Roku overheating fixes

I have a Roku 2720X. I’ve had it since 2014, so it’s a few years old now, but I like it. Lately it’s been having some problems though. It works fabulously with Hulu and Netflix, but streaming local media and streaming baseball give me trouble. I traced it to overheating. So let’s look at some Roku overheating fixes.

Some people replace their devices with newer models with faster dual- or quad-core processors. This works; a more powerful chip will handle the load of newer, more demanding apps better without heating up as much. But you can extend the useful life of your venerable single-core 600 MHz Roku devices too, at least until Roku stops releasing updates for them.

How you know your Roku is overheating

Roku overheating
Lashing a couple of heatsinks salvaged from old computers to my Roku helps a lot with improving heat disspation, and reduces the problems of my Roku overheating and malfunctioning.

If your Roku is uncomfortably hot to the touch, it’s likely that’s causing you problems. But I’m willing to bet you probably don’t go around feeling up your Roku all the time. That would be kind of weird. Overheating problems are more likely to manifest themselves as lockups, sluggish performance, buffering issues, videos not starting, and other weird behavior.

What I noticed was that when I watched baseball on, my Roku did fine in the early innings. But once we got to the 7th inning or so, it started buffering a lot. Of course that’s often when the game gets really good. And if you’re following the game on Twitter while you watch, that buffering can cause you to lag several minutes behind everyone else, so people are talking about things you haven’t seen yet. That can be annoying.

I also like to use my PCs as a DLNA server to stream audio and video content to Roku Media Player. If my Roku has been on a while, local video content often doesn’t play. It just starts to load, then hangs up before it can start.

Put your Roku on a smart power strip

Your Roku box is on all the time, which means it’s heating up. It will run longer without problems if you can start it cold. Putting it on a smart power strip that cuts power to everything you plug it into when the TV is off will shut the Roku down instead of running it idle, cutting its power consumption and increasing its usable run time.

Use a wired connection if you can

One solution that may or may not be practical for you is to use a wired connection instead of a wireless connection, if you can. I also have a Roku 3100R, and that one doesn’t give me any problems even though it’s slighly less powerful than my 2720. The difference is the 3100R has an Ethernet port and I use it.

If part of the issue is unstable wireless, using a wired connection helps. But a wired connection also causes less heat than wireless. Running wires isn’t always practical, but you can use powerline networking to get Ethernet near your Roku if you don’t want to run wires. It’s not as fast, but it’s faster than 54-megabit wireless.

Set your Roku on its side to reduce Roku overheating

Setting the device on its side helps improve heat dissipation. I noticed the underside of my 2720 gets uncomfortably hot, even when the top isn’t especially warm. The case design on many Roku second-generation devices doesn’t lend itself all that well to setting it on the side, so you may need to rig up a bracket to hold it. Making a U-shaped bracket out of Legos would work fine. Just make it tall enough to hold the device upright.

But some generations have squared-off sides, rather than rounded sides, and those will do just fine on their side.

Add heatsinks to help Roku overheating

I’m an IT professional by trade, so I have a fair number of parts laying around. I found a rather large heatsink nearly the size of my Roku that I set the device on and attached with a rubber band. I placed a smaller heatsink on top. I’ll have to come up with a more permanent solution but lashing my Roku up to a couple of heatsinks helped. The result looks a little funny, but it’s not like anyone ever looks behind the TV anyway. Once I was happy with the results, I replaced the rubber band with some zip ties to get a better connection that won’t deteriorate as rapidly over time.

If the surface isn’t flat, take a piece of aluminum foil and crumple it a bit to put it between the heatsink and the case. This will move the heat away from the case and onto the heatsink faster. Crumpled foil isn’t the ideal heat conducting surface, but it moves heat faster than a large air gap.

If you can plunder a heatsink from an old or broken computer or two, this can be a very cheap way to make your Roku run a lot cooler. While the case isn’t conducive to heat transfer, we don’t have to lower the temperature by a lot. The heatsinks feel cool to the touch when the Roku is off, but soon warm up under use, which indicates they help with heat dissipation even though the conditions aren’t ideal.

Last and least: Modify the case

Some people have taken their Rokus apart and drilled ventilation holes into the case to help cooling. Plastic dissipates heat poorly, so this option can definitely help. It’s more difficult than just strapping on a heatsink, so I like the heatsink method, but if you want to drill holes, or fabricate a metal case to put the board in, some people have had success doing this.

If you found this post informative or helpful, please share it!

4 thoughts on “Roku overheating fixes

  • January 8, 2019 at 9:51 am

    I had to return a new Roku Express, we had trouble with over heat warnings popping up on screen about 3/4 through a movie in HD. Roku was good about replacing, but its the same design so I have to wonder if this will only return again one day? They make them so small and while the chips don’t use a lot of energy, cramming a chip in a small enclosed plastic container can’t be good for heat dissipation. If they had only created a couple vent slots in case this would have been a non issue. The older models at least had some options to apply a cooling solution. The newer models seem to be glued and hard to separate, so external solutions seem to be the only options. Looking at other streamers like Amazon Fire they also have a history of glitching when they get too hot. Again, a design flaw either because of dimension requirements, or a lack of adding better heat dissipation seems obviously overlooked.

    • July 11, 2019 at 8:15 am

      Have that heat message after 15 minutes with the Stick from a green box from 2019…. but ESPECIALLY when I use Amazon Prime video! It takes hours with NETFLIX OR A YOUTUBE video. Read where it was drawing current and overheating, so people tried a heat sink or slotting the case.Tried to wrap stick in foil, and use USB to power But nothing worked until I placed a fan to move the air behind the TV SET.

  • December 2, 2019 at 4:01 am

    Facing Roku device overheating problem? Follow the given tips to fix Roku Stick Overheating problem. If still not fixed then call Roku Customer Service phone number at US/Canada Toll-Free: +1 844-756-1728. Visit our website if you want to know about Roku Device Overheating

  • April 15, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    I recently bought a Roku Ultra and after about 2 hours of use I got a message that said the unit was over-heating but no red light came on. I went over and touched it and it was pretty hot. It was sitting in my open rack on a shelf with no other components near it and the room temperature was 70 degrees so there was no reason for it to get that hot unless this is some kind of design flaw like the Xbox 360. The next day I placed it on its side like you recommended and that actually worked. After 2 hours the device was warm but not hot. Thanks for the tips!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: