does roku use bandwidth when not in use

Do you feel like your Roku device consumes too much data and are asking, does Roku use bandwidth when not in use?

Or maybe you felt like checking your data spending when your Roku was not actively streaming and saw some data gone.

I know it can be pretty frustrating when you can no longer stream your favorite show because you do not have data since it just ended before its expiry date.

Please read below to understand if Roku uses bandwidth when you are not using it.

When your Roku player is not in use, it still uses data. This enables them to download updated software, apps, or channels. To disallow the bandwidth usage, you can turn off your device, enable bandwidth saver, or lower your streaming quality.

Why Does Roku Use Bandwidth When Not In Use?

Below are several reasons why your Roku player uses bandwidth when not in use.

1. The Roku Device Is On

When the device is on, it will consume some data when it downloads software updates or channels.

2. Your Streaming Quality Is High

The Roku player will use too much bandwidth if your video quality is high. Lowering the quality will reduce the bandwidth.

3. The Bandwidth Saver Is Off

When the bandwidth saver is on, you use data only when you actively watch.

We now know why Roku uses bandwidth when not in use. But does Roku use bandwidth when TV is turned off?

Yes. And that is why we will need to look at various methods we can use to limit Roku bandwidth.

How To Limit Roku Bandwidth Use

how to limit roku bandwidth use

These various methods can help you limit Roku bandwidth when in use and when not in use. Try each, and you will love that you have saved some data amount.

Method #1: Turn Off Your Roku Device

Note: Roku players are meant to be connected to the internet all through. Apart from the Roku 4, all other versions do not have the power on or off button.

This design is meant to ensure that the device is always on and connected to the internet to download software updates and ensure that it does not reboot every time you power it on.

Here is how you can power off different Roku players.

Roku Ultra

  1. Press the home menu on your Roku remote.
  2. Navigate to the settings menu, go to system followed by power.
  3. Click the option, Auto power off.     

Your Roku streaming box will automatically power off after half an hour of inactivity when you activate this setting.

The box has the option to power it off manually also. Just press the button if you are not using the device.

Roku 4

The Roku 4 new feature allows you to turn it off if you are not using it. To do this, first visit the settings page followed by System.

Then Select power, then you can choose among the three options

  • Auto power off; this option will power off the system if it stays inactive for 30 minutes.
  • System reset will reboot the system.
  • Power off will shut the system off completely.

Roku premiere 4K

Use these steps for Roku Premiere 4K

  1. Use your Roku remote to go to the Home menu.
  2. Click settings followed by System, then Power.
  3. Choose Auto power off.

Roku 3 And Older Versions

Roku 3 and older versions, including Roku 2XS, Roku SE, and Roku stick, do not have a button you can use to power off.

So, if you wish it to turn off, you will need to unplug it from its power outlet. It also goes off after 30 minutes of inactivity. So, it cannot completely turn off.

However, you can use a SmartStrip Power Strip to power off the device.

This method allows your TV to turn on or off your Roku device. So, when you turn off your TV, the Roku device will shut.

The downside of this method is that your Roku device will have to reboot any time you power it on. So, you can try method two, which uses USB.

Method #2: Turn Off Your TV Or Unplug Your AC Adapter

Some Roku players, including Roku Express, Roku Premiere, and Roku streaming Series, can be powered on when you connect them to your TV’s USB port.

So, you don’t need to be worried about how to turn them off since anytime you turn off your TV, they will automatically go off. It will save energy and bandwidth.

However, your device will have to reboot first when you turn it on.

Some TVs may not provide enough power to power on the Roku. Or, it may also lack a USB port. So, you will have to use an AC adapter.

If it is plugged in, your Roku device will run. If you wish to turn the Roku off, you will have to plug out the AC adapter.

Method #3: Lower The Streaming Quality

Limiting Roku bandwidth means lowering the streaming quality.

However, it can be a better and the only option if you feel like the data is moving too quickly, hence draining your pocket.

The simple steps to reduce the bandwidth are to press these buttons respectively:

  1. Home button five times.
  2. The Rewind key three times.
  3. The fast forward key two times

After pressing these buttons, you will be taken to the Bitrate override page. This panel allows you to limit the bandwidth your Roku player uses. You can also control other settings from the panel.

Most Roku videos can allow up to 720 pixels of content using 3.5mbps. It is not a full HD, but it is not so bad.

However, if you go lower than 3.5mbps, you will not like the streaming quality. So, it may not be the best way to go, but if you really want to save data, you can try it out.

You can also use this other method to lower the resolution

  1. Using your remote, go to settings.
  2. Navigate to display type.
  3. Deselect auto-detect.
  4. Select a lower resolution.

You will notice that your Roku will not take too much data though the video quality will not be as good.

Method #4: Turn On Bandwidth Saver

When you turn the bandwidth saver on your device, you will always get a notification to continue streaming after around four hours of active streaming.

So, you can enable it to all channels so that your bandwidth will not download data after these hours. Use these steps.

  1. Using your Roku remote, press the home key.
  2. Select settings, then network.
  3. Click on bandwidth saver.
  4. Select off.

Roku devices are low-powered devices that are supposed to be connected to the internet all through. So, they use data even when not in use. You can reduce the data usage by turning the device off, enabling a bandwidth saver, or lowering the streaming quality.

Read Next: How to Fix FuboTV Not Working on Roku?


I hope this guide answers your question on ‘’does Roku use bandwidth when not in use?’’

Your Roku device will use data when not in use since they are meant to be always on. However, it does not consume too much data as when it is streaming.

If you feel like the data Roku consumes is too much, you can power it off. Reducing the streaming quality can also reduce the bandwidth.

Roku uses bandwidth when not in use but not as much as when in use. You can limit the data usage by powering off the device or lowering the streaming quality.

Nicole B