How-To

Why Is My Roku TV So Slow? (Try THIS First!)

Roku is the number one streaming platform in the country, which makes sense – it’s an amazing product. But as is the case with all things connected to the internet, speed and lag are often issues.

Luckily there are several proven, easy fixes for slow Roku devices.

If you stick with this list, and work your way through each solution, one-by-one, it’s extremely likely you’ll fix your problem.

Why Is My Roku TV So Slow?

The most common reason your Roku TV is so slow is because of a bad internet connection. Connect to your router’s 5GHz band (not 2.4GHz), make sure your router is close to your Roku, and ask family members to get offline. Try an Ethernet connection if none of that works.

Improving your internet connection is the best way to improve the speed of your Roku, and reduce the lag you’re experiencing…

Check Roku Internet connection

For the best viewing experience, Roku recommends a minimum download speed of 3.0 Mbps for SD content, and up to 9.0 Mbps for HD.

There are a few quick ways to test your Internet speed. The first is by using speedtest.net. Use your phone or laptop and stand right next to your Roku and press GO.

We really want to see a download speed of 25Mbps or higher during this test. Yes, you might be able to get away with 3Mbps, but remember, that’s the minimum requirement. Plus, 25Mbps is on the low end these days.

internet speed test

Next, you should check your Internet status on your Roku TV. To do this go to HOME > SETTINGS > NETWORK > ABOUT.

Here you should see some details about your connection. What we’re Interested in is SIGNAL STRENGTH.

We want to see Good or Excellent here. Anything less is likely an issue.

As a last step just go ahead and click down to CHECK CONNECTION and hit OK. You want to see two green check marks on this test.

signial strength roku tv

If you’re not passing any of these tests above, double check with your ISP (Internet service provider) what Internet speed you have.

You can also try unplugging your router for 60 seconds before plugging it back in. Wait another 2 minutes for it to reconnect and see if you still have a speed problem.

If this doesn’t work, read on.

Make sure Roku is connected to the 5GHz network

This may be more obvious these days, but make sure your Roku is connected to your 5GHz WiFi band!

Almost all routers now have what’s called “dual-band” radio signals. This gives you the ability to connect devices in your home to two different networks (either the 2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz network).

Having two separate networks allows for faster speeds and flexibility. The dual-bands avoid connection issues and interferences and provides more stability overall.

If you need a longer range, you typically connect to the 2.4 GHz band, but the 5 GHz band is ideal if you need faster speeds and higher performances.

2.4Ghz vs 5.0Ghz wifi band

The trade off with the 5.0GHz band is that you really need to be close to your router. Which brings me to my next point.

Move your router closer to your Roku

This might be difficult to do depending on how big your home is and the number of smart TVs you have, but the closer your router is to your Roku, the better performance you’ll get.

If moving your router isn’t a possibility, then consider buying a few WiFi extenders. These are usually priced really well and they can be plugged directly into any wall outlet. The difference they make is amazing.

Some other tips regarding router placement in your home:

  • If you can, mount your router up higher. Routers spread signals downward, so if you can get it up off the ground, you’ll be in business.
  • Try to avoid placing your router close to other electronics that might cause interference.
  • If your router has antennas, point one vertical, and the other horizontal to get the most coverage.

See if these changes improved your Roku speed. If not, keep on reading.

Don’t overcrowd your WiFi network

If everyone in your house is trying to stream content onto their devices at the same time, it’s going to put a pretty big strain on your WiFi network.

Your router can only handle so many simultaneous connections at once before performance starts to degrade. This could very well be what’s causing your Roku to slow way down.

The simplest solution here is to turn off any devices not in use and make sure only a few people are using the Internet at the same time.

Hardwire your Roku using an ethernet cable

If your WiFi is still an issue after following all the steps above, one final option is to connect your Roku TV directly to your router with an Ethernet cable.

While WiFi is almost always more convenient than Ethernet, Ethernet is faster, more secure and more reliable overall.

Take one end of your Ethernet cable and connect it to your router, and the take the other end of the cable and connect it to the Ethernet port on the back of your Roku TV.

Once this is done, perform the speed tests again (detailed above) and see if there was any improvement.

Reset your Roku

Now that we’ve addressed the Internet connection, it’s time to try a few final fixes.

Issues like the screen freezing, apps crashing, sound acting up, TV buffering and slowness, etc. can all be caused by your Roku’s cache.

Since you’re experiencing slowness, let’s reset your Roku and clear the cache. Start by pressing the HOME button on your remote to get to the main screen.

Wait 2-3 seconds and then enter the following combination on your remote (pressing the buttons one after the other, non-stop: Press HOME 5 times, UP 1 time, REWIND 2 times, FAST FORWARD 2 times.

Reset your Roku

Your Roku should reboot once or twice total. Give it some time, you should see the home screen appear and stay up for at least 10 seconds before using your Roku again.

That’s it, your cache is cleared and hopefully your speed has improved!

System update for Roku

Your Roku can also slow down a lot if the software isn’t up to date. To correct this problem, check for any Roku OS updates in the settings menu.

To get to settings hit the HOME button on your remote then scroll up or down until you see SYSTEM.

Select System, then go to SYSTEM UPDATE.

update roku software

You’ll want to ensure you update your Roku often to keep up with the newest software.

Delete unused Roku apps

Finally, you can try deleting any unused Roku apps from your device. These unused apps can take up data on your Roku, and too many of them can have a negative impact on performance.

Go to the Roku HOME screen and look for any unused apps. Once you find one, hit the asterisk “*” button on your remote – this opens the Channel Menu.

Once you’ve done that, the REMOVE CHANNEL button should appear. Click OK and wait for it to be uninstalled from your device.

After you’ve removed all of the unused apps from your Roku, go ahead and unplug your Roku and wait a FULL 60 seconds before plugging it back in.

This will cause a soft reset of your Roku and when it powers back up, your speed problems should be gone.

Reach-out to Roku support

If you’ve tried all of the above fixes for your slow Roku TV and you still aren’t sure what’s wrong, it’s probably time to contact Roku customer support.

They’ll either offer repairs, a new device, or a refund – depending on the status of your TV’s warranty etc.

Conclusion

If your Roku TV is slow, don’t panic, there are several proven fixes you can try to get things back up and running smoothly.

  • Confirm that you’re getting 25Mbps download speeds
  • Make sure your Roku is connected to your router’s 5GHz band
  • Move your router closer to your Roku
  • Don’t overcrowd your WiFi network with too many connected devices
  • Connect your Roku TV to the router directly using an ethernet cable
  • Reset your Roku
  • Update your Roku’s software
  • Delete any unused apps from your Roku device

If none of these work, you should reach out to Roku support directly.

Were you able to improve the speed of your Roku TV? Let me know in the comments below!