Few things can interrupt your Netflix party like your Roku remote disassociating itself from its streaming box. The cause and solution depends on the type of Roku remote you have. Here, we’ll show you how to get the two devices to communicate again so you can get back to streaming.
Figure out which Roku remote you have
Whether you’re setting up a new Roku device or your remote and streaming device are no longer paired, the reconnecting process will be the same.
Your first step will be to figure out what type of remote you have: a simple Roku remote or a Roku voice remote. If your remote has a microphone icon under its purple directional pad, it’s a voice remote. If not, it’s just a remote control.
Pairing a Roku Simple Remote
A simple Roku remote doesn’t have a voice search button. With this type of remote control, the first thing to do is to check that it is unpaired from your streaming box.
Simple Roku remotes need line of sight with the built-in receiver in your case, as they use infrared (IR) light to communicate with it. So if something is blocking the beam, maybe just moving it will get the remote working again.
Assuming nothing is in the way of the remote and receiver, your next step will be to remove and then reinsert the batteries from the back of the remote.
Warning: If the back of your remote is hot, do not open the cover as this could mean that your batteries are corroded. Instead, place the remote on a nonflammable surface and wait for it to cool before opening it.
If it works, then you’re ready. If not, try replacing the batteries, then point your remote at the receiver and try pressing a few test buttons. If the remote still does not work, it may be faulty and you need to order a replacement.
Point: Another way to see if your remote is working is to use the selfie camera on your smartphone and point the remote at it. Press a few buttons. If you see the light on the remote blink when you press, you’ll know it’s probably working fine and there could be a problem with your stream box instead.
Pairing a Rechargeable Voice Remote
If you have a Roku voice remote that is no longer paired, there is no need to check for line-of-sight obstructions as these remotes communicate with their streamers via a dedicated wireless signal (Wi-Fi Direct) .
If you’re setting up a Roku voice remote for the first time, an on-screen guide will walk you through the process. If, however, your voice remote is no longer associated with a system you already own, here’s what to try.
First, determine the type of battery system your remote uses, either rechargeable or standard AA or AAA.
If you have a rechargeable remote, the first step is to make sure it’s charged. To do this, connect a micro-USB cable to the charging port and plug the other end into a socket containing a USB adapter. The green status light will flash until the remote is charged, at which time it will remain stable. If the light does not flash when you plug in the remote, make sure it is not your charging cable that is at fault by trying another cable and another adapter.
Sometimes charging the remote may be enough to get it working again. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to reset the remote.
To reset the remote, make sure your TV is on and you’ve selected the port your Roku’s HDMI cable is connected to. Press and hold the pairing button located below the green status light. It should start flashing in about five seconds. Wait about 30 seconds while the remote establishes a connection with your streaming box. Once this happens, you will be guided through the re-pairing process via on-screen prompts.
Pairing a Roku Pro Voice Remote
If you’re trying to pair a Roku Voice Remote Pro in addition to the remote that came with your Roku, you’ll need to make sure the stream box is running Roku OS 9.4 or later. To do this, press the Home button on your remote, then go to Settings > System and select “System update”. Then select “Check now” and the system will search and install the latest update if necessary.
If your remote does not work and you are unable to do so, continue and try the pairing process anyway. If you have a recent enough OS version, it will work. If not, it may be useful to know that most Roku remotes are interchangeable. If you have another voice remote at home, you can try pairing it and using it on the broadcast box to download the necessary updates. Alternatively, the Roku app on your smartphone could also do the job.
Pairing a Voice Remote with Regular Batteries
If your Roku voice remote uses standard batteries, to pair it, first remove the back cover and remove the batteries. Also unplug the power cable behind your streaming box, wait five seconds, then plug it back in. Once the Roku home screen appears on your TV, put the batteries back in your remote.
Now, with the back cover of the remote still removed, press and hold the pairing button to the right of the green status light on the back of the remote and wait for it to start flashing. Follow the pairing dialog that will appear on your TV screen after about 30 seconds.
Try the Roku app on your smartphone
Whatever your Roku is, you can use the Roku mobile app for iPhone or Android to control it. If your Roku remote is broken, this may help you get by until you buy a new remote or get help from Roku support.
RELATED: Can you disable ads on the Roku home screen?