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Roku is known for being a popular streaming device service because it lets you watch what you want to, whenever you want- except for when your batteries keep dying.
In this article, we’ll explain why your Roku remote battery life keeps depleting and how you can fix it!
Table of Contents
Reasons Why a Roku Remote Drains Batteries
Around 2020, Roku remote users flocked to support forums on the company’s website, complaining that batteries only last two weeks inside their remotes.
There are many reasons why your Roku remote battery drains so fast. For many, it has to do with outdated firmware built inside the remote.
Here’s a list of all the reasons why your Roku remote batteries die so fast:
- The remote is operating with outdated firmware.
- The remote is trying to pair to the device.
- The use of weak batteries inside the remote.
- Your remote is faulty.
Different Types of Roku Remotes
Roku has two generic types of remotes:
- Roku simple remote
- Roku voice remote
It’s important to know the differences between the two and which one you have before attempting to solve the remote’s battery drainage problem.
What is the Roku Simple Remote?
The Roku simple remote is the original standard. It uses infrared light to communicate with your streaming device. You must aim your remote directly at your Roku system to work it.
Standard remotes typically have either a magnifying glass button or a purple “ok” button underneath the downward arrow.
The simple remote requires no setup besides inserting batteries.
What is the Roku Voice Remote?
Roku voice remotes utilize dedicated wireless signals to communicate with your device. You don’t have to point the remote at the Roku device to work it- it works anywhere within range, regardless of aim.
You’ll find a microphone button underneath the down arrow to distinguish whether your remote is voice-activated.
To set up your Roku voice remote, you must pair it with your system.
The remote’s design concentrates on wireless signals, which means the battery can drain even when not in use. Most battery-draining issues for Roku remotes center around the voice remote.
How to Solve Roku Remote Draining Batteries?
1. Update Your System
Roku became aware of their battery-draining remotes after countless users commented on a Roku support forum. Roku employees stated that the company was working on solving the problem, and shortly after, their engineering team released a new update for the system.
The company released the firmware update on February 14, 2021. If you think your Roku has not updated, here’s how to update your system and check for additional new updates:
- Go to the Settings menu on your Roku device.
- Select “System.”
- Under the System tab, scroll until you find “System Restart.”
After performing the System Restart, monitor your remote over the next few days. For many users, this solution helped. However, it does not solve battery drainage for everyone- so don’t get too discouraged if your batteries start to die again quickly.
The firmware update for this solution was the remote version: rtn.4092.
2. Repair Your Remote to the TV
Since voice remotes require pairing, your remote and TV pairing may be interrupted. Repairing the two devices might help.
Here’s how to repair a Roku voice remote to your TV:
- Open up the battery compartment on the remote control.
- Press the button on the inside of the battery compartment for three seconds. Wait for the light to the left of the button to flash.
- If the button does not flash, try again. If it still does not flash, replace the batteries and try again.
- Perform a restart on your Roku streaming device.
- Wait for your TV to boot back up.
- Once the TV turns back on, it will let you know if the pairing was successful. If the steps are successful, your remote’s battery life will appear on the TV.
- If the steps were unsuccessful and your TV is TCL brand, try unplugging your TV from the power outlet. Press and hold the TV’s power button for fifteen seconds before plugging it back in and repeating the device pairing process.
Please note that these steps only work if your Roku remote is a voice remote.
3. Change How You Power Your Roku Device
Powering your Roku Streaming Stick+ through a USB port in your TV has caused problems before with the remote’s battery life.
The hypothesis is that when you plug your Roku Stick into the TV via USB, the remote constantly tries to pair with it, thus draining the battery.
Instead, unplug your device from the USB port and plug it into a wall outlet. Plugging it into a wall outlet will create a stable power flow to your device that your remote can find. This idea was Roku employees’ first suggestion for a temporary solution before they came out with the remote firmware update.
4. Use Good Quality Batteries
Not all batteries are created equal. If you are using batteries that are not alkaline, they will die faster. Alkaline batteries are known for lasting longer because of their high energy density.
Rechargeable alkaline batteries are also a good investment if the battery life in your remote diminishes quickly.
5. Contact Roku Support
When all else fails, contact Roku support to explain your issue.
Explain to them the different troubleshooting methods that you have already tried. Since this is a recurring issue for many Roku users, addressing the problem with them may push their engineering team to create a new firmware update.
They might also replace the remote. Getting a replacement remote depends on your warranty and serial number.
To contact Roku support, we recommend creating a service/help request on the Roku website. Their forums are overloaded, and your comment may get lost in the complaints.
The support employee will look up your serial number, and depending on your remote, they may issue a replacement. The company is aware that certain remotes cause more problems than others and cannot solve the problem with firmware updates.
However, if it is a firmware issue, the company will help you walk through the steps to fix it. Overall, they want to help you solve the problem and are fairly quick at responding.
6. Purchase a Replacement Remote
You can also purchase your own replacement Roku remote. Retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon offer official Roku remote replacements that you can order.
You can also find off-brand remotes that work with Roku on Amazon for cheaper, but their reliability and strength may differ.
Roku also sells rechargeable remotes, thus removing the need for batteries. These remotes cost roughly $29.99.
7. Use a Free App on Your Phone
This solution is the easiest and most hassle-free- especially if you’re someone who always has their phone on them.
There are many apps available that turn your smartphone into a smart remote. The Roku company even has an official app that you can utilize.
You can download The Roku App (Official) from Roku Inc. from the Google play store for free. The app gives you easy access to simple remote controls and the ability to switch between your different Roku devices.
You can also utilize private listening with the Roku app on your phone. Plug in a set of headphones or pair your favorite Bluetooth earbuds to your phone and watch your Roku streaming devices on your TV, with the audio coming straight to your ears.
While other app options are available, the official Roku version is the best. It’s free and contains no ads besides advertisements that may appear on the content you watch.
Your Roku remote may drain the battery quicker if it’s a voice-activated remote. Attempting to update your system and changing where the device is powered will help prolong battery life, but you may need to contact Roku support to alert them of the issue for longer-lasting results.