Roku Remote Not Working? Here are the Top Fixes

It’s hard to believe that there was ever a time when TVs didn’t have remote controls. Today it’s impossible to buy almost any electronic device that doesn’t have a remote, and the Roku family of devices is no exception.

Roku Remote Not Working? Here are the Top Fixes

A Roku device isn’t a whole lot of good if you have to keep getting up to change the channel or manually navigate the menu. It is true that you can use your smartphone to control your Roku, but that doesn’t have the same one-button convenience as the standard remote. If your Roku remote has stopped working, it can be a real hassle.

This article will walk you through some troubleshooting steps to get your Roku remote back up and running.

Use the Roku App to Control Your Roku Device

If you’re in a bind and need to turn down your volume right now or need to turn on your Roku device, you can use the Roku app to control your device. Of course, we’ll teach you how to fix your remote in the following sections, but for now, let’s review how to control your Roku device without the remote.

  1. Using your smartphone, download the Roku app.

  2. Follow the tutorial, then, tap Sign in.

  3. Input the email and password you used when you first set up your Roku device.
  4. Tap on Remote at the bottom.

  5. Connect to your Roku when prompted and accept any permissions the app may need.

  6. Now, you’ll have complete access to your Roku device.

Hopefully, this section helped you control your TV. Now, let’s talk about how to fix your Roku remote.

Which Kind of Remote Do I Have?

There are a variety of Roku remotes used today. Troubleshooting and solving your issues is a lot easier if you can identify which remote you have.

There are standard infrared remotes, which work just like regular TV remotes. These remotes work by firing coded pulses of infrared light at the receiver.

WiFi-enabled remotes (often labeled as Enhanced remotes by Roku) can be pointed in any direction and still work because they actually connect to the Roku device itself via the Wi-Fi network.

  • Look at the back panel of your remote. Remove the battery cover and see if there is a button inside or adjacent to the compartment labeled Pairing. If your remote has a Pairing button, you have an Enhanced remote. Otherwise, it is an infrared remote.

There are some troubleshooting techniques that will work on either type of remote and some techniques specific to each type, so let’s cover them next.

Common Roku Remote Troubleshooting Techniques

These tips will help you narrow down the issue on either type of remote.

  1. Reboot the Roku box or remove the streaming stick from your TV. Give it a minute, connect it again, and then retest.
  2. Remove the batteries from the remote, leave them out for a second, then replace them and retest.
  3. Change the batteries in the remote control and retest the device.
  4. If your Roku model plugs directly into the HDMI port, try removing it from the port and replacing it. Retest.
  5. If your Roku model plugs directly into the HDMI port, try using an extender cable to connect it to the TV instead of connecting it directly.
Roku Remote

Techniques for Standard Infrared Roku Remotes

The standard Roku remote uses an infrared beam to send signals to the device. If the above steps didn’t work, try these:

  1. Point the remote at the Roku box and press buttons. Watch the front of the box as you do so. If the status light flashes as the box sees the infrared commands, then your remote is functioning and the issue is with the box. If the status light does not flash, then the issue is with the remote.
  2. Check your line of sight from the remote to the box. Infrared signals require an unobstructed line of sight in order to function.
  3. Place the Roku remote directly in front of the box and press a button. If the batteries are low but not empty, the strength of the beam may be enough to reach the box. Change the batteries if it works.
  4. Try the mobile app to make sure it is the remote that’s not working, and not the box.

If the box does not see the remote signal and the mobile app works, you have a faulty remote. If you can borrow a remote for the time being, go ahead, but it will be for the best if you replace the remote quickly.

If the box sees the signal and flashes the status light, there is an issue with the box. If this is the case, I would suggest a factory reset of the Roku device. This process is a last resort, but if you’re sure the remote works and the box is not responding, it may be your only option. This is especially true if the box will not respond to the mobile app, either.

Techniques for Enhanced Roku Remotes

The Enhanced Roku remote uses Wi-Fi instead of infrared, so it needs a couple of extra steps for troubleshooting. Try the steps above and then:

  1. Re-pair the remote by removing the batteries, turn off the Roku, leave it a second or two, and then power on the Roku. Once the Home screen appears, replace the batteries in the remote. Press and hold the Pairing button underneath the remote or in the battery compartment until you see the pairing light flash. Wait 30 seconds or so for everything to sync up and then retest.
  2. Re-pair the device with the mobile app. Occasionally, the Enhanced Roku remote will drop the pairing and stop working. If this happens, use the Roku Controller App and access the Roku Settings menu. Select to pair a new remote and repeat the re-pairing process above. This ‘frees up’ the box to work with the remote again.

If the box responds to the Roku Controller App and not the Enhanced Roku remote and you have performed the troubleshooting steps in this guide, you may need a new remote. Retry these troubleshooting steps a couple of times first, to make sure. If you have a buddy with a Roku, try swapping remotes temporarily to test.

Additional Tips for Repairing Your Remote

Here are some additional tips to remedy your Roku remote problem in a pinch.

