Losing a Roku remote isn’t the end of the world. If it’s connected to the same network as your smartphone, you can simply use the Roku mobile app and turn your phone into a Roku remote.
However, what happens if you move or switch carriers and don’t have a Roku remote? You can’t connect to a new network, so you can’t link it to your phone.
Yet there is also a solution for this, if it is not a simple or quick process. But if you have no choice, keep reading this article.
Step One: Prepare Everything You Need
Before you start the process, you need to prepare everything first. You’ll need two different cell phones: one acts as a hotspot for your Roku device, while the other turns into a Roku remote.
Knowing your Roku’s wireless network name (also known as SSID) and password is vital, of course. Furthermore, you need to install the Roku mobile app (android or iOS) on both smartphones so you can set everything up.
Finally, make sure your wireless service plan includes hotspot access before proceeding. If you have to use your mobile data instead, there’s a chance you’ll be charged a higher bill at the end of the month.
Step Two: Connect Roku to Wi-Fi via Mobile Hotspot
The first thing you need to do is create a hotspot on one of your phones. If you know your Roku’s SSID, the process shouldn’t be difficult:
- Go to the Settings app on your smartphone.
- Find the Mobile hotspot menu in the Wi-Fi settings. The actual location depends on the operating system, but may also vary by version.
- Enable mobile hotspot.
- Enter your Roku’s SSID under the Wi-Fi Name (SSID) section.
- Enter the password for that connection.
- Select Save.
Check if you did everything right and then activate your mobile hotspot.
Step Three: Turn Your Mobile Phone into a Remote Control
If your Roku mobile app and your Roku device are on the same network, you can use the remote feature to navigate the player. Use your mobile phone to connect to the wireless hotspot you created (in the previous section) and do the following:
- Open the Roku app on the other phone.
- Now select the At a distance button at the bottom of the screen.
- Wait for the remote control screen to appear.
The remote shown in the app must be a copy of your physical Roku remote. Try and tap the arrow keys to see if your Roku player will register the moves.
Step four: Adjust Wi-Fi settings with another phone
If you can navigate the Roku player, you should have no problem changing the wireless settings on your Roku. If you’ve created a hotspot with the same DDSN and used the same password with one mobile device and another smartphone to connect to it, everything else is easy.
- Use your Roku mobile app to turn your other (non-hotspot) phone into a remote.
- Press House screen on the remote control of the app.
- mark the Settings menu and press Okay on the app remote control
- Now proceed to the Network menu.
- Connect your Roku to the desired wireless network.
- Then turn off the mobile hotspot on your phone.
- Connect one of the phones to the same WiFi you connected your Roku to.
- Launch the Roku app on your phone.
- Now use your phone like the remote.
If all goes well, your Roku player should register the app remote as a regular Roku remote. As long as they stay connected to the same Wi-Fi network, your phone can act as a remote.
Easier: get a remote control
Even a simple process like changing the wireless settings on your Roku can become quite a frustrating experience if you don’t have a remote.
Anytime you want to change the connection, you’ll need to reconnect both your Roku and your smartphone so you can navigate it without a proper remote. The best way to avoid this is to contact your nearest tech store or Roku customer support and try to get a replacement remote.
Do you use your Roku mobile app as a remote? Think it makes the Roku remote useless? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page.