Skip to main content

Roku overheating? Here’s what you can do

A Roku streaming device is an excellent way to connect with your favorite entertainment content, with support for services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and more. Launching all the way back in 2008, Roku streamers have been granting households with non-smart TVs an experience on-par (if not better) with today’s leading web-connected Samsung, Sony, and Vizio sets. With a decent lineup of models to choose from, there’s a Roku for every type of user, from the budget-minded to those who can’t do without the most advanced features a streamer can handle.

While a Roku is a phenomenal way to experience a myriad of content with just an Internet connection and a video cable to your TV, they’re not exactly glitch-free. In fact, when it comes to overall performance, one trouble we’ve seen on Roku devices, again and again, is overheating. While it’s a bit of a nuisance when this problem arises, there are a few simple things you can do to reprimand the issue, along with some preventative measures you can take to ensure overheating occurs less frequently.

Symptoms and alerts

When a Roku begins overheating, you may notice the symptoms before the hardware alerts you to the malfunction. Sluggish navigation, rampant buffering of videos, and audio lip-sync mismatching are a few telltale signs that your Roku may be on the verge, or in the throes, of an overheating episode.

Once your Roku registers that it’s overheating, you’ll probably receive an alert in the top-right corner of the screen that reads, “Your device is overheating.”

Roku overheating notification.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

On units like the Roku Ultra and Express, there’s a solid white LED on the front display to indicate power and command responses. When these Roku players encounter overheating, the white LED will turn a solid red.

If your Roku player is flashing red, this is an indication that the device isn’t receiving enough power.

What to do

The most important thing to do if your Roku is overheating is to immediately unplug the device. When disconnecting from power, be careful when handling the actual device, as it may be hot. Once unplugged, place your Roku in an open-air space and allow it to cool down for about 10 to 15 minutes.

After allowing for the needed cool-down period, grab your Roku and reconnect to power. Once the device is booted, play around with it for a few minutes to ensure your Roku is operating correctly. If everything checks out, you should be good to go.

There’s a slim chance you may get another overheating notification even after your Roku has cooled for a few minutes. If this is the case, disconnect and give it another 15 minutes to cool, then reconnect once more.

Preventative maintenance

Oftentimes, we like to keep all of our A/V devices in a centralized location. Unfortunately for our overheating Roku players, this tends to be in closed-cabinet entertainment centers. If you’re housing your Roku in a media cabinet with minimal ventilation or in close proximity to other A/V components, such as cable boxes, game systems, and Blu-ray players, the excess heat put off by your other hardware may be contributing to your Roku’s overheating issues. If feasible, we recommend trying to keep your Roku away from excess heat sources.

Roku Ultra 2019.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you own a Roku Streaming Stick and are experiencing overheating, the Roku may be too close to the back of your TV. Fortunately, Roku will allow you to order a free HDMI extender to push the Streaming Stick a bit farther away from the HDMI port.

One other thing to consider is where your Roku and other A/V equipment are placed in relation to the windows of your viewing space. If your media space receives a lot of sunlight during the day, your Roku could be taking the brunt of the UV exposure. If possible, try and move the Roku to a spot in your cabinet or on your stand that receives less sunlight.

One parting thought

Heading to work for the day? Vacationing for the weekend? If it’s not totally inconvenient, we recommend disconnecting your Roku from power before you head out the door — regardless of whether or not it’s overheating.

Similar to competitive streaming devices, your Roku doesn’t technically have an “off” button. Even when the device isn’t in use, it’s still powered on, connecting to your Wi-Fi, and processing data. Like our TVs and laptops, streaming devices need a good reboot once in a while, especially if you’ve noticed your device has been performing poorly.

While it may be difficult to get at your Roku if it’s tucked away in an A/V cabinet, those with easy-to-reach devices should consider disconnecting, even if it’s just once or twice in a month.

Editors' Recommendations

Michael Bizzaco
Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from…
What is Roku? The streaming platform explained
A roku powered TV hanging on a wall running Roku OS 12.

How do you get your Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, or Prime Video fix? Chances are it's through a streaming device or smart TV, and there's a good chance that it's through a Roku device or one running its pioneering streaming operating system. At this point, cord-cutting is old news, and Roku was one of the earliest companies to drive the adoption of web-based streaming with its self-contained, app-driven devices.

Today, watching something "on Roku" is standard parlance and the company's popular platform can be found baked into some of the biggest TV brands in the world as well as in its own lineup of streaming devices sticks, and set-top boxes. Even so, that doesn't mean you totally get what a Roku actually is. What is Roku? How does Roku work? Do you need a subscription to use it? Is it just a device you buy, or is it software?

Read more
How much is Apple Music, and how can you get it for free?
Apple Music with lossless audio music track playing on OnePlus 11 along with the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 in black color on top of a green cloth surface.

Apple Music is one of the best music streaming services available, offering a catalog of more than 100 million songs, all in high-quality lossless audio at no additional cost, as well as a huge amount of albums and tracks in Dolby Atmos spatial audio, which if you haven't heard it, is music on a whole other immersive level. And while it does play a close second fiddle to Spotify's excellent UI and music discovery (as well as in global subscriptions), the Cupertino music streamer is still a giant and is loaded with cool features, live shows, and exclusives making it a tricky choice if you're deciding which to run with.

But the biggest factor for most is how much it costs. While there are some limited-time "free" options and a free trial you can cash in on to check out Apple Music, if you stick with the service long enough, you will end up paying. Let's take a closer look at how much Apple Music is.
Apple Music plans

Read more
How much is Spotify Premium and can you get a deal?
Spotify app icon on iPhone.

By the end of 2022, Spotify's global Premium subscribers topped 205 million, continuing its reign as the top-dog music streaming service in the world. And while its closest competitors, Apple Music and Amazon Music, offer comparable 100-million song catalogs, as well as higher-quality lossless audio tracks, Spotify's user interface is often held on a pedestal for its ease of use, fun design, social elements, and aptitude at helping users discover new music. The platform is also always adding new features, such as its AI-driven "DJ" assistant.

But that user experience can be limited depending upon the tier. The only way to enjoy unlimited skips, free downloads, offline listening, and a host of other great features is by upgrading your account to Spotify Premium. With four plan options that range from $6 to $17 per month — note that prices increased in mid-2023 — Spotify is a pretty good value. But before you grab your credit card and sign up, read on as we dig into what you get with Spotify Premium and explore how you might be able to get it at a discount.

Read more