Issues with streaming platforms, small or significant, are common on cord-cutting gadgets like Roku. But Netflix not working on Roku, that's bad news!
And for someone like me who streams Netflix so religiously, this issue was a matter of serious concern.
So I made this one-stop in-depth troubleshooting guide so that you too, like me, can fix the Netflix not loading on Roku.
If Netflix is not working on Roku, check the internet connectivity and the cables connected. Check for updates on your Roku and try restarting the device. If the problem persists, reset your Netflix account. If none of these works, factory reset the Roku.
Here's a brief look at the many instances Netflix stops working on Roku:
|Scenario||Causes and Fixes|
|Netflix titles buffering on Roku||Network issue; restart the Router. Switch the network to the 5 GHz band|
|Netflix not opening on Roku||Software issue; refresh Roku. Remove the Netflix channel and re-add it|
|Sync issues with Netflix on Roku||Tinker with settings on Roku like Bandwidth saver and Display Auto-detect|
|Other scenarios||Factory reset Roku; contact customer support|
Let's now delve right into the whys and hows of this issue on Roku:
Why Netflix Stops Working on Roku?
Netflix crashing on Roku can be attributed to a number of things.
May it be from an anomaly arising out of an unstable internet connection or due to a server outage, naming a culprit can get a bit tricky.
With that said, here are the most probable causes for Netflix to cease working on your Roku:
Older Roku Devices Do not Support Netflix
Roku has been around for quite some time now, and as is the case, it has come a long way in terms of technology and quality.
With this generational leap in quality, older Roku Streaming devices have lost support and become redundant.
Lack of support, outdated tech, and failure to adhere to the growing standards in the business have all rendered older Roku devices lose support for Netflix as well as many other streaming platforms.
Roku devices produced prior to 2011 probably won't support Netflix.
Here are the many Roku devices and the max. resolution they support:
|Roku Model (All versions)||Resolution Supported|
|Roku 2/3||1080p Full HD|
|Roku 4||4K UHD|
|Roku Streaming Stick||1080p Full HD|
|Roku Streaming Stick +||4K UHD|
|Roku TV||Depends on the TV resolution|
|Roku Express||1080p Full HD|
|Roku Express 4K||4K UHD|
|Roku Premiere||4K UHD|
|Roku Premiere +||4K UHD, HDR support|
|Roku Streambar/Streambar Pro||4K UHD, HDR support|
|Roku Ultra||4K UHD, HDR support|
With that taken care of, let's move on to the next cause of this issue.
Netflix Server Outages
Though not a common sight with streaming services, server outages do make an appearance every now and then.
And when the servers get taken down, you are sure to experience issues with logging in to your Netflix account.
Downdetector is the most reliant source for checking server outages among most online platforms. Head over to Downdetector.com to check for issues with Netflix servers.
The only way to tackle server issues is to wait it out.
Server downtime does not tend to last for a long time, especially with established services like Netflix, and you are sure to be back streaming in no time.
Other major contributors to this issue will be addressed in detail below. But before that let's start the troubleshooting by checking the basics:
Check the Basics First
Now, let's check whether the issue is with the Netflix app on Roku and not from your end.
I will run you through some external factors that might be causing this and need thorough testing. Included, too, are simple solutions to fix them.
WiFi or Internet Connection
Make sure you have a properly working internet connection. Unstable internet can be a root cause for inconsistent buffering during streaming. Many users have been facing WiFi issues on Roku TV.
Slow internet speeds can also cause Netflix to stop loading its catalog, making it seem as if the app is stuck.
Use an internet speed testing app on your phone, or go to speedtest.net to check your current internet download speeds.
This way, you can verify whether your internet upload/download speeds are irregular.
If you are facing network issues, unplug your router/modem and plug it back in after a few seconds. Check if the issue persists. If so, keep reading:
Switch to the 5 GHz Band
If you can't get over issues with the network, try changing your connection to a wider bandwidth. Most modern Roku Streaming devices, like the support dual-band connections.
