7 ways you can use a Roku remote to enhance your Roku user experience

RokuThere are several different Roku remotes, each with its own functions and features.
  • You can do more than simply play and pause video with your Roku remote.
  • Depending on what model of remote you have, you can use a Roku remote to control playback or search for content with voice commands, play games, and more.
  • Most remotes can use a Private Listening feature to watch and listen to content whenever your environment isn’t conducive to watching audible programming, such as late at night.
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The humble Roku remote is packed with features to improve your streaming experience.

From one-touch channel launch to motion control for casual gaming, your remote can do a lot.

Remote models vary slightly depending on the Roku streaming device they accompany so you may opt to use the Roku mobile app instead.

Here are seven ways you can use the Roku remote to enhance your Roku experience:


Organise installed channel apps

RokuYou can use your remote to rearrange and organise your Roku home screen.

Roku channel apps are displayed in the order they were installed, but you don’t have to leave them this way. You can reorganise channels using the remote.

Select a channel you want to move and click the * star button. Choose the option to “Move Channel.” Use the remote’s arrow keys to position the channel app where you like on your screen.


Quick launch popular services with one button

Business Insider/Jeff DunnMany Roku remotes come with quick launch buttons, which allow you to open popular apps with a single click.

Roku remotes for newer devices have a set of quick launch buttons. A single button press launches a channel. Button options vary slightly by Roku model, but may include Netflix, Amazon Video, Sling, Hulu, and more. As long as you have the channel you select installed, it will immediately open.


Use private listening

Steve Kovach/Business InsiderRoku remotes that come with a headphone jack allow for Private Listening.

Newer Roku models, above Roku 2, have a Private Listening feature that allows you to listen to your favourite shows when the rest of the house is quiet. You can listen using a Roku Enhanced Remote with a headphone jack. The feature must be enabled on your Roku device before you can take advantage of it on your Enhanced Remote.


Use voice commands

RokuRoku remotes with microphones allow you to issue voice commands.

Some Roku remote models support voice commands. You can search for your favourite TV shows and movies, as well as issue commands to launch channels and control playback. Voice commands on Roku are similar to those available on popular smart speakers. You can control the playback of video and audio content with voice commands.

On remotes that support voice commands, press and hold the microphone or magnifying glass button to get started. You can use actions such as search, find, look, play, and show when you want the device to search and play content. Some example commands include: “Show me documentaries,” “Find ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,'” “Show me Keanu Reeves films,” or “Play ‘Friends’ on Netflix.”

Voice commands also let you issue instructions you would normally use a remote button to accomplish, such as “OK,” “stop,” and “cancel”. Voice commands such as “pause,” “rewind,” and “next” can be used to control video playback and pause. You can even control closed caption display with “turn on closed captioning” and “hide the captions” commands.


Turn on the TV and control the volume

Steve Kovach/Business InsiderSome Roku remotes allow you to power on your TV and control the volume.

Some Roku remote models have a power button at the top that, when pressed, can power on your TV. These remotes also have controls on the side that let you control the television’s volume. Private listening is also available on some Roku remotes that let you control your TV power and volume.

Some TVs include a function that lets you power them on by pressing any button on any remote. If this functionality is available on your TV, the feature can be toggled on or off in your TV’s settings menu. The standard Roku remote can turn on TVs with this function. Other Roku remote models let you control the TV’s volume as well as power it on and off.


Read more:
How to turn on any Roku player


Use your mobile device as a Roku remote

RokuThe Roku app offers all the features of the top-tier Roku remote.

The Roku mobile app has a handy remote feature that allows you to do all the things you can do with a standard IR remote, with some extras such as support for voice commands and private listening. The Roku mobile app can also be used to install new channel apps.


Play games

RokuThe Roku gaming remote is meant to be played while being held sideways.

Use your remote to play casual games right from your Roku device. You can enjoy Roku versions of a few retro games such as Tetris, Snake, Galaga, and Pac-man. Roku even has a dedicated gaming remote that includes special gaming buttons along with voice command and private listening support – unfortunately, it only works with older Roku models. You can find games in the Roku Channel Store. Games can be added just like other Roku channel apps.

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