How to Turn Off Your Roku

It's not quite as easy as it sounds

Roku Ultra Front and Rear View

Roku

A Roku streaming stick, box, or TV provides access to over 5,000 free, subscription, and pay-per-view streaming channels. However, except for Roku TVs, one thing they don't have is an on/off switch.

Roku offers accessory voice remotes that have a power button, but it is only for turning a compatible TV on or off.

How Roku Devices Are Powered

Roku Ultra and Streaming Stick - AC and USB Power Options
Images by Robert Silva and Roku

A Roku media streamer needs to be plugged into AC power via an adapter or compatible DC power-enabled USB port on a TV that has one. If plugged into AC power a Roku device (except for Roku TVs) never turns off. After you are done watching, it goes into standby or sleep mode after a short period, but still draws a small amount of power.

Turning a Roku Off

If you want to turn your Roku off, here are some workarounds.

AC Power Shutoff

  • The direct way to turn off a Roku is to unplug its power adapter from the AC outlet. If the Roku is plugged into a Power Strip/Surge Protector you can turn off the strip/protector, instead of unplugging the cord, but that cuts power to other devices plugged into the strip.
  • If the Roku is plugged into a Smart Power Strip, power will only be cut to the specific outlet that the Roku is plugged into after it has been inactive for a period of time.
  • If the Roku is connected to a Smartplug, you can use a Smartphone, Google Home, or Amazon Echo to turn the plug off.

USB Power Shutoff

If you have a Roku that can be powered via USB (streaming sticks, Express, Express+) and you are using a power-capable USB port on your TV, when you turn the TV off, it will cease providing power to the USB port, turning the Roku off.

Roku recommends using the AC adapter instead of USB so that the device doesn't have to reboot and/or update every time you turn the TV on.

The Roku 4 Exception

The only Roku media streamer that can be turned off is the Roku 4 (no longer made). The Roku 4 has a fan (the only Roku device that has one) that keeps the processor cool when in use but doesn't need to run when the unit is off.

Since there isn't a power button on the unit or the remote, to turn off a Roku 4, press the remote's Home button, and on the TV screen select Settings > System > Power. Within Power Options, choose Auto Power Off. The Roku 4 will power down after 30 minutes of inactivity.

You can also turn the Roku 4 off immediately by choosing Power Off.

Why You Shouldn't Turn off a Roku

If you turn a Roku device off or unplug a Roku TV, when it is powered back on, the Roku OS (currently ver 9.1) has to reboot, which prevents you from instantly accessing Roku features or content.

If your Roku device is the only streaming device you use to access your services (Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, etc.) you may have to enter your login name and password for each service before you can access their content.

Leaving your Roku device or TV in sleep or standby mode preserves login information, as well as enabling it to download and install updates. Unless there is a service interruption or power loss when you log in once to a specific service, you don't have to log in again each time you want to watch it, just click on the app as shown in the Roku menu.

Why You Might Have to Turn off a Roku

If you only have one Roku device and want to use it on more than one TV, you can safely disconnect it from one TV and power and reconnect to another in same house, or in a dorm when going away to school or in a hotel when traveling, taking into consideration the reboot and logins that may be required.

Turning off the LED Status Light

In addition to the difficulty turning off a Roku, when a Roku device is on, some are distracted by the LED light that indicates that it is active.

There is no direct way to turn off the light when the unit is running. The best "low tech" solution is to cover it with a piece of electrical or non-transparent tape.

If you are finished using your Roku and switch to another source on your TV, after a few minutes, the LED light on the Roku device will turn off as it goes into sleep mode. When you switch back to your Roku, the LED light goes back on.

There is a reported hack that may work on some Roku devices for turning off the LED status light or Roku 3 or earlier models, but you won't know for sure unless you see if it is an available option.

To find out, press the Home button on your Roku remote five times, then, in quick succession, hit FF > Play > Rewind > Play > FF. If successful, a secret menu will be displayed.

If you see an option labeled Adjust LED Brightness it should allow you to go down to 0%, turning the LED light off.