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The most common Roku problems and how to fix them

Owning a Roku is a fantastic way to add smart TV capabilities to a TV without them, but, like all things tech, Roku hardware isn’t completely bulletproof. Whether it’s a glitch with the remote, the Roku device itself, or a sneaky hidden issue like an app compatibility issue, Roku problems can be frustrating when they pop up. The good news is that 99% of the time, there’s an easy fix. Here’s a list of the most common Roku problems and how to fix them.

How to fix Roku problems at a glance:

How to restart, update, and reset your Roku

Most Roku problems can be quickly solved by a restart, a software update, or in worst-case scenarios, a factory reset. Before moving on to any other troubleshooting steps, try these first.

How to restart your Roku

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Scroll up or down and select Settings.
  • Select System.
  • Select SystemRestart.
  • Use the remote’s directional pad to highlight the Restart button and press OK.
  • Your Roku device will now restart.

Sometimes, your Roku streaming device will simply freeze up, and the remote appears to be completely unresponsive. When this happens, you can often restart the device without needing the on-screen menus. To do this, follow this button-press sequence on your Roku remote precisely:

  • Press the Home button five times.
  • Press the Up arrow one time.
  • Press the Rewind button two times.
  • Press the Fast Forward button two times.
  • After a few seconds of completing this sequence, your Roku should restart.

How to update Roku software

If a restart doesn’t help, your software may be the problem. Roku software updates usually happen automatically in the background, without any need for you to take action. But now and then, this process doesn’t work. If you’re experiencing problems, it’s always a good idea to check the status of your Roku software before moving on.

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Scroll up or down and select Settings.
  • Select System.
  • Select System Update.
    • This screen will show you the current software and build version and the date and time it was added to your Roku.
  • Select Check Now to manually check for updates.
  • If an update for your software or your installed channels is available, it will be downloaded and installed automatically and your Roku will reboot. It’s very important that this process is allowed to complete without interruption.

How to factory reset your Roku

A factory reset is a thermonuclear option for fixing problems. As the name suggests, it returns your Roku to the same state it was in when you pulled it out of the box. This means that all of your settings including downloaded channels and network preferences will be wiped out. As such, we suggest keeping this one in your back pocket for when everything else fails.

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Scroll up or down and select Settings.
  • Select System.
  • Select Advanced system settings.
  • Select Factory reset.
  • Select Factory reset everything and then follow the on-screen instructions.

The above steps assume your Roku is still responsive and gives you the option of using the on-screen menus. If it doesn’t, switch to plan B by using the physical reset button on your device.

The four kinds of Roku factory reset buttons

On some Roku products, like the Roku Streaming Stick and Streaming Stick+, the reset button can be pushed with your finger. On set-top devices like the Roku Ultra, it’s usually a recessed button that requires a paperclip or other small, pointed object to press.

Once you’ve found it, make sure your Roku device is powered on, then press and hold the reset button firmly for about 10 seconds. The indicator light will blink rapidly on most Roku devices when the factory reset is complete.

Roku remote control problems

Roku devices come with two different kinds of remote controls. One kind is an infrared (IR) remote and the other is an enhanced “point-anywhere” remote. Before you try to fix problems with your Roku remote, you should figure out which one you have.

How to tell what kind of Roku remote you have

Remove the battery cover from the back of the remote. Just below where the batteries sit, you may find a small button. If you do, you’ve got an enhanced “point-anywhere” remote. If you don’t, yours is an IR remote.

Alternatively, you can always try downloading the Roku Remote app from theiOS orGoogle Play store. The app allows your phone to function as a Roku remote and might provide a solution if your remote is damaged beyond repair.

For IR remotes

IR remotes need to be able to “see” the Roku device they control. Almost all problems with IR remotes stem from the remote not having a direct line-of-sight to your Roku device. Most of the time, IR signals can bounce off walls and ceilings to reach their target, but even then, if your Roku device is stuck behind another object, those IR signals won’t make it.

Incorrect placement for Roku devices with IR remotes

When seated wherever you normally watch TV, if you can see the entire front side of your Roku device, you should be fine. If you can’t, move the Roku until you can. Never place a Roku device that uses an IR remote behind your TV or inside a cabinet.

The remote’s batteries also can be a problem. If the remote works well sometimes, but not all the time, try pulling the batteries out and replacing them. That might fix a problem with a poor connection.

Weak IR signals can be another problem. Think of an IR remote as a flashlight that shines a light that you can’t see. If the batteries are old, that light will be too weak. If the batteries are really depleted, the remote might not respond to button presses at all. Try replacing the batteries with new ones.

For enhanced “point-anywhere” remotes

Roku Ultra 2019 remote.

These remotes are a bit more sophisticated, so there are several ways to troubleshoot their operation. The first step is to try the same battery tricks as above — remove and replace them, or simply install new ones.

If this doesn’t help, the next step is to restart both the Roku device and the remote:

  • Remove the power cable from the Roku device.
  • Remove the batteries from the remote.
  • Plug the Roku device back in, and wait for it to finish booting up — you should see the home screen.
  • Reinsert the batteries into the remote and wait about 30 seconds. The remote should now respond to button presses.

If the restart procedure doesn’t fix your problem, you may need to pair the remote again to your Roku:

  • Remove the power cable from the Roku device.
  • Remove the batteries from the remote.
  • Plug the Roku device back in, and wait for it to finish booting up — you should see the home screen.
  • Reinsert the batteries into the remote, but don’t replace the battery cover yet.
  • Press and hold the pairing button inside the battery compartment of the remote for three seconds or until you see the pairing light on the remote begin to flash. Depending on your remote, the pairing light might be beside the pairing button, or on the top surface of the remote, near the bottom end. If the light does not flash, try again. If the light still does not flash, try replacing the batteries.
  • Wait for 30 seconds while the remote establishes a connection with your Roku device.
  • You should then see the remote pairing dialog on your TV screen.

