The big screen has always been my preferred mode of tuning into Netflix. The wide screen real estate coupled with the vivid colors alone sufficiently justify this very claim of mine.
Roku does make a strong contender for the best streaming platform available as of right now on the planet, thanks to its intuitive UI and its ever-growing support for apps and channels, Netflix being one of them.
But as of late, I have had trouble opening the app using the dedicated Netflix button on the remote (needs 3-4 clicks), and the interface, too, seems to be turning into a snail.
If Netflix is slow on your Roku, check the speed of your network and refresh the Roku. If the issue persists, switch to a wider bandwidth network and turn off network masks and VPNs. You could also try updating your Roku and re-installing the Netflix app. If none of the above works, factory reset the Roku.
I’ve also included a few other troubleshooting tips to speed up Netflix on Roku.
Refresh Your Roku Device
Rebooting your Roku device is indeed a great way to start troubleshooting a problem.
Oft than not, troubleshooting an issue on a gadget can get a bit out of hand.
But unlike most other troubleshooting steps, refreshing your device is as easy as it gets.
Slowing down issues on Roku devices are more than likely to happen from germinating bugs and errors on your device. And the best way to unroot such latent miscreants is to refresh your device.
A Power cycle test is more than capable of driving off such malignants.
Start the process by unplugging your Roku device from your TV. In the case of a Roku streaming stick, pull it out of the HDMI port. Unplug all the cables and connections if you own a Roku TV.
Leave the device idle for a few minutes.
Then, if your Roku device has any button on it, press and hold them for a couple of seconds. (If not, leave it as such).
Doing so will deplete any pent-up charges from the motherboard. Make sure to repeat this step a couple of times.
Finally, plug the device back into the port(in the case of Roku TV, plug back in all the cables).
You could also restart the TV through the Roku user interface. Follow these steps to do so.
1. From the Home tab, open the Settings menu.
2. Go to the System menu and scroll down to the System Restart option.
3. Click on Restart to confirm your selection.
Wait for the device to restart. Check for the issue now.
Another method to soft reset your Roku device is through the Roku remote. Press the following buttons in sequence to initiate the reboot:
Home button x5>Up Button x1>Rewind Button x2>Fast Forward Button x2.
Check and Change the Network Characteristics
Internet speed and latency play a sizable role in determining the whole 'Netflix and Chill!' experience. And so, you cannot turn a blind eye to the network characteristics in times of adversity.
Slow internet speeds and bubbling latency can affect the streaming quality and the buffering period of your streams. Hence, effectively slowing down the whole Netflix interface to an extent.
Netflix does require a sizeable amount of internet data and speed to operate at its finest.
With speed requirements ranging from about 1 MBPS for SD quality all the way up to 15 MBPS for 4K, streaming on Netflix doesn't come for cheap.
Latency determines the buffering and the quality of the streams. As a rule of thumb, lower latency= better streams.
And the best way to check these characteristics lies within the Roku interface itself.
Follow these steps on your Roku device to test and know your network attributes.
1. From the Home tab, open the Settings menu.
2. Navigate to the Network tab.
3. Click on Check Connection under the About to run a test of your network.
You could also test your network through a speed test application, like speedtest.net.
Such speed test applications can either be downloaded from the app store of your smart device or accessed through a browser.
Once completed, you can find the various characteristics of your network, like speed, latency, even the MAC address of your network router/modem.
If you find a noticeable departure from normalcy, as a start, refreshing your Router/Modem could work.
The same Power cycle test as before will also work in the case of the Router/Modem.
Start by unplugging all the cables on your Router/Modem. After a couple of minutes of idle time, press and hold the power button on the Router/Modem for a couple of seconds.
Plug back in the cables and turn on the device.
Connect your Roku device to the network, and test the network again.
If you still experience internet issues, keep reading.
Switch to a Wider Bandwidth Network
Latency overshoots and speed deterioration are common phenomena with the traditional 2.4 GHz WiFi band, especially when the traffic in the network is overboard.
Once the traffic exceeds the limit, users start experiencing reduced internet speeds and longer buffering times.
Hence comes the relevance of the 5GHz band, which holds no such limitations as the 2.4 GHz band.
A 5 GHz band can accommodate more traffic without breaking various internet parameters.
In times of staggering Netflix interfaces and straggling stream speeds, switch your network to the 5 GHz band.
Follow these instructions on your Roku device to switch the network band.
1. From the Home tab, open the Settings Menu.
2. Navigate to the Network Menu.
3. Click on the Set Up Connection option.
4. Select the Wireless option and choose the 5 GHz band.
Enter the password and ensure the connection. Check for the issue now.
Even if the 5 GHz band does have better traffic handling characteristics, the 2.4 GHz band does outvie the 5GHz band in terms of effective serviceable area, a.k.a coverage area.
Turn Off Network Masks and VPNs
If you have any network Masks or VPNs enabled in your network, better turn them off for better pings.
Even though these Masks can keep you safe from the many digital predators out there, they can also limit the latency of the network and cause the streams to become slow.
When in doubt, try disabling these masks and then try accessing Netflix on Roku.
Some of these masks are user-controlled, while the others may require your ISP's intervention to be disabled. In such cases, contact your ISP for further assistance.
VPNs, nowadays, come standard with almost all smart devices. And in the case of a PC, VPNs are available by the handful on the internet.
Log in to your PC/device and turn the VPN service OFF. Check for the issue now.
In the case of Masks, some of them are enabled through computer applications, like IP masks and whatnots, while the others require router portal login to configure.
To turn OFF masks from the Router portal, follow these steps on the PC after connecting your Router/Modem to the PC through an Ethernet/USB cable.
