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In this article, I am going to show you how to fix a black screen on Roku. This fix should work if you have a Roku player, Stick, or even a Roku TV.
The leading cause of a black screen on your device is either a damaged HDMI cable or one of your cables is not properly seated in the connector. Loosely connected cables are easy to fix: make sure they are connected correctly and secured. If the HDMI cable is damaged, swap it out with a spare or buy a new one.
If this doesn’t work, I provide five options you can try below.
The Roku Black Screen of Death
If you own a Roku streaming device of any kind, the odds are you may have experienced—or are currently experiencing—the infamous black screen.
I recently had this issue and it was frustrating having my program interrupted and also in finding the right fix. Hence, another blog post is born!
Whether you are trying to sit down and watch Squid Game on Netflix, or catch up with your favorite YouTubers and channels on YouTube, or even watch Loki on Disney+, a black screen is a sure-fire way to put the old kabosh on your plans.
Do not worry though! In this article, I will help you get your streaming back on track in no time at all.
📚 Related: How to Stream From Phone to Roku
Tip # 1 – Check Cable Connections
The first thing that you’ll want to do when trying to fix a black screen is to check the HDMI cables going into your TV, as well as all the cables going out to your Roku.
- Observe all of the wires and cables that are corresponding to your Roku device. Oftentimes, connected HDMI or even power cables will become loose and will slip from being seated properly in the connector.
- If you notice that the cables are indeed loose, reposition them appropriately and make sure they are securely connected.
Tip # 2 – Swap Out HDMI Cable
A malfunctioning HDMI cable is a common cause for a black screen on your device and in which case, you will need to swap it out with a new one.
It’s hard to tell if an HDMI cable goes bad.
If you do not have any spare HDMI cables laying around, I strongly suggest you purchase a new one. Here is a link to a very highly rated HDMI cable over at Amazon. I’ll include a little product box below over to Amazon [affliat link] to the one I bought. This new cable fixed my black screen problems immediately.
- 2m/ 6.5ft DisplayPort cable with latches, compatible with DP 1.2, DP 1.4a
- Supported resolution 4K120, 5K60, 8K60, 1440p@144Hz to 240Hz, DSC 1.2a supported
Tip # 3 – Disconnect and Reconnect Your Roku
To simplify what disconnecting and reconnecting your device does, you can compare it to a “soft reset” of your device and will reboot the device’s hardware and apps. A reboot will resolve most causes for the black screen malfunction.
- Unplug your TV from the wall.
- Disconnect all external Roku devices that are connected to your television.
- Once you are finished with disconnecting all external devices, hold down the Power button on your TV for 1 minute.
- After the minute has passed, add a visual player to your Television by inserting it into one of the TV’s ports.
📚 Related: 7 Best Remotes for Roku Streamers
Tip # 4 – Increase the Resolution Settings
If you can hear sound coming from your TV while it is showing a black screen, this is a telltale sign that it is a resolution-related issue.
- From the Roku home screen, press the Left on the remote and go down to Settings.
- Once you are in the Settings, locate and select Display Type.
- Inside of the Display Type menu, you will see different resolution types. Usually, it will have Auto Detect selected, but if it detects the incorrect resolution type, that is where the black screen comes into place.
- Select a higher resolution option that is listed (Preferably 4k).
Tip # 5 – Perform a Soft Reset [Clear the Roku Cache]
If you have attempted the previously mentioned tips and the screen is still showing a black screen, try performing a soft reset on your Roku device. This is also known as clearing the cache.
- Press the Home button 5 times.
- Press the Up Arrow once.
- Press Rewind 2 times.
- Press Fast Forward
If you have input the buttons in the correct sequence, your TV will reset. If nothing happens after a little while, press the correct buttons once more in a quicker sequence.
Here is a helpful video walk-through on clearing the Roku cache below from Amzeel on YouTube:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Why is my Roku TV screen black but I can hear Roku streaming audio?
A: As stated above, the main reason for this is likely a resolution issue. You’ll need to go into your TV’s settings and select Display Type.
Once you have selected “display type”, you will see different resolution options. Follow the steps up above ☝️.
Q: What if I have a TCL Roku TV with a black screen (instead of a Roku streaming device), how do I reset the TV?
A: Press the Home button on your remote and then select Settings. Once you are in the settings, select System, and then select Power. Once you’ve done that, select System Restart and then Restart, to confirm it.
Juan Camacho offers some additional troubleshooting tips out on YouTube that may help:
The KP Repairs and Fixes YouTube channel offers some additional advice:
Q: How do I get my Roku to stop controlling my TV?
A: You’ll need to select the Home button on your Roku remote and then press Home once more to open up the Channel Grid. Scroll to the bottom of the Channel Grid and you will see the shortcut tile labeled, TV Off. Select it and your Roku remote should no longer control your TV.
Q: How do I sync my Roku remote to my TV?
A: To be able to sync your Roku remote to your TV, you will need to connect your Roku player to your television, as well as to a power outlet. Once that is done, make sure that the remote has new batteries and then push any button. If you are holding the remote close enough to the Roku player, the pairing process will begin automatically.
Q: How do I restart the power to my TCL Roku TV?
A: To restart your TCL Roku TV, you’ll have to power off your TV, then you will need to unplug the TV’s power cable from the wall socket. After you have left it unplugged for 30 seconds, plug it back in and turn on your unit.
📚 Related: TCL Roku Smart TV Universal Remotes: 7 Best
Q: How do I factory reset my TCL Roku TV?
A: Press the Home button on your remote and then find Settings. From Settings, select Advanced Settings. When you see the option factory reset, you’ll want to go over and select Factory Reset Everything. A keypad will pop up with a PIN underneath it that you will need to input into the keypad for confirmation. After you have input the Pin, your device will start the Factory resetting process.
📚 Related: 5 Best Universal Remote Apps for Roku
Tim Brennan is a technology blogger and hosts the @TecTimmy YouTube channel. He writes about smart homes at oneSmartcrib, home theaters at UniversalRemoteReviews, and AI in writing at Writeinteractive. A graduate of Northeastern University School of Journalism, he has written about technology for 30 years. Tim lives on the ocean in Nahant, Massachusetts.
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