In rare instances, wireless signal interference can cause problems with enhanced remotes. If you own a Roku Streaming Stick or Streaming Stick+ and they’re plugged into an HDMI port on the rear panel of your TV, an HDMI extender cable could help move the Stick away from the main body of the TV, thereby reducing any interference the TV could be causing. If you own a Roku Streaming Stick, Roku will send you one of these cables for free.

It’s also possible that there’s simply too much congestion on the 2.4GHz frequency used by the remote to communicate with the Roku. One way to solve that problem is to switch your Wi-Fi router to a different wireless channel. Another solution is to switch your Roku to your router’s 5GHz network if it has one.

Roku Wi-Fi problems

Wi Fi router on a table.

If you’re experiencing degraded video or audio quality, overall slowness of your Roku when responding to commands, or you see “not connected” in the top right corner of your home screen, you’re probably dealing with Wi-Fi issues. Checking Wi-Fi signal strength is the best place to start. Check the status of your Internet connection strength by going to Settings > Network. Assuming you’re actually connected to Wi-Fi, the signal strength will be listed as Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor. If it’s Fair or Poor, you should try to improve it.

Obviously, relocating your TV won’t be an option very often, but you might still benefit from relocating the Roku itself. Try repositioning it and see if it helps. Roku Sticks are harder to reposition because they’re usually plugged right into the TV, but an HDMI extender cable can give you the extra play you need to reposition them.

If your Roku device has an Ethernet port and you’re able to connect it to an Ethernet cable, this is an easy way to test if it’s your Wi-Fi that’s at fault.

A “not connected” message on the home screen indicates that you’re either completely outside of your Wi-Fi network’s range, or you’ve entered the wrong Wi-Fi password for your router. If your phone, tablet, or laptop is connected via Wi-Fi — in the same general location as your Roku — that suggests a problem with the password. Check your Roku’s network settings and try again.

If you see Roku error code 009, it means that your Roku is successfully connected to your router, but it can’t reach the Internet. If your other Wi-Fi devices are operating normally, restart your Roku. If the other devices can’t connect either, try rebooting your modem and router, and then restart your devices. If this fails, you should contact your Internet service provider.

If moving your Roku is out of the question, consider moving your Wi-Fi router, or adjusting its external antennas if it has any. Even small changes to your router can have a big impact on how wireless signals move around your house. If you’ve noticed Wi-Fi troubles with one or more devices in your home (other than your Roku), it may be worth it to upgrade to a new router altogether. If your home is on the bigger side, or there are many walls and floors between your entertainment devices and your router, a mesh system may be your best bet. With a mesh network, your main router will broadcast to a series of smaller “nodes” throughout your home. Instead of struggling to pair with the main router, a device like a Roku will have a much easier time connecting to one of your new network’s satellite nodes.

Roku audio problems

Roku smart soundbar credenza.

Audio problems on the Roku, like no audio, distorted audio, or audio dropouts, can be caused by software settings or problems with your hardware and/or cables depending on the complexity of your setup.

Before trying any of the following solutions, we suggest you first turn off your Roku and connected devices, unplug the power, wait 10 seconds and then plug it back in and power your gear on again. It sounds silly, but you’d be amazed how many problems — including audio problems — this can fix.

No audio at all? Check your connections and selected inputs

(If your Roku is a stick-style device connected directly to your TV, you can skip this section.)

  • Check to make sure your HDMI, optical, or component cables are securely inserted into your Roku on the one end, and your A/V receiver, HDMI switcher, or soundbar, on the other end.
  • Make sure all of your components are powered on.
  • Check that you’ve selected the correct input on your A/V receiver, HDMI switcher, or soundbar.
  • Check to see if your audio component’s mute function is on (if it is, turn it off).
  • Adjust the volume level on your audio component higher and lower to see if this makes any difference.

Still no audio? Check your Roku’s audio settings

If your Roku is connected to an A/V receiver or soundbar using an optical (TOSLink) cable, try the following:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Scroll up or down and select Settings.
  • Select Audio.
  • Set HDMI and S/PDIF to Dolby D (Dolby Digital).

If your Roku is connected to an A/V receiver, soundbar, or TV via HDMI, try the following:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Scroll up or down and select Settings.
  • Select Audio.
  • Set Audio mode to Stereo.
  • Set HDMI to PCM-Stereo.

Still no audio? Swap your cables

It’s fairly rare, but on occasion, your HDMI, optical, or component cables can be faulty. If none of the steps so far have helped, try switching out your cable(s) with another set. This can be frustrating if you don’t have an extra set handy, but the good news is that all three types are inexpensive and you can find them at your local retailer or online.

Selective audio

Sometimes, you’ll hear audio on some kinds of content but not others. This is usually a compatibility problem with the audio format(s) you’re trying to play and the audio format(s) your connected gear can support. If this happens, try the same procedure as above for HDMI devices and if you’re using an optical (TOSLink) cable, set HDMI and S/PDIF to PCM-Stereo.

You’re expecting surround sound but you’re only getting stereo

Normally your Roku can determine the capabilities of your TV, A/V receiver, or soundbar automatically, but sometimes it needs help. If you’re watching surround sound content that’s presented in Dolby 5.1 or Dolby Atmos, but you can only hear stereo sound:

  • Press Home on your remote control.
  • Scroll up or down to Settings.
  • Select Audio.
  • Your HDMI (or HDMI and S/PDIF on Roku players with an optical connector) will likely be set to Auto Detect. Choose the option that matches the capabilities of your TV, A/V receiver, or soundbar.
  • Channels can have their own discrete audio settings. For example, Netflix may require you to select English (5.1) under Audio and Subtitles.

Garbled or distorted audio

We’ve seen reports, specifically related to the Roku Ultra, but possibly on other models as well, of garbled or distorted audio. A fix that seems to work in this instance, is to begin playback of the desired video, then:

  • Press the Star or Asterisk (*) button.
  • Scroll to Volume Mode.
  • Select OFF by scrolling right.

