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How to Use Your Roku Without a Remote

Every Roku player comes with its own remote control, but, unlike other remotes, Roku remotes use Wi-Fi to connect to their streaming device. That means if you lose your remote or it stops working, you can’t watch your shows, unless you know how to use your Roku without a remote control. Here’s how:

How to Use Roku Without a Remote by Downloading App

If you are using your Roku device at home or at a location where you last connected your Roku device to a Wi-Fi network, you can just download the Roku app and use it as a remote. Here’s how:

  1. Download and install the Roku app. The app is available for iOS and Android devices. 
  2. Launch the Roku app on your device. 
  3. Tap Remote. The remote on the mobile Roku app will allow you to control your device, much like the actual remote control. You can play, pause, skip forward, change channels, etc.
  4. Connect to your Roku Device.

Note: This will only work if your Roku device is on the same Wi-Fi network as your smartphone.

How to Connect Roku to Wi-Fi Using a Mobile Hotspot

If you took your Roku device on vacation and forgot your remote, things get a little more complicated.

Without your remote, you can’t connect to your Roku, which means you can’t change the Wi-Fi username and password. So, you’re going to have to set up a mobile hotspot with the same name and password as the last Wi-Fi network that you connected your Roku to. Here’s how:

Note: Before you can use your Roku without a remote, you will need to know the username and password of the last Wi-Fi network that you connected your Roku device to. You will also need 2 smartphones or similar devices (one to use as a Wi-Fi hotspot, and one to use as a Roku remote).

  1. Set up a mobile hotspot on your device. Not all smartphones or tablets come with mobile hotspot services. Make sure that it’s included in your service plan before you proceed. 
  2. Make sure your hotspot has the same name and password as the last network that you used your Roku with.
  3. Now you can use the Roku app on your smartphone as your remote. Make sure that your phone is connected to the same mobile hotspot as your Roku device. 

Note: Using a mobile hotspot to stream movies and TV shows can eat up a lot of data.

Now that you have a working remote on your smartphone, you can find out how to change your Roku’s Wi-Fi network in our article on how to set up your Roku device.

Note: You can also connect to your Roku by creating a new Wi-Fi network or changing an existing one to have the same name and password as your Roku device.

If your remote control just isn’t working, you can also read our guide on how to pair Roku remote.

Updated on January 29, 2020

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