Update 23:20: Roku has now confirmed the issue has been resolved and channels will be restored following a system update. More info End of update.
Roku device owners are turning on their players to find that some of their channels are missing, including Netflix. It currently remains unclear what has happened, although this is not the first time that the platform has been plagued with channels suddenly and mysteriously disappearing.
Roku is a hugely popular platform in the US with the company offering a wide variety of devices to suit different budgets and needs. However, Roku has run into some problems of late, and especially since both HBO Max and Peacock remain unavailable on the platform. That said, there’s a big difference between not having channels at all, and the ones device owners do have suddenly disappearing.
Right now, there is an increasing number of user reports coming in confirming that channels have disappeared when the device is powered on. Furthermore, when the users try to download the channels again, they fail with the user receiving a message that reads, “Channel install failed, could not add.”
Most seem to be indicating the issue affects Netflix, although the issue appears to be far wider than that. For example, this post on the Roku community points to Sling TV haven’t gone. Similar reports also suggest the issue could be affecting YouTube, and Disney+, among others.
In addition, this is not just an issue that’s affecting Roku standalone devices, with many users pointing to the exact same problem on smart TVs powered by Roku. Therefore, while it currently remains to be seen how widespread the issue is at the app level, it does seem to be widespread at the user level.
Possible Roku missing channels fix
This is not the first time this issue has surfaced lately. Back in January, an almost identical issue cropped up with many Roku channels mysteriously disappearing. Similar to the current situation, it remained unclear what was causing the issue. However, at the time Roku did provide a solution for fixing the issue. Whether that solution works this time, remains to be seen, but it might.
To try the previous fix, Roku users will need to apply a quick update by heading to the Roku device’s Settings, then to System, followed by System update, and then selecting Check now.
Once complete, restart the Roku to check if the update worked and the channels are back, or whether they can be downloaded once again from the Roku Store.
Update 18:55: Roku is aware of the issue and has now posted a service disruption notice on its support site which reads:
“Roku is aware of an issue affecting some users where select channels are missing from the Home Screen and may fail to reinstall. We are investigating and working toward a quick resolution.Roku
You do not need to contact Roku Customer Support, or take any other action.
We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Update 23:20: confirmed fix
Roku has now confirmed that the missing channels issue has been resolved and the process above to perform an update will restore the channels. For reference, Roku’s message and instructions in full:
“The issue has been resolved. Please perform the following steps on your Roku TV:
- Go to Settings
- Go to System, then System update
- Select Check now to resynchronize your channel line up
Your channels should be restored after these steps. Some customers may need to sign into individual channels again to authenticate. Thank you for your patience.”