Roku Black Screen Or Flickering Black Screen – 15 Easy Fixes

Roku black screen or flickering black screen

Seeing a Roku black screen or flickering black screen on your TV while using the Roku streaming device is frustrating. What is causing this issue, and is this problem with the Roku device or the TV? Many people have gone through this situation where the screen turned black or started flickering black.

This has allowed us to learn the major causes of this problem and provide you with working solutions. Keep reading to find out.

Causes of Roku Black Screen or Flickering Black Screen

  • Loose cables
  • Damaged HDMI cables or HDMI port
  • Incorrect video resolution
  • Corrupted Roku cache
  • Outdated Roku OS
  • An app or channel is buggy
  • Display refresh rate is enabled
  • The inactivity timeout of Roku kicks in

How To Fix Roku TV Black Screen of Death or Flickering Black Screen?

  1. Check for Loose Cables
  2. Make Sure HDMI Cables Aren’t Damaged and Replace Them
  3. Check If Your TV is on the Correct Input Source
  4. Plug in the Roku Device to Another HDMI Port
  5. Power Cycle Your Roku Stick and TV (Reboot)
  6. Change the Video Resolution Settings on the TV
  7. Restart Your Roku (Clear Cache)
  8. Try Using Roku on a Different TV
  9. Is a Specific App or Channel Causing This?
  10. Troubleshoot Your Internet Connection
  11. Update Roku OS
  12. Change the Picture Mode on the Roku TV
  13. Disable Inactivity Timeout on Roku
  14. Turn Off Auto-Adjust Display Refresh Rate
  15. Factory Reset the Roku Device

1. Check for Loose Cables

We’ll begin with the easiest solution. A common reason for black screens, especially flashing black screens on Roku and any other streaming device or TV, is loose cables.

When these cables move slightly, it causes flickering on the screen.

  • Get to the back of the TV and make sure that all the cables connected to your TV and Roku Stick are secured firmly.
  • Reach every cable and gently press it into its port to fix any loose cables.

2. Make Sure HDMI Cables Aren’t Damaged and Replace Them

Now that you have checked that the cables are secured in their ports, inspect them for damage.

A damaged HDMI cable won’t be able to transfer the audio and video properly to the TV and resulting in a flickering or completely black screen while using your Roku streaming stick or device.

  • Observe the HDMI cables and look for sharp bends, warps, fraying, and visible damage. 
An HDMI cable
  • Try plugging out the cable, fixing the bends, and plugging them in again.
  • If this doesn’t fix the black screen, replace the HDMI cable with a new one. Do the same for power cables.
  • Remove the HDMI extension cable or any cable you use to connect Roku to the TV. Ensure Roku is directly connected to your TV to reduce flickering screen issues.

3. Check If Your TV is on the Correct Input Source

If you plug in your Roku player or stick to the TV and only see a black screen, check the input source again. 

  • Press the Input or Source button on your TV.
  • Select the correct source/port where you inserted the Roku device.
  • If you’re not sure, try each HDMI source one by one.

4. Plug in the Roku Device to Another HDMI Port

Now that the cables and source input issues are out of the way check if the HDMI port on your TV is causing the flickering black screen on the Roku device.

HDMI ports usually don’t get damaged easily, but if you plug in and out devices often, the ports may become loose or damaged.

  • Most TVs have multiple HDMI ports. To check if the port you’re using is damaged, take out the Roku device from the port and put it into a different HDMI port on your TV.
Back side of a Toshiba TV
  • Select the new HDMI source on your TV.
  • Stream on Roku.

5. Power Cycle Your Roku Stick and TV (Reboot)

Some TV and Roku issues seem complicated, but a simple power cycle fixes those issues. So, if your Roku TV screen is flashing black, reboot the TV and Roku.

