku enhanced remotes.

You can identify these Roku remotes by looking at the buttons on the Roku remote. Roku voice remotes have a button with a picture of a microphone or a magnifying glass, while simple remotes do not.

Roku Simple Remote Not Working? Things To Do

Roku Simple remote work by using infrared (IR) signals to control your Roku box. If your Simple remote is not working, you can do a few things to fix the issue.

Remove Any Obstruction Between the Roku Remote and the Roku Device

Whenever a simple remote stops working, it is usually because the button presses are just not being recorded. This is generally because of an obstruction between the remote and the Roku box.

The best way to ensure that there are no obstructions is to point your Roku remote directly at the Roku device and press a button (such as home).

If you do not see Roku responding to your command, then the chances are that something is blocking those IR signals from being received by you. The best way to fix this is to point the Roku remote in a direction where there are no obstructions in the line of sight and try again.

Reinsert or Replace Your Roku Simple Remote Batteries

If the Roku remote is not working, and you have tried to remove any obstructions, the next step would be to remove the batteries and reinsert or replace the batteries altogether.

Open up the back of your Roku remote and take out the cover on the battery compartment. Once you have taken off the battery cover, locate the two AA batteries and remove them. Now reinsert them to see if that gets your remote to start working.

If that does not help, try replacing the old batteries with new batteries. Replacement might be a quicker solution if the old batteries are not holding a charge.

Roku Voice Remote Not Working? Things To Do

The Roku voice remote works by using your voice to control roku. If it is not working, you can take a few troubleshooting steps. However, before you start troubleshooting, ensure that your Roku voice remote is running the latest software version. Check this by selecting the ‘About’ option under ‘Settings’ in the menu.

Re-pair your Roku voice Remote

If you are experiencing problems with your Roku voice remote, the first step is to re-pair the remote. We have discussed how you can sync roku remote without pairing button in the past. You will need the Roku device and the voice remote to do this.

  1. Disconnect the Roku device by removing the unplugging the power cable. Wait about 5 seconds before you plug it back in.
  2. The Roku welcome dialogue should appear on the TV screen.
  3. If you have a standard Roku remote with removable batteries, remove and reinsert them. That should automatically pair the remote with the Roku box. If you have a remote with rechargeable batteries, long-press the pairing button for about 20 seconds. At this point, the remote should flash green slowly and then proceed to blink rapidly. This indicates that the remote has restarted. To re-pair, the remote, long-press the pairing button for 5 seconds until the status light starts flashing. If the pairing light does not flash, the batteries may be drained or faulty.
  4. In about 30 seconds, the remote should connect with the Roku player.

Recharge the batteries in your voice remote

Sometimes, the voice remote may not be working because the batteries are drained. The solution is to recharge the batteries.

  1. Connect the micro-USB cable to your remote’s charging port. The other end can be connected to any standard USB charging adapter.
  2. The light on the front of the remote will turn solid green when it is fully charging.
  3. If the remote’s status light is not flashing when charging, try replacing the charging and adapter to start charging.

Restart the Roku Device

  1. To restart your Roku device, you will need to unplug the power supply from the wall for about 5 seconds. After that, you can plug the power supply back in and wait for the welcome screen to appear. Alternatively, you can restart your Roku device from the Settings menu. To do this, press the Home button and select the settings option. To restart, select the ‘Power’ option and choose ‘System Restart’.
  2. After the welcome screen appears, you can check if your Roku enhanced remote works.

Installing an HDMI Extension Cable For Roku Streaming Stick

The HDMI connector is known to cause wireless interference to Roku voice remotes in some rare cases when using Roku streaming sticks. It is easily corrected by installing an HDMI extension cable for the streaming stick that moves it away from the HDMI port. This is only applicable to users who have a Roku streaming stick directly connected to the HDMI port on the TV.

Network Adjustments to Fix Roku Voice Remote Not Working

While network issues interfering with the use of Roku voice remotes is uncommon, it does happen from time to time.

Please note that to make adjustments to your network connection, you will need administrator access to your network gateway. Typically, access is restricted to those with admin credentials. You can find the default credentials on the side or bottom of your router.

Here are some network tweaks that can help your voice remote function better.

  • Manually connect the Roku device to the 5 GHz band of your network. This will only work with Roku devices that have dual-band capability. Your router may automatically assign the 2.4 GHz band to the Roku device. You can disable this by accessing the admin settings of your router.
  • If your router is 5 GHz-enabled, try excluding DFS channels from the 5 GHz wireless network. This will prevent the Roku from connecting to the 2.4 GHz network due to congestion on the 5 GHz network. This will require some router-specific steps, which you can find with some quick googling.
  • If your router and Roku device are placed close to each other, try moving the router further away. It may be causing a wireless signal interference that may be preventing the remote from working correctly.

Is Your Roku Remote Too Warm?

If the Roku remote is too hot to touch, it may indicate battery damage. In this case, you may need to replace the batteries if your remote uses alkaline batteries or discontinue using the remote if it has rechargeable batteries.

Roku App: The Ultimate Workaround For Remote Not Working

If you don’t want to buy a new remote, you can always use the Roku mobile app to control your device. The Roku app is available for iOS and Android.

If your phone is connected to the same wireless network as your phone, it will start functioning as the Roku remote control right away. With just a few taps, you should be able to cast your content, change channels, and access a host of other media controls.

Replacing the Broken Roku Remote: The Last Resort

If none of the steps above worked to fix the Roku remote, it might be time to face the sad reality that you need to purchase a new Roku remote. If you have a Roku TV, we would recommend getting the official Roku Voice Pro remote. However, if you have a budget Roku device, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to get the Voice Pro because it is premium priced, although worth it. In that case, we would recommend the standard Roku voice remote.

If you are a tech enthusiast who enjoys having all the controls in a single remote, you can consider getting a Roku compatible universal remote like the Harmony Hub. It offers the additional benefit of being able to control a number of other devices in your home, using only the Harmony remote.

We would, however, advise against purchasing third-party Roku remotes even if it comes at a lower price point. Our experience with these remotes have been terrible in the past. It is hard to judge if they will work with your specific Roku device and they often don’t work beyond a few months.

Final Thoughts

Did we help fix your Roku remote? Let us know in the comments. We hope you found this guide helpful. If not, be sure to reach out and we’ll do our best to help you out. And, don’t forget to check out our other articles for more Roku remote troubleshooting tips. In the meantime, happy streaming!

Common Questions Our Readers Ask

Can you buy a replacement remote for Roku?

Yes, you can buy a replacement remote for Roku. You can find them on Amazon and Roku’s websites.

How long do Roku remotes last?

The Roku remote will last as long as the batteries are working. If you have rechargeable batteries that need to be recharged, your Roku remote will not work. The Roku remotes can also stop working if the remote is damaged or broken.

What batteries do I need for Roku remote?

The Roku remote takes two AA batteries. Alkaline batteries are recommended, but you can also use other types of batteries.

Does any Roku remote work with any Roku Device?

Roku uses either wireless or infrared technology for all of its remotes. Therefore, Roku remotes are compatible with all Roku devices with specific technology-enabled. For example, Roku Streaming Stick will not work with standard infrared remotes from Roku.

About the author

Maria Chan, or MC, as we call her, is the genius girl-boss who gave up on her cushy silicon-valley job to grind it out with us. Her undying pursuit of wanting Zeebox to the best makes it very clear that she has no interest in running a generic tech-site.