Why Is My Roku TV So Slow? (Causes & Simple Fixes)

I’ve owned my Roku TV for almost 3 years, and I’ve had my fair share of frustrations created by it operating slower than I would like it to. Many times, the fault falls on my internet being unstable due to my location. Luckily, switching to a wired connection has significantly improved my experience with my Roku TV. 

If your Roku TV is slow or freezing frequently, you should first rule out any network conditions, such as overcrowding, slow speeds, or unstable connections,  that could be causing the operating delays. Additionally, removing any unused apps as well as cleaning any old and possibly corrupt cache files will significantly increase the speed of your TV. 

If the TV is damaged, your best bet is to replace your TV. If you buy a new Smart TV, you won’t even need a Roku. But before you pay thousands of dollars for a new TV set, let’s look at some easy ways to speed up your current TV. 

What Causes  Roku TV To Be Slow?

Roku TVs aren’t known to last that long. On average they last between 3-6 years at most.

If your Roku is running more slowly than usual, here are a few possible reasons:

Damaged Streaming Equipment

With equipment that’s used regularly, you eventually see damages even if it has been properly cared for. After a while, the daily wear and tear can cause your equipment (especially the remote) to lag much more than when it was new. 

If your equipment has been dropped or exposed to moisture, or if you have a dated device, it’s likely time for a repair or new equipment. Luckily, if it’s been less than a year since you purchased your Roku TV, it’s likely still under warranty. 

Service Outages

It’s possible that your Internet provider or the service you are attempting to use on your Roku is experiencing an outage. Sometimes your internet or service provider will schedule an outage for maintenance reasons.

If there’s an outage in your area, your provider’s website will usually verify this. It will also let you know how long you can expect the outage to last.  The weather can have a significant impact on your internet connection, including causing outages

Over-Crowded Wi-fi Network

If you have several devices connected to the network you’re using with your TV, the overload of devices could be causing your router to lag. This will interfere with your internet speed and cause your TV to lag. 

To determine whether or not this is the cause of your issue, temporarily remove all other devices from the network. If your speed increases without the other devices connected, decide if you have any devices that could be left unconnected when they are not in use. 

Some of these issues are easily resolved on your own, while the fix for others may be a bit more complex. 

Troubleshooting Slow Roku TV

1. Test Your Internet Speed 

Most of the things you do on your TV require an internet connection. So, if your TV is running slowly, it could be a reflection of your internet speed rather than the speed of your TV. To know for sure, you’ll need to run a test to check your current internet speed. 

Follow the steps below to test your internet speed:

  1. Connect your phone, tablet, or laptop to the network your TV is connected to. 
  2. Go to speedtest.net
  3. Stand next to your TV.
  4. Press Go. 

Roku recommends a download speed of at least 9 Mbps for HD content, however, if your speed is below 25 Mbps, you’ll likely run into lagging and frequent buffering. 

The minimum requirements recommended by Roku are the minimum speeds required for streaming to work at all. It is not the speed that will offer the best performance when streaming or performing other actions on your TV. 

2. Restart your Roku TV 

Restarting your TV clears out the cached data, along with any bugs or glitches that could be hiding within that data. If your TV is lagging or freezing, the fix could be as simple as a quick system restart. 

Restarting your device will also clear the list of tasks that your TV is currently running. When you transfer between apps on your TV, the device generally keeps the previous task running in the background. 

To restart your Roku TV:

  1. Press the home button on your remote.
  2. Scroll down to select Settings.
  3. Select System.
  4. Select Power. 
  5. Select System Restart. 

Your TV will power off and power back up on its own. Once your TV has fully rebooted, you can test the functionality of your TV to determine if it is still operating slowly. 

3. If Slow Only On One App/Channel – Uninstall/Reinstall

If your TV is only running slowly when you use specific apps, it’s likely due to corrupt data in the app’s cached data. You can clear this data by properly uninstalling the app and then reinstalling it. 

Follow the steps below to properly uninstall and reinstall the defective app:

Uninstall the App

  1. Press the Home button on your remote. 
  2. Press the right arrow key to move over to the App Menu. 
  3. Highlight the app you need to remove. 
  4. Press the * key on your remote. 
  5. Select Remove Channel. 
  6. When the message appears to verify that the channel was removed, press OK on your remote. 

