Unlike desktop and laptop computers and even smartphones, streaming sticks are short on built-in storage.
The maximum is usually 4 GB of space. Some could sport more than that, but those are few and far between.
User-available space is even less, as the built-in OS usurps a portion. And it’s pretty easy to exhaust what remains if you install multiple apps and download online content without bounds.
Thankfully, an SD (secure digital) card comes to the rescue. But there are different SD card sizes and classes, and not all support all devices or can fit in each one of them.
For instance, a Roku Ultra accepts microSD cards. But not all the Ultra versions do. And then there are other Roku players, too, with no tolerance for an SD card.
If you own a Roku Ultra with a card slot and want to know what size and class microSD card to use to expand the streaming device’s storage potential, keep reading.
Different Micro-SD Card Classes
Also called TransFlash (TF) cards, microSD is smaller than miniSD, which in turn has a smaller footprint than standard SD cards.
The below comparison lets you know how big or small a microSD is compared to other popular types of SD cards:
|Micro SD||15mm x 11mm x 1mm|
|Mini SD||21.5mm x 20mm x 1.4mm|
|SD/Standard||32mm x 24mm x 2.1mm|
Please note that microSD cards are divided into four speed classes: C2, C4, C6, and C10. The speed at which they read and write varies, therefore.
Class 2 is the slowest of the bunch. C10 is the fastest and is considered the industry standard. C6 is “middle of the road” and perfectly fine to use if your particular device’s speed requirements aren’t the highest.
Irrespective of their speed classes, the cards are all the same size.
|Speed Class||Write Speed (Minimum)|
Since the above are minimum speeds, it’s entirely possible that a C2 or C4 microSD card will perform faster in the real world than what the above numbers suggest.
Micro-SD Card Classes for Roku Ultra
Your Roku Ultra accepts microSD cards ranging from Class 2 to Class 10. However, the recent Ultra releases have no microSD card slots.
The Roku Ultra models with a microSD card slot include the Roku Ultra (4670, 4661, 4660, and 4640) and Ultra LT (4662). The 4802R, the latest Ultra, doesn’t have an SD card slot.
The storage card is not meant to store videos, photos, music, or other personal media, which is why even a 2 GB microSD card like this Transcend 2 GB microSD Flash Memory Card will seem like a significant bump-up in storage.
With the card, you can increase the Ultra’s storage capacity and have more room to install games and apps from the official Roku store.
Although the different classes denote varying speeds, they usually don’t matter since the card serves as local storage space and is not used to download content from the cloud on demand.
Needless to say, the specific card doesn’t provide significant performance gains to the OS.
Look for a card with enough storage, at least 2 GB of storage space (like the one linked above). The greater, the better.
We recommend this 32 GB Lexar Micro SD Card or The SanDisk Ultra microSDHC UHS-I if you want more space.
You may opt for cards with even greater storage space, such as 64 GB. But that’s overkill and a waste of money.
That storage room would have made sense if you could use the card to store videos or photos. Or get the larger capacity microSD card if you plan on using them with other devices.
Moreover, your Roku Ultra could encounter formatting issues with larger capacity cards—more on “formatting” later.
How to Insert a Micro SD Card in a Roku Ultra
The microSD card goes into its card slot in the rear of your Roku Ultra. Just insert the card. You will hear a teeny click sound as the card locks in place.
The HDMI port is closely positioned to the microSD card slot and may hinder card slot access if the port is engaged. You would, therefore, have to take the HDMI cable out before inserting the SD chip.
How to Remove a Micro SD Card from a Roku Ultra?
To take the card out, push at the card. The slot’s built-in spring motion will cause the card to release and eject. Just pull at the card after that.
If you downloaded and installed apps and games onto your microSD card, those would cease to show on your Roku TV after you take the card out.
However, game and app purchases will remain valid, waiting to be downloaded again from the Roku Channel Store for free.
What Happens After You Insert the Micro SD Card into Your Roku Ultra?
After inserting the card into your Roku Ultra and connecting the device to your TV, a dialog box with the “microSD card detected” message will appear on your TV screen.
To use the card for storing channels and games, first format the card. Formatting helps avoid issues that could arise when reading or writing data on the card.
Choose the Format option right after the dialog box appears. Next, select Continue to start formatting.
The formatting process could take a few minutes. Once it’s done, select OK, enabling your Roku Ultra to use the card.
Can You Move the SD Card from One Roku Ultra to Another?
Yes, you can move the microSD card between your Roku Ultra to another or any Roku device that accepts a microSD card.
However, the card will not be readily available for use. You must format it for use with a specific Roku device like always.
SD cards are on their way out. They are almost obsolete on high-end smartphones. Streaming devices are most likely next in line to ditch the external storage solution.
Manufacturers posit various reasons for not supporting SD card slots, such as slow performance and poor build quality of cards.
And Roku has been ditching the card slots on many streaming devices.
Luckily, Roku Ultra is one of the few Roku streaming players to still have the card slot intact. The most recent offerings, however, are devoid of microSD card compatibility.
If you own a Roku Ultra with a microSD card slot and want to expand its storage capacity, you now know how to do it.
Catherine Tramell has been covering technology as a freelance writer for over a decade. She has been writing for Pointer Clicker for over a year, further expanding her expertise as a tech columnist. Catherine likes spending time with her family and friends and her pastimes are reading books and news articles.