How to Exit Roku Back to Regular TV

This has probably happened to you at one point or another – your internet connection is nowhere to be found, the newest episode of your favorite show didn’t get uploaded, or your favorite streaming platform is just working too slowly.

How to Exit Roku Back to Regular TV

When stuff like that happens, a gadget like a Roku streaming stick can quickly become very useless. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use your TV anymore. There’s always cable TV, for those that have it. If you’re unsure how to get back to it after relying on Roku for too long, here are some tricks that should help.

How to Power off Your Roku Stick

There are a few ways in which you can turn off your Roku streaming stick. Some are available on the entire Roku lineup and others will require you to get crafty or to buy some new control accessories. Here’s how you can manipulate a Roku stick.

exit roku

Turn off Your TV

If you turn off your TV, your Roku stick will also shutdown. But, if you power up your TV again with the Roku stick plugged in, it will probably go by default to the Roku player. Remove your Roku stick before starting your TV again.

Set Automatic Shutdown on Roku 4

Roku 4 has two additional features which older generation devices don’t share. You can set the player to shutdown automatically or you can manually shut it down.


For the automatic shutdown follow the next steps:

  1. Bring up the Home screen on Roku.
  2. Use the remote to navigate to the Settings menu.
  3. Select System.
  4. Go to Power.
  5. Select the Auto power off option.

This will turn off your Roku player if it stays idle for 30 minutes.

For the manual or on-demand shutdown follow these steps:

  1. Bring up the Home screen on Roku.
  2. Use the remote to navigate to the Settings menu.
  3. Select System.
  4. Select Power.
  5. Choose Power off from the power options.

There’s no automatic shutdown button on the remote, nor is there a power button on the USB stick that can make this any easier.

Use Other Smart Gadgets

Another way in which you can power off your Roku device so that your TV returns automatically to cable, is to use a smart strip or a power strip with a power button attached. These accessories can save you having to walk all the way to your TV to unplug your Roku player. They’re especially useful if you have an older generation Roku player without accessible power off functionality in the settings menu.

Change the Source on Your TV

This should be pretty obvious, even if this is the first time you’ve used a smart TV. Even before smart TVs came along, many regular TVs gave you the option of changing the source of the A/V input.

Because of this you could always quickly switch between your cable TV, PS console, Xbox, PC stream, DVR, and other sources. Therefore, in order to go back to regular TV, you can always just use your remote to switch the source from your USB Roku player back to your regular cable input.

Disabling Roku on a Roku TV

Here’s something very interesting that you can sometimes do on certain TVs. If you want to disable Roku but you have a Roku smart TV, you may be able to disable its features completely and have the TV operate as a regular TV with no OS.

The process may differ from one model to another, but what should always work is a factory reset. If you can find your TV’s specific factory reset process you can use that to revert it to default settings. What this means is that once you reboot it, all your Roku information will be gone.

This of course means that you’ll have to set up your Roku account again. If you choose not to connect to the internet, then you won’t be able to configure the Roku OS, and therefore have a regular TV. But again, this may not work all the time. TCL Roku TVs have shown a higher rate of success with this particular method than other brands.

Is Regular TV Worth It Anymore?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. While it’s true that a lot of people like binge watching TV series and scripted reality shows all day long, there’s still a large percent of the population that use their TVs for more than just that.

Take watching sports, for example. If you’re a true sports fan then a Roku smart TV or Roku streaming stick won’t give you the best selection of national and international sports channels. For that you’ll have to switch back to cable or satellite TV. Do you use regular TV for something else that you can’t find on Roku besides sports and news? If so, let us know what you feel is lacking from the Roku channels playlist in the comments section below.

7 thoughts on “How to Exit Roku Back to Regular TV”

Mary says:
I would love to see MSNBC News, unlike the other news channels you have to subscribe or pay for this channel, I would love to see INSP, Movie, Westerns (SEWS)
Rpberta says:
I have a roku express. we turned on and now want to exit. Nothing will work to get me out. I tried to switch to hdm1 and it will not return to regular tv. This should not be this hard.
Judith Ann Crouch says:
me cannoot figure out how to watch tv programing now that i have roku on

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