My Roku Ultra does not detect my external HDD drive

Background

Some Roku players include a USB port which you can connect to an external USB drive for the purpose of playing locally stored audio and video files using an application like the Roku Media Player or Plex.
 
There are many types of USB drives, from large external hard-drives to smaller thumb-drives.  It is important to note that different drives have different power requirements - for example, external hard-drives often require external power.

This article will help you determine why the Roku player cannot detect your USB drive.
 
Unsupported USB Devices

If you have an unsupported USB drive, there may be three reasons for this.  To diagnose and resolve the problem, here are some steps you can take in the order we recommend.
 
1.   You may see this message on your Roku player:
 

This means that your external USB drive requires more power than your Roku player 
provides.  If the USB drive has indicator LEDs, they may also turn red or flash to indicate insufficient power.
 
To solve this issue, plug in your external USB drive if it has a power cord, or use a powered USB hub.  See additional information below for suggestions about using powered USB hubs.
2. Your USB drive does not appear in your USB channel when using an application like the Roku Media
Player or Plex.   If the USB drive has indicator LEDs, they may also turn red or flash to indicate insufficient power.
 
To solve this issue, you should first make sure your drive has sufficient power by plugging in an external power supply or powered USB hub.   
 
3. If you have sufficient power and your USB hard drive is still not visible, check the USB hard drive format
to make sure it’s supported by your Roku player.  For more information on using Roku Media Player and supported USB hard drive formats, click here:
 
In addition, some powered hubs require a specific ‘order of operation’ to work correctly.  These steps are not necessarily the same for all powered USB hubs, but you can try these steps:
 
1. Power hub first then connect the USB drive
2. Connect the USB drive then power the hub
3. Restart the hub while the USB drive is connected

If you continue to have issues, please click here to contact Roku Customer Support.  Please include the make and model of your USB drive in the ticket.
 
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