'Are Roku remotes interchangeable?': It depends on which type of remote and device you have — here's what you need to know

Roku remote

  • Roku remotes are mostly interchangeable, as long as you have the right Roku player.
  • Roku remotes are split into two types, IR and enhanced, and each one only works with certain Roku players.
  • IR remotes can control any compatible Roku player, without the need for pairing.
  • Enhanced remotes need to be paired by holding down the pairing button in the remote’s battery compartment.
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There are a lot of Roku players, and if you purchase a new one, you might wonder if you can continue to use the remote you already have. 

Odds are pretty good that you can. Roku players typically use one of two kinds of remote controls, and each remote is interchangeable with all players that use that kind of remote control. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Roku remotes, and which Roku players they work with.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Roku Ultra (From $99.99 at Best Buy)

How to tell the difference between Roku remote controls 

There are two kinds of Roku remotes:

  • Standard IR (infrared) remotes. These remotes transmit a beam of infrared light to your Roku player. These remotes require direct line of sight with the player, and won’t work if the signal is blocked by an obstacle like the TV or a cabinet. 

Roku remote

  • Enhanced remotes. Roku refers to these as “point anywhere” remotes, and they rely on RF (radio frequency) energy to send commands to the player. Enhanced remotes don’t need direct line of sight, and the player can be positioned behind obstacles and still work just fine. You can tell if you have an enhanced remote because it’ll have a pairing button (usually in the battery compartment) to connect it to the player. 

There are two kinds of Enhanced remote — the Enhanced Voice Remote, and Gaming Remote — both of which are compatible with most modern Roku player models. These models include:

  • Roku 2 (model 4210)
  • Roku 3
  • Roku 4
  • Roku Premiere (model 4620)
  • Roku Premiere+ (model 4630)
  • Roku Ultra

There are also two types of Roku IR remote: the Roku Voice Remote and Standard IR remote. Models that work with the IR remotes include:

  • Roku LT
  • Roku XD and XDS
  • Roku HD
  • Roku 1, 2, and 3
  • Roku Express and Roku Express+
  • Roku Premiere (model 3920)
  • Roku Premiere+ (model 3921)
  • Roku Streaming Stick (models 3600 and 3800)
  • Roku Streaming Stick +

How to test a remote with your Roku player

To find out if your Roku remote works with a particular Roku player, you can perform a few simple tests:

1. Connect the Roku player to your TV and make sure it’s plugged in. Wait several minutes so it has time to boot.

2. Make sure you have fresh batteries in the remote.

3. If you have an IR remote, point it at the player with no obstructions and try to control it. There’s no pairing needed for an IR remote — it should work on any compatible player immediately. 

If you have an enhanced remote, press and hold the pairing button for about five seconds. If it’s compatible with the player, you should see a message on the screen that it is pairing. After that, it should work with the player. 

Are Roku remotes interchangeable 2

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to connect your Roku device to Google Assistant to control your Roku with voice commands

  • How to get Disney Plus on your Roku device, and watch Disney’s new streaming service with a free 7-day trial

  • How to use Roku search to find content across channels

  • ‘Does Roku have Spotify?’: How to download and stream Spotify on your Roku device

  • How to add the YouTube TV app to your Roku player and watch over 70 live television channels

SEE ALSO: The best affordable TVs

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