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How to Connect Roku to Wifi Without a Remote


These days, people have all kinds of options available to them when it comes to deciding what types of television they want to watch. Do you want to watch what is now frequently referred to as traditional television, often meaning that coming from a satellite or do you prefer to go with a streaming service? Perhaps you would rather use a service like Roku. The next question is, what do you do if you have to connect Roku to your Wi-Fi and you don't have the remote?

Don’t Panic

If you've lost your Roku remote, you’ve probably turned the entire house upside down three or four times over in an attempt to find it. Rest assured, all hope is not lost if you can't find the remote and you have absolutely no idea where it could possibly be. The first thing you should do is refrain from panicking. That's because there is a way to connect Roku to Wi-Fi even if you don't have the remote. You just have to know which steps to follow. In order to do it, you'll need the Roku app and a mobile hotspot. This is a lot easier than you're probably thinking it is. However, it does require that you have two smartphones on hand because you have to be able to use one as the mobile hotspot and the other will essentially become your Roku remote once you have downloaded the app on your phone. Alternatively, you can also use a dedicated mobile hotspot and then put the app on your smartphone so you can use it as the remote. If you don't have a dedicated hotspot and you only have one smartphone (like the overwhelming majority of the public), don't despair. You might be able to use a phone belonging to a friend or family member long enough to set it up. In that case, you'll need to make sure that this individual has a mobile plan that allows them to use their phone as a mobile hotspot so you can put the app on your phone and then use it as a remote. It should go without saying that it's always a good idea to make sure that any plan involving the mobile hotspot is set up in such a way that the individual owning that particular phone won't be charged a lot of extra fees in order to use it. Most modern-day plans will allow you to do this without any issues, but that isn’t always the case. It’s much better to know for certain before you end up with an unpleasant surprise on your bill (or worse yet, someone else’s bill).


Of course, things don't always go according to plan. That can prove to be especially true when you're working with electronic devices that sometimes seem to have a mind of their own. If you go through the steps listed in the above paragraph and you still don't have any luck, it's probably because you didn't properly connect your smartphone to the same Wi-Fi network that the Roku player is on. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to fix. All you really have to do is make sure that you're using the Roku app (not one of the many knockoffs available) and install it on your smartphone. As you're setting it up, it will prompt you to connect the app on your smartphone to the Wi-Fi network. Carefully follow the steps, being sure that the Wi-Fi network you connect your smartphone to is the same one that the Roku player is on. Once you go through this, making sure that you follow every step, you should be able to connect without any further issues.

Passwords, Passwords

One other problem that you might run into involves not being able to remember the username and/or password for the Wi-Fi network that the Roku player is on. If that happens, you'll have to contact Roku customer support and either figure out what the username is so that you can hopefully reset your password or work with them to reset the system as if you're setting it up for the first time. It's definitely a pain, but it certainly wouldn't be the first time that someone couldn't remember their username, password or both. That said, it's important to know that you can't really go any further with setting up your smartphone as a remote until you get this information, as you have to know which network you're on in order to get the smartphone and the player to talk to one another.

Other Things You Should Know

As is typically the case with these types of things, there are a few other things that you should know. For example, it's important to remember that your remote will timeout after five minutes. It's essentially built into the Roku system, something designed to save battery life. It doesn't really matter from a practical standpoint, but it is something that's worth keeping in mind. Otherwise, you could theoretically end up thinking that your app isn't working when it might have simply timed out because you weren't using it. There you have it. It's not as difficult to set up your smartphone as a Roku remote as it seems at first. Like a lot of things, it might seem a bit complicated until you start doing it, but as long as you follow the prompts, it's fairly straightforward. The whole process can be completed from beginning to end fairly quickly. Before you know it, you can get back to streaming your favorite programming on Roku as opposed to just sitting there staring at a player that you thought you couldn't use, all because you couldn't find the remote.

Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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