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Roku TV Slow? – How to Speed Up Laggy Apps and Get Faster Video Playback | 2023

Roku TV Slow? – How to Speed Up Laggy Apps and Get Faster Video Playback | 2023

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Do you have a slow Roku device? Rokus are generally very reliable devices, especially considering how affordable they are. 

However, when a Roku is slow, you’ll encounter sluggish video playback, slow menu navigation, and even buffering problems. This includes slow, delayed menu commands such as adjusting the volume and changing channels. 

To fix your Roku that is slow to respond to menu commands and has delayed app loading, you will need to clear the Roku cache, run a speed check, then update Roku’s software in settings and restart your device. After this, the Roku interface will perform significantly faster.

Sluggish UI and slow to load apps can even occur on modern devices such as the Roku 4k Express, Ultra and even Roku TV models. 

Important: If you have a Roku stick or Roku Ultra is slow, then using a fast Micro SD card will help load Roku apps, channels, and games faster. (source). Even though it’s not required, Roku has confirmed this works to speed up Roku devices.

Taking the following additional steps may help if your Roku remote isn’t responding fast and you’re positive it’s not the batteries:

Here’s additional steps you can take to speed up your Roku:

  • The first thing you should do is perform a Roku Speed test to confirm if the issue is being caused by your internet. Make sure you’re receiving over 10 Mbps
  • If you’re experiencing significant buffering during movies and television shows, a speed check is essential.
  • After this, clearing the cache will almost always solve a slow Roku TV or Roku Stick, which is located in settings.

The most frequent problem I encounter is a slow response rate when launching an app or movie, or even navigating menu screens on Roku (and Roku TV). 

A Roku will begin to run slow for a variety of reasons. Here are the most commons causes of a slow Roku.: 

  • Built up cache that needs to be cleared
  • Internet Wi-Fi connectivity issues (Slow or unstable connection)
  • Outdated system software
  • Service outages from Roku.

In this, we’ll cover how you can fix a slow Roku, why it occurs, how to make it faster, and what your alternative options are.

Why Is My Roku & Roku TV So Slow?

Why Is My Roku Roku TV So Slow

In most cases, a slow, lagging, or sluggish Roku occurs due to the Roku becoming too outdated to allow new software updates. However, there are some ways that this can be solved without buying an entire new Roku or Roku TV.

Updating the Roku to its latest software version, clearing the cache, and identifying any internet connection issues will almost always do the trick to speed up a slow Roku. 

Last resort options are replacing the Roku or performing a factory reset on the current device.

Make sure you have an absolute minimum of 3-5 megabits per second for standard definition content and ideally over 9.0 megabits per second for high definition content (1080p).  25-30  Mbps, or higher is very reliable for 4K Netflix shows.

An older Roku may not only have sluggish video playing, but also sluggish menu or interface navigation owing to out-of-date hardware or a lack of software upgrades. 

If you find your Roku is taking forever to load, then you’ll want to try the following troubleshooting methods we’ve tested by hand below.

1. Outdated software

Outdated software

Your Roku may need a software, even if you previously have had it set to “automatic updates”. This is a small error that can occur with older Roku streaming sticks that will cause a Roku to have slow streaming

By updating your Roku with the latest software update, issues around a slow Roku menu will resolve. I’ve seen this work best when you reset your Roku afterwards. This is worth doing routinely to make sure your Roku is running smoothly.

You can update your Roku by going to settings, then locating the system option. From here, select ‘system update’. Finally, tap ‘check’ now. Wait a few moments and Roku will retrieve new updates if they are available.

Note: Outdated software is one reason why a Roku Sticks & Roku TV may not last as long. Software updates are significant when small errors continuously occur and can extend the lifespan of your Roku.

If new updates are not available and you still have slow Roku streaming, then you’ll want to move on to the next step, which is clearing out your cache on Roku to stop it from running so slow.

2. Cache is not cleared

Cache is not cleared

Similar to many other devices, a Roku stores a few cache files.  it’s normally becomes a problem when you download a lot of applications, games, and Roku private channels

The only solution from here is to clear the cache, here’s the steps to do so:

  • First, ensure you’re at the home screen
  • Next, push the home button 5 times in a row, followed by the up button 1 time.
  • Press rewind two times, followed by fast forward two times.
  • Wait 35 seconds for your Roku cache to be cleared
  • Finally, restart your Roku device

If this does not solve your slow Roku problems, then you’ll want to see what GHz Wi-Fi you’re on before checking out and how many devices you have on one network. We will dive into these in the next section.

