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5 Ways to get Roku Apps on your Mac or PC

5 Ways to get Roku Apps on your Mac or PC

Navigating streaming platforms can often feel like charting unknown territories, especially when you’re trying to access your favorite Roku apps on a device that isn’t your TV, like a MacBook or PC.

The convenience of having all your preferred streaming services in one place is undeniable, and Roku has made a name for itself by offering just that. But what happens when you want to break free from the confines of your living room and take those services with you on your MacBook?

In this article, we’re diving into the nitty-gritty of whether you can use Roku apps on your MacBook. We’ll explore various methods, from screen mirroring to third-party apps, and weigh their pros and cons to find the best solution for you.

You may also want to see: Is Jailbreaking Roku Possible? (+ Several Tricks Revealed) – YouTube

Whether you’re a Roku veteran looking to expand your viewing options or a newcomer curious about your choices, this guide aims to clear up the confusion and help you make the most of your Roku experience on a MacBook.

See the 14 Best Screen Mirroring Apps for Roku

Does Roku let you use apps on other devices?

1 Does Roku let you use apps on other devices

Straight off the bat, it’s important to clarify that Roku, primarily a digital media player for TVs, doesn’t offer a direct way to use its apps on other devices like MacBooks or laptops…

However, this doesn’t mean you’re out of options. There are several workarounds and methods to access Roku content on your MacBook, albeit not as straightforwardly as on a Roku device.

  • 1. On a MacBook or computer, using a Roku app or premium channel is different from using the actual Roku operating system on your Mac.
  • 2. If you only want to watch the Roku channel online (laptop, macbook, smartphone, etc), then visit: The Roku channel online, which Is the official Roku website for this. Not everybody knows about this!
  • 3. It is much more difficult to get your actual Roku interface on your Mac, to do this you’ll probably want to screen mirror or cast your Roku to your MacBook or use one of the Roku secret menu options.
  • 4. If all you want to do is use apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube TV, FuboTV, Sling TV or any other subscription based streaming service or platform, then you can simply by visit the website of that service, login and begin watching on your MacBook or laptop.

Keep in mind, these methods vary in complexity and convenience, and your experience may differ based on your specific needs and technical know-how.

The Quest: Getting Roku Apps on MacBook or PC (5 ways)

2 The Quest Getting Roku Apps on MacBook or laptop 5 ways

Accessing Roku apps on your MacBook, Windows PC, or desktop might seem like a quest worthy of a knight in shining armor, but fear not. While Roku doesn’t officially support direct streaming on MacBooks or laptops, several workarounds can get you pretty close to enjoying your favorite Roku channels on your computer.

MethodProsConsBest For
Screen MirroringDirect streamingPotential lagCasual viewing
Roku Channel OnlineWide content rangeNoneAccess to free content
Third-Party AppsEnhanced featuresMust use on MacSubscription based Apps
CastingHigh-quality streamingLimited contentSpecific apps

Note: If you’re Mac isn’t optimized, these methods may be tougher to execute. You’re going to want your Mac to be optimized, clean and have any unnecessary programs uninstalled.

This will let it run at full speed – to get further information you can do this (checking your CPU usage on mac) see this post for more details.

Now, let’s embark on this journey together, exploring each path you can take.

1. Screen Mirroring: A Temporary Solution

3 1. Screen Mirroring A Temporary Solution

Screen mirroring is one of the most straightforward methods to watch Roku content on your MacBook. It involves projecting your Roku screen onto your MacBook, essentially replicating what’s on your TV.

This method is particularly useful for presentations or watching content without needing a direct app or channel access on your MacBook.

Keep in mind, though, that screen mirroring can sometimes result in lag or lower video quality, depending on your network’s strength and stability. It’s a great temporary fix but might not be the best long-term solution for an avid streamer.

2. The Roku Channel Online: A Web-Based Approach

4 2. The Roku Channel Online A Web Based Approach

Roku offers a web-based version of its Roku Channel, allowing users to watch a selection of its content directly from a web browser.

This is a boon for those looking to access Roku’s content without the need for mirroring or casting. Simply visit The Roku Channel online, sign in, and you’re good to go.

One advantage of this method is its ease of use; there’s no need to fiddle with settings or download third-party apps. However, note that the content available on The Roku Channel online might be more limited compared to what you can access on a Roku device.

3. Use the Roku secret menu

5 3. Use the Roku secret menu

The Roku secret menu isn’t as mysterious as it sounds, but it’s a less-known feature that allows users to access advanced settings and features, which can sometimes include screen mirroring or casting options not readily visible in the standard menu.

