Wondering why your Roku Express won’t turn on? Well, this issue is very easy to fix!
The Roku Express can be powered with the USB cable and power adapter or solely via the USB cable by plugging it into the TV.
This means there are several factors to inspect before knowing precisely what is causing the issue.
So, remain with us throughout this short guide to learn why.
When Roku Express is not turning on, attempt to wake up the device, inspect the power equipment, and switch to a different electrical source.
So, let’s unwrap more!
Why Won’t My Roku Express Turn On?
One of the most common causes why Roku Express is not turning on is the power equipment or the power source.
So, it’s crucial to identify how your Roku is supplied with power to know precisely what to troubleshoot.
We’ve put together a short list containing all possibilities:
Let’s next learn how to address each of these culprits!
How to Fix Roku Express Won’t Turn On?
Tip: Follow the steps chronologically!
1. Try to Wake Up the Roku Express
If Roku’s Auto Power Saving feature is enabled, the machine will enter low power mode, which will appear like the device is turned off.
The low power mode activates 20 minutes after your Roku has not streamed anything or was not controlled by the app or remote.
So, if your Roku Express device is sleeping, you wake it up in multiple ways:
- Press any remote button.
- Turn on the connected TV.
- Control Roku with the app.
- Share content via AirPlay.
- Cast from a mobile device.
We recommend attempting to wake up your Roku in all the ways listed above, and if your unit is not turning on, perhaps you’re dealing with a power issue.
If so, keep reading the guide further.
2. Inspect Roku’s Power Equipment
If your Roku Express is not turning on, you’ll need to check the power equipment, the USB cable, and the power adapter.
If your Roku Express is not connected to the power, the connector is loose, or the cable/adapter is faulty, Roku will not turn on.
So, here is a quick list of steps to apply and inspect Roku’s equipment:
- Unplug the USB connector from your Roku.
- Disconnect the Roku from your TV’s HDMI.
- Unplug the power adapter from the socket.
- Also, disconnect the USB from the adapter.
- Wait 60 seconds, and connect everything.
- Verify that all the connections are secured.
Note: You'll need a replacement if you notice rips or cuts on the cable or bent connectors!
3. Switch to a Different Power Outlet
A quick way to rule out many possibilities that could prevent the Roku Express from turning on is to connect the machine to a proven-to-work power outlet.
You can test whether a power outlet works by connecting your phone’s charger or plugging in a lamp, showing whether there is voltage and stability.
In case of a recent power outage, the A/C in the home could not be stable, and the Roku Express and other devices may also be affected.
Tip: Avoid plugging your Roku Express into power strips, electrical dividers, or smart plugs!
4. Replace Your Remote’s Batteries
If you can’t turn on or wake up the Roku Express using the remote control, perhaps the batteries are dead, and you’ll need a fresh pair to regain functionality.
The Roku Express remote control takes two AAA batteries, so if you have a fresh pair at home, insert them into the device and try to turn on Roku Express.
Note: Verify that the Roku’s remote control polarity springs are not bent/missing!
5. Inspect the TV’s HDMI Connection
The HDMI connection between the Roku Express and your TV could be why you believe your device is not turning on.
If you only see a black screen on your TV, perhaps the video transfer is not working, but your Roku device, as a whole, works.
Here are a few tips to inspect and optimize Roku’s HDMI connection:
- Unplug and reconnect the HDMI on both sides.
- Switch to another HDMI input on the television.
- Implement a replacement HDMI in your setup.
- Inspect the HDMI cable’s connectors for bents.
- Clean your TV’s and Roku’s HDMI input ports.
You need to verify that the video transfer from your Roku to the TV is working.
If the screen is still black and looks like the Roku Express is not turning on, there is a crucial thing to inspect.
Did You Select the Correct Source?
Every HDMI input on your TV has a corresponding source that you must select to start viewing the output of your connected device.
So, press the “Input” or “Source” button using your TV remote and select the correct source to which the Roku Express is connected to see the picture.
Reminder: You must always change the TV source when switching the HDMI inputs!
6. Connect Roku Express to TV USB
Your Roku Express is not turning on because of the power adapter at the end of the USB cable that typically plugs into the power outlet.
Hence, one way to bypass the power adapter is to connect your Roku player directly to the TV’s USB port and check if the device works.
A standard TV typically has at least two USB ports on the back or the side, so feel free to use one and rule out the power adapter possibility.
If the Roku Express is not turning on, even when connected to the TV, the problem could be in the USB cable, not in the A/C adapter, so let’s check.
Faulty Roku USB Power Cable?
The problem with the Roku Express could be in the USB cable supplying power to the device.
So, if you don’t have a replacement cable to test with at home, we recommend buying a new one.
Note: To explore compatible USB cables for your Roku Express, click here!
7. Use a Shorter-Length HDMI Cable
If the Roku Express 4K won’t turn on, it could be due to the length of your HDMI cable because the higher resolution video transfer requires a shorter cable.
The maximum HDMI cable length you can have for 4K video transfer is up to 10 feet, and if your HDMI cable is longer, perhaps this is causing your problem.
The Roku Express may be working, but you see a pitch-black screen because of your HDMI cable.
Pro Tip: We recommend using as short as possible HDMI cable for Roku Express 4K!
8. Prevent the Roku from Overheating
Another reason your Roku Express turned off and won’t turn on is that the machine overheated and now requires some time to cool down.
When your Roku Express overheats, the device automatically shuts down when the thermal margin is exceeded to preserve the hardware.
So, here are a few tips to prevent Roku Express from overheating:
- Relocate the device to a well-ventilated spot.
- Dislocate any heat conductors near the Roku.
- Clear dust and debris from the Roku’s vents.
- Turn on a fan blowing against your Roku unit.
Pro Tip: If your Roku Express is overheating, the top panel will be hot on the touch!
9. Test the Roku on Different Monitor
If everything else fails, you must test whether your Roku will visualize a picture when connected to a different output monitor.
You can use any monitor/TV with an HDMI input port on the back, so you can even test via your computer monitor.
So, if Roku Express works with a different monitor, then the problem is not with your Roku, and you must check your previously used TV.
However, if your Roku Express is not turning on, even when connected to a proven output monitor, the device may be hardware-defected irreversibly.
Tip: Contact Roku Customer Service for additional help!
Hence, whenever Roku Express won’t turn on, try to wake up the device, check the power cable and adapter, and switch to a different A/C source.
Also, test by plugging your Roku into a different TV USB or with a different monitor.
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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.