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Why Your Roku TV Remote Doesn’t Work: 5 Fixes To Try

Last Updated Mar 6, 2022

Binge-watching, an entire season of your favorite show, can be relaxing and rewarding. Millions of people worldwide unwind the same way. Unfortunately, a broken Roku remote can ruin this ambiance and throw you into a frenzy, making you wonder why your Roku TV remote doesn’t work?

There are five possible reasons your Roku TV remote may not work. The batteries may be low, the remote may need to be re-paired, you may have internet connectivity issues, the HDMI cable may not be compatible, or the TV may need to be reset completely.

Now that you know why your Roku TV remote doesn’t work and the top five fixes to remedy this issue, we will go in-depth to explain the steps you need to take to troubleshoot the problem. 

Battery Level Check

With everything being rechargeable these days, it is easy to forget if batteries need to be changed, especially if there isn’t a battery level indicator on the device, such as our phones and laptops. 

Most Roku TV remotes require batteries to operate. The two common types of batteries that the Roku TV remote uses are AA and AAA batteries. These batteries generally have a life expectancy of up to 100 user hours if they are brand new and freshly manufactured. 

Sometimes batteries are old when you unpackage them, and this can cause their user hours to shorten.

To check on your batteries, you need to do the following:

  1. Press and hold the little black tab on the back where the battery compartment is.
  2. While holding the tab, gently slide the compartment downwards.
  3. Remove the old batteries that you find in the remote. 
  4. Take fresh batteries and insert them in the remote. Be sure to pay attention that each battery matches the right positive (+) or negative (-) charge symbol when placing them.
  5. Place the cover back on.
  6. Try to use your remote with the new batteries.

If your remote is working after placing new batteries in, they were likely the culprit. Rejoice and enjoy your show.

Pairing Issues

Your Roku remote may not be working if it needs to be re-paired. Occasionally, the Roku remote may lose its signal to the TV paired with. Before re-pairing your remote, conduct a test to see if signs of this issue are the cause.

  • Ensure you can see your Roku device. If it is hidden, you may not be able to pick up the signal with your remote.
  • Walk around your space near your TV. Aim the remote at the Roku device and trigger it from different angles.

If neither option gives you the desired results, it is time to re-pair your Roku remote to your TV. Here are the steps you can follow to do so successfully:

  1. Unplug your Roku device from its power source.
  2. Wait five seconds.
  3. Plug the Roku back into its power source.
  4. Wait for your Roku device to power up. It will show up on your TV screen when it is ready.
  5. Restart your remote
  6. If your remote has standard batteries remove the batteries.
  7. If your remote is rechargeable, press and hold the pairing button located on the remote for 20 seconds. When the light turns green and begins to flash quickly, release it.
  8. If you have a remote with standard batteries, put the batteries back in.
  9. If you have a remote with rechargeable batteries, and you have already held down the pairing button and released it once, hold down the same button again for another five seconds. It should start to flash to indicate it is beginning the pairing process.
  10. If both remotes do not function after their batteries have been reinserted or reset, your remote may be at its end of life.

If the remote is at the end of its life, it’s time to buy a new Roku remote or consider a new system, like the Fire TV Cube.

A Flag For Interference

Having HD is excellent. You get crisp color and clean video all from using an HDMI cable. HDMI cables hook into the back of your TV to your Roku streaming device. This allows the beautiful image to come through in high definition. The HDMI does have a known downfall that could be the cause of your strife.

Roku states on their customer support page that an HDMI cable can cause interference with the signal that your remote uses. This means if your remote is not working, it could be because of this cable. Roku suggests buying an HDMI extender so that the Roku device can be placed farther away from the port on your television. It should clear up the interference.

When In Doubt Cast It Out

After using all of these tips and tricks, if your remote is still not functional, it may be time to buy a replacement. You can buy a replacement at any large retailer. Keep in mind newer Roku devices may require newer remotes. You can find the model it uses in your user manual or online on Roku’s website.

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