Learn How to Use Roku TV Without a Remote  

This week, I’ll be discussing some important tips for one of my favorite streaming player manufacturers – Roku. Honestly, with the range of goods and services that Roku offers its customers, I’ll even go as far as to say it’s probably my favorite streaming player service. If you’re a cable-cutter, I can’t recommend a better option than this. 

The company has gained traction in the consumer market and streaming services industry by providing top-notch products and devices. With its arsenal of features and device options, Roku has climbed up the ladder and is right on par with the heavy-hitters like Amazon’s Firestick and Apple TV. Last time I gave you all a tutorial on how to turn up or down the volume on Roku TV without remote.

In this article, I’ll be discussing something similar. As Roku devices are becoming increasingly popular, I’ve begun receiving queries from a growing number of people about how to use Roku TV without a remote.

So, for those of you who are new to the blog, Roku is a streaming player service provider that allows you to stream videos, paid content, and movies and use third-party streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. The device comes with a remote, but think of the controller as an iPhone. It can connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and carry out its functions without being directly pointed at the Roku device.

The remote can also connect to other streaming devices, and some models, like the Roku Enhanced Remote, even offer voice search options. However, you might not always have the luxury of using your remote. Like all tools and gadgets, it could malfunction, get lost, or you might accidentally break. 

Just thinking about losing my Roku device remote left a sour taste in my mouth, but don’t worry. I’m here to provide a solution to your concerns. It turns out the tech company offers a range of solutions for the most frequently asked question: how to use Roku TV without a remote?  Managing so many remotes can easily become a hassle if you’re using a smart home setup like me. So, this one’s for all of you who want a more hands-free and futuristic approach to technology and smart devices.

If you’ve lost your remote, one of the easiest ways to control the Roku TV is through the mobile app. Download the Roku TV app on your android or iOS device and use that as a virtual remote to control your Roku TV. It’s that simple!

In today’s article, I will explain how to use Roku without a remote and the range of different functions you can use the solutions for. So, without more small talk, let’s dive right in.

How to Use Roku TV Without Remote

Since the remote control for the Roku device requires a Wi-Fi connection, several things can go wrong which can stop you from watching your favorite TV shows. Fortunately, a special mobile app provides an easy solution to our predicament. To learn how to use Roku without remote, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install the Roku mobile app. It’s available on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store for Android and iOS users. Here’s the link to Roku’s official app available on their website.
  2. Launch the app once it has been installed and follow the on-screen instructions to set it up. The app even plays a quick tutorial for first-time users to help them get acquainted with the features and everything. You’ll be required to check the box for terms and conditions, so don’t forget to do that.
  3. Search for the “Devices” option at the bottom of the main app screen. The first time you do this, a pop-up will appear, asking you to search for new devices. Hit the “OK” button and let the app do its magic.
  4. After a quick scan around your vicinity, the app screen will show the different Roku devices available for a connection. Look for your Roku device in the list and tap on it to select.
  5. The device name should now have a green dot with the word “Connected” displayed right above it. Tap the remote option displayed beneath the Roku device’s name in the app. The remote icon has the shape of a plus sign with white borders.
    How to Use Roku TV Without Remote
  6. Use the mobile remote to control the Roku player. The mobile remote will display all the buttons required to operate the Roku device, and you can use it to avail any number of features.
    mobile remote

Note: It is important to mention that your smartphone and Roku player needs to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network for the mobile app and remote option to work. The app cannot operate the Roku player on a different Wi-Fi network. So, if the remote on your app is not working, check the Wi-Fi settings. You can set up a new Wi-Fi network for your mobile phone with the same name and password as the one your Roku player is connected to.

However, sometimes you might not have the same Wi-Fi available, or the internet might not work altogether. Don’t worry; we have a solution for that too. So, how to use Roku TV without a remote and Wi-Fi? The answer’s very easy; use a mobile hotspot!

How to Use Roku TV Without Remote and Wi-Fi

Okay, so before we start, I should mention that you will need two mobile devices for this method. It would help if you also had a solid data plan from your network service provider, so you don’t end up with a hefty bill at month’s end. 

Two devices are required because one sets up the hotspot while the other has the Roku mobile app that connects to the hotspot. You cannot set up a hotspot and connect your app to it using the same device. Another important thing, for this method to work, your Roku player should have connected to a Wi-Fi network in the past, at least once. 

