Roku TVs are great entertainment till you lose the remote and the TV just won’t turn on. We all have been in a situation like this every once in a while.
So, how to turn on a Roku TV without the remote? Luckily, there are several workarounds that you can use to turn your Roku TV ON and control it.
Here are 4 ways you can use to turn on a Roku TV without the remote:
- Use the hidden TV power button to turn it ON & control
- Use the official Roku App (if connected to the device)
- Use a third-party remote app with your phone IR blaster
- Use a cheap universal remote
In this article, I am going to explain each of these 4 methods to turn on your Roku TV without a remote. If you have a Roku remote but it’s malfunctioning, I have a short troubleshooting section at the end as well so make sure to check it out.
4 Methods to Turn on a Roku TV Without the Remote
Even if you don’t have the original Roku TV remote, you can still turn on the TV and control it using various methods.
In the following section, we’ll take a closer look at all these different methods, so you can choose the one that suits you best:
All Roku TV brands include power buttons on the sides or on the back of the panel in case you have to operate the TV without the remote.
You can use these buttons to not just power ON your Roku TV but also carry out other tasks like changing the channels and selecting different configuration options on screen.
But before you can use the buttons, you first have to locate them on the TV.
As you know, most TVs nowadays removed the obvious power buttons in favour of a seamless bezel, and Roku TVs are no exception here.
However, instead of completely removing the buttons, Roku TVs simply moved them to other parts of the TV, so all you have to do to turn on your TV is to locate those buttons.
Since different Roku TV brands and models have different placements of these buttons, you’ll have to look in specific spots in order to locate them.
The most common spot where you’re more likely to find the power button is in the middle of the TV’s bottom bezel just behind the standby light.
In some models where the standby light is not centred on the underside (located either on the left or the right), you may find the power buttons just behind it.
If the power button is not located on the bottom bezel, you can look on the backside of the TV and see if your specific model has them there.
If you’ve searched for the power button but you still can’t find it, you might want to check the user manual of your Roku TV. There, you should find a diagram that shows you exactly where to find the power button on the TV.
But usually, the buttons are not very hard to find. You will probably find them on your first look. Next is how to use them to turn ON and control your TV.
To turn the Roku TV on, all you need to do is tap the power button once. The TV should light up right away.
You can also tap the power button again to open the controls menus, which allow you to switch to different input/sources, such as HDMI, Antenna, AV, etc.
You can use the button itself like a joystick to navigate between those options and choose them by tapping the button again.
In order to turn the TV back off, you have two options. First, you can navigate to the “Turn TV Off”, which should be the first choice on the list, then tap it once to turn the TV off.
The alternative method is to press and hold the power button for a few seconds. You should see a notification at the top right saying “Powering Off”, and the TV should turn itself off afterwards.
If you’ve already connected your Roku TV to your local WiFi network, the easiest way to use your TV is simply by using the Roku app on your phone.
If you’ve already installed and used the app before, you can simply turn on the TV with the app’s remote. Here’s what you need to do if you haven’t used the app before.
- Download the Roku app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices [iOS Download Link | Android Download Link].
- You’ll need to agree to the terms and services of the app. You can also create an account, although this isn’t necessary for controlling the Roku TV.
- Once you’re done, tap “find devices” on the home screen of the app, and give the app permission to look for other Roku devices connected to the same Wifi network.
- When your Roku TV shows app, tap it to connect it to your smartphone, then choose the “Remote” icon to display a layout of the remote buttons.
- Tap the power button, and the TV should turn ON.
You can also use the mobile app to control all the features of the Roku TV as long as you’re connected to the same wifi. Compared to the physical remote, the app remote is much more flexible and versatile.
If you are using a Roku stick connected to a non-Roku TV, you might not see the power OFF button in the remote. That’s because the Roku device can’t send an OFF signal to the non-Roku TVs via HDMI. This is a hardware limitation.
3. Using IR Remote Apps
If you don’t have access to WiFi or the TV is not connected to a local network, you’re not out of luck,
While you can’t use the Roku app, you can use other remote apps to control the TV directly. However, you need a smartphone with an IR blaster feature to pull this one off.
There are plenty of remote apps out there, such as Mi Remote, Peel, Logitech Harmony Hub, Yatse, etc.
First, you need to install one of these apps on your smartphone, follow the setup instructions, and then choose the brand and model of the TV.
For example, TCL and Phillips are among the most popular partners of Roku. If your Roku TV is made by TCL, pick that brand on the app.
The app will then prompt you to test several remotes until one of them works. Save your configuration, and you’ll be able to use your phone as a Roku TV remote all the time.
You can also use this remote to set up the TV’s WiFi, which allows you to use the Roku app instead.
Most people don’t know this but you can use remotes from other brands of TV or satellite boxes to control your Roku TV as well. You can also control your Roku using a universal remote like this one from GE.
I found this nice table of program codes on one of Roku support forums that lists program codes for some common remote brands in the US.
Programming your universal remote to use with Roku is quite easy. On your universal remote, you will see a special button either marked “SETUP” or “PROG”. This button puts the remote into programming or setup mode.
Press the SETUP button and enter the code digits provided by your TV manufacturer. You can either see the codes in the table above or your remote will come with a guide containing code for your Roku TV.
Once you put in the digits, your remote will be configured to be used with that particular Roku TV. Now you can use your universal remote as your Roku remote to control the essential functions. See the below video on how to do this
How to Troubleshoot a Malfunctioning Roku Remote
If you already have the remote but it doesn’t work, here are some of the tricks that you can do to troubleshoot it:
Although the remote is most likely the culprit in these cases, it’s always recommended that you double-check that by testing the remote with other Roku devices.
If it works with other Roku devices, it’s your device that’s faulty.
Similarly, you want to make sure that the signal receiver on the TV isn’t malfunctioning by testing different Roku remotes on your device. You can ask friends and family who have Roku devices for help.
One of the most common reasons why your Roku remote isn’t working or not pairing with the TV is low battery.
Ideally, a Roku TV battery should last around 4 to 6 months depending on how frequently you use the remote.
Make sure that you replace the battery with fresh alkaline AA batteries in the right orientation by matching the (+) and (-) on both the remote and the battery. There’s a huge chance that the remote will work normally again.
Roku remotes use 2.4 GHz signals to communicate with the TV, which are the same signals used in many house appliances, such as microwaves and routers.
To avoid this interference, consider turning off these devices while pairing the remote, and remove any obstructions that are in the way while using the remote.
A common error on Roku remotes is the blinking green light beneath the battery compartment when the remote unpair from the device. The most likely cause is signal interference from a nearby Wifi router.
Resetting the remote is an easy troubleshooting measure that solves a lot of problems and bugs for many people, so you should try it out:
- Unplug your Roku TV to kill its power, and wait for 5 to 10 seconds
- Meanwhile, remove the batteries from your Roku remote.
- Turn the TV back on using any of the methods mentioned above
- Put a pair of fresh batteries in the Roku remote
- Press and hold the pairing button for 5 seconds. The light indicator should start blinking green
- The screen should then display a message saying “Pairing Remote”
Once the message goes away, the light will stop blinking, and you should be able to use the remote normally again.
This marks the end of today’s guide that shows you how to turn on the Roku TV and use it without a remote.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to turn your TV back on without needing a remote. Not only that, but most of the previously mentioned methods will provide you with access to various features of the TV.
However, some of them can be a little counterintuitive and wouldn’t work as a viable alternative to Roku remotes, so make sure that you get a replacement remote or an original one if yours stopped working to enjoy all the features of Roku devices!