Roku Lost Remote or Dead Batteries When Traveling
If you own a Roku or have a spare you use for the occasional travel streaming stick or around the house when you need to stream something, there is a chance you’ve found yourself in a situation where you need to control the Roku but you’ve lost the remote or the batteries have died.
This is a surprisingly common occurrence and happens pretty regularly with rarely used Roku devices. The simple answer is generally to just use the Roku mobile app, which features remote control capabilities in it.
However, the challenge occurs when traveling. If you rely on the hotel, Airbnb or RV park WiFi network you may find yourself in a no win situation. The problem is the device needs a remote to be configured for the WiFi network before you can control it with the mobile app. If the remote is missing or the batteries are dead, you are stuck without a streaming device.
There are however, a couple of potential work arounds before you give up.
Use Internet Connection Sharing
If you happen to have a Windows laptop with you, you can share the hotels internet network under your own name. If you name the connection the same as your home network (or naother network the Roku “remembers” and will automatically connect to), this will allow the Roku to connect.
The steps to setup internet connection sharing on Windows 10 are:
- Connect your laptop to the hotels internet
- Complete any login/captive portal information screens
- Find the WiFi connection in the lower right hand corner of your laptop screen
- Right click and select “Share Internet Connection”
- Connect the devices wirelessly to your laptop
Be sure to set the same network name exactly. The casing matters. Also, the password must be exactly the same as well.
If you don’t have a Windows laptop or you have a Mac but it doesn’t support the feature, there are a few other options.
Your Use Phone’s Personal Hotspot
If your phone and cell plan allow personal hotspots you can use this to create a private WiFi network. Just like above, you will need to create a network using the exact same name, including casing, as a WiFi network your Roku has connected to previously and remembers. You’ll also need to set the password exactly the same as well.
Enabling Personal Hotspot on Android Phones
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Tap Network & internet Hotspot & tethering Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Turn on Wi-Fi hotspot.
- To see or change a hotspot setting, like the name or password, tap it. If needed, first tap Set up Wi-Fi hotspot.
Enabling Personal Hotspot on Apple Phones
- Go to Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot or Settings > Personal Hotspot.
- Tap the slider next to Allow Others to Join.
One challenge with this approach is that you likely will need a second phone, tablet or other device to run the Roku app on. In many instances because the phone will be on the cellular network and the Roku on your private network it may not be able to reach it. If you have access to second a device, simply connect to the same hotspot as the Roku and run the Roku mobile app from there.
Another option is if you have a cellular hotspot or router you can easily use it. If you are unsure of the difference between your personal hotspot and a cellular hotspot, don’t worry it is a common question.
Best Option: Travel Router
If you can’t do either of the above two workarounds OR if you already have a travel router – you can easily implement the work around.
A travel router will let you create your own private WiFi network within the hotel, Airbnb or RV park network. You can generally easily set it to the name of any WiFi network and password.
Ideally your Roku is already configured for your private WiFi network on your travel router. If not, set the travel router to a known network that your Roku will connect to. Remember to set the network name exactly, including case and the same password.
The best part about having or using a travel router is not only does it solve this situation, but good news – next hotel, Airbnb or RV park you go to you won’t need to reconfigure the Roku at all. Same for any of your other devices.