How to Solve Your Roku Remote Problems

How to Solve Your Roku Remote Problems

There is nothing more frustrating than a Roku Remote that won't work

Try these simple tips to get your Roku remote working again

Roku makes a great media streamer. When they went away from using simple Infrared line of sight remotes and started using wireless remotes, it introduced a new set of problems into the mix.

IR remotes were for the most part bullet proof. The only limitation was you had to point it at your Roku so moving your Roku behind the TV or inside a cabinet would require an IR Extender. This is a small receiver placed in front of your TV and a flasher which would then send the IR signal to your device by placing it next to the small IR window.

Roku introduced their wireless WiFi remotes that work by using radio waves instead of IR light mainly because their Streaming Sticks were plugged into the back of a TV and did not have IR sensors. These remotes introduced an entirely new set of problems for Roku owners.

These remotes needed to be paired, which was not a requirement of IR remotes. Pairing is when you assign a remote to their corresponding Roku model.

Why is Pairing a Remote Important?

Pairing came about when remotes went away from using IR and started using wireless technology. With an IR remote you had to be in the same room pointing it at the device and the light from the remote would control your TV or Roku player.

Wireless on the other hand could work through walls. Let's say you have a Roku you are watching in your bedroom and someone is watching another Roku in the living room. If your remote was not paired to your Roku and simply worked with every Roku in your house, whenever you changed channels every other device within range would change as well. By paring your remote to only one device this overcomes this limitation.

Why Remotes Lose Pairing

Interference on your WiFi or a congested channel can cause issues with your Roku remote and cause it to lose pairing. This is one reason why we like IR remotes better. 

Prevent Remote Interference:

Move your Roku to a different position, if you have a Roku Streaming Stick, Roku is giving away Free remote extenders which will move your Stick away from the TV to give it a better remote signal. Try changing channels on your Router to Channels 1, 6 and 11. These have less overlapping signals. If this does not help, there are some other things you can try.

Keep your Roku away from sources of remote interference like microwaves or cordless phones. Sometimes turning off smartphones and laptops and tablets that also use WiFi during playback may help. (Not necessary if you have an IR remote)


Step 1: Always be sure you have new batteries installed in your remote.

  1. Remove the batteries from your remote, then put the batteries back in again.
  2. Watch for the LED light (It's inside the battery compartment or on the front of the remote) to flash, this tells you that your batteries are fine.
  3. If the LED indicator on your remote doesn't flash, try another new set of batteries.

Step 2: Try re-pairing Your remote.

  1. Remove the battery cover.
  2. Push down and hold the pairing button and let go when you see the pairing LED begin flashing.
  3. Watch your TV screen for the pairing message.

Step 3: Try removing power from your Roku player then the remote.

  1. Unplug your Roku player from it's  power, then plug the Roku player back in.
  2. When the Roku player has fully loaded  take out the batteries from the remote.
  3. Put the batteries back in, then see if your remote is working normally.

Step 4: If your remote is still not working, try pairing the remote again.

  1. Remove the battery cover.
  2. Push down and hold the pairing button and let go when you see the pairing LED begin flashing.
  3. Watch your TV screen for the pairing message.

Step 5: Try erasing and re-pairing the remote.

  1. Remove the battery cover from your remote.
  2. Remove the power supply cord from your Roku player.
  3. Press and hold down the A and B buttons on the Roku remote (or the Home and Down buttons, if your remote does not have A & B buttons) and then press the pairing button on the remote while still holding down the A and B buttons.
    1. Wait for the remote pairing LED should flash. When it flashes, release the buttons.
    2. Look for 3 more LED flashes. This will clear the remote.
  4. Reconnect the power supply to the Roku player.
  5. Push down and hold the pairing button and let go when you see the pairing LED begin flashing.
  6. After the Roku has finished loading watch your TV screen for the pairing message.

If this has not helped bring your Roku Remote back to life and you don't own a Roku Stick, save yourself a lot of aggravation and buy a simple IR Universal Remote Control.

One of the best and lowest cost models is the 4-In-One Universal IR Remote from INTESET it has codes in their database for almost every device and will work not only with Roku but also Nvidia Shield, one of our favorite Android TV boxes. 

This remote also has backlit keys which are nice if viewing in the dark. It can control up to 4 devices that will end remote clutter. Best of all, it's reasonably priced which is a big plus for such a nice quality remote.

Purchase the INTESET Universal IR Remote on Amazon

If you have a Roku Stick and can't get your WiFi remote working again, Roku also makes a nice Remote App that is available both on Android and iOS. It's free to download and works great.

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