Audio and video are out of sync

Some users have reported that their audio and video lose sync while playing content. Though somewhat counterintuitive, a fix that seems to work involves tweaking the video refresh properties:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Scroll up or down and select Settings.
  • Select System and then select Advanced system settings.
  • Select Advanced display settings.
  • Select Auto-adjust display refresh rate and choose Disabled.

Keep in mind that while this has been known to fix audio sync issues, it can also introduce some unwanted video problems like image jerkiness. If this happens, switch Auto-adjust back to Enabled.

Roku video problems

Roku Express in a person's hands.

Problems involving video quality like buffering, stuttering, or degraded detail can usually be traced back to your network connection. Before moving on, see our section on Wi-Fi problems. If your Wi-Fi connection is stable, it’s possible that your internet plan doesn’t provide sufficient bandwidth for the content you’re trying to stream.

Roku recommends a minimum download speed of 3.0 Mbps for standard definition and up to 9.0 Mbps for HD content. 4K HDR content may require up to 25 Mbps. You can check your actual download speed here.

If your plan provides the necessary speed for the content you’re trying to watch, check to see if anyone else in your home is using high bandwidth applications on your other devices. You may also want to check your router’s administration settings to see if there are any unknown devices using your connection.

Manually adjust your bit rate

If you’ve tried everything to solve your buffering problems and are ready to throw in the towel, here’s one more trick that might help.

Normally your Roku will choose the best bit rate to use automatically — one that matches your network connection speed — but on rare occasions, setting this manually needs to happen. You do this through a hidden settings screen:

  • On your Roku remote, press Home five times.
  • Press reverse scan three times.
  • Press forward scan twice.
  • From the Bit Rate Override screen that is displayed, select Manual selection.
  • Select a lower bit rate and see if that solves the problem. If not, repeat this sequence and choose a lower bit rate.

Roku HDMI problems

HDMI ARC port on back of a TV.

Another common Roku problem relates to the use of HDMI cables. When two or more devices connect via HDMI, they must establish a “handshake.” Generally speaking, once established, that handshake continues to govern the connection without issue. However, now and then the handshake doesn’t happen when the devices connect, or the handshake gets interrupted.

When this happens, it can cause a variety of problems from black screens to flashing video, to HDCP error messages. As with many problems, a reliable fix is to power everything down, remove and reinsert the HDMI cable ends into each device, and then restart.

HDCP errors

Roku HDCP Error message.

HDCP errors that aren’t resolved this way may be a symptom of a different problem. HDCP stands for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, and it’s a way of preventing people from copying movies and shows that they stream on devices like a Roku. But unless each device in your HDMI chain supports the same level of HDCP, the video signal can’t get through and you’ll see an HDCP error.

For instance, if you’re using a Roku Streaming Stick+ or a Roku Ultra to stream 4K content from Netflix, all of your devices must support HDCP 2.2. But if you have any older A/V receiver or soundbar between your Roku player and your 4K TV, it may not be HDCP 2.2 compatible.

To test to see if this is the problem, try connecting your Roku directly to your TV. If the problem goes away, that’s a good sign your middle device isn’t HDCP 2.2-compliant. Your choice at this point is to stick to non-4K content (only 4K requires HDCP 2.2), find a way to bypass your A/V receiver or soundbar for video (perhaps by using the HDMI ARC connection on your TV), or upgrade that middle device.

Replacing cables

Though a rare Roku issue, occasionally the HDMI cables themselves are the problem. If you’re seeing flashing video, or no video at all — or perhaps video with “sparkles” — these can all indicate potentially faulty cables. Before buying new cables, try swapping your Roku’s HDMI cable with any other HDMI cable you have, as a test. It’s very unlikely that two of your cables have problems, so if one works, you know you should replace the one that doesn’t.

There is one situation where you may need to replace a perfectly good HDMI cable. 4K HDR signals use a lot of bandwidth — much more than HD. Older HDMI cables might lack the necessary bandwidth to carry all of that data reliably between devices, especially over longer distances like 10 feet or more.

If you suspect this applies to your situation, you probably need to buy a new Premium High-Speed HDMI cable. But don’t worry — they’re relatively inexpensive and you can buy them almost anywhere. Check out our full HDMI cable buying guide.

Roku hardware problems

Roku overheating message.

Roku devices are usually highly dependable, but here are two situations where the hardware itself can experience problems.


If your Roku device sits on top of other equipment or is located in a poorly ventilated space, it can overheat. If this happens, you’ll see an on-screen warning message appear in the top right corner of your screen. Some Roku devices like the Ultra and Roku Express also have a front LED that will turn solid red when they overheat.

If your device overheats, immediately turn it off, unplug the power and disconnect all cables. Wait at least 10 minutes before reconnecting it and powering it back up. If you see the solid red light or warning message again, repeat this process. If it still happens, you should contact Roku Support, as it may indicate a more serious problem with your device.

Insufficient power

Roku Express 2019 with remote.

If your Roku device is powered by USB — e.g., Streaming Sticks and Roku Express — there’s a possibility it’s not getting enough power. This usually happens when people plug their USB power cable into an available USB port on their TV or their A/V receiver. Unfortunately, not all USB ports deliver the same amount of power, and some aren’t intended to supply power at all.

The best way to solve the “insufficient power” on-screen warning (or flashing red LED on the front of Roku Express or Express+) is to plug the USB cable into the USB power adapter that shipped with your device. This adapter is designed to deliver the correct amount of power your Roku needs. If, after switching to the included adapter, you still get the insufficient power warning, you should try plugging the adapter into a different power outlet. If you’re using a power strip or an extension cord, try plugging the adapter straight into a wall socket.

Roku app problems

Roku App No Device Found screen.

