Roku Express Airplay Not Working: How To Fix [2023]

Apple Airplay has been a standout feature of Roku devices for quite some time now. But Airplay is known to go haywire from time to time, especially on Roku Express.

I've been a keen user of Airplay on my Roku devices, but I had never tried it out on my newly bought Roku Express 4K+.

Things seemed to go well for the most part until one day, Airplay decided to take a step back and stop working altogether. Fixing this issue did take a lot of research and quite some time.

If AirPlay is not working on Roku Express, first, check if your Roku Express supports AirPlay and ensure both devices are connected to the same network. Then, ensure that Screen Mirroring is enabled on Roku. Updating the associated devices could also help. Ultimately, factory reset the Roku Express.

Let's now go over some of the most common scenarios associated with this issue:

ScenarioCauses and Fixes
Apple device not finding Roku ExpressWiFi Network mismatch; ensure both devices are connected to the same network. Roku Express may not support AirPlay
AirPlay not opening on Roku ExpressSoftware issue; Power cycle the device and ensure screen mirroring is enabled
Pairing prompt not appearing on RokuSwitch the Screen Mirroring mode to Always Allow or Prompt
Other scenariosFactory reset the device and the connetions
Why AirPlay ceases to work on Roku Express

Here's a more detailed account of the fixes for this issue:

Roku Airplay loading

Check if Roku Express Supports Mirroring

The absolute first thing to do if you are not able to use Airplay or any other mirroring software is to check whether your Roku Express supports mirroring.

Roku has been making streaming products since 2008, starting with the original Roku DVP N1000.

And Roku has come out with several generations of their streaming products over the years, each featuring significant updates over the previous models.

Roku introduced the Express model as part of their fifth-generation offerings with Roku Express and Express+ models in 2015.

These models, obviously, did not support mirroring settings.

Only with the seventh generation models (2018), the Roku Express (3900), and Express+ (3910), screen mirroring came into existence.

To check whether your device is compatible or not, go to Settings> System> About.

Roku system info tab

And so, if you own a Roku made after 2018 (model 3900 and later), you do needn't worry about the support aspect.

Check the Connection Settings of Roku Express

Establishing optimal connection settings in your Roku Express is an absolute necessity to steer clear of streaming issues, especially if it's your first time.

If this isn't your first time and you were able to connect properly, skip this step and read on to the next fix.

Enable Screen Mirroring on Roku Express

Here are the steps with which you can ensure mirroring is enabled on your device:

1. In the Home screen tab, navigate to and open Settings.

2. Now open the System option.

3. Click on Screen Mirroring.

Roku Screen Mirroring tab

4. Here, select Screen Mirroring mode.

Roku Screen Mirroring mode

5. From the available options select your preferred mode.

6. If you selected Allow Always, any device can connect to your Roku Express without any permission.

7. If you select Prompt, a pop-up appears if a device wants to connect with your Roku Express.

Check and Enable Airplay on Roku Express

After you have ensured proper mirroring settings, follow these steps to set up Airplay:

1. In the Settings tab, navigate to and open the Apple Airplay and Homekit option.

Roku Airplay tab

2. Make sure that Airplay is On.

3. Now open the control center on your Apple device.

4. Select the screen mirroring tile and click on your Roku device.

5. Enter the code that appears on the TV/display onto the pop-up prompt on your Apple device.

Now you can stream your preferred content through Airplay onto your Roku Express connected device.  You can also mirror your iPad to Roku in multiple ways.

If you are still experiencing the problem, try pairing a different Apple device to your Roku Express.

If you can connect and stream content, the problem may be with your previous device.

Update Roku Express and Apple Device

In order to access Airplay in your Roku Express, your Apple device must be version 9.4 or higher.

Apple devices running on IOS 12.3 or MacOS 10.14.15 and later support Airplay or Airplay 2.

It is best to keep your device updated to the most current version so as to minimize errors and bugs resulting from previous versions.

Outdated software is also a primary reason for most issues like Roku devices have screen and UI freeze issues and Roku Live TV not working.

To check for updates on your Roku Express, follow these steps:

1. Open the Settings tab.

2. Navigate to the System option and click on it.

Roku System Update tab

3. Select the System update tile.

Roku Software Update check now

4. Click on the Check Now option to scan manually for any updates.

5. Click on the Download/Install tile to install the new update(if any).

6. Wait for the update to complete and for the system to reboot.

Try to access Airplay after both devices have been updated to the most current version.

Disable VPNs and IP Masks Enabled on the Network

VPNs may be the way to go if you so desire to consume content relegated to select parts of the world. However, enabling such contraptions usually entails significant compromises on your network.

With VPNs and various other networking masks enabled on your Network, most networking parameters take a huge hit to their performance.

