Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Remotes are indispensable to the Roku experience — sure, you can also use Google Cast or the official Roku app, but dedicated control is usually simpler and faster. Here’s how to pair Roku remotes, whether as replacements or upgrades.
Read more: The Roku buyer’s guide
To pair an enhanced Roku voice remote, unplug your Roku device, wait five seconds, then plug it back in. Remove the remote’s battery cover, and within the first 30 seconds after the home screen appears, hold the pairing button until a status light flashes. Roku’s “simple” IR remotes don’t need to be paired but won’t work with products like Streaming Sticks.
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How to pair a Roku IR remote
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
The good news is that Roku’s IR “simple” remotes don’t need to be paired at all. So long as they have charged batteries and are pointed towards the IR receiver on a Roku device, they’ll work. This can be especially convenient in homes with multiple Roku products.
The catch, of course, is that IR remotes don’t work with Roku hardware that’s missing an IR receiver. That eliminates Streaming Sticks, which plug directly into HDMI ports and are meant to be out of sight.
How to pair a Roku enhanced remote
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
“Simple” remotes are IR-only and lack a voice control option. Roku’s enhanced remotes add both voice control and wireless pairing, meaning you can control a TV regardless of which way you’re pointing.
If you’re pairing an enhanced/voice remote with an add-on Roku streamer (like the Ultra or a Streaming Stick), here’s what to do:
- Unplug your Roku device, wait five seconds, then plug it back in. You’ll need to plug it directly into your TV during setup, not a separate soundbar or receiver.
- Remove the battery cover from your remote. Insert batteries if you haven’t already.
- You should see a pairing button next to the battery slot. As soon as the Roku home screen appears, hold that button for five seconds or until a status light starts flashing.
Timing is tight since you have to hit the pairing button within the first 30 seconds of the home screen launching. If you’re successful, a pop-up message will appear on your Roku. Restart the process if pairing fails.
Another important note: instructions are essentially identical if you’re pairing with a Roku TV, except there’s no need to unplug anything. Just turn your TV on and leave it on the home screen.
After your remote is paired, you may still need to configure it, so TV-specific controls (volume and power) work properly. From the Roku home screen, navigate Settings > Remotes & devices > Remote, choose your remote model, then Set up remote for TV control.
A continuously blinking light means one of two things: low battery power or difficulty pairing with a Roku device. In the latter case, you may want to retry the pairing process, except that you should remove and re-insert batteries at the appropriate stage.
Can you replace a Roku remote?
Yes, but double-check compatibility. Don’t buy a simple/IR remote if you have a Streaming Stick, for example, or a remote without a power button if you’re using a Roku TV. The safest option with Roku TVs is to get a replacement explicitly designed for your TV brand (TCL, RCA, etc.).
Can you use a universal remote on a Roku TV?
Potentially — you’ll have to check official lists for model support and follow different instructions based on which remote you have. Logitech Harmony remotes are the safest option, and you can check out setup guides here. If you’re pairing it with a Streaming Stick, you’ll need a hub-based Harmony model.
Can you reprogram a Roku remote?
You get two customizable shortcut buttons if you own Roku’s Voice Remote Pro. To link them, issue a voice command like “open Criterion Channel” or “show me action movies.” Once it’s complete, press and hold one of the shortcut buttons (“1” or “2”). You’ll hear a tone if you’re successful.