Why is Roku Turning on by Itself? Common Solutions!

Author: James Potts | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

Roku is an excellent solution to the very modern-day problem of ‘how to watch as many streaming services as possible.’ It’s easy to use and comes as a stick you can plug into your TV or laptop, or already built into your TV.

But it’s not perfect! And one of the most annoying (and creepiest!) ways Roku can malfunction is turning itself on… often in the middle of the night!

So if you’ve had this problem with your Roku device or TV, look no further. In this article, we’ll attempt to uncover the reasons why your Roku is doing this, and what you can do to stop it.

Why Roku is Turning on by Itself

Although this can be hard to pinpoint exactly, it seems that most people who have this problem have mitigated it by changing their CEC settings, following certain procedures when turning off their TVs, or simply updating and power cycling their devices.

The reason for your Roku turning itself on will demand a certain solution, but if you’re unsure why it’s happening, the best thing to do is just work your way through the list in this article until something works.

So let’s take a look at the most common fixes.

How to Stop Roku from Turning Itself On

Which of these solutions works for you will depend on the specific reason your Roku is turning on by itself. But, as we’ve established, that’s not always easy to know. So don’t worry – just try these solutions out one by one.

Disabling CEC Settings

CEC (Consumer Electronics Controls), also known as HDMI-CEC, settings are a relatively new feature that most TVs come with as standard. Put simply, they allow you to control many HDMI devices with just one remote, eliminating the need for loads of controllers cluttering up your living room for each DVD player, games console, TV box, or streaming device.

Their most useful function is allowing the TV to automatically switch to the correct HDMI input when you turn on a device.

However, these CEC settings can trigger odd behaviors, such as allowing your devices to turn themselves (and the TV) on unprompted. Disabling CEC settings will prevent devices from controlling your TV.

CEC settings will be built into your TV, so how you access them will depend on the make and model. It’s also worth noting that manufacturers insist on using their own brand names for CEC controls. For example, Sony calls it BRAVIA link, Samsung calls it Anynet+, and LG calls it Simplink.

Find out what your TV brand calls it, then navigate to the menu and disable CEC settings.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to disable CEC settings on your Roku as well. Roku calls their CEC settings ‘1-Touch Play.’ Here’s how to disable it:

  • Press Home on your Roku remote
  • Navigate to Settings
  • Select System
  • Navigate to Control Other Devices (CEC)
  • Find 1-Touch Play and disable it

Hopefully this should stop any mixed messages your Roku might be sending your TV (and vice versa), and prevent it from turning on by itself.

Closing Apps

Related to this point about CEC is the fact that if you don’t fully exit an app before shutting down your TV or Roku device, that app may continue to play in the background.

Not only will this eat into your data allowance or broadband limits, but it can also cause the TV (via CEC) to switch back on, thinking that you’re still watching your Roku device.

This can be caused by any app – YouTube, Netflix, or even a browser. Make sure to fully exit and shut down any apps before powering down your devices.

Check your Roku App

Talking of apps, the Roku app itself might be causing the problem. If you’ve got the Roku app on your smartphone, then you’ll know that accessing it will wake your Roku TV/device ready for you to watch.

But, failing to totally close the app on your smartphone can result in the device waking when you don’t want it to. Even accidentally opening the app will turn on the Roku TV/device.

Either force close the app after every use or remove the app from your phone altogether if the problem persists.

Check Your Power Source

If you have a standalone Roku device that requires its own power supply, it’s imperative that that power source is in good working order.

A faulty power supply means a fluctuation in current, which can cause your Roku to turn off and on, seemingly by itself.

Switch up the plugs and see if the issue resolves itself.

Update the System

As with all software, sometimes glitches or bugs appear that the developers didn’t spot before the product went out into the world. It’s more than possible that there’s a bug in the system that is causing your Roku TV/device to turn itself on. It’s also likely that the developers have released a firmware update to mitigate the issue.

Usually, Roku, along with most other online services, will update automatically. However, if you had a power outage or connection problems during the last update, there’s a chance that the update was unsuccessful.

The best thing to do is to check your system is as up-to-date as possible, and to update it to the latest software version if not.

To do that, follow these steps:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku controller
  • Navigate to Settings
  • Select System
  • Select System Update
  • Select Check Now to scan for available updates

If there is an update available, it will be downloaded and installed automatically.

Reset and Power Cycle your Roku

Finally, we come to the faithful power cycle and its counterparts. Resetting and power cycling your Roku, as with any electronic device, can clear out a whole host of runtime errors and bugs that might be causing it to function sub-optimally.

Below, I’ll outline the steps to perform each of these ‘restarts.’

Bear in mind that a Hard/Factory Reset will remove your personal data!

Soft Reset

  • Press the Home button on your Roku controller
  • Select Settings
  • Select System
  • Select Power
  • Select System Restart > Restart

Your Roku system will now reboot. You will not lose any personal data.

Power Cycle

  • Turn off your Roku TV/device
  • Unplug your TV/device from the power source
  • Press and hold a few buttons on the powered-off devices
  • Wait for around 1 minute
  • Plug your devices back in and power them on

Power Cycling is an excellent way to clear out runtime errors, and draining components of all their residual power (holding down the buttons) forces any processes to start again from scratch.

Hard/Factory Reset

There are two ways to perform a factory reset, and which one you are able to carry will depend on the model of Roku device you have, or whether you have a Roku TV.

If you have a Roku stick, it may have a small reset button or a pinhole button on the physical device. To factory reset a Roku this way, simply hold the button down for 10 seconds, or until the lights flash.

If you don’t have a physical device, or your device doesn’t have a reset button, follow these steps:

  • Press the Home button on your Roku controller
  • Select Settings
  • Select System
  • Select Advanced System Settings
  • Select Factory Reset > Factory Reset Everything
  • Follow the onscreen instructions to reset your Roku

Remember: a factory reset will erase your personal data!

To Summarize

As you can see, this very annoying and rather surprising problem can be remedied fairly easily, which will stop your TV from turning on in the middle of the night!

If, unfortunately, none of the fixes listed in this article work, you may want to contact Roku and request a replacement device or a repair on your current one, as this is an obvious problem that can cost you money in both your internet bill, your data plan, and electricity. Not to mention it can scare the life out of you!

Good luck!

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About James Potts

James is an amateur guitarist and home-recording enthusiast. He loves all things music related - writing songs, playing in a band, and finding the best ways to listen to it. It all interests him, from the history of acoustic guitars, to the latest Bluetooth headphones, to his (ever-growing) collection of vinyl records.

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