Wondering whether a Roku Express setup without remote is possible? It’s possible, indeed.
We often lose our remotes, we don’t have a replacement battery at home, or the remote just stops working.
In those cases, you can set up a Roku Express only if it’s already connected to the Wi-Fi, but what do you do when it’s offline?
Well, this guide has the answer, so let’s see…
Is Roku Express 4K Setup Without Remote Possible?
The short answer is Yes, it’s possible to set up Roku Express without remote control.
However, the long answer might catch you off guard since Roku Express doesn’t have an Ethernet port.
If your Roku Express is already connected to Wi-Fi, taking control of the device using the Roku app or Roku browser extension is straightforward.
However, the actual hurdle comes when your Roku Express is not connected to Wi-Fi, and you’re trying to set up the device without a remote.
Important: The Only Possible Way!
Note: This applies if your Roku Express is not already connected to Wi-Fi.
The only possible way to set up Roku Express without a remote control is by using an Ethernet cable to connect the device to the internet.
Only then can you use one of the methods to regain control over your Roku, using either the mobile app or the browser extension called “Remoku.”
- However, you need an Ethernet dongle (extension cable), allowing the user to connect one side to the USB port on the Roku.
This way, the dongle will provide you with an Ethernet port that you can use to connect the modem/router to your Roku and get connected to the internet.
Let’s next check out the complete tutorial and precisely what you must do!
Roku Express Setup Without Remote – Complete Tutorial
Tip: We recommend following the steps in chronological order!
1. Connect Roku Express to Power
The first step is to connect your Roku Express to the power.
This is a simple step, and you must use the USB port on the player to hook up either with the TV’s USB port or via a power adapter.
This will leave only 1 Micro-USB port open on your Roku Express, which you’ll later use to set up the Ethernet adapter.
Tip: We recommend plugging Roku Express into an outlet using a power adapter!
2. Implement the Ethernet Adapter
Note: If your Roku Express is connected to Wi-Fi, jump to step #4.
If your Roku Express is offline, you can’t set up the Roku app and use the digital remote before the Roku is connected to the internet.
It’s crucial to use an Ethernet adapter (dongle) to connect Roku Express directly to your network router or modem by using a long enough Ethernet cable.
Here’s exactly what you need to do:
- Plug the Ethernet adapter into Roku’s micro USB.
- Plug your Ethernet cable into the router’s “LAN” port.
- Acquire a long enough Ethernet cable to connect them.
- The cable plugs into the Ethernet port of your dongle.
This will provide a direct connection of your Roku to the modem/router, which will supply internet to the device even without a Wi-Fi connection.
When Roku Express is connected to the network, you can then use either the Roku app or the “Remoku” browser extension to set up your device.
3. Connect Mobile to Your Router
Another critical step is to connect your mobile device to the router’s Wi-Fi so that both the Roku and your phone are on the same internet network.
If you don’t connect the mobile to the same internet your Roku Express uses, the digital remote won’t work because your Roku can’t be discovered.
How to Connect Android to Wi-Fi?
- Go to the “Settings” app.
- Tap “Network & Internet.”
- Select the Wi-Fi’s SSID.
- Insert the Wi-Fi password.
How to Connect iPhone to Wi-Fi?
- Open the “Settings” app.
- Tap on the “Wi-Fi” pane.
- Select your Wi-Fi SSID.
- Type the Wi-Fi password.
When your Roku Express and mobile device are both connected to the same network, you can finally get control over your Roku.
Tip: We recommend disabling the Mobile Data on your device!
4. Download the Roku Mobile App
It’s time to download and install the Roku mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS smartphones.
You must use the Google Play Store or the App Store and look for “The Roku App” by using the search field, and once found, download and install the app on your device.
You don’t need to do any additional configuration besides installing the app and signing in to your Roku account.
Important: Use the same Roku account for the app if your Roku Express is already signed in!
5. Enable Roku TV Digital Remote
Whenever the Roku app is installed on the mobile, and your phone and Roku Express are on the same network, it’s time to regain control.
Here’s exactly what you must do:
- Verify that the Roku Express is connected to power.
- Ensure the Roku is connected via an Ethernet link.
- Then, enter your Roku application on your mobile.
- In the app, from the bottom, select the “Devices” tab.
- Then, wait for your Roku Express to be discovered.
- When the device appears, tap on it to connect to it.
- Tap on the “Remote” to start controlling your Roku.
That’s it. You now have a digital remote control that you can use as long as your Roku Express is connected to the router via an Ethernet cable.
So, now it’s very easy to set up your Roku and connect the device to the Wi-Fi, so let’s continue reading…
6. Connect Roku Express to the Wi-Fi
Now, when you can use your mobile Roku app as a digital remote, you don’t need the physical remote because you can do anything.
The final step is to connect Roku to the Wi-Fi to eliminate the need for a wired connection to the router/modem.
This is important because your Roku will automatically reconnect to the Wi-Fi when turned off or restarted, always available for the digital remote.
Here’s how to connect Roku Express to the Wi-Fi:
- Using the digital remote, go to “Settings.”
- From there, select the “Network” section.
- Advance to the “Wireless” menu option.
- Select the SSID of the router or modem.
- Type the password to connect to the Wi-Fi.
Once your Roku is connected to the Wi-Fi, you can turn off, restart, or do anything to the device, and it will always automatically reconnect.
This means that your Express will appear whenever you go into the “Devices” section in the Roku app, and you can use the digital remote anytime.
There’s more, so keep reading!
Can’t Use the Mobile App – No Problem with “Remoku”
Did you know you can also control your Roku Express using your computer?
Yes, you don’t need a physical remote or the mobile Roku app as long as your Roku Express is wired or wirelessly to the internet.
There is a browser extension called “Remoku” that you can install on your Google Chrome browser as an extension that serves the same as the Roku app.
If you don’t know how to install browser extensions, follow the steps below:
- Open the Google Chrome browser on your PC.
- Go to the “Remoku” and click “Add to Chrome.”
- Click on the “puzzle piece” icon on the top-right.
- This will bring up the digital Roku remote control.
If your Roku Express and PC are on the same network, you can control the device using the digital remote from the browser extension.
This will allow you to reach into the settings of your Roku and connect the device to Wi-Fi or adjust any option you would normally do with a remote.
Note: You can keep the browser extension and control your Roku Express by using your PC anytime, as long as the player is connected to the same internet.
The only possible way for Roku Express setup without remote is via an Ethernet adapter that will allow you to connect Roku to the internet.
Then, you can quickly get control over your Roku by using the mobile app or “Remoku” browser extension.
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues. Check out more about him here.