7 Roku Features You Should Be Using

Roku TV box.

Roku devices are well known for being easy to use—that’s one of the main reasons why they’re so popular. That doesn’t mean they can’t do a lot of cool things, though. We’ll show you some features you should use.

Change the Theme

Roku TV screen.

The default theme on Roku devices is very plain and purple. You don’t have to live with that if you don’t want to. Roku devices offer a number of themes you can use to jazz up the look.

Roku devices come preloaded with a few different “official” themes to choose from. You can also get more themes from people who have submitted their own to the Channel Store. It’s a great way to personalize your Roku.

Turn Off Menu Sounds

Choose "Off."

Out of the box, Roku devices make a lot of noise. Every time you move around the screen and press a button, a little audible confirmation can be heard. If you find that annoying, it can be turned off. It’s a simple thing to do, but it will make the entire Roku experience a little less grating.

Search All Streaming Sites at Once

Roku search results.

You probably have a Roku so you can enjoy your favorite streaming services on your TV. Roku’s search functionality is great for finding which service has what you want to watch.

A search can be done from the “Search” tab on the home screen or with the voice search feature on compatible remotes. All you have to do is enter or say the name of the TV show or movie you’d like to watch, and you’ll see where it can be found.

Use Google Assistant with Roku

Roku and Google Smart Speaker

Google Assistant can be linked to Roku devices for some nifty hands-free commands. That means you can control the Roku from your phone, smart speaker, smart display, and smartwatch.

After you’ve connected Roku to Google Assistant, there are a bunch of commands you can use. Things like “pause kitchen Roku,” “launch YouTube on Roku,” and “turn on Living Room Roku.” It’s pretty nifty.

Keep Up With Your Favorite Shows

Roku My Feed.

With so many great shows available to watch these days, it can be hard to keep up. Roku’s “My Feed” keeps track of your favorite shows, and you can see when new episodes are released. When a new episode is out, it appears in your feed, and you can jump right into the episode, no jumping through apps.

Get Rid of Home Screen Clutter

Roku sidebar items.

The Roku home screen is infamously simple. You’ve got two main sections—the menu sidebar and the channel grid. The menu sidebar includes some things you may not care about. Thankfully, those things can probably be turned off.

In the “Home Screen” section of the Settings you can remove certain things from the sidebar. That includes shortcuts to the movie and TV store, “Featured Free,” “Live TV,” and more. It’s worth a look.

Disable Some Ads and Tracking

An ad on a Roku home screen.

You’ve probably noticed that Roku devices have ads in certain places. Roku actually makes much more money from ads than it does from selling devices. So while there’s no way to turn off ads entirely, you do have some options.

There are a couple of things you can do. First, you can disable ad tracking so Roku can’t personalize the ads for you. Second, you can stop the pop-up ads that appear over commercials during live TV. It’s better than nothing.

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