3. Connected to a low bandwidth WiFi (2.4GHz)

Connected to a low bandwidth WiFi 2.4GHz

Many Wi-Fi’s will have the connection split into two types: 5 GHz and 2.4GHz. These are the two ‘bands’ that a wireless router utilizes (signals). The 5 GHz band is newer and provides a noticeably quicker connection speed, but it doesn’t travel as far and is much more likely to have interference when compared to a 2.4 ghz connection. 

If you’re using an older wireless router, your Roku may only be connected to the 2.4 ghz band and that could slow down your streaming speed. Simply switching to the 5Ghz option, which you likely already have and may not be aware of, may solve the issues causing a slow Roku or Roku TV.

Alternatively, you can test the internet on an Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire TV, or Google Chromecast to see if the slow response rate also occurs on these devices in addition to your Roku. If it doesn’t, the sluggish response from Roku may not be the internet, but with the device.

4. Too many Devices on one network

Too many Devices on one network

On your Wi-Fi, you may have several different smart devices connected. This is known to cause something called Network congestion. 

In more simple words: your Roku could be running slow if you have too many devices using up all the available internet.

One solution here is to disconnect any electronics or smart devices, then restart your router and load the app on your Roku again after a quick device reboot. If this doesn’t work you may want to try a wired connection, such as connecting an ethernet cord from your router or modem straight to your Roku device or Roku TV.

If the issue still occurs you may want to try factory reset at this point on your Roku followed by a manual software update. 

5. Provider issue: Service Outages

Provider issue Service Outages

There are times when your Roku or internet service provider encounters service outages. This is usually a result of inclement weather or technical malfunctions of your connection. But, what can you do when outages occur? Well, solving an outage is usually outside your control. 

The first thing you can do is contact your internet service provider to validate that there’s an outage. If so, you could request for a technician to come and look at the problem that is causing a slow internet connection.

On the flip side, if the outage is a result of the weather (storm, tornado, etc), it is recommended that you wait for some hours before consulting your provider. 

In any case, if you encounter outages occasionally (and not because of extreme weather conditions), you can consider changing your internet provider with a more reputable supplier. 

6. Roku TV or player is old or broken

Roku TV or player is old or broken

If your Roku TV is slow, your device could be outdated or malfunctioning. Keep in mind that this is a common issue, especially if you use the same Roku device for an extended period of time (more than 3-4 years). 

Roku devices, as any electronic device, tend to be slower as the years go by. In fact, older Roku devices usually operate at a slower rate than newer ones. And the performance will be even slower further with time. 

So, if your Roku TV or Roku streaming device is slow and you purchased it a few years ago, maybe it is time to upgrade with a new one. 

However, before you do that, you should make sure that the poor performance isn’t a result of other factors (internet connection issues, cache, hardware malfunction, etc). To ensure that there’s no hardware malfunction, check the ports and cables of your Roku device and clear its cache. 

You can also try connecting your Roku to another TV, to make sure that there’s no issue with the ports of your TV. 

7. Internet Connection Issues

Roku Internet Connection Issues slow it down

If a Roku TV is slow, it likely has something to do with our internet connection in some way, shape, or form. A slow or unstable WiFi (or wired) connection can result in a slow response and continuous buffering on your Roku TV. 

Especially if you are streaming Full HD (1080p) or 4K movies, your Roku requires a stable and fast (10Mbps or more) connection to operate smoothly. To check your internet connection, you can try a Roku speed test to check & fix your connection.

Make sure that your internet speed is more than 10Mbps. If not, you can try resetting your modem or router. Another factor that results in unstable and slow connections is network congestion. 

If there are too many devices on your network, this is probably why the Roku interface is so slow. So, disconnecting some devices of your network or connecting your Roku to the modem via an ethernet cable can also help you solve internet connection issues.   

8. The remote is sluggish

The remote is sluggish

There is a chance that the reason behind your slow Roku TV is due to an unresponsive remote. In fact, your remote may make commands that are extremely slow when they are sent to the TV. 

An example of this is when you press the up and down arrows or everything you do with the remote is slow to respond.

Here is what you can do to fix your Roku remote that is slow or sluggish:

If the volume on your Roku is not adjusting, responding, or not getting louder or softer sound when you press the volume buttons, then refer to our guide on how fix a Roku remote volume not working

The most reliable solution is the official Roku remote. However, you can also try a universal remote that works with Roku TVs, if you are on a budget. Our personal favorite remote replacements for Roku TVs and Roku boxes are:

  1. Loutoc Universal TLC Remote (for TCL Roku TV)
  2. Motiexic Remote (for TCL Roku TV)
  3. Loutoc Replacement (for Hisense, Sharp and LG TV, TCL Roku TVs)
  4. Clicktech (for SANYO, Element, Hisense, and more)
  5. Amaz 247 (for Roku Express, Premiere, Ultra boxes)

9. Reinstalling a streaming program is necessary

Reinstalling a streaming program is necessary

Suppose that your Roku TV is only slow when streaming a movie or video on a specific platform like Netflix. If that’s the case, then the problem probably isn’t with your internet connection or the Roku device.