Once you’ve made sure you have two devices, follow these simple steps to set up a hotspot:

  1. Set up a mobile hotspot on one of your devices. The device does not necessarily have to be a mobile phone. It can also be a Mac, Windows laptop, tablet, or device that can use mobile hotspot services.
    Set up a mobile hotspot
  2. Your Roku player can automatically connect to the last Wi-Fi network it remembers. We will exploit that factor in this step. You need to set up the hotspot with the same Wi-Fi name and password as the last one your Roku device was connected to.
    Wi-Fi network
  3. Connect your Roku app’s device to the same hotspot. Depending on the device, the exact process may vary. For an android phone like an S22, go to Setting > Connections > Wi-Fi. The hotspot should be displayed in the list of available networks. Confirm it has the name you initially set for it and tap on it to connect your device.
  4. After successfully establishing a connection, use this connected device to restart the Roku app. Suppose you don’t have the app on the phone; even better. Download it from your device’s play store. However, if you do have the app and it doesn’t work in the subsequent steps, you’ll need to force stop the Roku app manually. For this, head to Settings > Apps > Roku App. To restart the app, you need to clear the cache and tap the “force stop” option. 
  5. Open the Roku app and head to the Devices option like before.
  6. Choose your Roku player from the displayed list. If it’s not showing, you can always refresh the list by swiping it down on your device’s screen.
  7. After connecting to your Roku player, tap on the remote icon to virtually control and set up your Roku device without remote control or Wi-Fi! (Learn how to set up Roku without remote control following the steps below!)
    Roku without remote
  8. Use the app’s remote option to access your Roku player’s settings. Your virtual remote should have the same layout as your actual remote. Find the “Home” button and click on it. Once the menu opens, use the arrow keys to toggle to the “Settings,” which should be present at the top of the list.
    app's remote option
  9. Select the following options from the Settings list: Network > Set Up Connection > Wireless
    Set Up Connection
  10. Once your device is scanning for available networks, your hotspot network should become visible on the list. If it’s not listed, choose the option “Scan again to see all networks” from the left sidebar.
    hotspot network
  11. Tap on the mobile hotspot network and enter the password you set in Step 2.
  12. Tap on “Connect.”

And that’s how to set up Roku without a remote control, folks! But what if you want to operate Roku without connecting to wireless networks altogether? Well, there’s a fix for that too! 

Connecting to Roku Using the Ethernet Cable

Look, I get it. Sometimes, you want to cover all bases. It’s good to have a solution for every potential problem. This way, you won’t ever be surprised when you experience any technical issues with your Roku device. I’ve got you covered. If you want to learn how to set up Roku TV without remote control or to connect to wireless networks, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the ethernet cable to the Roku device.
  2. Turn on the device. 
  3. Use the virtual remote on your Roku app to access the Settings menu like before. 
  4. Click on Network.
  5. Unlike before, choose the Wired option this time and follow the on-screen instructions to establish a connection to the network.

All the steps that I’ve outlined can easily be used to learn how to connect to Roku TV without remote control or even wireless networks. I particularly enjoy the virtual remote option, not just because it’s a quick fix but also because it means I’ll never lose my remote! Who loses their cellphone in the 21st century, am I right? 

So, now that you’ve learned how to use a Roku tv without a remote, let’s learn how to navigate Roku TV without a remote

Using three different methods, you can learn how to operate Roku TV without remote control, Wi-Fi, or the internet. 

Method 1: Screen Mirroring

So, I’m aware that many of these fixes require an active internet connection on a device other than your Roku player and TV. That doesn’t mean I don’t have any more tricks up my sleeve. You can use the last two methods to learn how to control a Roku TV without a remote or an active internet connection!

However, you will need a mobile device, laptop, or tablet connected to the internet for this method. If your Roku TV does not have a Wi-Fi connection or is facing connectivity or compatibility issues, you can use your phone or laptop to stream content on your TV using screen mirroring. To enable this option, read the following steps:

  1. Use the virtual remote to press the “Home” button.
  2. Head over to the Settings menu on the sidebar navigation panel.
  3. Click on the “System” option in the settings and choose “Screen Mirroring.”
  4. Choose a screen mirroring service to cast your stream onto the Roku TV on your mobile device. Like Samsung and Google smartphones, some devices have native screen mirroring functionality, but you can also download and install third-party applications to complete this step. Samsung devices come equipped with Smart View, while Pixel phones have a built-in Cast feature.
    screen mirroring
  5. From the mirroring tool’s interface, select the Roku device you want to stream your content.
  6. Your Roku device will display the request to mirror on the TV screen. Accept the request before heading on to the next step.
  7. Since your Roku device will not have an internet connection, another pop-up notification will appear on the screen, confirming if you want to use RokuCast even without the internet. Click on the “Proceed anyway” option at that point.

After completing the above mentioned steps, you should now be able to see your mobile phone’s content mirrored on your television screen. You’d only learned how to work Roku TV without remote control, but this one’s a game-changer, folks. 

