What to do if you have problems with your Roku® remote

Background

Remote issues may differ based on the type of remote you have. Depending on which Roku® streaming player you own, you will have one of the following types of remotes:

  • Standard IR remote
  • Enhanced “point-anywhere” Remote

If you are uncertain if you have a standard IR remote or an Enhanced “point-anywhere” Remote, review the guidelines for determining the type of remote. Once you know which remote you have, use the following troubleshooting steps to help resolve your issue.

Standard IR remote

Standard IR remotes must be pointed directly at the front of your Roku streaming player. The most common reason for missed key presses is when the Roku device is located in a position where the signal from the remote is blocked (or partially blocked) from getting to the Roku device. The second most common problem is low or dead batteries.

To resolve problems with your standard IR remote, try the following:

  1. Make sure that you can see the front of your Roku device from where you are sitting and using the remote, and confirm that there is no visible obstruction between the Roku device and the remote.
    • Try holding your remote higher and pointing it directly at the Roku device to ensure there is nothing to block the signal from the remote. If the remote now works, then you should move any obstacles blocking the signal from the remote to the Roku device, or if possible move your Roku device to a position where the remote will respond reliably.
  1. Try reseating the batteries
    • If the remote is still not responding or missing key presses, try removing the batteries from your remote and re-inserting them.
  1. Try replacing the batteries
    • If the remote is still not responding or missing key presses, try replacing the batteries in the remote.
  1. Try a new remote

Pro Tip: If you own a smartphone with a camera, you may be able to use it to see whether the remote is sending an IR signal or not. Smartphone cameras can “see” a wider range of light wavelengths than the human eye and can therefore detect infra-red light.  However, this will generally only work on smartphones with a front-facing camera. Put your smartphone into the camera mode as if you were taking a self-portrait (you should see yourself in the camera). Hold the remote control in front of the camera and press buttons on the remote. If you cannot see the IR signal flashing as you press buttons, then try replacing the batteries in the remote.

Roku Express

If you are having issues using the standard IR remote that is included with your Roku Express, there is a special set of instructions for troubleshooting missed key presses on these players.

Enhanced “point-anywhere” remote

Enhanced “point-anywhere” remotes connect over a wireless network and do not need to be pointed directly at the Roku device in order to work.

To resolve problems with your Enhanced “point-anywhere” remote, try the following:

  1. Try restarting your Roku device and remote
    • Open the battery compartment and remove the batteries from the remote.
    • Remove the power cable from the Roku device, wait 5 seconds and then re-connect the power cable.

      • Pro Tip: If you also have a Roku standard IR remote, you can use it to access the settings menu and restart your Roku player. Go to Settings > System > System restart > Restart.

    • When the Roku device displays the home screen, reinsert the batteries.
    • Wait for 30 seconds while the remote establishes a connection with your Roku device.
  1. Try re-pairing the remote
    • Open the battery compartment and remove the batteries from the remote.
    • Remove the power cable from the Roku device, wait 5 seconds and then re-connect the power cable.
    • When the Roku device displays the home screen, reinsert the batteries.
    • Press and hold the pairing button inside the remote for 3 seconds or until you see the pairing light in the remote begin to flash. If the light does not flash, try again. If the light still does not flash, then you will need to replace your batteries (see below).
    • Wait for 30 seconds while the remote establishes a connection with your Roku device.
    • The remote pairing dialog should appear on your TV screen.
  1. Try replacing the batteries
    • Open the battery compartment and remove the old batteries from the remote.
    • Remove the power cable from the Roku device, wait 5 seconds and then re-connect the power cable.
    • When the Roku device displays the first screen, insert new batteries.
    • Wait for 30 seconds while the remote establishes a connection with your Roku device.
    • The remote pairing dialog should appear on your TV screen.
  1. Try replacing your remote

Enhanced remote with buttons for TV power & volume

Some Roku Enhanced Remotes incorporate both wireless and Infra-Red (IR) technologies to seamlessly control both your Roku player and your TV. The suggestions below may help if you are unable to get your Roku Enhanced Remote to control your TV power & volume.

  • Why do I not hear music during setup?

    If you cannot hear the music playing after increasing the volume using the TV remote with fresh batteries, check the following:

    • Make sure all devices connected to your Roku player support audio over HDMI. For example, many overhead projectors do not have speakers.

    Why am I unable to mute the music with my Roku Enhanced Remote?

    When the music cannot be muted, the on-screen menu prompts you to enter the brand of your TV and try setup again. If you still are unable to get your Roku Enhanced Remote programmed with this method, take note of the following:

    • Limit the number of devices connected between your Roku player and the TV. Removing a device, even if done temporarily, may confirm that the device is causing the behavior. You may even be able to setup your Roku Enhanced Remote with the device removed, and have it continue to work after reconnecting the device.
    • Certain television brands such as Bang & Olufsen may not be supported.

    Why is my Roku Enhanced Remote able to control the volume or power for my TV, but not both?

    With manufacturers producing various models, most TV brands have a number of remote codes. During the remote setup, your Roku player will attempt to narrow this list of possible codes on your specific TV brand and program the Enhanced remote to the correct code. It is possible that the code programmed into your Roku Enhanced Remote when you heard the music stop only contains commands to control either volume or power, but not both. Using a different code for the TV brand may work to control both volume and power.

    To have your Roku player try additional remote codes, restart the setup process for your Roku Enhanced Remote as described above and alter the steps as follows:

    1. When you first hear the music stop and are asked “Did the music stop playing?”, do not answer the question. Instead, turn the volume back up with your TV remote until the music is audible again.
    2. Answer the question with No, and your Roku player will move on to try the next remote code.
    3. The next time you hear the music stop, answer the question with Yes, and your Roku Enhanced Remote will be programmed with the new code.
    4. In rare cases, you may need to repeat this process to find a code that controls both volume and power.

A note about the Roku® Streaming Stick®

Since your Roku Streaming Stick can be connected directly to an HDMI® port on your TV, wireless interference from the HDMI connector can sometimes impact remote performance. If you are using a Roku Streaming Stick, try moving it away from the HDMI connector on your TV by using a free extension cable to connect the Roku Streaming Stick to your TV.

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