Netflix Not Working on Roku: How to Fix [2021]

Netflix Not Working on Roku: How to Fix [2021]

Netflix Not Working on Roku: How to Fix [2021]

Watching Netflix on the big screen of my Roku is my favorite thing to do after a tiring day at work. 

But sometimes, Netflix just won't open on my Roku. The app just keeps crashing on my TV or sometimes the buffering gets stuck at 90%.

This is so annoying, as content on Netflix is something I consume religiously.

I wanted to get this fixed as soon as possible. 

So I scoured the depths of the internet and made this one-stop in-depth troubleshooting guide so that you can fix your Netflix app when it is not working on Roku. 

To fix the Netflix app that’s not working on Roku, make sure your internet connection is stable. Reset the network settings from both the router and Roku. If the problem still persists, factory reset the Roku.


Lets Check the Basics First

Check the basics

First and foremost, 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.

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.

It can also cause Netflix to stop loading its catalog, making it seem as if the app is stuck.

You can simply check whether the internet is working fine from another device connected to the same network, like your phone or laptop.

You can also use an internet speed testing app on your phone, or go to speedtest.net to check your current internet speeds. This can verify whether your internet speeds are irregular.

If you face any internet issues, unplug your router/modem and plug it back in after a few seconds.

Once it connects with your phone, check whether the internet speed irregularities still persist.

If so, try changing your connections to a wider bandwidth. Some Roku devices, like the Streaming Stick and Ultra series support dual-band connections.

Usually, WiFi routers are set to a 2.4GHz 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.

If inconclusive, do contact your Internet Provider for more information.

Connection Wires

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 sync issues, 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.

Random Interferences

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 WiFi on the Switch. I found that not having a lot of wireless accessories in the near proximity of my Roku device also helps.


Troubleshooting your Roku

5 things you can do to troubleshoot

If you have successfully checked the basics and the issues still persist, then the problem must be with Roku or the Netflix app in Roku OS.

I will take you through some key steps to troubleshoot your Roku device.

Updates

Always stay updated on the latest firmware. Roku can push out multiple bug fixes and newer features with their update packages.

To update your Roku, simply follow these steps:

  1. In the Home screen, click and open Settings.
  2. Open Systems.
  3. Click on System Update and Check Now to manually scan for updates.

Wait for the updates to be installed and then restart your Roku device.

Restarting 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 make sure your files and cache are properly backed up without error 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.

Soft Restart

To safely soft restart your Roku device, simply follow the following steps:

  1. Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  2. From the side menu, select the Settings option from the bottom left hand corner.
  3. Click on System Restart and press Restart.
  4. 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, the direct power off might be your only option.

If your screen is frozen, you can also do a soft reboot with the following steps:

  1. Press the Home button 5 times.
  2. Then the Up arrow once.
  3. Press the rewind button twice.
  4. Then the fast forward button twice.

This will bring up the Secret Screen from which you can force restart the device.

Hard Restart

If you want to hard restart, just follow the following steps:

  1. Unplug your Roku from power and wait for at least 15 seconds.
  2. Plug it back in. Turn on your Roku with the Roku remote.
  3. 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 came to a 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 the Roku. Simply follow the following steps:

  1. Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  2. From the side menu, select the Settings option.
  3. Click on the Network option.
  4. 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.

  1. Press the Home button on your Roku remote to go back.
  2. Select the Settings option from the side menu
  3. Pick the Advanced system settings option.
  4. 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:

Display Auto-Detect

This is a feature introduced to have your Roku and TV sync video resolution automatically.

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, just follow the following steps:

  1. Go to the System settings from the Setting tab.
  2. Select the Display type option
  3. Choose the 1080p option, or the option as per your TV resolution. Just make sure its not set to auto-detect

This sets your content resolution to the specified display resolution.

Bandwidth Saver

This is yet another setting 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 System settings and disabling the Bandwidth saver option.

Resetting 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 app crashing or freezing.

This can be easily fixed by following the steps I've mentioned before:

  1. On the Home screen, navigate and hover over the Netflix channel.
  2. Press the * button on the remote to bring up a settings menu.
  3. Click on Remove channel at the bottom of the list.
  4. Confirm by clicking Remove to delete the channel.
  5. Restart your Roku device

This removes the Netflix app from your device. Now just download it again from the app store.

Do note that this will delete any Netflix titles you have downloaded. This method helped in my case and my Netflix is now working perfectly.

Hard Reset your Roku Device

Last resort: DEFAULT TO FACTORY SETTINGS

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.

This 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:

  1. Head to the System settings from your Settings option
  2. Navigate to Advanced system settings and select Factory reset
  3. Type in the 4 digit pin displayed.

A popup should appear warning you of the consequences. Just agree and your system should commence resetting.

If you have an older Roku and can't find the Factory Reset settings, you can also follow the steps given in the Soft restart section to boot into the Secret Screen from which you can easily do a factory reset.


Final Thoughts

From the vast content, I came across while looking for a fix for my Roku, I feel this is a comprehensive guide to most of the Netflix problems on Roku.

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 for them too.

I hope I solved your streaming troubles.

Happy Streaming!


Frequently Asked Questions

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 my Netflix still has issues. What should I do?

If your issues still persist, I recommend you give Roku or Netflix customer services a call.

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About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family. I worked in several technology companies and startups in the bay area after graduating from Santa Clara University. I currently work as a consultant for startups and tech companies.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family. I worked in several technology companies and startups in the bay area after graduating from Santa Clara University. I currently work as a consultant for startups and tech companies.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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