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Roku makes some of the world’s top streaming boxes and devices that give you full access to your favorite apps. You can choose between streaming boxes and models that plug into your TV. If your Roku runs slowly, learn how you can speed it up.
Why is My Roku So Slow?
You can access all your favorite apps regardless of the model you buy. You pick the app from the main menu and download it to your device. Once you sign in to your account, you can watch your shows and movies.
Roku also has its own channel and offers access to free apps. There are a handful of reasons why your Roku runs slower than it should,
- Internet connection: A poor internet connection is one of the leading causes of a slow Roku device.
- Network traffic: When there is too much traffic on your internet network, your Roku will usually slow down.
- Wrong bandwidth: Using your Roku on the wrong bandwidth often makes it run slower.
- Missing updates: Roku devices use updates to fix common problems; missing even one can affect your speed.
- Bugs: It’s common for minor bugs and glitches to affect your device and reduce its speed.
- Remote problems: Problems with your remote can also reduce the device’s speed, such as sticky buttons or dying batteries.
- High bit rate: When your Roku uses a higher bit rate, it can’t run as fast as others.
- Network outages: If your network goes down or has connection problems, your Roku will either run slowly or fail to connect.
- Damage: There’s also a chance that you damaged your Roku and affected its speed when you dropped it or knocked it over.
How to Fix a Slow Roku Device
Having a slow Roku device is a hassle. It can take forever for the device to download a new app and even longer to log in and pick a video. You may even find that your Roku runs slowly when you try to watch movies. Don’t worry, though, because there are plenty of ways to fix a slow device.
1. Fix Your Internet Signal
A poor internet signal is the most common reason your Roku is too slow. Not only can this increase the time it takes to download and open apps, but it can make videos lag.
You should always test your connection first, which you can do from the Home menu. Select Settings and go to Network and About. See what your speed should be and then test the connection. You may need to move the Roku to a different spot to improve its internet connection.
2. Adjust the Bit Rate
The bit rate of your Roku provides the resolution on your screen. Streaming apps often use a higher bit rate to make movies and shows appear better. HBO Max and similar apps have hidden ways to tell your Roku what bit rate to use.
You can override this setting with your remote. Press the Home button five times, the fast forward button twice, and the rewind button three times. Choose Bit Rate Override and pick either 3 Mbps or Automatic. Slowing down the bit rate reduces the pressure on the device and can make it run faster.
3. Restart Your Roku
IT experts always recommend that people who call them for help restart their devices first. This can clear out any possible bugs and fix the problems you have. You can do the same thing with a Roku device.
Go to Settings and System. Pick Power and System Restart before you click on Restart to confirm your choice. Once it comes back on, see if it runs faster.
4. Change Your Bandwidth
The bandwidth you use plays a key role in how your Roku works. When you live in an area with a lot of network traffic, the device will likely slow down, especially during busy times in the early evening.
Changing your bandwidth can help. Go back to your Settings and pick Network. Choose Set Up Connection and Wireless. The Roku will show you two different bandwidths. Pick the 5GHz bandwidth and enter your internet password to continue.
5. Get Rid of Bad Channels
One or more channels on your Roku might relate to your speed problem. These devices have some app channels already installed and allow you to add others. You can remove channels when you no longer want to use them or if you experience any problems.
Use the buttons on the remote to select the channel and press the * button. Choose Remove Channel from the available options and restart your device. Keep in mind that you can always download that channel again later. Getting rid of those channels can also free up space on your Roku.
Go through all the available channels to see which ones you use and which take up valuable space. Keep in mind that you might have some channels that no longer work. For example, Hulu will no longer work on previous versions of Roku streaming boxes.
6. Pick a New WiFi Channel
Your router is essential to your home’s network. It transfers the internet signal from your modem to your devices. If your Roku was faster in the past than it is today, you may need to pick a new WiFi channel. Use your computer and connect it to your router with an ethernet cable.
Open your web browser and enter the router’s IP address. You will then need to log in and look at the bandwidth you use. Change the channel to the 5GHz bandwidth and then shut everything down. Your Roku may ask you to set up your router as a new internet connection, but it should run much faster.
7. Clean the Terminals
When you remove the cover from the battery compartment, check the terminals. Each one has contact springs that work with the batteries to power the remote. You want to ensure that the batteries sit evenly with and come into contact with each spring.
If there is any corrosion to the terminals, they won’t connect with the batteries the way they should. Cleaning the terminals is easy because you can use a wire brush, fine-grit sandpaper, or even a toothbrush. Scrub away as much of the corrosion as you can, and then check your speed.
8. Skip WiFi
You don’t need to use the WiFi in your home just because it’s there. Changing to a wired connection can speed up your device. You need an ethernet cable you can run from your router to the Roku.
This solution only works if you have a Roku that works with ethernet cables because not all models have this feature. Connect the cable and open your Settings.
Go to Network and Set New Connection. Scroll down and click on Wired. The Roku will find the cable and create a new connection that uses the internet via the cable.
9. Replace the Remote
One of the nice things about Roku products is that they are mostly compatible. Even if you have one of the older streaming boxes, it will usually work with the newer remotes.
While you can spend a lot of time cleaning your remote and checking the buttons, it’s often easier to replace it. Follow the included instructions to sync the new remote with your device. Always ensure the remote is compatible, though some only work with the newer models.
10. Check for Updates
Whether you have a streaming box or a TV, you must keep track of all updates. Until you install all the missing updates, your Roku will run quite slowly.
Open your Settings and go to System. Select System Update and Check Now. The Roku will look for all possible updates and download and install them.
Though it may shut itself off after updating, you may need to restart it yourself. It’s also helpful to look for channel and app updates. Some apps can run much slower than they usually do because you missed an important update.
11. Check the Remote
Some of the problems you encounter, such as poor speeds, relate to problems with your Roku remote. You can try cleaning the remote to remove any sticky residue from it and the buttons. Now is also a good time to replace the batteries.
If the device is still slow, remove the batteries and restart your TV before you replace them. Use the pairing button on the remote, which syncs it to the device. You’ll see different instructions on your screen that you need to follow to pair the remote to your Roku.
12. Reset Your Roku
If none of these solutions fix your speed problem, go ahead and reset the device. From Settings, go to System and then Advanced System Settings and Factory Reset. You’ll see a code on the bottom of your screen that you need to enter to confirm your decision.
Click on OK when it pops up, and wait for the Roku to reset itself. This usually only takes a few minutes. Always reset a Roku you buy used to clear the data left behind by the previous owner.
While Roku devices are handy to keep around the house, they can suffer from problems such as poor speeds. The reasons why it slows down can range from missing updates to remote issues. These solutions can help you speed up your Roku and avoid lagging.