How to Fix It When Your Roku Screen Is Black

Get the picture back on Roku

The reason for a Roku black screen could be as tame as a loose cable or wrong input selection, to something more extreme like a bad TV screen. Below are several troubleshooting steps to help you understand what can be done to get the picture back.

Why Is My Roku Showing a Black Screen?

The reason for a black screen on a Roku could be the device itself or your TV. Identifying which one to address will make all the difference in your troubleshooting.

If the TV is working fine otherwise, and only the Roku has a black screen, then it's the Roku in need of troubleshooting, and most of the tips below will be helpful. If you find the black screen while using the streaming device, but the issue actually lies with the TV, we have some help for that, too.

What Do You Do When Your Roku Screen Goes Black?

Follow these troubleshooting steps in order, even if you don't think one or two of them are necessary. The easier-to-complete tips are first in this list and might get your Roku back in working order much quicker than some of the more involved steps.

Some of these ideas are only relevant for set-top Rokus while others are suitable for TVs with Roku built-in.

  1. Reboot the Roku. The best way to do that, when the Roku has no picture for you to access the menus, is to simply unplug its power cable (wait several seconds) and then reattach it.

    For TVs with Roku on the inside, turn off the TV itself, and then turn it back on.

  2. Access the back of the TV and ensure all the cables used by the Roku are connected securely—it should be easy to find if you completed step 1.

    Press the device firmly into the video port, and make sure the power cable is properly in place. For troubleshooting purposes, it's best to connect the power cable to a wall outlet with the power adapter included with the Roku (i.e., don't use your TV's USB port).

    Roku streaming stick attached to TV

    Roku

    This is a good time to reduce the cabling down to the essentials. Remove anything you can to make a clean connection: HDMI extension cable, adapter, or any other device plugged in between the Roku and TV. This will help eliminate those items as the cause of the screen issue.

  3. Make sure the TV is on the correct input. The Roku attaches to one of the video ports on your TV, so the only way to use it is by directing the TV to the right source via the Input/Source button on your TV remote.

    Input Source button on universal remote

    RCA

    Most TVs have a few input options (e.g., HDMI 1 and HDMI 2). Cycle through them, if necessary, waiting several seconds after choosing each one, until the Roku displays on the screen.

  4. Reset your Roku by holding down the RESET button on the device.

    Resetting will restore the software back to its factory defaults, which could fix the black screen issue. However, since there's no picture, your only option is to perform a hard reset; (see reset link above).

  5. Troubleshoot as an HDMI connection problem. There are two things you should do:

    • Try a different HDMI port. If there are other available ports on the back of your TV, attach the Roku to one of them, and then repeat step 3. The physical connector on the TV could be bad, but the one next to it might be working fine.
    • Try a different HDMI cable. If there's no picture and no sound, the cable could be what's bad.
  6. Are the menu items visible, and the Roku is black only when a video is trying to play? This is a really specific issue solved in one of two ways:

  7. Try using the Roku on a different TV, if possible. If that doesn't work, then the Roku itself, in all likelihood, needs to be replaced (or contact Roku to see about returning it).

    If it does work on the other TV, you need to address this as a TV problem; continue with these steps.

  8. At this point, you've confirmed the Roku works, but your TV doesn't.

  9. If the Roku has sound but no image—maybe you can hear the remote clicking through menu items—there might be an issue with how the device is dealing with resolution settings with your TV.

    Try changing one of the image settings on your TV (using the TV remote), like turning overscan on/off or adjusting the zoom level. Some users have had luck reversing the Roku black screen this way.

    If there's a picture after doing so, change the resolution on the Roku to anything else. For example, first try Auto detect if that's not already chosen. If that doesn't work, try 720p TV (play around with these options until one of them works).

    Roku display type settings

    Roku

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