There are a few times where a streaming program like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu might slow down your Roku. If so, we recommend reinstalling the app on your Roku. To do that, all you have to do is:

  1. From your remote, press the Home button
  2. Go to Streaming Channels and find the app you want to uninstall. Delete the app
  3. Repeat the process but this time select Add Channel 
  4. Once you find the app, press Add and wait for the installation to complete (usually takes a few seconds)

Related: See How to get New movies for free on Plex. (Plex is available on Roku)

How to Speed up a Slow Roku

How to Speed up a Slow Roku

To fix a roku that is running slow you can try different approaches like checking the internet speed or clearing your devices cache. In fact there are times when you just need to improve the Roku poor streaming quality. 

A slow Roku is typically due to a cache that needs to be cleared, a software update, or internet connection issues.

You can also use a fast, large Micro SD Card which helps load the channels and games quicker because they are stored on your device instead of loading from the internet.

Are you wondering how to make Roku faster? If your Roku is slow, you can try solving the problem by following the steps below:

1. Clear cache

1. Clear cache

Clearing the cache of your Roku device is the first thing you should do if your Roku TV is slow. To do that, all you need to do is go to the Homepage > push the home button 5 times > push the Up button 1 time > press rewind 2 times and fast forward 2 times. Usually, the process takes half a minute. After clearing your cache, restart your Roku and see if the problem is solved.

2. Update Roku Software

2. Update Roku Software

Usually, an outdated Roku software will result in slowing down the interface of your device, but also the overall streaming experience. If you are looking for how to update hisense Roku TV or how to update TCL Roku TV, you have nothing to worry about. To update your software, go to the Settings menu > System Options > System Update > Check. If there are any available updates, click on update and restart your device when the process is completed.

3. Restart the device

3. Restart the device

Even though technology statistics show us tech continually gets more advanced, the traditional restart is always a reliable option to help fix a tech issue; even for Roku players and TVs.

To restart your Roku device, go to Settings > System > System Restart > Confirm. Alternatively, you can reboot your Roku by pressing the Home button (5 times) + Up button (1 time) + Rewind button (2 times) + Fast Forward button (2 times).

If none of the above methods work, you can unplug your device and plug it again. Although restarting your Roku won’t always make your device faster, it is worth trying (especially after clearing the cache or updating the software).

4. Boost internet

4. Boost internet

Most of the times that a Roku device is slow is because of the internet connection. If your connection is slow, you can either place your router/modem closer to the Roku or replace your provider’s modem with a more powerful one.

There are also WiFi boosters you can plug in throughout our outlets to boost your internet. One of the most popular is the Xfinity pods. Closely related, you can also see How To Fix Xfinity Not Working On Roku if that’s an issue you’re having. Many of these fixes can be applied to an internet issue.

Also see: Why is my Xfinity TV Cable Box slow? Apps & Remote Lagging (Get Full speed)

5. Use Ethernet connection

5. Use Ethernet connection

If you connect your Roku to the internet via WiFi, this might be the reason why it’s slow. Consider connecting your device with an Ethernet cable to see if the performance is improved. Usually, Ethernet (wired) connections are more stable than wireless connections. 

Ethernet connections will eliminate the possibility that the WiFi is providing an interrupted, blocked, or is weak connection for Roku.

Also see: How to screen mirror an iPhone to Roku

6. Override Bit Rate

6. Override Bit Rate

Another way to improve the performance of your Roku is to check if the override Bit Rate function is turned on. Rokus have a secret function that allows you to limit the data consumption of your device (by automatically limiting the video quality). 

To access this menu, you have to press the Home button (5 times), Rewind button (3 times) and Fast Forward button (2 times). After accessing the Bit Rate Override menu, make sure that this feature is turned off. 

7. Run a Roku Speed test

To run a Roku Speed test, you can either use the Roku built-in speed test function or use the Roku web browser (from your PC) and access a speedtest platform like the Fast.com or the Speedtest.net. 

A speed test is the best way to figure out if the poor performance of your device is a result of issues related to your internet connection.

If none of the steps above helps you improve the performance of your Roku TV, then you should probably replace it with a newer model, as your device may be malfunctioning or outdated. 