Usually, WiFi routers are set to a 2.4 GHz band, which prioritizes WiFi range over internet speeds.
But if you have a compatible WiFi router, you can set up a separate 5GHz band that prioritizes speed over the connectivity range.
You can do this by going into the default gateway of your WiFi router and creating an SSID for 5GHz.
Do note that this is supported only for some routers/modems which you can check by doing a Google search on your model.
Here's how to change the network band on Roku:
1. Open the Settings tab and select Network.
2. Select Setup New Connection.
3. Choose the 5 GHz network and enter the password.
Check if changing the network did make an impact.
The next thing to check is whether any of your connected cables are faulty. The most important cable to check is your HDMI cable.
A malfunctioning HDMI cable can cause screen freezing, AV sync issues, and blackouts. So make sure they are connected properly.
Check if your HDMI cables have suffered any physical damage.
An exposed wire can cause channel issues like Audio/Video sync problems, so change your cables if you're facing any similar problems.
Also check whether your HDMI cables support at least the HDCP 2.2 protocols, as it is necessary for streaming content on various streaming channels.
If it used to work before streaming on Netflix, then you're probably fine.
You may also want to check and make sure of a functioning power source and associated cables while in the process of checking the HDMI cables.
Look for any noticeable anomalies such as wear and tear, signs of corrosion on cable ends, and so on.
It's also best if you switch the power source to a new outlet.
This might sound a bit weird, but sometimes when I am playing a game on my Nintendo Switch in the near vicinity of a Roku device, it causes a disruption in connectivity on my Roku.
A quick fix is to just turn off the WiFi on the Switch. I found that not having a lot of wireless accessories in near proximity to Roku also helps.
Troubleshooting Netflix Issues on Roku
If you have successfully checked the basics and the issues still persist, then the problem must be with Roku or the Netflix app.
I will take you through some key steps to troubleshoot this issue on your Roku device.
Check for Updates
Always keep your electronic gadgets up and running on the current firmware. Roku is no different!
Roku can push out multiple bug fixes and newer features with their update packages, which could be the reason why Netflix is not working on your Roku.
Outdated firmware can also result in a slow Roku TV.
To update your Roku, simply follow these steps:
- In the Home screen, click and open Settings.
- Open Systems.
- Click on Software Update and Check Now to manually scan for updates.
Wait for the software updates to be installed and then restart your Roku device.
Restart your Roku
This might be silly, but restarting your Roku can help.
But always make sure you restart from Roku OS and not directly via unplugging from the socket while the device is booted and running without issues.
This is important because some Roku devices don't have an inbuilt battery to safely shutdown.
A safe shutdown and restart ensure your files and cache are properly backed up without errors for faster boot times.
But this doesn't mean hard restarts are dangerous. In fact, it is very helpful if your system is sluggish or frozen.
It also helps in resetting the app cache files, so your apps can start fresh.
To safely soft restart your Roku device, simply follow these steps:
- Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
- From the side menu, select the Settings option from the bottom left-hand corner.
- Click on System Restart and press Restart.
- In the case of a Roku TV, you will have to go to Settings> System> Power> System Restart> Restart.
Do keep in mind that the earlier (first and second-generation) Roku models may not have this option.
In such cases, power cycling the device by unplugging it would be your only option.
If you want to hard restart, just follow the following steps:
- Unplug your Roku from power and wait for at least 15 seconds.
- Plug it back in. Turn on your Roku with the Roku remote. With Roku TV, press the Power Button to turn ON the device.
- Wait one full minute for the device to successfully boot all background services before opening Netflix.
Reset your Network Connection
So far, we have already reset our internet hardware and come to the conclusion there are no concerning issues.
Now, we have to reset the network settings from the Roku OS end to make sure the connection is proper.
But first, let's test the network from Roku. Simply follow the following steps:
- Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
- From the side menu, select the Settings option.
