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Pairing Your Roku Remote

A Roku remote on a table.

Few things can interrupt your Netflix night like unplugging your Roku remote from the streaming box. The cause — and solution — depends on what kind of Roku remote you have. Here we’ll show you how to get the two devices to communicate with each other again so you can start streaming again.

Determine which Roku remote you have

Whether you’re setting up a new Roku device or your remote and streaming device have been unpaired, the process of re-pairing them is the same.

Your first step is to determine what type of remote you have: a simple Roku remote or a Roku voice remote. If your remote has a microphone icon below the purple directional pad, it’s a voice remote. If not, it’s a simple remote.

Pairing a simple Roku remote

A basic Roku remote doesn’t have a voice search button. With this type of remote, you should first check that it is indeed unpaired from your streaming box.

Simple Roku remotes require a line of sight with the receiver in your box because they use infrared (IR) light to communicate with it. So if something is blocking the beam, it may be all it takes to get the remote working again.

Assuming nothing is in the way of the remote and receiver, your next step is to remove and reinsert the batteries on 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 non-flammable surface and wait for it to cool before opening.

If that works, you’re all set. If not, try replacing the batteries, then point your remote at the receiver and try pressing the test button a few times. If the remote still does not work, it may be defective and you will need to order a replacement.

Tip: 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 remote’s light blinking while you press, you know it’s probably working fine and there’s a problem with your streaming box instead.

Pairing a Rechargeable Voice Remote

If you have a Roku voice remote that’s unpaired, you don’t have to check for obstacles in line of sight, as these remotes communicate with their streaming boxes via a special 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. However, if your voice remote is unpaired on a system you already have, here’s what you can try.

First, determine what kind of battery system your remote uses: rechargeable or standard AA or AAA.

Back of rechargeable and battery powered Roku remotes.

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 power outlet with a USB adapter. The green status light will flash until the remote control is charged, after which it remains stable. If the light doesn’t blink when you plug in the remote, make sure it’s not your charging cable that made the mistake by trying a different cable and adapter.

Sometimes it is enough to charge the remote control to get it working again. If that doesn’t work, you 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 below the green status light. It should start flashing in about five seconds. Wait about 30 seconds while the remote connects to your streaming box. Once that happens, on-screen prompts will guide you through the re-pairing process.

Pairing a Roku Voice Remote Pro

If you’re trying to pair a Roku Voice Remote Pro in addition to the remote that came with your Roku, make sure the streaming box is running Roku OS 9.4 or later. To do this, press the Home button on your remote, go to Settings > System and select “System Update”. Then select “Check Now” and the system will check for and install the latest update if necessary.

If your remote doesn’t work and you’re unable to do so, go ahead and try the pairing process anyway – if you have a recent enough OS version, it will work. If not, it may help to know that most Roku remotes are interchangeable. If you still have a voice remote at home, you can try pairing it and using it on the streaming box to download the necessary updates. Alternatively, the Roku app on your smartphone can also get the job done.

Pairing a Voice Remote Using Regular Batteries

If your Roku voice remote uses standard batteries, remove the back cover first and remove the batteries to pair it. Also, unplug the power cable behind your streaming box, wait five seconds, and then plug it back in. Once the Roku home screen appears on your TV, reinsert the batteries into your remote.

Now, with the back 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 appears on your TV screen after about 30 seconds.

Try the Roku app on your smartphone

Whichever Roku you have, you can use the Roku mobile app for iPhone or Android to control it. If your Roku remote is broken, it can help you survive until you buy a new remote or get help from Roku Support.

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