YouTube is one of the most popular media platforms available on Roku devices, but there may be instances when YouTube is not working on Roku. The unresponsive nature of the app can have a variety of causes, from internet connectivity problems to temporary glitches in the app itself. If YouTube is not working on Roku for some reason, there are a handful of solutions you can try to get the streaming app working again.
What Is Roku?
Roku is a streaming device that connects to your television and streams multimedia content from the internet. The streaming service comes pre-installed with hundreds of media streaming applications in a single application. This way, you can stream, save, organize, and search for content from multiple online sources through a single platform. Here is a complete guide on Roku and how it works for a more detailed explanation.
The streaming service offers access to more than 4,000 channels globally, covering both paid-for and free channels. Netflix, HBO Max, AppleTV, Disney+, and ESPN are some of the most popular options among subscription-based channels.
While Roku provides access to all kinds of streaming platforms, access to subscription-based platforms through the service does not come for free. For example, if you want to access Netflix, you would have to have an existing subscription or otherwise sign up for a subscription through Roku before you can access Netflix content.
But while some channels require subscriptions, others are completely free and accessible via Roku. Peacock, Pluto TV, Crackle, Tubi, and Newsy are a few examples of websites that you can watch for free. The streaming service also features its own media streaming channel, The Roku Channel, which you can access for free.
The first Roku devices were launched back in 2008, but they would only gain popularity following the surge of on-demand streaming channels. The company now offers a variety of streaming devices to fit into the different streaming needs of its more than 60 million users worldwide. Here is a guide on choosing the best Roku devices to suit your TV type and budget.
Why Is YouTube Not Working on Roku?
There are hundreds of applications pre-installed on the Roku platform, and YouTube is one of them. Accessing YouTube via Roku is normally a straightforward process, but there are instances when YouTube is not working on Roku.
If you have recently tried (and failed) to access YouTube on Roku, there are a handful of potential causes for the problem. The problem may stem from something external such as your internet connection, or something internal such as the YouTube application itself.
While it’s rare for YouTube to malfunction, any internal issues with the YouTube app itself may cause the application to fail to open in Roku. Another potential reason is when you fail to update the firmware for your Roku software, which can cause problems with the YouTube application.
Alternatively, you may encounter other problems when using Roku. One of the more common problems, aside from YouTube not working Roku, is when the remote fails to respond to your commands without other technical difficulties. In this case, you will need a different set of troubleshooting methods to try to get it working again. Here is a list of quick and easy fixes for the Roku remote that is not working.
How to Fix YouTube Not Working on Roku
So you’ve tried to access YouTube via Roku, and the application just won’t open. There are many possible reasons for the application not working, and these reasons relate to how you get the problem fixes. With this in mind, there are a variety of solutions that you can take to get YouTube working again. Here they are:
1. Check for reported outages on YouTube Servers
Whenever YouTube fails to work on Roku, there’s a chance that the problem is with the application itself and not Roku. The way to check if this is the case is to try to access YouTube on other devices to see if the website is up and running. You can also run the website through website down checkers such as isitdownrightnow to confirm whether YouTube is working in real-time.
2. Restart your Roku Device
YouTube sometimes experiences lagging, freezing, and even crashing issues that indicate that something went wrong. A variety of factors can bring about these issues, and these factors include code errors, plugin problems, and expired domains.
If you think the issue is related to any of these internal factors, you can restart your device to have it eliminate the source of the problem (i.e. error codes). Note that restarting your device will retain all settings and applications you currently have on the device.
Restart your Roku device to eliminate errors with the following steps:
- Open the Roku app and navigate to the Roku Home Screen.
- Look for the Settings option from the left-hand side of the screen.
- Select the System option by pressing the directional button on your Roku remote, then select System Restart.
- Select the Restart option at which point the device will turn off. Wait for a few seconds for the system to reboot.
- Once the Roku is up and running, open YouTube to check if the problem has been resolved.
3. Check the internet speed of your Roku device
Sometimes the cause of YouTube not working on Roku has nothing to do with either the Roku or YouTube platform but your internet connection speed. A slow or intermittent internet connection will prevent any app from loading properly on Roku. It’s the exact same thing that happens with other devices. That’s because the data the app requires to run cannot be downloaded onto your device when the internet connection is poor.