Notable compromises include slow speeds, wavering signal strength, and unstable pings.

And all such impediments lead indubitably to issues with device connections; issues with AirPlay on Roku being a prime example.

So, you might want to disable VPNs and other networking masks that you may have enabled on your network if you experience issues with AirPlay.

Most VPNs are put into action through a dedicated app, from where you can also disable it.

VPNs enabled on Routers, however, may require you to log into your Router portal to get it disabled as well as most networking masks such as IP Masks, and MAC address filters.

As for other networking masks, contact your ISP to get a hold of how to disable them.

Resetting the Paired Device on Roku AirPlay

In this step, you will have to reset your Apple device connection from the Airplay mode on your Roku Express.

To reset your connection, follow these steps:

1. In the Apple Airplay and Homekit tab, turn OFF the Airplay option.

2. Next open the Require code box.

3. Select the Reset Paired Devices tile at the bottom.

4. Follow the prompts.

5. Restart your Roku Express.

6. Return and turn back Airplay On.

This fix has been proven to solve the problem for those who had been able to use Airplay previously but had an abrupt stop.

Resetting your Roku Express

This step must only be used as a last resort sort of option, only if all other options have failed you.

This is because once you reset your device, all your preferences will get erased and the device will be restored to factory condition.

No device is perfect. An occasional hiccup like a bug that came bundled with the last update may cause your device to behave uncontrollably.

A quick and easy way to solve such inexplicable errors is to do a factory reset.

Follow these steps to reset your Roku Express successfully:

1. Open the Settings option.

2. Navigate to the System option.

3. Click on Advanced system settings.

Roku Factory Reset tab

4. Then select Factory reset.

Roku Reset enter code

5. Click on Factory reset everything to reset your device to factory settings.

6. Wait for the procedure to be completed.

After the reset is complete, remember to connect to the same network as your Apple device.

Then check for the system updates and install them, if any.

You'll have to set up your Airplay again on your Roku Express, which can be done through the steps I've mentioned above.

Other Possible Fixes

Refresh the WiFi/Internet Connection

Sometimes your internet connection can be the culprit for a failed mirroring session.

This can be easily resolved by giving your router a quick refresh.

Turn off your router, and then turn it on again.

Roku Set up new connection

Connect to your WiFi by clicking on Setting> Network> Set up connection> Wired or Wireless> If wireless, select the desired network from the list.

Stuck on the Loading Page

This fix is for those stuck on waiting for the connection to be established.

When you initiate a mirroring attempt to your Roku Express, an accept prompt has to pop up to facilitate the connection.

Sometimes this pop-up fails to appear.

This can occur mostly due to the devices not being in closer proximity to each other.

Other times, it can be resolved by turning on the Allow Always option from the Screen Mirroring Mode option which I had mentioned earlier, or moving the devices closer to each other.

Limited Casting time

While not a widespread concern, there have been reports of users having trouble playing movies on their Roku Express through mirroring.

Even if they can play other shows and music through mirroring (Airplay), movies are a no-go.

This is because of a couple of updates Roku came out with some time ago.

With these updates, Roku has laid some restrictions on content streaming, especially on shows and movies exceeding an hour of playback time. Such content can no longer be played via AirPlay.

These limitations have made content for some websites and apps inaccessible.

Enable Fast TV on Roku TVs

Now, Fast TV is not an option that you may find on most Roku devices. Indeed, it is reserved only for select models such as the Roku TV and the Roku Streambar.

What this feature brings into play is that, with Fast TV enabled, your Roku TV stays connected to the wireless connections (including devices) even when the TV is powered down.

So, it may be vital to get this feature enabled at all times so as to ensure swift and tidy connections with your Apple devices.

Here's how to enable Fast TV on Roku:

1. Navigate to the Settings tab and open the Systems option.

2. Select Power and find the Fast TV option.

3. Toggle ON the feature and exit out of the menu.

Restart your TV to set the changes in motion.

Final Thoughts

Being able to mirror your Apple device to your Roku Express via Airplay has opened doors to many possibilities for watching great content without paying through the nose.

From apps like ESPN+ and HBO MAX to many online websites like The Criterion Channel, you can now watch a ton of exclusive content from your phone right on your TV.

If none of the tips that I have mentioned here have been helpful to you, your best bet is to contact customer services of Roku

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why can't I screen mirror to Roku Express?

Ensure you have set your Roku Express to the right screen mirroring settings. You can do that by going to Settings> Screen Mirroring> Screen Mirroring Mode> Select the appropriate option.

Does Roku Express support Miracast?

Yes, Roku Express, along with most of its sister models, supports Miracst, owing to the seamless mirror capabilities built into the device.

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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 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 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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