Issues with fast-forwarding media have been a long-standing one on Roku devices, may it be due to hardware issues or exclusively associated with a particular channel/app.
Roku hardware does fare quite well compared to the many streaming and otherwise devices in my arsenal, thanks to its exceptional UI interface and unparalleled content curation.
But after using a fair bit of Roku devices in my lifetime, I have to say, issues with seeking are commonplace on Roku devices.
If fast-forwarding is not working on your Roku, check the batteries and the fast-forward button on the Roku remote. You could also try rebooting your Roku, updating the firmware, and clearing the cache on the device. If none of these work, factory reset the Roku.
I have explained all the possible fixes in detail so that you can fix the fast-forward problem on your Roku.
Check the Roku Remote
In times of adversity concerning the remote controls, as a start, check and make sure that the Roku remote is functioning properly.
A damaged fast-forward button or a depleted battery on your remote can all herald issues on your device.
Start the troubleshooting procedure by checking the status of the batteries.
On top-tier models like the Roku Ultra and Premiere, you get the Voice Pro remotes that house some Smart features too.
All these additional features can and will eat up a lot of juice than your average run-of-the-mill infrared remotes.
Usual indications of depleted batteries include unresponsive commands, delayed responses, failure to detect button pushes, etc.
In such cases, remove the back cover of your Roku remote or voice PRO remote and replace the batteries.
Once you've taken care of the batteries, now check for physical damages on the remote.
One plausible reason for seeking issues on your Roku device is an indented button. Check if the fast-forward button is being in any way activated apart from your own accord.
A quick check for pressure resistance by pressing the button can take care of such issues.
Signs of wear resulting from a recent fall or any other uncertainty can damage the internals of the remote, ultimately leading to issues such as the one at hand.
If that's the case, better replace the damaged remote with a new one.
If you're a DIY fanatic and know the way around consumer electronics, feel free to take things into your own hands.
Carefully remove the outer covering of your Roku remote and check for damage to the silicon membrane, which facilitates button pushes.
Do check for burnt fuses or ICs also while you're at it.
Reset the Roku Remote
Sometimes, involuntary button presses or physical damage may not have anything to do with the said issue. Sometimes, all your remote needs is a quick refresh.
This statement bears truth, especially when your remote starts glitching out quite abruptly without any rhyme or reason.
Nascent bugs and errors that may have taken over your remote or your Roku device may take the brunt.
And there is no reason to panic in such situations since the fix is quite simple - reset your connection!
Predominantly used for tackling issues like beeping sounds on Roku remotes, resetting the remote may also prove to be effective with the issue at hand.
To reset the pairing between your Remote and the Roku device, switch your Roku device OFF by unplugging the power cable first.
Then, follow these steps to reset the connection:
1. Remove the battery compartment cover and remove the batteries.
2. Plug back in the power cable and power ON your Roku device.
3. Put back in the batteries.
4. Press and hold the pairing button in the battery compartment for about 5 seconds or until the LED flashes green.
5. Wait for the remote to pair up.
Try fast-forwarding content on Roku now.
If you have a rechargeable Roku Remote, press and hold the pairing button for about 15-20 seconds until the LED flashes green - turns solid - then back to rapidly pulsing green LEDs.
Upon doing so, follow the usual steps (from step 4) to complete the process.
Reboot Your Roku
Following suit to refreshing the Roku remote, try refreshing your Roku device next.
Whether from a recent update or due to some inexplicable reason, errors and bugs can disrupt the optimal working of your Roku once they take home in the system.
Over time, these miscreants will cause a deluge of issues, with seeking issues being the preface of things yet to come.
On the off chance you do come across issues on your Roku, the best and possibly the easiest fix is to refresh it.
A system refresh will clear off most inconsistencies on the device and possibly make your device a bit more efficient.
There are a couple of ways in which you can reboot your Roku. A power cycle test may be the most suitable for temporal issues such as the one at hand.
A power cycle test also doubles as a performance booster for your device since it also refreshes the system circuitry by draining any piled-up static charges on it.
This may come in handy while troubleshooting other issues like Roku freezing randomly too. Here's how to do so:
- Start the process by unplugging Roku from the power cable.
- Leave the device idle for a few seconds. A good minute may also suffice.
- Press and hold the power button (if there's one) for a few seconds. Repeat this step a couple of times.
- Plug back in the cable and power ON the device. Check for the issue now.
You could also restart a Roku device using the interface commands. Follow these steps to do so:
1. From the Home screen, navigate and open the Settings menu.
2. Click open the Systems menu.
3. Select System Restart.
4. Confirm the process by selecting Restart.
Wait for the device to restart. Check for the issue now.
On some Roku devices like the Roku TV and Streambar, follow these steps to restart it using the interface commands:
1. From the Settings tab, click and open the Systems menu.
2. Click on the Power option and select System Restart.
3. Confirm by selecting Restart.
Update the Firmware on Roku
One of the most effective ways to eradicate bugs and errors on your Roku device is to update the system promptly.
Contrary to popular belief, Roku Devs do take notice of user reports and recollections of malicious activity on their device and take into account the severity of such issues on their devices.
They run tests, perform simulations of the said scenario in a regulated environment, study the results, and finally come out with a potent fix in the form of an update.
Best if you keep a regular check for updates on your Roku device, even under normal circumstances.
