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Why Are Roku TVs So Slow?

Why Are Roku TVs So Slow?

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If your Roku TV takes time to load applications, the interface navigations are not smooth or snappy, etc., the television has issues.

Unfortunately, smart TVs are not equipped with the most powerful SOCs since not a lot is expected from them. Roku TVs are no exceptions to that rule.

However, that doesn’t mean your Roku TVs are expected to be sluggish and clunky right off the bat. If your Roku TV is excruciatingly slow, it’s not by design but due to a few underlying causes that require addressing.

In this article, we’ll list those reasons and discuss what can be done to rectify them.  

1. Connectivity Problems

Since your Roku TV or any other smart TV depends on reliable and speedy internet to perform optimally, a slow Roku TV could be due to a mediocre internet connection.

A shaky internet not just causes video loading or buffering issues; you can see its impact even when browsing or scrolling through the TV’s features.

To fix the problem, bring the router closer to the TV. Use an Ethernet cable if you don’t mind a cord between the two devices.

a router and remote place near a TV

If the router is near and the internet speed is up to snuff, try restarting your TV and router. If that doesn’t help, keep probing for other causes.

2. Remote Lag

Remote issues can also cause your Roku TV to slow down.

For example, if the remote signal is obstructed or weak, the TV won’t correctly respond to the remote’s commands or will lag.

Check if the remote’s running out of juice. Replace its two AAA batteries. If the remote uses rechargeable batteries, charge the power cells. The device uses a micro-USB cable for charging.  

Reset your Roku remote. Here are the steps:

  1. Take off the remote’s back cover to reveal the soft reset button. 
  2. Long-press the button for a few seconds until a green light starts blinking. 
  3. Once the light stops blinking, stop pressing the button and put the battery cover back on.

The remote is now reset. 

press and hold soft reset button on remote control

Here’s a video demonstrating the above steps:

How to Soft Reset a Roku Remote?

If the remote is not original but compatible, it may not pair perfectly with the TV, leading to shaky connectivity or slow response times.

The remote regularly unpairing with the TV is also a sign the remote’s at fault and needs help.

3. Overheating

If you use your Roku TV for hours together without a break, your TV is bound to overheat. Poor ventilation and software issues may also cause the device to overheat.

That excessive heat will hamper the TV’s performance since the TV spends some of its resources on managing the TV’s temperature—the phenomenon is called “thermal throttling.” 

Your Roku TV will let you know its thermals are out of control by flashing a red light or popping up a “device is overheating” message on the screen.

If the overheating signs are apparent, turn off the TV and let it breathe for several minutes. It’s recommended that you unplug it too.

a hand unplugs power cord of TV

If your TV is slotted in a cabinet, make proper airflow arrangements. An external fan, such as this SCCCF Quiet 120mm USB Fan , might help. 

If proper rests and good airflow don’t help, or your Roku TV gets significantly hot within minutes of usage, it’s likely a software or hardware concern that requires expert intervention.

Contact Roku for help.

4. Overload

Running multiple streaming apps simultaneously or not closing the previous video before hopping on to another could load the system and cause it to slow down.

If you are guilty, close all videos you’re currently not watching or don’t intend to quickly and keep only the content you’re presently consuming active.

When you stop and close a video in a streaming app, you can continue after returning to where you left off. So, don’t worry about starting over again and fast-forward to the exact point where you stopped.

The excessive load is not just internal. It can also be from the outside.

Suppose too many external devices, such as a Blu-ray player, gaming console, or another streaming device, are simultaneously hooked to your Roku TV.

In that case, your Roku TV will feel the added strain and could slow down—particularly if its memory or processing prowess is lacking.

5. Full Storage

Little to no available storage space can considerably slow down your Roku TV.

Compared to laptops and smartphones, TVs have much lower built-in storage. It’s, therefore, not difficult to use up the available space or come very close to depleting it. When that happens, your Roku TV’s performance takes a hit.

Apps are the primary reason your Roku TV is running short of space. Therefore, uninstall apps and also delete pictures, videos, or other content saved on your TV.

A plethora of unused apps could also mean many background processes or apps consuming system resources when they are not actively used.

Look for apps running in the background and disable them. If you haven’t used the apps in a while, it’s best to uninstall them.

Here is how you delete apps on your Roku TV:

Step 1: Press the Home button on your Roku TV remote to open the home screen.

Step 2: Press the right arrow button on the remote to hop on to the apps section.

Step 3: Move to and highlight the app you want to delete.

Step 4: Press the asterisk (*) button on your remote. A box will appear with all the options to manage the app.

Step 5: Scroll down to the Remove channel option and press the OK key. A box seeking your confirmation will appear. Select Remove to process the uninstallation.

Here is a video demonstrating the above:

Roku How To Delete Channels - Roku How To Delete Apps - How To Uninstall Channels on Roku Help Guide

Clearing the cache is also a way to free up some storage space on any device. 

But Roku doesn’t allow users to empty the cache on their Roku devices because the devices simply have no traditional cache. 

However, specific techniques (unplugging the player, a button sequence, etc.) let you restart the player. Do not mistake them for cache-clearing methods.

6. Software Issues

If your Roku TV’s OS is not up to date or some critical software updates are pending installation, the TV’s operational pace could drop.

Therefore, check the OS for updates.

Your Roku TV is designed to check for updates automatically by default. So, ensuring your Roku TV’s software is up to date is not something you need to be constantly wary of.

If there’s a software update or bug fix in the offing, the TV will look for it and install the new software by itself.

Your Roku TV will download the software in the background while the TV is in use.

After you turn the device off, it will install the code and ensure the TV is ready with fresh software the next time you power on the television.

The automatic updates may not take place if the auto-updating feature is disabled or the TV is off the internet for a considerable time period.

Manually Updating Roku TV Software

You can also look for the update manually by following these steps:

Step 1: Press the Home button on your Roku remote.

Step 2: Scroll down to the Settings option on the left.

Step 3: Scroll to the System option to the right of Settings.

Step 4: Move to the right and scroll down to System update.

Step 5: Press the OK button on your remote once you have the System update option highlighted, and press OK again to click on the Check now option.

Your Roku TV should start looking for updates now. You’d see the “All software is up to date” message if the TV is on the latest software.

If not, you’ll be prompted to update the OS with the option to download and install the latest OS.

Here’s a video demonstration of the above:

Onn. Roku TV: How to System Software Update to Latest Version

7. Old Roku TV

If your TV is a few years old, it could become slow.

It’s not clear how old is too old. But if the TV is not eligible for software updates anymore, it’s no doubt a bit too long in the tooth. Third-party apps could have withdrawn their support as well.

If your TV’s more than half a decade old and you’re experiencing slowdown issues or the device can’t keep up with modern streaming demands, it’s time to buy a new TV.

Maybe the TV’s processor is not powerful enough. The TV experiencing hardware issues is another sign that a new TV purchase is long pending.


Your Roku TV could become slow for various reasons.

Although specific issues, such as outdated software, too many apps installed, etc., can be fixed, there’s no solution for a TV that has lived its time other than buying a new device.

If you bought the most inexpensive Roku TV, you’re likely to experience slowdown issues sooner rather than later, thanks to the low-powered processor and lousy hardware and software optimization.

The next time you buy a Roku TV, don’t focus solely on price, particularly if you don’t want to run into performance issues.

That doesn’t imply getting the latest, greatest, and costliest TV. Ensure the TV is not underpowered or positioned in the “cheap TV” category.

If you don’t find a Roku TV that tickles your fancy but also want to stick to the Roku experience, buy a capable Samsung, Sony, or LG HDTV and stick a Roku streaming device in it.

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