Tech

How to Fix It When Roku Keeps Buffering

There are several solutions to prevent your Roku from lagging

This guide will walk you through all the most tried and true solutions when experiencing media buffering and slow loading on a Roku streaming device. These Roku buffering fixes range from changes to the Roku device itself to some modem tips and even a few things to try with Roku’s apps and operating system.

The tips and fixes on this page apply to all Roku models, including the Roku Streaming Stick 4K, Roku Ultra, and Roku Express product lines.

Why does the Roku keep buffering?

A slow internet connection, overheating, or an outdated operating system can cause a Roku to buffer. Media apps that automatically switch to high-resolution videos during a slow connection that can’t handle larger files can also cause buffering.

How can I get my Roku to stop buffering?

Here are the best ways to stop buffering when using a Roku to stream media.

Restart your Roku. A quick reboot only takes a few seconds and can fix your buffering and other issues.

Restart your Roku. Turning your Roku off and on can fix most bugs and issues.

Upgrade your Roku. To select Settings > System > Upgrade system > check it now to update your Roku’s operating system to the latest version.

Delete a channel or app, then add it again. Delete the app or channel that buffers heavily, then add it again.

Check for overheating. If your Roku starts buffering about an hour after you turn it on, it may be overheating. Clean it frequently so it doesn’t collect dust, and make sure it’s on a hard surface rather than a cloth or liner. You can also lay it on its side so more of its surface is exposed to the air.

Switch to a wired Internet connection. If possible, connect your Roku device to a wired internet connection. Wired connections can be faster than wireless connections and can reduce the chances of media buffering.

Disconnect other devices from your Internet connection. Smartphones, tablets, computers, and game consoles using the Internet simultaneously can cause buffering when trying to stream media. The network becomes overloaded and cannot process all uploads and downloads at the same time. Try putting those other devices into airplane mode or cancel any downloads or updates that might be running.

Reboot your modem. A quick modem reset will establish a new connection to your ISP, which can often be faster than the one you had before.

If you have a 5G modem, turn it off for at least five minutes to allow the connection to fully restore. Some models may need 10 minutes to completely disconnect from the initial connection.

Use your Roku another time. Internet services often get a lot of traffic on Friday and Saturday nights, which can slow things down for everyone. Experiment with streaming content to your Roku at other times on different days to see if you can find a time with less traffic and faster speeds.

Switch to a faster Internet connection. A slow internet connection is a common cause of Roku buffering issues. If possible, see if you can connect to another one with faster speeds and less traffic.

Talk to your internet service provider. Your service provider can analyze your Internet usage for possible causes of slow download speeds. They may be able to suggest manual changes to your router settings or even offer you an upgrade to faster internet service.

Manually change the video quality. Many Roku apps, like YouTube, allow you to change the resolution of videos in your media player or in the app’s settings. Try selecting 1080p instead of 4K to see if that stops buffering. Select 720p or even lower resolution or quality settings if buffering persists.

Clear the Roku’s cache. On your Roku remote, press Home five times, On top Once, Rewind twice, and fast forward twice to clear the Roku cache. This can take from several minutes to half an hour.

Reset your Roku. If nothing else works, you can try resetting your Roku to factory settings. This will remove all of your preferences and return them to how you found them when you first set up the Roku.

Upgrade to a newer Roku. If none of the above fixes have stopped buffering, the problem could be that your Roku is too old.

Use another device. If your Roku keeps buffering and buying a newer model isn’t an option, try streaming content from apps on other devices. Smart TVs, game consoles, and some Blu-ray players are compatible with many popular streaming apps. You can even stream content to your TV from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

How to fix frequent buffering?

Frequent buffering is almost due to slow internet connection or hardware related issue. The easiest way to avoid media buffering is to download the entire episode or movie to your smartphone, computer, or tablet, and then stream it to your Roku or other device. This way, the app or device doesn’t need to stream the content live.

There are also several other general tips for fixing buffering that you might want to check out.

frequent questions

  • How can I fix this issue when my Roku screen is black?

    If your Roku screen is black, restart the device, make sure all cables are connected, and the TV is on the correct input. Try a different HDMI port and restart your Roku if necessary. If you’re having trouble with a specific channel, remove it and reinstall it.

  • Why is my Roku screen green?

    If your screen is green, blue, or purple, check all the connections on the TV and device, then restart the Roku. If you still have problems, try using a different HDMI cable.

  • Why is my Roku stuck on loading screen?

    If your Roku is frozen on the loading screen, there is likely a problem with the system firmware. Try restarting and then resetting your device.

  • How do I fix the problem when my Roku won’t turn on?

    If your Roku won’t turn on, try using a different outlet and reconnect all cables. Make sure you use the cables that came with your Roku. Reboot the device and update the system if possible.

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