The Roku app for iOS and Android is a must-have add-on for your phone. It can act as a replacement remote control, plus you can add/remove channels, use the private listening function, and cast videos and photos from your phone to your TV.

But none of those things will work if the app can’t find your Roku device.

Your Wi-Fi network is likely at the heart of the problem, so before moving on, consult the Wi-Fi problems section. If that doesn’t help, here are a few things you can try.

Make sure your phone and Roku are on the same network

Some Wi-Fi routers let you create a guest network that is physically separated from your normal Wi-Fi network. It’s possible that your phone or your Roku are using these two different networks. If so, they won’t see each other. Make sure both devices are using the exact same Wi-Fi network.

Most Wi-Fi routers create two separate networks for each Wi-Fi frequency band (2.4GHz and 5GHz). Though technically it shouldn’t matter if your phone and Roku are using different frequencies (both bands share the same subnet on your router so devices can talk to one another), to be absolutely sure, place both your phone and your Roku on the same Wi-Fi frequency band.

Check your Roku’s network access

It’s possible that network access to your Roku has been disabled. Here’s how to check and correct:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Select Settings then System followed by Advanced system settings.
  • Select External Control and then Network Access.
  • Make sure Default or Permissive is selected.
  • “Default” should work, but if not, try “Permissive.”

Still can’t find your device? Try connecting manually

  • Inside the Roku app, at the bottom of the device discovery screen (or within the three-dots menu), tap Connect Manually and enter the IP address of your Roku device. You can find the IP address by visiting Settings > Network > About on your Roku device.
  • Restart your Roku device and ensure it is connected to the correct wireless network.
  • Restart the Roku mobile app.
    • On iOS devices with a home button, double click the Home button and then swipe the Roku app to close it. Once it’s closed, tap on the Roku app icon to launch.
    • On iOS devices without a home button, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and slide your thumb or finger to the right in one continuous motion. Swipe through the list of open apps until you find the Roku app and then swipe up on the app to close it. Once it’s closed, tap on the Roku app icon to relaunch.
    • On Android devices, press the Recents button and then swipe the Roku app to close it. Once it’s closed, tap on the Roku app icon to relaunch

Alternative devices

If you’re still experiencing issues with your Roku and want to give other gear a spin, here’s a short list of some competitive streaming devices, along with noted perks.

  • Apple TV 4K — With 4K streaming, Airplay mirroring, iCloud syncing between your iOS devices, and plenty of apps, the Apple TV is a solid bet for media streaming (especially for Apple fans).
  • Amazon Fire TV —  Are you a fan of all things Alexa? The Amazon Fire TV offers Alexa-powered voice controls, along with plenty of apps and skills to make your smart TV experience smarter than ever before.
  • Chromecast with Google TV — There’s a lot to love about Google’s latest Chromecast. Enjoy app-casting from a phone or tablet, along with a customized home screen with movies, shows, and other content recommended just for you. At $49, the Chromecast is a hard deal to beat.

For more on smart streaming devices, check outour full guide to cutting the cord.

Editors' Recommendations


Fix sound issues

If you're having audio troubles with HBO Max, try the following:

Play another show or movie

Try playing a different show or movie to see if you have sound issues with another show or movie. If the sound problem is limited to a particular show or movie, please let us know using our Feedback form.

Dolby Atmos

Warner Bros. 2021 movies are available to stream in 4K with Dolby Atmos on select devices. Learn more at Watch in 4K HDR.

Sound issues with multiple shows or movies?

Choose the device you're using and try the troubleshooting steps:

If you're experiencing low volume or no sound, please try the following:

  • Turn up the volume using the volume up button on your phone or tablet.
  • Plug in headphones to see if there's sound.
  • Try turning off Bluetooth on your device to make sure your device isn't sending audio to a Bluetooth accessory (in Settings on your Android or iOS device).
  • Make sure the Do Not Disturb option is not enabled on your device.

If you're having audio troubles when streaming at, try the following steps:

  • Check the volume control in HBO Max and on your computer to make sure they're not muted or set low.
  • If you're using external speakers, check your speaker cables and the volume control.
  • Update your browser to the latest version. To find out how to do this, search the Internet for 'How to update + name of your browser' (e.g. How to update Chrome browser).
  • Try using another supported browser.

HBO Max with Dolby Digital Plus audio is available on the following devices:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Google Chromecast Ultra
  • LG Smart TV
  • Roku
  • Samsung TV (models that support Dolby Digital Plus)
  • VIZIO Smart TV
  • Xbox console

Things to try

Sound issues may be due to your setup, audio settings, or your network connection. Here are some things to try:

  • Update your version of the HBO Max app. To do this, see Step 1 on the Troubleshoot TV page.
  • Unplug your streaming media player (e.g. Apple TV), wait a minute, and plug it back in again.
  • If you're using an audio-video receiver, make sure your speakers are properly connected to your receiver.
  • Make sure the volume on your TV is not low or muted.
  • Try playing another show or movie to see if the issue is limited to a specific show or movie. If a show or movie is available in Dolby Digital, you'll see 5.1 in the description.
  • Disconnect and reconnect both ends of your HDMI cable.
  • Try reversing the ends of your HDMI/optical cable or using a different cable.
  • Try using another HDMI port on your TV.

Here's some additional device info:

Apple TV

By default, Apple TV uses the best audio format available. If surround sound isn't working, try changing the audio format to Dolby Digital 5.1. To do this, on your Apple TV go to Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Format and turn on Change Format. Here you can choose Dolby Digital 5.1 (instead of Use Best Available).

If changing the audio format to Dolby Digital 5.1 doesn't help, try changing the Audio Format to Stereo. To learn more about audio settings, go to Apple's Play audio in Dolby Atmos or surround sound article.


  • First, make sure your software is up to date by pressing the Home button on your Roku remote, then go to Settings > System > System Update > Check now.
  • Next, try switching the audio on your Roku to stereo. Press the Home button on your Roku remote, then go to Settings > Audio > Audio Mode > Stereo.