Roku devices are programmed to update automatically over time.
But if the device fails to do so, you can manually run a check for updates and execute them on your own accord.
Follow these steps on the Roku interface to update your device:
1. Go to the Settings tab from the home screen.
2. Click open the Systems option.
3. Select the Software Update option.
4. Click on Check Now to run a manual scan for updates.
Perform the update (if you have any). Check for the issue now.
Did you know Roku devices can be integrated into the HomeKit ecosystem as well?
Even though the integration does carry a lot of bugs and errors, updating Roku is one of the most effective fixes for resolving HomeKit issues on Roku.
Issues With App/Channel on Roku
Now, if you're experiencing the issue solely when using a particular app/channel on Roku, you might want to adopt a more focused approach to the issue.
Evident from recent developments and past experiences, seeking issues have always been an especial nightmare for many a channel on Roku.
Recent victims this very issue has taken hostage include Youtube/Youtube TV and Hulu.
The reasons for such isolated incidents are various. They can range from common network issues to server-based issues.
A router/modem refresh or switching to a better bandwidth (5 GHz) will take care of network issues on Roku.
If the network isn't the issue, try logging out of the app and re-login as a preliminary fix. Sometimes, a mere account refresh can do wonders for your app.
If the issue persists on your Roku device, check out these fixes instead.
While it might sound like a good idea to update the affected app to fix it, with Roku devices, you don't have to update each and every app independently.
When you update the firmware version of Roku, all the apps and channels installed on your device too get updated.
Clear the Cache Memory of Roku
The cache memory makes the stomping ground for the many bugs, errors, and other stale files on your device.
And refreshing it every once in a while will render your device even more efficient and faster than ever before.
The only downside to clearing the cache memory is that you will lose all your dynamic memory associated with apps and channels, essentially meaning that loading and buffering content may take some time.
But Roku doesn't necessarily give its users the option to wipe the cache memory clean. You may require a specialized button sequence to initiate the cache reset.
Fortunately, the trick is simple and easy to execute.
Here's how it goes:
- Press the home button on your Roku remote to take you to the home screen.
- Then, press these buttons sequentially to intimate the reset: Home x5> Up x1> Rewind x2> Fast-forward x2
The process may take a few seconds to complete. Check for the issue upon completion.
Uninstall the App/Channel Associated
Next, let's give uninstalling the app/channel a try.
Uninstalling will delete all the associated files with the app, including those that tend to remain even after refreshing the cache memory.
These leftover files may contain malicious stale files also among the other buffer files.
More often than not, it's best to uninstall the app rather than going through with the cache refresh approach.
To uninstall an app or channel on Roku, follow these instructions:
1. From the home screen, navigate to the app/channel you want to delete.
2. Highlight the channel and press the Setting button on your remote to open up a popup menu.
3. Scroll and select the Remove option and confirm the selection.
Once you have removed the app, restart the Roku and reinstall the app.
To install an app/channel on Roku, follow these steps:
1. From the Home screen, navigate to and open the Roku Channel Store.
2. Click on the Search icon and type in the name of the app/channel of choice.
3. Open the app icon and tap on the Add channel option.
Factory Reset Roku
If none of these fixes seems to contribute much, as a last resort, try factory resetting Roku.
Factory resetting is also known to fix hardware issues like the Ethernet port not working on Roku as well.
A factory reset will cause the device to revert back to its factory settings, essentially wiping off any and all wanted/unwanted files from the system.
Hard resetting will also remove all your personal preferences and downloaded channels, so keep that in mind.
The process is a bit time-consuming. Also, do not power down the device while resetting.
Here are the many steps involved in resetting Roku:
1. From the Settings tab, click and open the Systems menu.
2. Click open the Advanced System Settings option.
3. Select Factory Reset.
4. Now, enter the Special code from the bottom right onto the designated field. Click OK to confirm.
Wait for the reset to complete. Reconfigure the system once the reset finishes.
Some Roku devices like the Roku TV and ULTRA have dedicated reset buttons to factory reset the device.
You could initiate the reset by pressing and holding the Reset button for a few seconds on such devices.
One thing to remember with seeking on Roku devices is that not all of them are built the same.
For example, if you compare the seeking period on a Roku ULTRA to that of the Roku Streaming Stick, the Streaming Stick may have a more seeking interval than the ULTRA.
With that said, issues with seeking can interrupt the whole couch-streaming notion to its core.
Fortunately, the fixes are plenty and easy to implement, save for hardware issues.
If you encounter issues with Roku hardware or the Remote, better seek the guidance of a professional.
You could also contact customer services of Roku for further assistance if none of these fixes seems to alleviate the issue.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you fast-forward on Roku?
To fast-forward on Roku, use the fast-forward button (>>) on the Roku remote. Depending on the streaming platform, the seek times may vary. Press and hold the fast-forward button if you want to seek the media by a significant amount.
Does a Roku wear out?
If used under optimal conditions with minimal physical obstructions, a Roku device can run for a long time. Its longevity is only limited by the support Roku provides to it. Expect anywhere between 3-5 years from a brand new Roku.
How do I reset my unresponsive Roku?
You could either press and hold the dedicated reset button on your Roku device or, if your Roku doesn't feature a reset button, press the following buttons sequentially on your remote:
Home x5> Up> Rewind x2> Fast Forward x2.