Restart your TV. (Do not skip this step.)

Reinstall the App

  1. Allow your TV to fully complete the restart. 
  2. Press the Home button on your remote. 
  3. Select Streaming Channels
  4. Use the search bar to search for the app. 
  5. Select the app. 
  6. Select Add Channel. 
  7. Enter your PIN (if needed).
  8. Press OK on your remote.

4. Delete the Unused Apps on Roku TV 

Every app that is installed on your TV has its own set of data that your TV has to store and work around, even if you never use the app. This data can get in the way when you’re trying to use the apps that you do use, making your TV’s response time slower. 

You can delete your apps that you don’t use by scrolling to them, pressing the * key on your remote, and selecting Remove Channel from the list of options that will appear. Removing these apps will help to increase the speed of your TV and reduce freezing. 

Once you’ve deleted all of the unused apps, unplug your TV and leave it unplugged for 60 seconds. This will clear any leftover data from the removed apps. 

5. Bring The Router Closer To Roku TV

The strength and quality of your Wifi signal play a key role in the proper functioning of your Roku TV. If your TV is receiving a weak or unstable signal, there’s a good chance it is causing your TV to glitch or run more slowly. 

To check the strength of the Wifi signal your TV is receiving: 

  1. Press the Home button on your remote. 
  2. Select Settings. 
  3. Select Network. 
  4. Select About. 

Ideally, you want your signal strength to read “Excellent.” If you get a lower result, consider moving your router closer to your TV to improve the signal strength. 

Moving the router closer to the TV will improve your signal strength because it will decrease the number of obstacles the signal has to work around before it reaches your TV. 

6. Switch to a Wider Bandwidth

Put simply, bandwidth is the amount of data that can be sent over a network within a specific amount of time. A higher bandwidth provides quicker speeds. 

Using a bandwidth of 5GHz rather than 2.4GHz could significantly improve the speed of your TV if your issue is network-related. 

When you view a list of your available networks, many routers automatically display two options (2.4GHz or 5GHz). If you don’t see two separate options, consult the user manual for your router to determine how to change its settings. 

For most routers, there will be a specific address that you type into your browser’s search bar to log in to your router’s admin page to change the settings. Additionally, bandwidth settings are usually located in Advanced Settings. 

7. Factory Reset the Roku TV 

If your TV is slow or freezes frequently, this issue is generally linked to an overload of cached data. Some of this data can be removed with a quick and simple reboot. Others, however, may be deeply rooted and require a more thorough cleanout by performing a factory reset on your TV. 

Before you opt for a factory reset, follow the steps below using your remote to clear your cache:

  1. Press the Home button 5 times. 
  2. Press the up arrow only 1 time. 
  3. Press the rewind button 2 times.
  4. Press the Fast-Forward button 2 times. 

Once the combination has been entered, your TV will automatically reboot and clear the cache. 

Once the TV has completed the reboot, if your TV is still lagging, follow the next set of steps below to complete a Factory Reset: 

  1. Press the Home button on your remote. 
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select System. 
  4. Select Advanced System Settings. 
  5. Select Factory Reset

Keep in mind that a factory reset will erase all of your data and reset all settings back to their original state. 

8. Do Software/Firmware Update 

New software updates come with fixes for glitches and bugs that were present in the previous version of the software. If you are operating on an out-of-date software version, updating your TV to the newest version provides a prominent solution to lagging operations and freezes. 

Roku devices are supposed to install all updates manually However, some can be missed, especially if you are experiencing glitches with your TV or network. So it’s best to run a manual update check if you experience this type of issue with your TV. 

To Update Your Software/Firmware:

  1. Press the Home button on the remote.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select System.
  4. Select System Update.
  5. Select Check Now. 

If there is updated software for your TV, it will automatically download and your TV will automatically reboot upon completion of the installation. 

9. Switch to a wired connection 

Wifi signals can be slower than a wired connection. They also leave more room for interfaces to compromise the quality of the signal your devices receive. A wired connection provides quicker speeds along with a more stable connection. 

Connecting an ethernet cord directly to your TV can offer the best solution if your TV is running slowly due to a network issue. (Network issues do not have to be extreme to cause minor lagging in the operations of your smart TV.)