For more help, go to Roku's Surround sound article.

Xbox console

Go to Settings > Display & Sound, then scroll to the right and select HDMI audio. Set HDMI audio to 5.1 uncompressed, then select Bitstream Format and set it to Dolby Digital.

Try stereo sound

If you're still experiencing audio issues, try switching the audio setting on your device to stereo sound. For example, on Amazon Fire TV go to Settings > Display & Sounds > Audio > Dolby Digital Output and then choose Dolby Digital Plus OFF.

HDCP error

If you're getting an HDCP error, try bypassing your receiver or stereo equipment by connecting your streaming device directly to your TV. Learn more.

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How to use Roku's private listening feature to get your TV sound through your phone

(Pocket-lint) - We've all been in that situation: you want to watch something loud on TV and your housemate or partner doesn't want to listen to all that noise. That either means you have to watch on your phone, or have to turn the volume down and spoil your enjoyment. 

Fortunately, Roku's private listening feature comes to the rescue, letting you divert the audio from your Roku connected to your TV, through to your phone, meaning you can listen through headphones simply and easily.

Here's how to get it working. 

How to use Roku private listening

First of all, the feature depends on your using the Roku app on your phone (Android, iOS), so you'll have to download and install that on your device. 

Now you're ready to get connected.

  1. Make sure your Roku device and your smartphone are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Open the Roku app on your phone and tap "remote" at the bottom.
  3. The Roku app will search for Roku devices on your network so you can select the model you want to connect to.
  4. Once you're connected to your Roku, you'll get remote control of that device via the smartphone app. The device name will be at the top of the display.
  5. Tap the headphone icon at the bottom of the page to turn on private listening, and tap ok when prompted.
  6. Your Roku will confirm private listening on your TV and the icon in the app will also change.

When you select something to play on your Roku, the audio will now come through your phone, instead of the TV.


Other things to consider 

Once you're connected, you can use whatever headphones you like with your smartphone. That might be wired, or you can use your Bluetooth headset - as long as it's connected to your phone's audio, you'll be able to hear your TV. 

You can continue to control your Roku using the Roku app on your phone, or you can use the regular Roku remote as you normally would, it makes no difference. Just remember, to increase the volume, you'll need to turn up the volume on your phone, rather than on the TV. 


Roku private listening performance and troubleshooting

There's a lot going on with Roku's private listening system, separating the audio and getting it to play in sync on a different device is quite a feat, but it works surprisingly well. On most occasions we've had no trouble connecting and been happy with the audio quality that we've got meaning that we can, for example, watch an action film in bed while someone else is sleeping. 

However, there are things that can cause this system to fail. Poor Wi-Fi connections is one thing. Roku devices generally have very strong Wi-Fi connections, but not all smartphones do, so that's the first thing to check if it's not working. If your phone drops Wi-Fi, the audio will return to the TV.

If you can't get it to work, we'd recommend trying a different phone - perhaps someone else living in your household to see if it's down to an individual phone that's causing the problem.

Additionally, you might find some interference - again, we'd recommend trying a different phone first and foremost, as well as trying wired headphones rather than wireless just to ensure that's not causing your problem.

If everything is out of sync (but you can hear the audio) then that might be a fault within your Roku device, which can happen from time to time. In this case, the best thing to do is to restart the Roku device from within the settings menu. After a reboot, you'll usually find that the audio is back in sync.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on .

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UPDATED 2020 - 7 Step Guide How To Fix All Roku Player Issues and Problems Troubleshooting Guide

The Roku app is a secret weapon for cord-cutters

Although Roku’s streaming platform is simple and dependable, it’s not the most exciting.

Other platforms, such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV have leapfrogged ahead in making content easier to find, providing universal guides and watchlists that work across numerous streaming services. While Roku does offer a universal search function, its TV interface is mostly content with shunting you off to individual apps or funneling you into the Roku Channel, where the company can better-monetize your eyeballs through advertising.

That’s why Roku’s recently updated mobile app is so interesting. Unlike the menu system on Roku’s streaming players and smart TVs, it offers several ways to find new things to watch, along with a “Save List” for easier access to the shows you’re already watching. The app is also full of features that make the viewing experience more pleasant.

If you’re not yet using the Roku app for iOS or Android, here’s what it can do for you, beyond the basics of just replicating your physical remote:

Browse by genre

rokugenresJared Newman / IDG

Tap the search button at the top of the app, and you’ll see a list of genres to browse through. (You’ll also find a row of these genres further down the homepage.) Within each genre page, you’ll find new releases, content that’s included with your subscriptions, and ad-supported movies and shows you can watch for free.

While these pages are also available directly on your Roku, the only way to find them is by searching for each genre specifically. Having everything laid out in one place makes for a great starting point if you’re feeling indecisive.

Create a “Save List”

rokusavelistJared Newman / IDG

While the My Feed feature on Roku players falls into disrepair, Roku has started building a replacement called the “Save List” into its mobile app. This allows you to build a watchlist of movies and shows from across different streaming services, just like you can on most other streaming platforms.

To add an item to your Save List, select a program from your home screen, then hit “Add to save list.” You’ll then find these saved items in the app’s Remote tab by hitting the “Save List” icon at the bottom.

Removing an item from the Save List is a little trickier: Tap on it in the Remote tab, then hit “See details.” On the listing page, you can counterintuitively hit “Added to save list” to remove it.

Launch shows directly

rokuapplaunchJared Newman / IDG

While using Roku’s mobile app, you can launch movies and shows on your TV without having to navigate through your apps first. Once you’ve found a show through the search bar, genre pages, or Save List, hit “View Options” to see where it’s available to stream. Selecting one of those options will begin playback in the corresponding app on your television.