1. Open a browser and enter the IP address of the Router/Modem onto the search bar. (Refer to the nether side of the device for the Router/Modem IP address)
2. Enter the login credentials(also found on the nether side) and log in to the router portal.
3. Look for MAC address filters or any other masks you have enabled. (Look within the Security settings or Advanced Settings)
4. Disable the Masks and save your changes.
Exit the portal and restart your Router/Modem. Check for the issue now.
Update Roku and Netflix
Bugs and errors are, no doubt, foes that could ruin Roku as well as Netflix.
They infest the system, cause all sorts of hiccups and eventually slow down and kill the device if left unattended. This can ultimately even lead to Netflix refusing to even work on Roku.
And what better way to thwart such vile intentions than to nip them off at the root. An update or a security patch could clear off any such miscreants of the system.
Roku and Netflix devs are on the lookout for pests infecting their platforms round the clock.
They monitor the user forums for possible intrusions, run scenarios on their respective platforms, and finally, come out with a potent fix in the form of an update.
And so, it is of vital importance to not ignore any updates on your device.
Ensure to maintain a frequent check for updates for your Roku and Netflix to avoid any such inconsistencies.
To update the Roku firmware, follow these steps on your device.
1. In the Settings tab, navigate to and open the System Menu.
2. Scroll down to the System Update tile.
3. Click on the Check Now option to run a manual check for updates.
If you have any updates left, do so and restart the system. Check for the issue now.
While performing a Firmware update on Roku, any and all channels/apps on the device, too, get updated.
Hence, you don't have to worry about independently updating Netflix on a Roku device.
Adjust the Stream Quality of Roku
If you still have glitchy interface and laggings streams, try lowering the screen quality on your Roku device.
Higher picture quality can demand higher data caps. Failure to provide may render your streams far from optimal.
Also, older TVs may have compatibility issues with higher picture quality, say 4K or 1080p.
In such cases, switching to inferior picture quality can solve the issue.
Follow these steps on your Roku device to lower the resolution of your streams.
1. In the Settings tab, click and open the Display Type option.
2. Switch the mode to 720p TV or lower.
3. Click on OK to confirm.
Restart the TV and check for the issue now.
You could also lower the resolution within the Netflix app.
While in the Netflix Home tab, go to Account> Profile and parental controls> Choose account> Playbacksettings> Select between Low/Medium/High/Auto option> Save.
Uninstall and Reinstall Netflix on Roku
Now, if none of the fixes seems to walk the walk, try uninstalling the Netflix app from Roku.
Similar yet differing drastically from a cache memory reset, uninstalling an app will not only clear the cache memory but also remove any stale, erroneous files that tend to remain even after a cache reset.
Fortunately, the uninstallation process is real simple in a Roku device.
You could also supplement the uninstallation process by deactivating your current Netflix account from the app as an added measure.
To deactivate your Netflix account, follow these steps on the app.
1. From the Home tab, click and open the Settings Menu.
2. Click on the Deactivate Account/Deactivate this player from my Netflix account option.
3. Confirm your selection by clicking on Yes.
Exit the app and follow these steps on Roku to remove the app.
1. In the Home tab, navigate to the Netflix app.
2. Highlight the app icon and click on the * button on your remote.
3. In the pop-up menu, click on the Remove channel option.
4. Select the Remove Channel option once more to confirm the uninstallation.
You have now successfully uninstalled Netflix from your Roku device.
To Reinstall Netflix on Roku, follow these steps:
1. In the Home tab, navigate to the Streaming Channels option.
2. Go to the Movies & TV tab.
3. Locate and open the Netflix app option.
4. Click on the Add channel option to install the app.
Open the app and log in to your account.
Factory Reset Your Roku Device
The ultimate fix for most issues(save hardware problems) on a Roku device is a factory reset.
A factory reset will remove any and all bugs, errors, and other malignants from the system and render it like new.
But do proceed with caution since a factory reset(much like uninstalling the app process) will delete all your personal preferences, apps/channels installed, and other personalization from the system.
The process is a time-consuming one, so keep that in mind.
To hard reset a Roku device, follow these steps on the Roku interface:
1. On the Settings tab, click and open the System tab.
2. Then select the Advanced System Settings option.
3. Choose the Factory Reset option.
4. Now, you will have to enter the Special code from the bottom right of the screen.
5. Click on OK to confirm the process.
Wait for the process to complete. Now, you can set up your Roku from scratch.
Roku devices can also be Hard reset externally by pressing and holding the reset button for a few seconds.
Some older Roku devices may have a pinhole reset button.
Apart from the ones discussed above, issues with the remote can also make the interface seem slow.
In such cases, try checking the batteries of the remote. Change them if they do seem out of juice. You can also re-pair the remote by pressing and holding the reset button beneath the battery compartment.
If the heat/fan vents of the device do look cluttered and stuffed with dust and dirt, better brush them off for better ventilation. Overheating can cause the system to become slow.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
How do I get Netflix on my Roku faster?
Faster internet connection, clearing up storage space on Roku, updating frequently, etc. can all make Netflix faster on a Roku device.
How do I fix Netflix lag on Roku?
In times of lagging interface on a Roku device, try refreshing the system with a power cycle test. Check the network statistics for any obvious fluctuations. In extreme cases, a hard reset may suffice.
Why is Netflix buffering so much on Roku?
Buffering issues on a streaming platform are most certainly a by-product of a struggling internet connection. Overshooting latencies and fluctuating internet speeds can render higher buffering times. Try restarting the modem as a plausible fix.