Normally, a simple glance at the internet connectivity status of your laptop or phone will let you know if your connection is working or not. You may also check your internet speed using internet speed test websites like Speedtest.net.
On the other hand, it’s also possible for you to check the quality of your internet connection without leaving the Roku platform. Roku has a built-in feature that allows you to conduct a network connection test. Access the feature with the following steps:
- Get the Roku remote and press the Home button.
- Look for the Settings option from the list and select the Network
- Select Check connection from the list of options. The device will then run tests to test the speed of your connection and will generate results within a few minutes. Follow any instructions in case the results indicate a slow speed.
4. Troubleshoot your internet connection
If you suspect that your internet connection may be the cause of the problem, then you may want to take steps to restore your internet to an acceptable speed.
In order to achieve this, you may want to try restarting your internet router to refresh the connection. You may also want to try connecting your Roku device to a different network if possible.
If you have plenty of other devices lying around, and you suspect that may cause your weak signal, you may want to move the Roku device closer to where your internet router is located.
If all else fails, you may want to plug your Roku device directly into your internet router using a LAN cable connecting the two devices. This will allow the data to transmit directly from your router into the Roku platform via the cable.
5. Update the Current Roku OS
You are likely familiar with system updates, and the same thing happens with the Roku software. These software updates are important since they enhance the current features of the software, and patch up security loopholes in the software. Ultimately, they prevent any issues that may occur due to the system being outdated.
Luckily, Roku devices are designed to automatically check for software updates every 24-36 hours, and the software manages both the installation and download of these updates automatically. However, there are cases when you might want to run updates manually, and YouTube not working on Roku is definitely one of those cases.
Manually update your Roku software with the following steps:
- Get your Roku remote and click on the Home button.
- Look for the Settings menu from the left-hand side of the home screen and select System.
- Select System update. The specifications of your Roku’s operating system should be displayed on the screen along with the schedule of the last system update.
- Select the Check now option to prompt the system to run a system update.
- Roku will check for new updates to download into your system and will automatically download and install that update if available. Note that no additional input will be required from you once the system updates start.
6. Conduct a Factory Reset on Roku
If the solutions mentioned above fail to fix the problem, then you may want to consider conducting a factory reset. Note that a factory reset will restore the device’s settings to their original configuration, eliminating all changes that you’ve made since starting to use the device. In addition, it will remove all applications that you’ve downloaded, meaning you will have to log in and download applications all over again.
If you are prepared to take your problem-solving to the next level, then here are the steps to reset your Roku device to its factory settings:
- Select the Home button using your remote.
- Look for the Settings option from the upper-left panel of the home screen and select
- Select the Advanced System Settings option, followed by the Factory reset
- Click Factory to reset everything and take note of the additional instructions reflected on the screen to complete the process.
- Once the process is complete, log in to Roku using your account. Try to run YouTube to check whether it is working.
7. Delete and Reinstall the YouTube App
If your YouTube application on Roku stops working time and again, the issue might be the program itself. With this in mind, you may want to delete and reinstall the app to stop the application from malfunctioning.
You can easily reinstall the YouTube application, as well as other applications, on Roku with the following steps:
- Look for and click the Home option from your Roku remote to take you to the Home screen.
- Look for the Streaming Channels option from the top-left menu and select it.
- Click on the Top Free option from the Channel Store menu. The top free option will show you a list of all free channels and content that you can access.
- From among the list of channels, search for the YouTube channel. Click OK to open the channel details.
- When prompted with a pop-up, select the Add channel option to install the application to Roku.
- Once the channel has finished downloading, select the Go to channel details page to launch the channel on Roku.
Final Thoughts on YouTube Not Working on Roku
Roku is an extremely popular streaming device, and YouTube is equally popular as a streaming service. While these two services are a match made in streaming heaven, there are certain instances when YouTube and other streaming apps are difficult to access through the platform. The reasons vary from a poor internet connection to bugs in the application that makes it behave erratically. Regardless of the cause, there are multiple ways to approach the problem, though the solution has to match the cause. The ones we’ve provided have been tried and tested to work. But it takes a little patience and the willingness to go through different steps to find the right one. With this guide, you should be able to enjoy your favorite YouTube channels in no time.