A note about Netflix: Unfortunately, you can’t use the Roku app to find, save, or launch programs from Netflix, presumably due to Netflix’s weird aversion to universal streaming guides. The Reelgood app for iOS and Android does provide a workaround, letting you launch shows on your Roku from Netflix and more, though it lacks some of the extra features found in Roku’s app, and its built-in remote is a bit less responsive.

Fix Bluetooth headphone lag

rokuadjustaudioJared Newman / IDG

Pairing a set of Bluetooth headphones to Roku’s app for private listening is neat, but it can also lead to audio lag. Now, you can fine-tune the latency levels to compensate.

First, make sure your Roku device is running Roku OS 10.5 by checking under Settings > System > System Update. If it’s still on an earlier version, you’ll need to wait. You’ll also need an iPhone, for now, as this feature isn’t launching on Android until October 15.

Now, head to the remote tab of the Roku app, hit the gear icon at the top, then select “Adjust audio delay.” Grant camera access to the Roku app, then point your phone at the TV and follow the prompts to sync the audio and video.

This auto-sync tool was buggy for me, crashing my Roku Ultra twice and failing to produce a noticeable improvement. Fortunately, Roku also offers a manual sync option, which you’ll find by returning to the “Adjust audio delay” menu. Select “Advanced adjustments,” then increase the slider until the lag is gone.

Switch soundbar volume modes

rokusoundsettingsJared Newman / IDG

If you have a Roku Smart Soundbar, Streambar, or Streambar Pro, you can now adjust equalization and volume modes through the mobile app. This is especially useful if you have cable boxes, game consoles, or other inputs hooked up to the TV, as you can use the mobile app instead of switching back to the Roku input just to make audio tweaks.

To find these options, head to the Remote tab, hit the gear icon at the top, then select “Sound Settings.” (As above, you’ll need Roku OS 10.5 for this feature; again, that won’t be available on Android phones until October 15.)

Enter text with ease

rokukeysJared Newman / IDG

When you’re trying to enter text on the TV, tap the keyboard icon inside the Roku app’s Remote tab. This brings up an on-screen keyboard that’s much faster than thumbing through letters with your TV remote.

Find your lost remote

rokupingremoteJared Newman / IDG

If you have a Roku Ultra or the Roku Voice Remote Pro, you can activate the remote finder function through the mobile app. Under the Devices tab, hit the “...” menu button next to your Roku and select “Ping Remote.” Then, listen for the sound coming from your remote.

Manage your channels

rokuremoveappsJared Newman / IDG

Deal with your Roku’s cluttered channel menu by uninstalling apps from your TV using the mobile app. Under the Devices tab, find your Roku and select “Channels.” Long-press any app to bring up a menu where you can launch, rate, or remove the channel. (Sadly, you can’t rearrange your apps from here, which seems like a missed opportunity.)

From this same Channels menu, you can also add new apps to your Roku. Just hit the “Channel Store” tab to browse for new apps, or use the search bar under the Home tab.

Get a little more privacy

rokudonotsellJared Newman / IDG

One other nice benefit of Roku’s mobile app: It provides easy access to Roku’s “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” toggle, which limits data sharing with third parties under the California Consumer Privacy Act. Even if you don’t live in the Golden State, you’ll find this setting by tapping the profile icon on the home screen, then hitting “Do Not Sell My Personal Information.” Turn the toggle to the on position to affirm that you don’t want your data shared. (You can also control this setting online, and exercise similar rights for other streaming services.)

To get even more out of your Roku player—with or without the mobile app—check out more tips here.

Sign up for Jared’s Cord Cutter Weekly newsletter to get this column and other cord-cutting news, insights, and deals delivered to your inbox.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Jared Newman covers personal technology from his remote Cincinnati outpost. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for help with ditching cable or satellite TV.


Headphones roku out app cutting

Common Issues With Private Listening And How To Fix Them On Roku

Private Listening is one of the most sought after features in Roku that allows you to enjoy your favorite shows while privately listening to the audio using headphones. That way, you won’t be disturbing others. Plus, you can play the videos as loud as you want. The Private Listening feature was launched with the arrival of Roku OS 8 and it is now available on select Roku devices.


Private Listening is a great feature that lets you enjoy your favorite shows without disturbing others. But there are several issues that you may face while accessing this feature on your Roku device. In this blog, we have described some common issues that you may face on Roku while using this feature. So let’s get started!


When the headphone icon doesn’t show up in the mobile app: If that happens while you are accessing the feature through the mobile app, it is usually because your app is outdated. Update your Roku mobile app immediately and then try again.


Video disrupts while activating the feature: It may happen when you connect the headphone or try to activate the Private Listening feature while the video is still playing. When you do that, the video stops and restarts frequently as it is synchronized with the audio in your headphones. To avoid this from happening, activate the private listening only after successfully inserting the headphones.


When the audio is out of sync: This may be due to network problems. The system attempts to fix this by its own. So wait for a few seconds and see if that makes any difference. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to troubleshoot.


If there’s no audio at all: Check if the volume of your remote or mobile devices is muted or is very low. If that doesn’t work, try removing and reinserting the headphones. Also, the problem may also be with your headphones. Try using them on another device and with that be the case, you’re gonna have to buy new ones.


How To Fix The Network Problems?

When you are having issues with the audio or video while using Private Listening, it might be because of the network issues.


  • Unplug the power source.
  • Turn off the router. Remove the power cable from the router. Wait for 10 seconds, then plug it in again.
  • Turn ‘on’ the router and wait for a few minutes while it re-establishes the internet connection.

Roku App Headphones Not Working

Listing Results Roku App Headphones Not Working

Bluetooth headphone not working with Roku app Roku …

3 hours ago Bluetooth headphone not working with Roku app. I am having a very similar issue Roku Premier app on Android LG V6 running Android verion 9 Software version VS98830a and playing through bluetooth headphones LG Tone pro model LG-HBS-780-V1. Don't experience the issues when streaming directly through phone, multiple different services.

