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It may come to a shock for many when they find out their favorite Roku Private channels are not working anymore, but can this be fixed? Feb 23, 2022 is the date Roku stated that it will disable all uncertified channels.
Roku users are left wondering which Roku device the hidden channels won’t be compatible with anymore.
- See the remaining working Roku Private Channels listed here. These are more difficult to access now via Roku Codes, but there are alternative methods to get these streams back.
- One way to access several of the best private channels again is via a Roku Web Browser (Go this route only If you are tech savvy).
- If you’re new to this, see how to use a browser on Roku here.
Further in this post we also cover alternative way to add your favorite private channels again, beta channels are explained as well.
What happened to the Private channel codes?
Roku has decided to replace private, non-certified channels with two new features that will allow the migration of private channels to “Roku beta channel”; a feature that limits access to 20 users at a time
See: How to access the Roku secret menu
Well, thanks Roku… now I have to use a FireStick.
Sure theres Roku beta channels, but these can only have 20 people on them at once and expire after a certain amount of days, what fun is that?
These are channels that have a limited number of users with the purpose of testing a channel, so it can ultimately become official on the Roku channel store.
Now that Roku Private channels are gone, users are using Roku jailbreak hacks to stream on Roku.
This is what Roku originally intended the private channel functionality to be used for (before the secret channel codes went viral). See the Roku channel timeline below:
What you can do: I personally switched to the 4K Firestick now, which is pretty hard to beat considering the retirement of Roku private channels. (Sorry Roku, it’s been real)
Users are left wondering how they can access these Roku channel codes that aren’t working anymore? (We’ll dive further into this throughout the article).
Instead of the Roku channel codes, there will be an improved testing environment for developers: Roku beta channels, which is basically made for developers, not Roku device owners in particular.
This post will cover:
- What Roku has exactly decided on for these private channel codes.
- The two new features that Roku chose to replace these private channels.
- The reason why Roku has made the decision to get rid of secret channels.
- What the alternative is to these hidden channel codes & what you can do about it.
- Potential ways to access the Roku private channels again.
Roku has officially stated the channels and their codes will not be working at all on any of the Roku devices after February… and that there’s two alternative options.
Let’s see why this occurred, which Roku devices were affected, and what you can do to compensate for the Roku secret channels that don’t work now.
- Why Roku decided to Get Rid of Private channels (And what you can do about it)
- How to access Roku Private Channels that are not working anymore
- What are Roku Private channels?
- Why can’t I add or remove third party channels on Roku?
Why Roku decided to Get Rid of Private channels (And what you can do about it)
Roku no longer has private & hidden channels because they have decided to focus more closely on utilizing their channel store tool kit for developer purposes, such as testing official channels to ensure they work properly before they make their way to the official Roku channel store.
This way developers can test their channels so official channels can be created and abide by the standards set by Roku and the overall streaming industry.
Unfortunately, this leaves many Roku fans frustrated and searching for valid alternatives.
Roku disabled private channels and the associated codes to allow a focus on testing channels that aim to become an official channel in the Roku channel store and to limit the audience that views these.
Roku has not officially stated that adult content or piracy are the reason for removing all private channels. The reason Roku has removed the popular Private (non-certified) channels is to better utilize the tool that made them possible in the first place: developer channel testing.
A few years after their release, Roku private channels were deemed to be “non-certified” channels by Roku. This is because many channels that were added were considered ‘copyright infringement’.
How to access Roku Private Channels that are not working anymore
Yes, you can still access your Roku private channels, however the UI is significantly different and some specific channels may not be migrated over to the new feature: beta channels.
The migrated beta channels available will need to be rolled out by developer in order to access these hidden channels again.
Can Roku users access private channels another way?
Yes, you can utilize the new beta channels feature to make Roku private channels work again, which is still being rolled out.
Alternatively you can visit the website of the developer or company that created private channels and view their official updates (See the list here)
Many users are even choosing to download a good Roku web browser app, then watching the content from the private channel developers to their Roku and Roku TV.
Many of the Private channels are coincidentally also on the fire stick, which I have personally tested and dos work well. Below is the one I have used hands-on and found has the same benefits as the jailbreak Roku hacks found here.
What are Roku Private channels?
Private Roku Channels are commonly referred to as ‘Roku Secret Channels’ or ‘Roku hidden channels’. These are not Roku-certified channels; instead, they are produced by developers or people who add their own ‘private’ channel to the Roku list, which anybody may access with a code.
They are not accessible to Roku users and must be individually uploaded using your Roku account. These channels are configured by individual people, companies, businesses, and services that aim to provide an instant and creative way to communicate very customized streams to their audiences.
