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 work 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.
To fix this, I scoured the depths of the internet and understood that quite a few Roku users are facing Netflix Roku issues. So I made this one-stop in-depth troubleshooting guide so that you can fix the Netflix not loading on Roku.
If Netflix is not working on Roku, check the internet connectivity and the connection cables. 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.
Check the Basics First
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. Many users have been facing WiFi issues on Roku TV.
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.
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.
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 my Roku device also helps.
Troubleshooting your Roku
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.
Check for Updates
Always stay updated on the latest firmware. 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 System Update and Check Now to manually scan for updates.
Wait for the 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 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.
To safely soft restart your Roku device, simply follow the following 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, 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:
- Press the Home button 5 times.
- Then the Up arrow once.
- Press the rewind button twice.
- Then the fast forward button twice.
This will bring up the Secret Screen from which you can force restart the device.
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.
- 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 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:
- Go to the System settings from the Setting 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 set 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.
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.
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 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
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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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