  • Perform a power drain on your Roku remote. Remove the batteries, press and hold any button on the remote for 10-30 seconds, and then reinsert the batteries and test the remote again. Sometimes a short can occur in electronics from aberrant charge buildup in circuit components, this can fix it.
  • Your remote issue might be hardware related, such as a corroded connection on your remote’s circuit board. If you’re technically inclined, then take apart the remote and look for corrosion buildup, burn marks, or other indications of a problem. If it’s corrosion, such as from moisture, etc., gently clean away the debris with a toothbrush and rubbing alcohol, and reassemble the remote after letting it dry for at least 30 seconds. Note: This will void any warranty that you might have on the remote.

Frequently Asked Questions

If we didn’t answer all of your questions above, we’ve included this section to give you more information.

Where can I buy a replacement remote?

Fortunately, Roku replacement remotes are easy to find. Most big box stores such as Walmart and Target carry them if you need one today. You can also order them online at Amazon or the Roku website.

Can I upgrade my Roku remote?

Yes! If you have an older Roku version and would like to have the voice control feature on your Roku remote, you can upgrade the remote without having to upgrade the box. Do keep in mind that some remotes are not compatible with much older Roku devices so you should check for compatibility before making a purchase.

What batteries does a Roku remote use?

Most Roku remotes use two AAA or AA batteries. You can find the correct battery requirements on the back of the remote.

Is my remote covered under warranty?

Yes! Like the Roku device, its remote is covered under a one-year warranty. You can access everything you need to file a warranty claim on the Roku website.

Roku Remotes

As you can see, the techniques for troubleshooting and fixing a Roku remote are pretty standard for all remotes, with the exception of using the Roku app or device menu. You start with the obvious problem of faulty batteries or an obstruction of signal between the remote’s IR transmitter and the TV’s receiver and go from there.

Got any other Roku remote troubleshooting tips? Tell us about them below if you do!

9 thoughts on “Roku Remote Not Working? Here are the Top Fixes”

Gerald M. Ellis says:
My remote is rechargeable so no access to batteries or no simple access.
Can not get to work with Sony TV. The only thing trying to fix is TV off on button on remote. My Amazon Fire remote does not have this problem so for the time being I use it to turn on TV. The Roku remote has a pairing button on the back which seemed to work ie green light blinked and then stopped. How do I fix this. I have tried several times to pair with music playing and have responded with a no 4 times with no results.
Steve Larner says:
To control TVs, you need an HDMI cable that is CEC capable. Try swapping the HDMI cables from your Fire device to the Roku and see what happens.
Neita Pendleton says:
My Roku TV does not get loud enough even on the 100 on the remote. How do I fix that?
Steve Larner says:
Sounds like you need to change the audio processing options.
Scott says:
Roku Stick user here, and those remotes that come with it are absolute junk. Seriously Roku, remote controls have been around for 5 decades now, how do you include on that simply does not want to work half the time for no reason? Add in the fact that they refuse to put a light on the remote anywhere to let you know whether or not the thing is even getting power, it’s an all-around fail for Roku.
Rusty says:
5 Decades????? Come on man
CLay says:
We use a usb stick to stream Roku. Lately when I power up the remote I see nothing on the TV. I used to automatically see the Home screen. No matter how many times I try I the remote will not take me to the home screen. I can get to Netflix though. So once I an on the Netflix login page I press the Home button and it will finally take me there. What gives?
Gary says:
I have the enhanced roku remote and use the stick. I have control of the Roku but it stopped controlling the TV functions. I’ve reset the Roku have hit the reset button on the remote several times. Any clue to what I can try?
~m says:
My non-enhanced Roku remote is out of control. a single push of an arrow/directional key causes the cursor/selection to move many many many times. I changed the batteries, unplugged and replugged. Bought a new Roku box. Same thing. The TV’s own remote seems to work fine. Any ideas?
Rob Conn says:
For the Roku IR remote, if the above steps don’t work, try what I did.
Pry open the remote.
On the circuit board, where the buttons press, use a metal scraper (I used tweezers) to scrape the the film away. (why mine had a brown film, I don’t know).
Once all the squiggly lines where the buttons make contact are shiny, clean the backs of the button with some alcohol and let dry.
Put the remote back together.
Hans Schaper says:
Read your comment. My remote would work at times but I continually had problems with the on (OK) button. After scraping off film on circuit board it now appears to be working. (To bad I already ordered new one) Thanks for the tip.
Stormy Ogden says:
I’m on day 3 of trying to get my remote to work. I have a Roku 2XD so i’m not able to get any help from Roku. This is where i am with this problem now. The best way to explain it is my remote will not let me change to any channels. There is a signal going to the box but the box flashes like crazy.I hear clicking sounds but no channel change and if it finally does go to a channel the remote just keeps scrolling through all the movies. I do not know what else to do. It’s not the batteries, that was the first thing i did, put in new batteries. I have the standard remote and no cell phone to replace the remote. And without the use of the remote i’m unable to do a factory reset. I’m lose, any help or suggestions, thank you.

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