  • Take out the power cord of your TV from the wall outlet.
  • Plug out the Roku device from the TV’s HDMI port and remove its charging cable from both ends (from the Roku device and the power outlet).
  • Press and hold the Power button on your TV for 20 seconds. Don’t use the remote. It must be the TV’s power button. This step is critical for completing a power cycle. It ensures the draining of any saved power.
  • Wait for 5-10 minutes.
  • Connect all the power cords of the TV and Roku device. Plus, insert the Roku device into the HDMI port of the TV.
  • Your TV and Roku have been (soft) reset. Use Roku and check if it fixed the black screen issue.

6. Change the Video Resolution Settings on the TV

When the TV screen flickers or turns completely black for some time, the problem may lie in the video resolution settings if you can still hear the audio or the sound of the menu items clicking.

The resolution set on your TV and the resolution of the video may conflict. This will cause the screen to distort and show black flickers or a full black screen. 

  • From the home screen of your Roku TV, go to Settings.
  • From the settings menu, choose Display type.
  • Choose’ Auto Detect’ if it’s on any other resolution and not auto-detect. But if it was already on Auto Detect and you saw a black screen, try each resolution.
  • For example, select 4K 60Hz and check, then choose 4K HDR 30Hz, 4K HDR 60Hz, and 1080p.
Display settings on Roku
  • Whichever resolution stops the flashing black screen on the TV, keep that resolution.

7. Restart Your Roku (Clear Cache)

A restart of your Roku device removes temporary data. If a corrupted cache or a glitch was the culprit of Roku’s black screen or flickering black screen, a restart will likely fix it.

There are two methods of restarting a Roku device:

7.1 Restart from Roku Settings

The easier method of restarting Roku is from the settings.

  • Go to Settings from the home screen.
  • Choose ‘System.’
Settings menu on Roku
  • Pick ‘System restart.’
  • Select ‘Restart’.

7.2 Restart Your Roku Using the Remote

By pressing a few buttons on your remote, you can restart your Roku. This method comes in handy if the Roku screen is frozen and you can’t go to settings for a restart.

  • Make sure the Roku screen is on.
  • From the Roku remote, press these buttons in the following order:
  • Home button 5 times.
  • Up Arrow button once.
  • Rewind the button 2 times.
  • Fast Forward button 2 times.

After pressing these buttons, Roku will take a few seconds and restart.

8. Try Using Roku on a Different TV

What if your Roku player is completely fine, but your TV screen or something else on the TV is defective? To know if the black screen on Roku is due to the Roku device or the TV, use another TV to check your Roku stick.

This method applies to Roku devices that you can plug out of the TV’s HDMI port. If you have a Roku TV, skip this method.

  • Take out the Roku device from your primary TV.
  • Go to another TV and plug the Roku device into its HDMI port.
  • Select the HDMI source and play something on Roku.
  • If the screen still turns black or flickers black, the Roku device is faulty. But if it works fine, then your TV’s hardware is faulty.

9. Is a Specific App or Channel Causing This?

You should check if the flickering black screen issue is with the Roku device or a specific channel/app.

  • To find out, switch your Roku to Live TV and watch different channels. If only one or a few channels are flickering and all others are fine, then the channels or your TV reception is bad. 
  • If all the Live TV channels flash black, close them and open another app such as YouTube. Play a video and look for a black screen or black flickers. If the black screen is gone, the problem lies again with the TV reception.
  • But if you still see flashes of black screen, your Roku device is having problems. Try all the solutions mentioned in this guide.
  • On the other hand, if an app flashes a black screen and Live TV is fine, then delete the app and reinstall it.

10. Troubleshoot Your Internet Connection

There is a slight chance that the sudden black screen you see on your TV is due to internet issues.

When the internet is slow, it doesn’t load the items on the screen or doesn’t load the new screen at all. So, you’ll see a black screen.

First, we must find out that the black screen problem is due to slow internet access. For this, open an app that doesn’t need the internet. Let the video play and look for flashes of black screen.

If the black screen is gone, there are internet problems. If not, the Roku device is at fault.