Keep in mind, the Roku secret menu is primarily intended for troubleshooting and may not provide a direct way to stream Roku apps on your MacBook. It’s more of a backdoor into Roku’s settings that might offer some workarounds for streaming issues.

4. Using Third-Party Apps

6 4. Using Third Party Apps

Mirror for Roku

Mirror for Roku is a third-party app that enables screen mirroring from your MacBook to your Roku device. It’s a straightforward solution for mirroring your entire screen, including Roku apps, directly to your TV.

See the 14 Best Screen Mirroring Apps for Roku


AirBeamTV is another app designed for screen mirroring from Mac to various devices, including Roku. It offers a simple setup and the ability to stream videos, music, and photos from your MacBook to your Roku device.

Web Video Cast

While primarily used for casting videos from web pages, Web Video Cast can also mirror your MacBook screen to a Roku device, making it a versatile option for streaming content. Web video cast also doubles a Roku Web Browser.

Each of these third-party apps offers a unique set of features and capabilities, but they all serve the purpose of bridging the gap between your MacBook and Roku device. A benefit here is the ease of setup and use, but keep in mind the potential costs and compatibility issues.


JustStream is a flexible program that makes it possible to stream from Mac to Roku TV without interruptions. The connection needs a download and installation of the app to your computer. JustStream’s interface works with a wide range of video types. It is easy to connect to the app and start to enjoy the best content available on the channel. 

  • Visit the Apple Store and follow the prompts to download JustStream. Once downloaded, follow the prompts to install it on your Mac. 
  • Use WIFI to link the two gadgets and start streaming. It makes it easier to achieve flawless streaming. 
  • Open the app on your computer to display the wide range of casting choices. One of the choices on the platform will be Roku. 
  • Since you want to cast on Roku, choose the Roku TV option. If you need a video player, you can download a variety of video players for Mac online.
  • JustStream contains a large pool of multimedia that you will love. Choose the types you prefer to cast on the TV screen. 
  • Broadcasting starts once you open the Play button. The app offers the best speed and clarity that every Mac user will love.


WebCatalog Desktop enables Mac users to access Roku apps seamlessly, enhancing the experience with distraction-free windows and easy account management. This application supports The Roku Channel on Mac, allowing users to switch between multiple apps without needing different browsers.

Keep in mind that the Roku Channel features a wide array of content, including movies and TV shows from major studios such as Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount, and Warner Bros., among others. In addition to its licensed content, it offers Roku channel content from publishers like FilmRise and Popcornflix.

5. Casting (Selective Streaming)

7 5. Casting Selective Streaming

One advantage of casting is the ability to continue using your MacBook for other tasks while streaming content to your Roku. However, not all apps and services support casting, and compatibility can vary. See how to cast Roku for all casting & screen mirroring options

Casting allows you to send specific content from your MacBook to your Roku device, rather than mirroring your entire screen. This method is ideal for streaming videos or music without the rest of your MacBook’s interface getting in the way.

Which method is best? (Compared)

When it comes to choosing the best method for using Roku apps on your MacBook, it really boils down to what you’re looking for… Each method has its own set of pros and cons, and what works best for one person might not be ideal for another.

Screen Mirroring vs. Casting: Pros and Cons

Screen mirroring is great for displaying your entire MacBook screen on your TV, making it suitable for presentations or browsing. However, it can be less than ideal for streaming high-quality video due to potential lag and quality degradation.

Casting, on the other hand, offers a more seamless streaming experience, allowing you to send specific content to your Roku device while freeing up your MacBook for other uses. The downside is that not all content or apps support casting, limiting its usefulness.

Third-Party Apps in Roku Streaming

Third-party apps like Mirror for Roku and AirBeamTV offer convenient solutions for mirroring and casting, with easy setup and broad compatibility. However, they often come at a cost, and the streaming quality can vary based on your network conditions.

For those looking for a straightforward way to access Roku content without additional hardware or apps, The Roku Channel Online is a solid choice. It offers a selection of Roku’s content directly in your web browser, though the available content may be more limited than on the Roku device itself.

The best method for you depends on what you value most: ease of use, streaming quality, or access to a wide range of content. It’s worth experimenting with several methods to find the one that best suits your streaming.

Practical Guide

Now that we’ve explored the various methods to access Roku apps on your MacBook, let’s dive into a more practical guide. This section will give you step-by-step instructions for some of the methods mentioned earlier, helping you set up and start streaming with ease.