How does a Roku TV work with slow internet

How does a Roku TV work with slow internet 1

Roku recommends that you have a minimum download speed of 1.5 Mbps for standard definition material and 3.0 Mbps for high definition content. But, can you stream videos on Roku TVs with a slower internet connection? 

Well, you could, but the streaming experience will rarely be satisfying. If you have a poor internet connection, you should expect your Roku TV to be very slow.

Related: Is your Roku remote slow? If so, see some universal options in our post that covers the Best Roku TV Remote Replacements as well as how to replace a Roku remote.

Since the Roku web servers deliver media via HTTP, no extra software is required while streaming on Roku (source). But, a good internet connection is a must. 

Related: Having issues connecting a Roku or Roku Tv to WiFi without the remote? See our full guide on how to fix it.

So, keep in mind that, to watch video streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, and others, you’ll need internet download rates of at least 3Mbps. 

For alternative devices, see Tablets for Live Streaming to Youtube, Twitch, and Facebook Live.

Also, if you have multiple users or devices connected to your network, you’ll need more than 25 Mbps (probably closer to 50 Mbps or higher).

How to factory reset a Roku TV

How to factory reset a Roku TV

Factory reset is a very simple process on any Roku TV, no matter the model of your device. For example, you can easily perform a factory reset to an Element Roku TV, Hisense Roku TV and TCL Roku TV, just by navigating to the settings of your Roku. We also discuss a few other Roku hacks in Jailbreak Roku guide.

To be precise, to factory reset your Roku:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. From the available menu selections, select “System.”
  3. Select “Advanced system settings” from the drop-down menu.
  4. From the available menu tabs, choose “Factory reset.”
  5. Select “Factory reset everything” and follow the on-screen directions of the reset wizard.

Alternatively, you can reset your Roku TV device by using the pinhole. To use the pinhole reset to factory reset your Roku, follow these steps:

  1. Look on the outside of your Roku device for the reset option (either a tactile or a pinhole button)
  2. Hold the button down for 10-20 seconds. Keep in mind that if your device has a pinhole reset, you’ll need to press and hold the button with an object (use a paperclip or pin)
  3. Once the reset is complete, most Roku devices include an indicator light that blinks rapidly

Why is my Roku Menu and interface so slow?

Usually, a Roku menu and interface are slow due to an internet connection issue or an outdated software.

 If changing the channels or the remote commands are slow, then clearing the cache and updating to the latest software version on the Roku device, no matter the model, will also help speed up the device. 

Related: Why Are Roku Private Channels Not Working Anymore

The first thing you can do to check why your Roku is slow is to restart your device and perform a speed test. 

If your internet connection is good, then there’s probably some issue with the software update of your device. Before you buy a new Roku device, you can try updating your current device to the latest version it supports. To do that, all you have to do is go to Settings > System > System Updates. 

If your Roku has the latest software version but it is still very slow, you should seek for any hardware malfunction. If that’s not the case either, then your device is probably outdated. In that case, you should opt for a new Roku TV or a Smart TV with a Roku Ultra connected to it.

If the volume on your Roku is not adjusting, responding, or not getting louder or softer sound when you press the volume buttons, then refer to our guide on how fix a Roku remote volume not working

How to update a Roku TV

Do you ask yourself “why is my Roku lagging?”. If your Hisense, Element, Insignia or TCL Roku TV slow or your Roku not working well, you should try to update your Roku TV. The process is the same, no matter which model of the Roku TV you own. 

To update your Roku TV, all you need is an operational remote and access to your device. Go to the settings of your Roku and find the System tab.

From there, press on the System Update tab and allow your device to search for the latest version of the Roku TV software.

If you have a Vizio Tv and not a Roku, then view How to Add Apps to Vizio Smart TV Not in App Store.

If you find your Roku slow after updating, consider clearing the device’s cache. After updating your Roku TV, restart the device for the changes to be applied.

Conclusion

This blog post answered a reasonable question: how to Make Roku Faster and solve slow loading. During our testing, we found out that Roku TVs are usually slow due to internet connection issues. 

So, if your device is slower than normal or your Roku slow to boot, you can perform a speed test and double check that your internet speed is good enough for streaming (10Mbps or more).

Another factor that can result in Roku slow performance or Roku slow loading channels is the software of your device and its cache. Is your Roku TV running slow? If so, you should clear its cache and update its software to match the latest version. 

This is also true if your Roku stick slows down after some months of continuous usage. The good thing about Roku devices is that the troubleshooting steps are the same, no matter which model you have. 

So, if you’re wondering “why is my Roku lagging”, all you need to do is follow the steps mentioned in this post.