A common problem for Roku users is the device will keep ‘Buffering’ or ‘Loading’ video. It can drive a person crazy trying to troubleshoot this problem. The Hulu, Netflix, and Vudu channels are notorious for this problem. So, I threw together this guide to help people figure out how to fix this issue.
Check For Outages
Make sure there are no outages on the service you are streaming video from. Visit Downdetector and search the name of the service you are using, or check Twitter to see if other people are experiencing the same problem.
- Navigate to Settings > System > System restart > Restart to restart the Roku. Alternately, you could remove the power cord from the Roku, then plug it back in.
If the Roku has decided to automatically download update files, they could take up space until the update is actually installed.
- Check under “Settings” > “System” > “System update” to see if you can force the Roku to complete the update.
Clear the Cache
The Roku stores all kinds of temporary data for quicker access. Sometimes this cache of data can cause problems. You can safely clear the cache by going to the home screen and pressing the following buttons in order:
- Home 5 times
- Up 1 time
- Rewind 2 times
- Fast Forward 2 times
If entered properly, the Roku will power down and restart after a few minutes. I’ve seen this process sometimes take a half hour, so be patient.
Improve Wi-Fi Performance
If you’re using a Wi-Fi connection, ensure the connection to the Wi-Fi network is strong. Turn off any electronics that use a Bluetooth channel such as speakers, headphones, or even smartphones.
If you’re Roku is connected to a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network, you may want to consider connecting it to a 5GHz network instead. 2.4GHz networks are prone to interference, especially if you live in an urban area. The 5GHz network has many more channels, so interference is almost never a problem.
If you’re using Plex or are playing video from a device on your network, ensure that device also has a sold network connection.
Uninstall & Reinstall Channel
If you’re having trouble with a certain channel that keeps buffering, try removing, then re-installing the channel.
- From the Home screen, highlight the channel you wish to update.
- Press *.
- Select “Remove channel“.
- Select “Remove“.
- Wait for the channel to be removed.
- Press “Home” to go back to the Home screen, then select “Streaming Channels“.
- Navigate to the channel that needs to be reinstalled, then follow the steps to reinstall it.
Switch to Lower Quality Video
If you’re not getting the results you want watching video in 4K or high-definition, you may want to just settle for SD quality. This will reduce the demand for data on your network, and usually result in better performance. You can usually set the quality of your videos from the settings of your streaming service.
I hope this guide has helped you solve problems with your Roku getting stuck buffering. Please share your experience in the comments section.