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5 hours ago My husband has a headset that he got from Radio Shack. It works well with out Toshiba TV but when he uses the ROKU to watch movies, etc. the headset does not work. We have tried connecting several ways and nothing seems to work. He cannot hear without the headphone. It is a wireless headphone. Thanks, Yvonne

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Headphones (using Roku Remote App on iPhone 8) con

3 hours agoHeadphones (using Roku Remote App on iPhone 8) constantly being sound delayed. I have a Tribit headphones and I use it when watching tv many times. I pair it to my phone, the app then recognizes and connects, and bum, I'm enjoying watching tv with bluetooth headphones. But, ALWAYS, after a while, the sounds become delayed, starts with half a

Estimated Reading Time: 50 secs

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Headphone option not appearing on app Roku Community

5 hours ago I have looked at this topic post already and the response was a link to the relevant page outlining issues. I have checked all of these issues and I can’t find out why the headphone option isn't appearing in my app for my roku 3. please could someone let me know. I’m on the same network, up to da


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How to Play Roku Through Headphones

8 hours agoRoku and Headphones. Clearly, using Roku with headphones is possible. Roku app is always a more convenient idea than using the headphone jack on Roku Ultra, but if you want to conserve your phone’s or tablet’s battery the headphone jack on the Roku remote is a solid alternative.

Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins

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Private Listening turned on, no headphone jack on Roku TV

7 hours ago Private Listening turned on, no headphone jack on Roku TV remote. I have an Insignia Roku TV model 7301X. I was watching Disney+, with the remote sitting on my end table and I got an icon that popped up, looked like headphones, and I couldn't hear anything. So I went to Help support and saw a video for private Listening.

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Roku Mobile App Help & Troubleshooting Roku Community

6 hours agoRoku Mobile App/ screensaver not working correctly. by juliemtyler74 on ‎07-13-2021 10:05 AM Latest post a month ago by Seiles. 1 Reply 445 Views. 1.


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The Most Common Roku Problems and How to Fix Them

4 hours ago The Roku app for iOS and Android is a must-have add-on for your phone. It can act as a replacement remote control, plus you can add/remove channels, use the private listening function, and cast

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Roku iPhone App Private Listening No Sound Roku Community

Just NowiPhone 12. The Roku Mobile App updated to 8.0.0 and iOS updated to 15.0.1. Since then, I have not been able to use private listening via the Roku Mobile App. Prior to this it had been working fine for years. When I tap the headphones (private …


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Roku App Private Listening not working : Roku

5 hours ago I have a roku 3. I'm using the latest iOS roku app version I plug my roku in ear headphones into my iPhone SE running iOS 9.3.3 and use the app to play a video on the roku 3. No headphone icon on the app. I stop the video. Unplug. Replug them in. No headphone jack. I close the app. Restart it. Nothing. Disconnect from the mobile network.

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‎Roku Official Remote Control on the App Store

Just Now Use the free Roku® mobile app to: • Control your Roku devices with a convenient remote. • Use your voice or keyboard to quickly search for entertainment. • Enjoy private listening with headphones. • Stream free movies, live TV, and more on the go with The Roku Channel. • Cast media files from your phone, like videos and photos, to

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2 hours ago To activate private listening, open the Roku mobile app on your phone or tablet and plug in your headphones. Adjust the volume to a comfortable level and put on your headphones. When you want to disable private listening, unplug your headphones. You can also activate (and disable) private listening by tapping the headphone icon on the remote

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How to use Roku private listening: Get TV audio on your phone

4 hours agoRoku devices generally have very strong Wi-Fi connections, but not all smartphones do, so that's the first thing to check if it's not working. If your phone drops Wi-Fi, the audio will return to

Email:[email protected]

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Common Issues With Private Listening And How To Fix Them

6 hours ago Update your Roku mobile app immediately and then try again. Video disrupts while activating the feature: It may happen when you connect the headphone or try to activate the Private Listening feature while the video is still playing. When you do that, the video stops and restarts frequently as it is synchronized with the audio in your headphones.

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Roku remote app that allows the headphone feature? : Roku

6 hours agoRoku remote app that allows the headphone feature? I have roommates that sleep early and would like to watch the roku and use headphones like the roku 3 remote has. How come they didn't incorporate this into their iphone app or am i just missing it?

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How to Listen to Your Roku’s Audio on Headphones and

1 hours ago Just plug in your headphone jack. You’ll see a volume icon on the right side of the screen, like this: You’ll also hear the audio in your headphones, but not the speakers. Press the volume buttons on the side of the remote in this order: That’s Up twice, Down twice, Up three times, down three times. This secret code will allow your Roku

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How to fix a Roku remote that's not working Tom's Guide

6 hours ago More importantly for the purposes of this article, you can use your phone as a remote control with this app. Simply install the Roku app for iOS or Android, connect your phone to the same wireless

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Private Listening cutting out? : Roku

6 hours ago When I try to use private listening through my phone, the sound cuts out for a few seconds every few minutes, and often makes high pitched electronic sounds. Ive tried multiple apps, and two pairs of headphones, and the problem still persists. …

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Mobile app private listening removed from Roku 3/4, remote

5 hours ago I remember that the Roku iPhone app had allowed private listening with our Roku 3/4's, so we could use our Bluetooth headphones in addition to wired headphones. But it no longer works. According to this PDF chart, private listening via the mobile app now only works with the Streaming Stick, Roku TV's, and the new Express/Premiere/Ultra boxes.

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How To Setup Roku Remote App on Phone Turn YouTube

3 hours agoRoku TV How To Connect Phone IPhone - How To Setup Roku Remote App on Phone - Easy Step by Step Guide Tutorial Turn Phone Into Roku Remote - Roku Remote Not

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Official Roku Support

7 hours agoOfficial Roku Support - Get help with setup & troubleshooting, find answers to account & billing questions, and learn how to use your Roku device.

