Roku Keeps Freezing and Restarting – What To Do
A Roku device is an excellent item to own, but occasionally, it will crash, freeze, or restart for no apparent reason. It may freeze or reboot during a streaming session, when browsing channels, or when sitting idle, and it can freeze at any time. This tutorial discusses various steps you can do to fix restart and freezing problems.
Before we “dig in” and discover possible solutions to Roku rebooting or freezing problems, it is important to note one technicality. Roku channels ARE NOT channels, but are actually apps that may or may not have channels. An app that has channels could include live TV functionality, such as Pluto TV and Sling. However, CBS News and Nick are technically not channels but are apps that offer on-demand or live streaming that you might call channels. OK, now we can move on! Here are some helpful tips to stop your Roku from rebooting or freezing.
What Causes a Roku Device to Freeze or Restart
Whether it’s from overheating, a poor internet connection, or an error with the device or one of the apps, there are numerous things that can make your Roku device act up. For the sake of simplicity, it’s best to start with the easiest solution and work on up in complexity.
Unplug the Roku Device and Let it Cool Down
One major cause for devices behaving strangely is too much heat. As with most devices nowadays, Roku devices are compact by nature and don’t come equipped with internal fans; less moving parts means less chance for failure. As a consequence, they instead rely on the natural process of heat transference and circulation, that’s why certain parts face a certain way and are have heatsinks.
- Unplug your Roku device and let it sit for 2-5 minutes.
- Ensure that there are no obstructions in the dissipation of heat around your device, i.e. check to make sure your device isn’t too close to a wall, TV, computer, etc.
- Plug your device back up and let it restart.
Update Your Roku
You may have already tried this step, but it may be worth another attempt. The Roku is updated fairly regularly to add features or fix bugs. Like the headphone and Nintendo Switch Pokemon issues, performing a system update can not only solve the above problems but also add other fixes.
- If not there already, select Home on your remote.
- Next, scroll down and select Settings.
- Then, select System from the new page.
- Now, select System update and then choose Check Now.
- Allow Roku to update if there is one available.
Reboot Your Roku
Most people tend to leave the Roku plugged in and on standby mode when not in use. Therefore, it is a good idea to reboot it regularly. The procedure refreshes all files and resets the memory, which may stop freezing or rebooting problems.
- Again, navigate to the Settings menu and then select System.
- Now, select System restart.
- Next, select Restart.
The rebooting steps alone may be enough to stop the issues you’re having. It’s always a good idea to restart your device every so often.
Remove the Headphones From the Remote
There is a known issue when headphones get connected to the remote. A fix was released, but some users still complain that Roku will freeze or reboot when they have headphones connected.
- Update your Roku.
- Unplug the Roku for at least 30 seconds.
- Remove the headphones from the remote.
- Remove the batteries from the remote and wait about 30 seconds, then reinsert them.
- Reboot the Roku.
- Check again for updates.
Disable Your Nintendo Switch Wi-Fi
There has been a known issue with Nintendo Switch interfering with certain Roku Devices, but only when playing Pokemon Sword and Shield.
- Update your Roku.
- Unplug the Roku.
- Turn off the Nintendo Switch or set it to Airplane Mode.
- Reboot the Roku.
- Check again for updates.
An update released for Roku devices potentially solved the Pokemon issues. However, many people still claimed to have freezing or rebooting problems, which could occur due to a different problem or because the update never completed successfully. Roku tech-support recommended that Roku owners try updating their device again later, often in the evening, primarily since the issue may get caused by a “nearby” Nintendo Switch.” So, if you still suffer from reboots or lockups, your Roku device may just need to get that update.
After trying the two steps above, try these other troubleshooting tips to see if they resolve your problem.
Check for Changes
Have you made any configuration changes or added any new apps (a.k.a. channels) since your Roku began freezing or rebooting? While rare, adding apps can interfere with how other apps run, and changing the configuration can cause the Roku to crash and reboot.
Consider any changes you made to your Roku when it started having issues. Retrace your steps and undo the changes to see what happens.
Check for Problems With the Channel
Does your Roku freeze or reboot on a specific app or channel within the app? Is it always the same thing you’re doing when it happens? If it seems channel or app-related, remove it and reinstall it. If it’s a menu or navigation issue, remove some channels you no longer watch to reduce the memory footprint.
Check Your Network
It is rare but possible that a poor network signal would cause your Roku device to freeze or reboot. If you use Wi-Fi, check the signal strength on your phone. If other people in your household are using the network, make sure that there is enough bandwidth to go around. If the signal strength or quality is poor, connect your Roku via Ethernet (if possible) and retest. If it remains stable, it could be the wireless signal. Try changing your Wi-Fi channel. Faulty Wi-Fi signals can affect data received on your Roku device, leading to freezes or reboots.
Check The HDMI Cable
Most Roku devices use HDMI cables to connect to your TV, so that’s the next logical thing to check. Swap it for another cable and see what happens. Just like there are both physical and connective differences in ethernet and USB cables, there ARE differences in HDMI cables. HDMI cables rarely go faulty, but since this step takes just a few seconds, it’s worth a try.
Factory Reset Your Roku
Resetting your Roku is a last-resort step. You will lose all your channels, your customizations, and anything you have done to make it your own. However, if all the previous steps have failed, it is your only option, aside from replacing the device. Nothing is perfect, and there is the possibility that you may have a defective Roku device.
- Select Home on your Roku remote.
- Now, scroll down and select Settings.
- Then, select System.
- Next, choose Advanced System Settings.
- Now, select Factory reset.
- Then, enter the code shown, select OK, and then confirm your choice if prompted.
- Wait for Roku to wipe its configuration settings, download new files, and reboot itself
If a factory reset doesn’t work, nothing will, unless a new, “magical” update happens!
Roku Device Troubleshooting
As with most devices, there are a lot of things that can cause the problem with your Roku device intermittently freezing and restarting. All you can do is try to fix the issue one possible solution at a time.
Do you know of any specific fixes for a Roku that keeps freezing or rebooting? Tell us about it below if you do!