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AirPlay Not Working on Roku? How To Fix It Quickly & Easily

AirPlay is a feature that allows users to stream music, videos, and photos from Apple devices to other compatible devices such as Roku. However, sometimes AirPlay may not work as expected, causing frustration and inconvenience to users.

To fix an AirPlay/Roku connection issue, start by making sure the devices are on the same WiFi network before turning everything off and on again. Next, head into Roku’s AirPlay settings to make sure the connection is set up.

In the following sections, we’ll discuss some troubleshooting steps that you can take to fix AirPlay issues on Roku in our experience. After that, we’ll talk about a few troubleshooting details to watch out for. Let’s get going, so you can get to enjoying the show!

Understanding AirPlay and Roku

Airplay Not Working On Roku

AirPlay is a feature developed by Apple that allows users to stream audio and video content wirelessly between Apple devices (and other devices supporting the AirPlay standard, like Twitch for example). This means that you can easily share content from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac with other Apple devices, such as an Apple TV or HomePod, but at this point it also includes Rokus.

This effectively turns your Roku into a second screen that you can always mirror your phone’s screen to or simply share videos you’re watching on your phone with a tap. And this is basicaly a super-power when you consider that Roku works with basically any TV, so you can add AirPlay to a TV this way!

To use AirPlay with your Roku, you need to ensure that it is set up correctly. This involves enabling AirPlay on your Roku device and ensuring that your Apple device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Roku. We’ll explain how to do this in more detail a bit later in the article, but for now let’s get right to how to fix an AirPlay/Roku connection that isn’t working.

How To Fix AirPlay Not Working On Roku

The most common cause of this issue is that your devices aren’t connected to the same WiFi network. So, start by making sure both your phone and Roku device are on the same network, and if you have multiple WiFi networks that the devices are swapping between, make sure to go into the settings and forget the networks you don’t want the devices to connect to automatically.

And one extra note. on this: while some Roku channels can work without WiFi…don’t expect AirPlay to work when your internet is out. You may be able to mirror your phone’s screen to it over your local WiFi, but it won’t stream content directly from your phone’s cell connection to the screen. For that, you’d need to connect both devices to your phone’s wireless hotspot.

Pro-Tip: If your phone is running through a VPN, this may be causing your issue. Try disconnecting from the VPN and connecting to the same wifi network as your Roku device to see if that clears things up.

If you’ve confirmed that both devices are on the same network, the next step is to restart and update both your phone and Roku device. This is a quick and easy fix that can often resolve any bugs or lag that may be causing Airplay to not work properly.

To restart your Roku device, go to the Settings menu, select System, and then choose System Restart. For your phone, simply turn it off and then back on again.

Updating your Roku device is also important, as outdated firmware versions can cause issues with Airplay. To update your Roku device, go to the Settings menu, select System, and then choose System Update. Make sure your Roku device is connected to the internet before attempting to update.

Lastly, if none of that worked, go ahead and simply Reset your Roku device. To do that, hit the Home key on your remote to get home then navigate to Settings, then System, and then Advanced System Settings. That’s where you’ll find the Factory Reset option. But if you do this, be sure to note you’ll have some time setting up your device and putting apps back on it on the other side.

We find that these quick and easy steps help most users, but if you’re still experiencing a connection problem here then head to our next section on how to set up AirPlay from scratch.

How to Set Up Airplay on Roku

If you have a new Roku device, or maybe just newly updated, then the AirPlay connection may need to be initiated again. Don’t worry, it’s pretty simple.

  1. First, make sure that your Roku and Apple device are both connected to the same WiFi network as we discussed above.
  2. On your Roku, go to Settings > Apple Airplay and HomeKit and make sure that Airplay is turned on.
  3. On your Apple device, open Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner of the screen.
  4. Tap on the Screen Mirroring icon (see our images above) and select your Roku device from the list of available devices.
  5. Enter the four-digit code that appears on your TV screen to complete the setup process.

Once the setup is complete, you should be able to use Airplay to stream content from your Apple device to your Roku automatically (without entering the code ever single time).

Additionally, you can customize some Airplay settings on your Roku by going to Settings > Apple Airplay and HomeKit. Here, you can change the Airplay device name, require a code for connections, and enable/disable HomeKit integration. We think you’ll want to take this step for a clean and organized home theater experience…but if you skip them nothing bad will happen!

Airplay Connection Drops When Streaming

When streaming content through Airplay, connection issues can cause the signal to drop out randomly, or cause the video to stutter. This can be caused by various factors, including WiFi interference, distance between devices, and network settings.

To start, we recommend moving your devices closer together to reduce interference. Remember that the data path goes through your WiFi router, so it may be necessary to move your devices closer to the router as well. Additionally, consider separating your phone and TV onto a 5GHz WiFi band (external guide) so that they have their own bandwidth and less interference.

If moving your devices closer doesn’t work, try restarting both your Roku and your iOS device. This can often fix connectivity issues and get Airplay working again.

Another thing to consider is resetting your network settings. This can be done through the Settings menu on your Roku, under the System option and then Advanced System Settings. From there, you can select Reset Network Settings to reset your network settings to their default values.

If none of these solutions work, you may need to contact Roku support for further assistance. They can help troubleshoot the issue and provide additional solutions.

AirPlay + Roku = Awesome

Overall, troubleshooting AirPlay issues on Roku can be simple and straightforward. By following these steps, you should be able to get AirPlay working again and enjoy streaming content from your Apple device to your Roku device.

Taking the time to set this connection up and troubleshoot it is super worth it, because there’s really nothing more satisfying than browsing to a video on your phone, deciding to dive into it, and simply tapping it up onto your big screen. This is modern magic!