Sometimes, you don’t want the extra hassle of configuring your Roku player’s internet settings and want to binge Downton Abbey on your free Saturday conveniently. Well, the screen mirroring option allows you to do just that. You can mirror any video and audio files from your smartphone to the Roku TV, watch TV shows, and even use third-party streaming apps like Netflix. 

Even if you don’t have an internet connection, you can use your mobile’s data to stream movies and shows seamlessly. Screen mirroring is my favorite option whenever I’m traveling and don’t have the time or patience to set up a hotspot for my Roku device.

Method 2: Downloading Content for Offline Use

Downloading content is another simple solution to using Roku without an internet connection. Many streaming services offer their customers a download feature to be able to play movies and TV shows offline. You can use this feature to download content on your Roku device if it has sufficient storage and plays it offline when you’re away from home.

Method 3: Playing Media from External Storage Devices

This option is for those still rocking the Roku Ultra or older models like the XDS or Roku 2 XS. You must be aware of the device’s built-in USB ports. You can use them to play content on your Roku TV completely offline! Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Head to the Roku Channel Store and download the Roku Media Player.
  2. Plugin your USB flash drive or external hard drive to the port.
  3. Start the Roku device and choose the Media Player from the home screen.
  4. Select the title that you want to play and enjoy.

Similarly, you can also use an SD card for viewing content offline. You must be thinking, “James, we’re living in the 21st century.” However, the thing is that some people still use older models of Roku devices, and they need to understand their devices better. While you can choose newer Roku devices with added functionality, your old device will work just as well for viewing media without an internet connection.

How to Set Up TCL Roku TV Without Remote

Roku supports many smart TV brands for its devices, but we’ll be talking about one of its biggest partners, TCL. You’ve already learned how to set up a Roku without a remote, so understanding this section will be a piece of cake.

Of course, one of the best ways to go about this is by using the Roku app. As I explained under the first heading, if you own a Roku-compatible TCL television, all you need to do is download the Roku mobile app. Follow the steps carefully, and once you’ve connected the app to your Roku player, you can use the virtual remote to operate your TCL TV. But wait, what about incompatible TCL televisions?

You’ve learned how to use TCL Roku TV without remote, but many TCL models don’t support the Roku player. You can use third-party applications and two other methods to navigate your TCL TV if you’re one such owner.

Third-Party Apps

Third-party applications like the Sure Universal Remote or Peel Smart Remote work perfectly with TCL televisions. The Sure Universal Remote app is similar to Roku’s mobile application. TCLee is another great option and is almost identical to the Roku app. 

Additionally, the TCLee app can be used with any TCL TV and downloaded on your phone to easily navigate or operate your television. 

Using the Nintendo Switch

If you have a Nintendo Switch at home, you can also use it to navigate your TCL TV using the following simple steps:

  1. Connect your Nintendo Switch device to the television.
  2. Open the settings menu on your Nintendo Switch.
  3. Find the TV settings and click on them.
  4. Select the “Turn on Match TV Power State” option from the TV settings.

You can now use the toggle keys on your Switch to operate your TCL TV!

Google Home Setup

If you have a Google Home setup, you can connect it to your TCL TV and use it for navigation. However, it is important to remember you won’t be able to access TV settings using the Google Home setup. 

Follow these steps to set up Google Home with your TCL TV:

  1. Open the Google Home app on your TCL TV.
  2. Click on the “+” icon to view a selection of available devices.
  3. Select your TCL TV from the displayed list and follow the on-screen setup instructions.

If the above mentioned methods don’t work out, you can order a replacement remote from Roku’s official website. You’ll only need to pair the remote with your Roku player to use it. Head on here to learn how to pair a new remote to a Roku device.


Q1. How to get to settings on Roku TV without remote control?

Answer – You can download the Roku mobile app and connect it to your Roku player to use it as a virtual remote-control device. Using the virtual remote, you can toggle to Roku’s home menu settings like you normally would.

Q2. How to change channels on Roku TV without remote control?

Answer – You can use the same mobile app’s virtual remote option to turn the volume up or down and change channels. The virtual remote has the same layout as your Roku device’s physical remote.

Q3. How to change channel on TCL TV without remote?

Answer – You can use the Roku mobile app, third-party virtual remote applications, and the Google Home Setup to operate your TCL TV. The methods have been described in detail in the last section and can be used to change the channels on your TCL TV.


If you were worried about how to set up Roku stick without remote control, I hope this comprehensive guide managed to answer all your questions. I divided the article into three major sections based on the most frequent queries I received. Now, you’ll be able to set up your Roku device without a remote, operate your device and TV using your mobile phone or Nintendo console, and even watch your favorite TV shows without connecting to the internet! Enjoy using your Roku device with newfound confidence! Happy Streaming!

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