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How to Listen to Roku TV With Your Headphones Digital Trends

1 hours ago If you’re using Bluetooth headphones, make sure they’re paired to your phone or tablet. On the Remote screen in the Roku app, you should see a Headphones button. This is the toggle on/off for

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5 hours agoRoku provides the simplest way to stream entertainment to your TV. On your terms. With thousands of available channels to choose from.

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2 headphones, 2 people..ONE input on Roku remote Roku

5 hours ago The only way to get two headphones to work at the same time with Roku remotes is with a stereo Y connector connected to only one remote. When audio is active on one remote it cannot be activated on the other. Two Roku Ultras, three Roku 3s and a Roku 1. "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out

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How to use Roku TV headphone jack? : Roku

Just Now While using the smartphone Roku app connect the headphones. This automatically activates Private Listening. To turn Private Listening on/off while headphones are already connected, look at the remote screen on the app for the little headphone icon (Bottom-right).

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Official Roku Support

9 hours ago Press the Home button on your Roku remote. Scroll up or down and select Settings. Select Audio. Set Audio mode to Stereo. Set HDMI to PCM-Stereo. Note: On Roku players with an optical port, you will set HDMI and S/PDIF to PCM-Stereo. If you need help connecting to an AVR or soundbar, learn more about setting up your Roku player for surround sound.

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LOUSY Headphone Jack Design Roku Forums

5 hours agoNot one of headphone jacks on 3 different remotes worked. I get sound, but the voices stutter or pulse is the best way to describe. The voices sound like severe vibrato. No problem when using tv speakers. After the third one didn't work, I spent 45" on the phone with Roku support making me do all kinds of stupid checks. I knew it was the jack

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Roku Official Remote Control Apps on Google Play

4 hours ago Use the Roku mobile app to: • Control your Roku device as another remote. • Stream hit movies, TV shows and more on the go with The Roku Channel. • Enjoy private listening* with headphones. • Use your voice or keyboard to search for movies, shows, actors, and directors. • Cast videos, photos, and music to your TV.

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headphones & speakers Roku Forums

5 hours ago So if we are watching something via the blu-ray player, or the roku, the audio out jack on the amp does not work. The amp also has a headphone jack but when you plug into it, the speakers shut off. My last amp, the speaker would stay on and you had to hit a button on the amp if you wanted to turn the speakers off while using the headphones.

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Can Roku Support USB Headphones? : Roku

8 hours ago japzone. · 3y. Roku does not support USB audio. You'd need some kind of adapter to plug into the audio out on your TV/Monitor in order to get audio to those headphones. Another option would be to get a newer Roku that supports Private Listening via the phone app. 2. level 2. JohnnyRockets911. Op · 3y.

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The Roku app is a secret weapon for cordcutters TechHive

7 hours ago Grant camera access to the Roku app, then point your phone at the TV and follow the prompts to sync the audio and video. This auto-sync tool was buggy for me, crashing my Roku Ultra twice and

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blog.aliverson: HOWTO: Play Roku TV Audio through Apple

5 hours ago Connect (or pair) the headset to your iPhone. Make sure your iPhone and TV are both on the same wifi network. Install the "Roku" app on your iPhone. Launch the Roku app and use it to connect to your Roku TV. Click on the "private listening" button (it looks like a headset). The TV's audio will now play through your phone.

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How to Connect Roku to Bluetooth Speakers or headphones 2021

6 hours ago This works for connecting Roku bluetooth speakers and headphones as well as other devices. You can get Bluetooth on Roku and Roku TVs by using the Roku compatible app on smartphone. This allows your iPhone, Android phone, or Windows computer to be used as a Bluetooth connector between Roku TV and your Bluetooth speaker, headphones, or device.

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How to control your Roku with your phone Reviewed

6 hours ago 2. With the Roku app's private listening feature, you can listen to everything via headphones. Some Roku devices feature a remote control with a 3.5mm headphone jack, but for the ones that don't, there's another way to listen in private. With the Roku app, users can opt for private listening sessions with a pair of headphones connected directly

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5 things you didn't know you could do with a Roku

1 hours ago To play a specific piece of content (video or audio), just make sure your iPhone and the Roku are on the same WiFi connection and hit the AirPlay button on the video or audio app on the phone screen.

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How to Configure Private Listening on Your Roku Make

4 hours ago Tap the Remote option at the bottom of your screen to get to the actual Roku remote. Activate Private Listening on Your Roku. To activate Private Listening on your Roku, first verify the headphones you want to use are either plugged into the device or connected via Bluetooth.The one thing we would caution against when using Bluetooth, however, is that …

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How to Quickly Fix Bluetooth Not Working on Android Dr.Fone

4 hours ago Part 1. About Bluetooth Not Working on Android. Of course, the most common problem to occur with Bluetooth technology in your Android device is when it doesn’t connect to the device you’re trying to link it to. This could be anything from a Bluetooth headset or headphones, to a portable speaker or even an in-car audio system.

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How to Change Your Volume on Roku Alphr

1 hours ago Some Roku remotes do not work on others, such as a Samsun Roku remote won’t work on a Roku hub or even a TCL TV. Second, try reprogramming the Roku remote(s). Sometimes, the batteries drain to

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Roku Mobile App Free for iOS® or Android™ Roku Canada

7 hours ago Additionally, you can control your Roku tv with your phone using your voice: “Switch to HDMI 1” “Set a sleep timer for 60 minutes” Don’t wake the house. Adjust the volume anytime with the private listening mode on the Roku mobile app. Connect your headset to your phone and adjust the volume as you like. Up to 3 friends can join you on

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I troubleshoot my Roku?

Roku makes an app available for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch that lets you control your specific player with your Apple device. You can add and remove channels, adjust the channel setup on your Roku player's home screen and also use the virtual remote to control playback on your device.


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The couple simultaneously turned their heads at this voice. Volodya peered at the man sitting at the table for a second, and his face immediately lit up with a smile. He recognized his old school friend.

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