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Roku remote not working? Here are your replacement options – TechHive

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When trying to replace a lost or broken Roku remote, you can quickly fall down a rabbit hole of options.
Between Roku’s various replacement remotes, apps that turn your phone into a remote, and countless unofficial alternatives, the best choice isn’t always obvious. This guide will help you sort through the possibilities.
For Roku players that are more than a few years old, you might want to replace the Roku itself, as a new device might not cost much more than the remote alone. I recently wrote a guide to help you choose between Roku models.
But for Roku smart TVs or recently purchased players, replacing the remote makes more sense. Read on for your options.
Before you replace your Roku remote, try fixing the one you already have. Roku itself has an extensive support guide, but here are the main takeaways:
If none of that works, and you’re no longer eligible for a replacement under warranty, it’s time to consider swapping out the remote.
Roku currently sells three replacement remotes, but not all of them are compatible with every Roku model.
Roku’s mobile app offers a virtual remote and quick video launch options.
Jared Newman / Foundry
If you’d rather not buy another remote, you can always use Roku’s mobile app for iOS and Android. It offers on-screen buttons that mimic an actual Roku player, along with shortcuts to quickly launch apps and content. You can also connect a set of headphones or earbuds to your phone for private listening. Just note that you’ll need to set up HDMI-CEC on your TV or use a separate remote to turn the TV on.
A word of caution: Unofficial Roku remote apps run rampant in the iOS and Android app stores, and many of them either demand payment or bombard you with ads. Avoid these options and use the links above to get the real deal.
An exception: Reelgood’s iOS and Android apps are a great alternative way to control your Roku. You can create a watchlist for tracking your favorite shows, launch content directly on the Roku, and access an on-screen remote for basic controls.
Look on Amazon, and you’ll find countless lookalike Roku remote replacements from obscure vendors, some selling for less than $10. None of them support voice control, however, and device compatibility can vary.
Most of these remotes, for instance, only support an infrared connection, so they have no pairing process and are incompatible with Roku’s Streaming Stick models. Others, meanwhile, are only compatible with Roku TVs, and not with any Roku players. Read the descriptions carefully, and make sure these devices are eligible for return if you end up buying the wrong remote.
A premium option: If you don’t mind spending a bit more, I recommend One for All’s $25 Streamer Remote, which I wrote about a couple of years ago. This programmable infrared remote works with Roku TVs from TCL, Hisense, Sharp, and others. It also supports the Roku Express and the Roku Ultra, but like the cheaper remotes above, it doesn’t support Roku’s Streaming Sticks.
Jared Newman / IDG
One for All’s remote has lots of neat features that aren’t available on Amazon’s cheaper lookalikes, including backlit keys, an input switcher, macro support, and channel up/down buttons for your TV antenna. You can also program it to control a TV, AV system, and a Roku player, all with a single remote. In my testing, the IR emitter works from up to 20 feet away, and the remote has a hefty feel with comfy, rubberized buttons.
On the downside, setting it up involves programming some key codes found in a printed manual. And like the cheaper options above, it doesn’t support voice control.
As I’ve written before, the remote control can make or break the entire streaming experience, being the thing you interact with more than anything else. Whatever replacement you choose, make sure you enjoy using it.
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Jared Newman has been helping folks make sense of technology for over a decade, writing for PCWorld, TechHive, and elsewhere. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for straightforward tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for saving money on TV service.
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