• If your Roku keeps buffering and you can’t stream video effectively, there are a few ways you can fix it.
  • You should first check the Wi-Fi signal strength on your Roku – if it’s poor, you can improve the signal by moving your Wi-Fi router closer to your Roku device, reducing the use of other devices on the network, or upgrading your router.
  • It’s also a good idea to restart your Roku, or even try to manually reduce the bitrate your Roku is using to stream.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Because Roku media players are streaming devices, there may be times when video doesn’t play smoothly.

But if your Roku is frequently pausing playback to buffer, there’s something wrong.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Roku Ultra (From $99.99 at Best Buy)

Google Wifi (From $99 on Amazon)

Linksys EA7500 Dual-Band Router (From $125.98 on Amazon)

Why your Roku keeps buffering, and how to fix it


Often, the number one cause of unwanted buffering is a weak or unreliable Wi-Fi connection. Here’s what you can do to improve your Wi-Fi:

Improve your Wi-Fi connection

Foto: The first thing you should do is check your signal strength to see if the Roku is connecting properly.sourceDave Johnson/Business Insider

First, you’ll want to check your Roku’s Wi-Fi signal strength.

Using your Roku remote, select "Settings," then "Network," and choose "About." Look for your signal strength - if it's listed as Fair or Poor, you should try some of the suggestions below to improve the signal.

1. Move the Wi-Fi router closer to the Roku. If the router is far away, or blocked by an object in some way, your Wi-Fi speed can be seriously compromised.

2. Reduce the use of other devices on the network. Check to see if other devices - streaming players, computers, or gaming systems - are also online at the same time. You may need to limit those other devices to give the Roku more of your network bandwidth.

3. Upgrade or replace your router. If your router is several years old, it might not be up to the task. The router's software might also be out of date. If possible, update the router's firmware, or replace it with a newer model that supports a high-speed 5GHz network. You may want to consider Google's Wi-Fi router, or this Linksys router for larger homes.

Restart your Roku

Foto: Depending on which Roku device you have, there are different ways to restart it.sourceDave Johnson/Business Insider

Of course, any time you encounter an unexpected problem with a device like your Roku, "rebooting" it can help eliminate temporary glitches.

Completely power off the Roku and restart it to see if that eliminates the buffering problems. For tips on how to do this for different Roku models, check out our article "How to turn off any Roku device."

Manually override the Roku bitrate

Foto: Manually adjusting the maximum bitrate may, in some situations, improve your buffering.sourceDave Johnson/Business Insider

Most of the time, your Roku automatically (and correctly) chooses the right bitrate for video streaming based on your network speed.

In some rare situations, though, you can improve playback by manually overriding this setting - so if you have tried everything else, give this a try as well.

1. Using the Roku remote, press the following sequence of buttons to get to a hidden settings screen: Press Home five times, press reverse scan three times, and then press forward scan twice.

2. You'll now see the Bit Rate Override screen. Select "Manual selection."

3. Choose a lower bitrate and then test your Roku to see if that has solved your buffering problem.

If none of these fixes work, you may want to contact Roku or your internet service provider to get further help with your buffering issues.

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