How to use your iPhone as a fully functional Roku remote, when you can't find the regular remote control

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderIt’s easy to replace your Roku remote with an iPhone.
  • You can use your iPhone as a Roku remote should you ever lose your remote control.
  • To use your iPhone as a Roku remote, you’ll just need to download the Roku app and link it to your Roku device.
  • You’ll need to make sure that your iPhone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Roku device in order to link them.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

It seems that as TVs get smarter, their remotes just get smaller. The lack of need for things like numbered buttons make it so remotes like a Roku’s can be much smaller and more compact — but also, unfortunately, easier to lose.

Don’t worry, though — losing your remote doesn’t mean you can’t watch TV anymore. If you have an iPhone, it’s just as easy to use your phone as the remote — all you need to do is download the app. The buttons, minus any shortcuts you may have for services like Netflix or Hulu, are the same.

How to use your iPhone as a Roku remote

1. Go to the App Store and download the Roku remote app. Make sure you choose the right one, as it isn’t always the top option: The real app is labelled “Roku – Official Remote.”

How to use iPhone as Roku Remote   1Melanie Weir/Business InsiderOpen the App Store and download the Roku remote app.

2. Find it and open it, then tap the Devices tab at the bottom right of the screen. Find the name of the Roku device you’re using on the page, then tap it.

Note: If your TV isn’t on, and hasn’t been on in the past hour or so, you may have to tap twice — once to wake the device and a second time to connect.

If you’re having trouble connecting, make sure your remote is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your TV. You might also want to try restarting your Roku app, or the iPhone or Roku device itself.

How to use iPhone as Roku Remote   2Melanie Weir/Business InsiderOpen the app, go to the ‘Devices’ tab, and tap your chosen device to connect.

3. Once you’re connected, all you need to do is tap where it says “Remote” to begin controlling your Roku TV with your phone.

You can also tap “Media” to find videos, photos, and music on your phone that you can cast to your TV.

In addition, the Channels button is a shortcut to any of the apps installed on your Roku, as well as the channel store.

How to use iPhone as Roku Remote   3Melanie Weir/Business InsiderTap either ‘Remote’ button to bring up the remote control menu.
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