Peacock Amazon, Crackle, Netflix, and Amazon Prime video are considered standard Roku Channels. However, NowhereTV, Wilderness channel, Neon party games, and certain web browsers were able to be accessed via a Roku private channel. There were even some adult channels that were popular (very popular).
My favorite channel was TED talks and the wilderness channel, until the secret codes started working with a lower success rate (50% by Jan 2021).
After a while the sound stopped working and it turned out the channel stopped working altogether. I tried all the solutions in our post Roku No Sound: Fix Volume Not Working just to find out it was the channel itself.
These popular channels provided video content from the Private channel list, which is a full, legal list that you can view at mediapeanut.com. The steps to get these back are found earlier in this post.
The audiences that used these private and hidden channels range from children to adults, and Roku private channels is one of the very favorite features by so many Roku users because it is community focused.
The fact that users can now visit Plex, Emby, or jailbreak & screen cast KODI to their Roku means the private channels may not be required, but are still desired by many.
Which is why it’s become such a surprise to their user base that Roku has decided to get rid of them and use beta channels as a replacement. There are other ways to get these private channels as discussed earlier in this post.
Which Roku Devices Still Have Roku Private Channels?
Hidden & Private Roku channels are officially disabled on the Roku stick, Roku Ultra, Roku express, premier, and all other models. This includes all Roku TV brands (Hisense, Element, Phillips, Sharp, Onn, and more).
Instead of using secret channel codes for Roku, devices will have the Roku beta Channel feature which will allow a developer the ability to create a limited number of channels (10 max) that their user base can test.
There is a max of 20 users for testing, which may not be enough to replace the exact functionality of the legacy Roku private channels, but this number may change as technology statistics continue to amaze us. At this point, many users may desire to get Netflix working on Roku again.
Also see, Why is my Roku TV so slow?
Is Roku bringing back Private channels?
As of 2023, Roku is not enabling the private channel codes again. After many years of Roku private channels used by a plethora of companies, services, and individuals, the private channels appear to be permanently disabled.
Non-certified channels were not reviewed or supported by Roku to begin with, which is something to note when understanding the Roku private channels not working anymore.
Since free Roku Private channels have gone away, alternative options include visiting the developers website of your favorite Roku Secret Channel to see what platforms they plan on using in the future or have already switched to to provide content to their users. For example, many users who swapped from Mixer when it was retired, checked out Twitch on Roku.
Note: There are no costs associated with Roku beta channels or private channels. See How Much Does Roku Cost Per Month? (Subscription Fees)
What are Roku Beta Channels?
Roku beta channels are Roku “private” channels created by developers that expire after 120 days from their creation date. The beta channels have replaced the legacy roku private channels that are no longer working on all Roku devices.
Functionality of the beta channels work differently than the previous non-certified channels. For example, beta channels have a distribution limit up to 20 Max test users at one time, compared to unlimited Roku private channels of the past.
- Expire after they have been created. Expiration is 120 days after they were originally created.
- 10 max beta channels per one developer profile/account.
- IDK support allows solo projects to run on Roku’s, particularly for individual and private use.
Since IDK utilizes video nodes, the developer must also include a player in addition to the necessary APIs. Developers will need to migrate their non certified hidden channels to the beta channel for testing purposes.
Related: See How to Get VLC for Roku
Why can’t I add or remove third party channels on Roku?
Why can’t I add or remove third party hidden channels on Roku? If you are trying to add a third-party Channel with a code, then your Roku may show the Roku private channel is available, but a warning notification is likely to appear on your display.
You will be prompted to add the channel, but nothing will happen shortly afterward. As soon as you click again, you’ll see that the Roku takes you to a 404 page where the channel should be.
You will not be able to use your Roku streaming player or TV at this point, as the channel has not been added to your Roku account. There are users online attempting this, but it continues to happen since non-certified channels are no longer supported by Roku.
As mentioned earlier Roku beta channels are now created and have replaced these private channels. However these do not have the same exact intent for the audience at the Roku private channels or hidden channels once had.
At first, when this happened I thought it was possible that my ISP (Xfinity) was connected, but would not allow me to access this part of the internet.
What you can do: You can reach out to the developer or publisher of the channel to see if they have an alternative solution to add a third-party Channel to Roku.
Nowhere TV and Wilderness Channel, for instance, can no longer be accessed, but you may be able to reach out to specific developers to see what their next move will be as far distribution of media goes.
Roku private channels that are no longer working are considered non-certified channels by Roku and have been replaced with beta channels, which has a closer focus on the developer rather than the Roku device owner who wants to watch TV or movies using a private channel code.
The Roku beta channels can only allow 20 Max test users at one time, so it will replace the Roku private channels and their codes, but the audience will be narrowed down significantly with the purpose of testing the channel so it can become an official channel in the Roku channel store.