- Click on the Network option.
- From the resulting menu, select Check connection
Now your Roku device is running a network test to check your connectivity. The results might take up to a minute. Now let's get on to reset your network settings.
- Press the Home button on your Roku remote to go back.
- Select the Settings option from the side menu
- Pick the Advanced System Settings option.
- Choose the option for Network Connection Reset and pick Reset connection.
Your device will now reboot. Once booted, you have to log in again with your WiFi password to use your internet. This should fix all internet-related problems with your Roku.
Tweak Some Roku OS Settings
Roku has implemented a large assortment of features to enhance your viewing experience. But they don't always work as seamlessly as intended.
Here are some of the features that I found that might be actually affecting your experience in a negative way:
This feature enables your Roku and the TV to sync up automatically without your intervention.
It auto-detects the refresh rate and display resolution to match the resolution of your content.
But unfortunately, this causes more issues than it solves. It guesses the detected resolution wrong frequently and at times just refuses to play any content on your screen.
To fix this, you may have to manually set the attributes. Follow these steps to do so:
- Go to the System settings from the Settings tab.
- Select the Display type option
- Choose the 1080p option or the option as per your TV resolution. Just make sure it's not set to auto-detect
This sets your content resolution to the specified display resolution.
This is yet another feature I found to cause issues, especially if the Roku device has been asleep for 4 hours.
Some Roku devices just refuse to go back to a normal functioning state after being woken up.
Thankfully it is an optional feature and can be disabled by going to the Network settings and disabling the Bandwidth saver option.
Reset your Netflix Account
Resetting might be an ongoing trend here, but it definitely works.
Sometimes, when you have too many Netflix profiles or if the Netflix data stored on your Roku device is outdated and unable to refresh, it can cause quite a few server glitches.
Sometimes after a channel update, some app packages can get corrupted which can cause some major issues like the app crashing or freezing.
And refreshing the Netflix account might be your way out.
To reset Netflix on Roku, follow these exact steps:
- On the Home screen, navigate and hover over the Netflix channel.
- Press the * button on the remote to bring up a settings menu.
- Click on Remove channel at the bottom of the list.
- Confirm by clicking Remove to delete the channel.
- Restart your Roku device
This removes the Netflix app from your device. Now download it again from the app store.
Do note that this will delete any Netflix titles you have downloaded.
Hard Reset your Roku Device
A hard reset is different from a hard restart/reboot. This is the ultimate step to completely reset your Roku device. It cleans all data and restores everything to its factory settings.
A factory reset will wipe all your data and settings from your device. This is meant to be a last resort and will reset everything.
It might take you a few hours to restore all your settings and streaming channels manually.
To hard reset to factory settings, you can follow the following steps:
- Head to the System settings from your Settings option
- Navigate to Advanced system settings and select Factory reset
- Type in the 4-digit pin displayed.
A popup should appear warning you of the consequences. Just agree and your system should commence resetting.
You can also factory reset most Roku devices, including top-tier models like Roku Ultra, using the onboard Physical Reset button. Press and hold the button for about 15 seconds to initiate the process.
Any one of the above troubleshooting tips would most likely fix any Roku Netflix error.
If your Roku won't play Netflix even after trying all the steps mentioned in this article, contact Roku support for further assistance.
I have never faced any major issues with other streaming apps like Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, or HBO Max, but I'm sure most of the troubleshooting steps are applicable to them too.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I update my Netflix on Roku?
To update Netflix on Roku, press the star(*) button on your Roku remote when hovering over the Netflix app. Tap on the Check for Updates option and update.
My Netflix channel seems to be a much older version than on my Android TV. What should I do?
You might be using an older generation of Roku devices. Unfortunately, older devices don't get updated to newer versions of the app frequently.
I have tried everything this post mentioned and still, my Netflix won't work on Roku. What should I do?
If your issues still persist, I recommend you give Roku or Netflix customer services a call.