Both the regular Roku streaming player and the Roku Stick have the ability to be powered through your TV’s USB port. One common problem that can occur when the Roku is hooked up this way is that your TV will give you a “low power” warning.
When your Roku device throws out a “low power” warning, there are several troubleshooting tips you can try to fix the problem. Start with the easiest fix and work your way down the list. The most likely cause is a problem with your TV’s USB port.
You may worry that you need to replace your device, but that’s usually not the case.
Table of Contents
- Power Warnings
- All Potential Roku Low Power Fixes
Your Roku device and TV will warn you of an issue with the power supply in one of three ways.
- A single picture of a power plug with a link that directs you to “go.roku.com/lowpower”
- A warning box that says “insufficient power” and the same link as above
- A flashing red light
It’s important to note that a solid red light on your device does not indicate a power problem. Instead it means that your Roku player is overheating and needs to be unplugged immediately.
Though the link that is provided on the power warning will direct you to a Roku support article, it only gives two potential fixes, but there are additional remedies to the problem that users have found.
All Potential Roku Low Power Fixes
Technology can be tricky, and it is frustrating when there’s no one single fix to a problem. So to save you from scouring through different internet forums and support pages, here are all the possible fixes to a Roku power problem.
Clean & Double Check All Connections
Sometimes the problem is as simple as a dirty USB port or a wiggly cord. Unplug all connections and clean them thoroughly, and gently, using Q-tips. Avoid blowing into them as this can actually cause more problems.
Make sure no cords are loose and fit snugly into each port.
Let Your Roku “Rest”
Even though a solid red light indicates your Roku is actively overheating, a flashing red light with an “insufficient power” warning could be a precursor to overheating.
Turn your Roku off and unplug it from every power source. Let it sit for a minimum of one hour before attempting to plug it back in and power it up.
Switch USB Ports
Believe it or not, USB ports themselves can get worn out over time, especially if devices are unplugged and plugged back in constantly. If even a small part inside them is damaged or bent, it won’t provide the power you need for your device.
Try using an alternate USB port on your TV.
Reset Your TV
If you have a habit of leaving your TV on, letting it go idle, or switching between applications, you may need to reset it to close out anything running in the background.
See your TV’s manual for its specific reset instructions. If you can’t figure it out, simply turn it off and unplug it for about 5 minutes then plug it back in.
While you are waiting, unplug your Roku device from the TV as well and wait to plug it back in until your TV has completely restarted.
Use a New USB Cable
If switching the USB port and resetting your TV did not fix the issue, try using a different USB cable to connect your device.
Ideally, you should use the cable that came with your Roku device. But since these can get worn out over time, it’s common to need to replace them. Check the power specifications for your Roku device and purchase a new cable or replace it with the one you already have.
For Roku Sticks – Connect It to a Wall Outlet
Roku sticks have the added advantage of using less cords than Roku boxes because they utilize only USB ports and power from your TV. But a “low power” warning indicates that at least one of the USB ports is not supplying your device with the power it needs.
To fix this, remove the USB power plug and connect it to a power adapter, then plug it into a wall outlet. This will power your device from the wall instead of from your TV.
For Roku Boxes – Replace the Adapter
Even though the most common cause of the “low power” warning is due to the USB port issue on your TV, it’s very possible that if you are using a Roku box, the power adapter is faulty.
As mentioned before, it is recommended you use the cables and adapters that come with your Roku device. But if these need to be replaced, find an adapter that matches the power needs of your specific device.
Clear Roku Cache
Now we are getting into more technical fixes. A cache on a Roku works in much the same way it does on a computer, by storing relevant files temporarily to make their load times quicker when applications are launched in the future.
If the “low power” warning is accompanied by consistent crashing or glitching of your device, you should try to clear its cache. This will help clear up space on your device so it is not needing to draw as much power.
Clearing your cache on your Roku requires a specific button combination. First, make sure you are on the “Home” screen. Then press these buttons in this exact order, quickly: Home (5 times) – Up – Rewind – Rewind – Fast Forward – Fast Forward.
If you’ve done it properly, your device will shut off and restart immediately. It may take some time to reload everything, so be patient.
Replace (or Remove) Other Cords
If you’ve made it this far and still haven’t fixed your Roku insufficient power problem, it may indicate that some other power source is compromising your device.
For Roku Sticks plugged directly into the wall, the only power sources that can be replaced are the USB cord and the wall adapter. The only exception is if you are using any extension cords, which may not be compatible or maybe faulty themselves.
For Roku Boxes, you may need to replace the HDMI cables or remove any HDMI cable extenders.
Contact Roku Support
Hopefully, you have solved your low power issue by this point. But if you’ve run out of options and your device still isn’t working properly, then you should reach out to Roku support to see if they can suggest some less common fixes.
Figure out the serial number of your device by checking under the “About” tab in system settings. Send an email or call support and provide them with your device’s serial number as well as the steps you have taken thus far.
Problems with technology can amount to a headache for any user, especially if you aren’t well-versed in electronics to begin with. It can be doubly as problematic when there are a plethora of potential things causing your issue.
Even though the most common cause of “low power” warnings on your Roku device is an issue with a USB port on your TV, don’t rule out other causes. Take some time to troubleshoot the issue and work through the list one by one.
If all else fails, don’t be afraid to reach out to Roku support.