Setting Up Screen Mirroring on MacBook

To set up screen mirroring from your MacBook to your Roku device, you’ll first need to ensure that your Roku supports screen mirroring and that the feature is enabled. Here’s a quick guide:

  1. On your Roku device, go to Settings > System > Screen Mirroring and ensure that Screen Mirroring mode is set to either “Prompt” or “Always allow.”
  2. On your MacBook, click on the AirPlay icon in the menu bar at the top of your screen. If you don’t see the AirPlay icon, go to System Preferences > Displays and check the box for “Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available.”
  3. From the AirPlay dropdown, select your Roku device. You might need to enter a code displayed on your TV to initiate the connection.
  4. Your MacBook screen should now be mirrored on your TV via your Roku device.

Keep in mind, the performance and quality of screen mirroring can depend on your Wi-Fi network’s strength and stability. As mentioned, see more on Roku screen mirroring here

Accessing The Roku Channel Online: Step-by-Step

If you’re looking to access The Roku Channel online without the need for screen mirroring or third-party apps, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open a web browser on your MacBook and go to The Roku Channel’s website.
  2. If you have a Roku account, you can log in with your credentials. If not, you may need to create an account to access the content.
  3. Once logged in, you’ll have access to a selection of movies, TV shows, and live TV that you can watch directly from your browser.

This method is straightforward and doesn’t require any setup on your Roku device, making it a convenient option for quick access to Roku’s content.

Top Third-Party Apps for Roku on MacBook

For those considering third-party apps for streaming Roku content on a MacBook, here are some top recommendations:

  1. Mirror for Roku: Easy to set up, this app allows for full-screen mirroring of your MacBook to your Roku device. It’s great for watching videos, browsing the web, or sharing presentations on a bigger screen.
  2. AirBeamTV: Similar to Mirror for Roku, AirBeamTV offers seamless screen mirroring with the added benefit of audio support, making it ideal for streaming music or video content from your MacBook to your Roku.
  3. Web Video Caster: While not strictly a mirroring app, Web Video Caster allows you to cast video content from web pages directly to your Roku device. This is particularly useful for streaming videos that are not available through standard Roku channels.

Each of these apps has its own set of features and pricing, so consider what fits best with your streaming needs and budget.

How to Cast from MacBook to Roku

Casting from your MacBook to Roku allows you to stream specific content rather than mirroring your entire screen. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Ensure that the app or website you’re using supports casting. Popular services like YouTube and Netflix often have a cast icon directly in the video player.
  2. Click on the cast icon and select your Roku device from the list of available devices. Your video should start playing on your Roku-connected TV.
  3. Control playback directly from your MacBook or use your Roku remote for basic play/pause functionality.

Casting is a convenient way to enjoy videos and music on your Roku device without the clutter of your entire MacBook screen being displayed on your TV.

Challenges and Solutions

While using Roku apps on your MacBook can offer a world of convenience, it’s not without its challenges. Here are some common issues you might encounter and potential solutions:

  • Performance Issues: Screen mirroring and casting can sometimes result in lag or reduced video quality. To mitigate this, ensure that both your MacBook and Roku device are connected to a strong and stable Wi-Fi network. Consider using a 5GHz network if available, as it can offer faster speeds and reduced interference.
  • Compatibility Problems: Not all Roku channels or third-party apps may work seamlessly with screen mirroring or casting. If you encounter compatibility issues, try using The Roku Channel online for web-based streaming or explore different third-party apps that might offer better support for your desired content.
  • Audio Sync Issues: When mirroring or casting, you might experience delays between video and audio. Third-party apps like AirBeamTV offer solutions to adjust and sync audio, ensuring a smoother viewing experience.

By understanding these challenges and knowing how to address them, you can enhance your Roku streaming experience on your MacBook, making it more enjoyable and hassle-free.

Bottom Line

Using Roku apps on your MacBook or Windows computer is entirely possible, though it requires a bit of creativity and patience to set up. Whether you prefer the simplicity of The Roku Channel online, the full-screen experience of screen mirroring, third party apps, or the selective streaming of casting, there’s a solution that fits your needs.

The Roku website offers a wide range of platforms where you may play MKV files and other types of content online. You just need to log into the Roku channel to start playing. 

With the practical guide and tips provided, you’re well on your way to enjoying Roku’s vast content library from the comfort of your MacBook.

Remember, the best method depends on the app you are trying to use.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