To fix internet issues, follow below:

  • Restart your router by keeping its power cord plugged out for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off downloads and uploads on your devices.
  • Disconnect other Wi-Fi devices from the network.
  • Reset your router (if needed). This will delete your Wi-Fi networks and settings

Moreover, it would be best if you also tried resetting the Network settings on your Roku:

  • From the Roku home screen, navigate to Settings.
  • On the Settings menu, choose ‘System.’
  • Select ‘Advanced system settings.
  • Pick ‘Network connection reset.’
  • Choose ‘Reset Network.’

This action will delete saved network connections and their passwords. You’ll have to connect your Roku to your network by finding the network and entering its password.

11. Update Roku OS

A new software update sometimes fixes bugs and issues, so it might also fix the black screen or the flashes of black screen issue. Use these steps to update your Roku:

  • Press the Home button on the Roku remote to return to the home screen.
  • Press the Up button and select Settings.
  • Choose ‘System.’
Settings menu on Roku
  • Select ‘System Update’.
System settings on Roku
  • Press ‘Check now.
  • The update will initialize. This may take some time for Roku to download and install updates.

12. Change the Picture Mode on the Roku TV

Smart TVs and streaming devices process video to enhance it. These video processing settings may be causing the screen to flash black every 20 seconds or causing a completely black screen because these video enhancements can conflict with the content playing on the TV.

So, go to your Roku device settings and find the option Picture Mode. This option is available on Roku TV.

Check your smart TV settings for Picture Mode if you can’t find it on your Roku device settings.

When you find it, set it to Standard if it’s on Dynamic. The Standard picture mode setting doesn’t allow any video processing.

It may fix the flickering black screen problem, but you may notice inferior video quality. However, the difference won’t be huge.

13. Disable Inactivity Timeout on Roku

Many devices have the feature to turn off or sleep after a certain time of inactivity. The inactivity mode turns off the screen usually after 4 hours. So, you’ll suddenly see a black screen.

Turning off the Bandwidth Saver feature on Roku fixes the issue in most cases. Use these steps to disable it:

  • Go to Settings on your Roku.
  • Select ‘System’ from the Settings menu.
  • Choose ‘Network.’
  • Look for ‘Bandwidth Saver’ and disable it.

Some Roku devices may still show a blank screen after 4 hours. To turn off the inactivity timeout, browse its settings and look for timeout, inactivity settings, or similar labels.

14. Turn Off Auto-Adjust Display Refresh Rate

The auto-adjust refresh rate on Roku devices usually works well. But on some TVs and for some content, this auto refresh rate may cause inconsistencies in the picture and result in black screen flashes.

Disable the auto-refresh rate to see if it fixes the problem.

  • Navigate to Roku Settings.
  • From the settings list, choose ‘Advanced system settings.
  • Now, pick ‘Advanced display settings.
  • Select ‘Auto-adjust refresh rate’ and disable it. But if it was already disabled, enable it and check again.

15. Factory Reset the Roku Device

A factory reset erases all the data on your Roku device. The device settings go back to their defaults.

It may take time to set up the device again, change settings, and add apps after a reset. This is why this solution is listed at the end of this guide. 

A hard reset is bothersome but can fix many glitches and problems. So, it may fix the black screen issue.

  • Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  • Navigate to Settings from the home screen.
  • Choose ‘System.’
  • From the System Settings menu, select ‘Advanced system settings.
  • Choose ‘Factory reset.’
  • Enter the 4-digit code to initiate the reset.
Advanced system settings on Roku. Selecting Factory reset.

This will reset your Roku to how it was out of the box.

If you can’t reset with the above method or your Roku screen is frozen, use the below method to factory reset it:

  • Look for the Reset button on your Roku box, stick, or TV.
  • Long press it for 30 seconds. If the Reset button has a small hole, use a paperclip to press it for 30 seconds.
  • Release the button when you see the power indicator light on the Roku device flash.

Conclusion

Roku streaming devices or TV flashing black screen or staying at a pitch-black screen demands quick action.

Check your cables and factory reset your Roku device if the above solutions don’t fix the issue.