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Many Roku users have reported seeing a Low Power warning pop up on their devices after connecting them to a smart TV via a USB port. It simply means that your Roku device is not receiving sufficient power to operate.

In most cases, you can resolve this issue by powering your Roku device through its dedicated adapter. Besides this, you can also try plugging your device into a different USB port because some ports can provide more power.

What Triggers the Roku Low Power Warning?

Supplying power to a Roku device through a smart TV's USB port has become the norm. However, this convenient solution might not work at times, and you may witness a Low Power alert on your device. Typically, a Roku device generates this alert signal when the host TV fails to provide it with sufficient power.

The USB ports on most smart TVs look like any other USB ports, but their primary purpose is data transfer. In other words, most of the USB ports found on a smart TV are not optimized for charging or powering other external devices.

Still, many smart TVs can provide enough juice to the device. A Roku device requires up to 0.6 mA of current to operate, whereas a standard USB port on a smart TV can only provide up to 0.5 mA. Usually, this 0.1 mA difference doesn't cause much trouble, and the Roku device works just fine.

The Roku Low Power alert appears when the device is receiving inadequate power to operate correctly. Interestingly, a device triggering this alert might continue to work and crash at a later stage. Using the device when it is low on power is not advisable.

Low Power Indicators

Your Roku device can indicate having power issues in the two ways shown below.

Flashing Red Light

Most Roku devices come with an LED light at the front. The LED light remains white or off during normal operations and may flash on when receiving a command from the remote. However, in the case of a low power state, the LED light at the front of your Roku device will flash red. Even though your device may appear to work, as usual, operating a Roku streaming player may lead to crashing, instability, and other abnormal behavior.

Check out our Roku Blinking Light guide for more info.

On-Screen Low Power Warning 

If the USB port on your smart TV is not providing adequate power to your Roku device, you may get an on-screen Low Power warning message under the heading Insufficient Power as the device boots. In this case, you won't be able to operate your Roku device without plugging it into another power source.

The visual insufficient power alert also instructs the user about switching Roku's power source from a TV USB port to a USB adapter. Moreover, it also contains a link to the official resources regarding the power issue, its causes, and possible solutions.

How to Fix Low Power Issues on Your Roku Device

In this section, we have compiled a few ways to resolve power-related issues on your Roku device.

1. Replace the USB cable

Sometimes, the USB cable fails in supplying your Roku player with the necessary power. The best way to start troubleshooting this issue is by replacing the USB cable. In most cases, replacing a USB cable with the original cable resolves the power issue.

2. Try another USB port

Most smart TVs come with redundant USB ports. Interestingly, some USB ports can supply more power than others. So, swapping between USB ports is another quick fix that works for many.

3. Plug the unit into a power outlet

Each Roku unit comes with a power adapter and a cord. Roku’s manufacturer recommends using these adapters and directly powering their devices from outlets. However, there is no harm in powering your device from a smart TV’s USB port unless it does not give a Low Power warning.

Common Roku Power Questions & Answers

I am getting a Low Power warning on my Roku device, what should I do?

If you have this issue while trying to power the unit using the USB ports on your smart TV, then try swapping between the ports first. If the problem persists, then try using another USB cable. The final fix for this issue is to power your Roku device from an AC power outlet through the vendor's provided power adapter.

The LED indicator on my Roku device is showing red but not flashing, what does this mean?

This means you are facing a severe issue. A flashing red LED light indicates that the unit has a persisting power-related issue. In comparison, solid red indicates that the device is overheating – it's better to switch off the unit and check for any blocked vents.

Are there any benefits to using a regular power outlet to power a Roku device?

Yes – you can ensure that your Roku device gets the optimum power supply. Moreover, a Roku player plugged into a wall outlet will not take any time to boot, unlike its TV-hosted counterparts, which undergo a boot sequence each time the TV starts.

The Verdict

It is fairly common among Roku users to receive a Low Power warning. It usually happens when trying to power Roku devices through a TV's USB port. You can quickly fix this issue by swapping the connection with another USB port because some ports can dispatch more power.

At times, a degraded or incompatible USB cable can be the reason behind the power warning. So, always use the cable that comes with your Roku device. The best fix for this issue is to switch from USB power to an AC power outlet. Roku ships each of its devices with an adapter and required cables.


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