After you’ve connected the ethernet cord to your TV:

  1. Go to the settings on your TV. 
  2. Select Network. 
  3. Select Set up New Connection. 
  4. Select Wired. 

Once the connection is set to Wired, your connection will be set up automatically. 

10. Adjusting Bit Rate using Service Menu

Many Roku users are unaware that they have the ability to override the bit rate settings on their devices. If your TV is operating slowly and you experience frequent buffering, this small hack could be the solution.

By default, your TV automatically chooses the appropriate streaming speeds for you to give you the best video and audio quality possible. However, if your TV buffers more than you feel it should, you may need to override the automatic bitrate settings and adjust them to increase your playback speeds and reduce buffering. 

To adjust the bit rate settings, enter the following combination on your remote without interruptions:

  1. Press the Home button 5 times.
  2. Press the rewind button 3 times.
  3. Press the fast forward button 2 times. 
  4. Select Automatic 
  5. Select 3.5. (High streaming speed.)

11. Contact Roku Support

If your TV continues to lag after trying all of the steps above, you can find additional troubleshooting help on the Roku Support Page. The support features many helpful articles for issues pertaining to your remote, connectivity, software, and more. 

For further help, you can contact an agent for support. An agent will be able to provide specific troubleshooting to help you determine if your tv needs a repair or if your issue could be covered by any warranties. 

Roku TV Audio Issues 

Roku TVs are also known to have a few common audio-related issues. These are not generally not serious issues and are easy to fix, even if you’re not very tech savvy. 

The following issues are common audio issues known of Roku TVs:

  • Roku Tv Audio Delay: This delay causes the sound to be a little bit behind the video. If you see the characters of your favorite show start speaking before you hear them, this is likely your issue. This issue can sometimes be resolved as simply as momentarily muting your TV, pausing your TV for 15-30 seconds, or hitting the * key on your remote. 
  • Audio is Out-of-Sync: This issue is very similar to the audio delay issue. However, with this issue, your sound could be slightly ahead of, or behind, the video currently presented on the screen. This issue can also be resolved by muting, pausing, or hitting the star key. 
  • No Audio is Heard: With this issue, you will be able to see the video on your screen, but will not be able to hear the corresponding audio.

The most common fixes for this issue are to reboot your TV, reboot your router, and clear your TV’s cache.

If you are still experiencing audio issues with your TV after going through the troubleshooting steps above, try the fixes below that are known to resolve these common audio issues. 

How to Fix Common Audio Issues on Roku TV
Make sure your speakers are turned on. Go to settings. Select Audio. Make sure you see a checkmark next to the Tv Speakers option. 
Enable/Disable Auto DetectGo to settings.Select Audio. Select S/PDIF. Select Auto Detect.If Auto Detect is already selected and not working, Select PCM-Stereo.
Reset Audio/Picture SettingsGo to settings.Select System.Select Advanced System Settings.Select Factory Reset.Select Reset TV Audio/Picture Settings.

Roku Tv lagging Problem

Private Listening is a feature that allows you to listen to your TV through headphones as long as your TV is connected to your mobile app. This can be very convenient if you like watching TV late at night, or while your kids are napping. 

When using Private Listening, delayed, out of sync, or no audio is a widely reported issue. However, there are easy fixes for these issues as well. 

The following things can resolve audio-related issues when using the Private Listening Feature:

  • Reboot your TV. 
  • Clear your TV’s cache. 
  • Reboot your mobile device.
  • Uninstall, then reinstall to Roku Mobile App. 

If You Have No Audio: 

  1. Make sure the volume is not muted and is turned up. 
  2. Make sure your headphones are well connected, or properly connected to your device through Bluetooth. 
  3. Ensure that you are pairing with the correct device. 
  4. Restart your mobile device.
  5. If you still have no sound, uninstall and reinstall the mobile app. 

If the Sound is Delayed or Out of Sync:

  1. Open the mobile app. 
  2. Tap Remote. 
  3. Tap the headphone icon. 
  4. Tap the Settings icon. 
  5. Tap Adjust Audio Delay. 
  6. Follow the onscreen instructions. 

Additionally, if you are experiencing issues with Private Listening, it could be an issue with your network. Slow or unstable internet connections are common causes of these issues. 

Bonus Tip

Did you know you can use your Roku TV without a remote or Wi-Fi? I’ve lost or damaged my remote many times before, so I figured this will be a good tip for you guys!