If you've had your Roku for any length of time at all, you've probably added a lot of channels that you rarely, if ever, watch. Or you may have dozens of channels that you want to keep, but you have trouble finding the ones that you want to return to on a regular basis. Whatever the reason, if you find yourself fumbling around with an overloaded Roku player, here are five quick and easy house cleaning tips that aren't a chore to accomplish.
Roku Cleanup Tip #1: Delete Unused Channels
The number of channels launched in the Roku channel store is well over 10,000 with more added every day. If you subscribe to the RokuGuide.com newsletter, you're probably one of those Roku users who like to add new channels every week and see what they have to offer. And that means you probably have lots of seldom-watched channels on your Roku.
If you're tired of scrolling through dozens of channels to find your favorites, then just get rid of the ones you rarely watch. Don't worry - you can always re-install a channel later. (This is also a good time to kill subscriptions to those rarely-used channels that are debiting your account for a buck or two every month.) Here's how to remove a channel from your Roku:
- Select "Home" from the main menu on your Roku.
- Navigate to the channel you want to remove and then press the * key on your remote.
- Select the "Remove channel" option.
- Select "Remove" again to confirm that you want to remove the channel.
Unfortunately, even though you can add channels through the Roku website, you can only remove them through your Roku device.
Roku Cleanup Tip #2: Rearrange Your Channels
There are some of us who have over a hundred channels on their Roku and want to keep them all. When you add a channel, your Roku puts the new channel at the bottom of the Home screen, so your channels are in chronological order based on when you added them.
If you're like me and have a boat-load of channels you can't do without, you can speed up the process of finding the channel you want by moving the channels into a more logical order. Put your most-used channels at the top, or group them by category: Put the news channels together, group all the games together, and so on. Or come up with your own system - just put them where you can find them.
Do this by following the instructions above for deleting channels, but instead of selecting "Remove channel", select the "Move channel" option. Then use your Roku remote to move the channel to the position you want and press "OK" to drop it there.
Roku Cleanup Tip #3: Use the My Channels app to categorize your channels
If simply moving your channels into a different location isn't organized enough for you, then you need the free "My Channels" app, a private/non-certified Roku channel. My Channels lets you define custom groups, name them what you want, and then drop your channels into them. A logical start would be to create categories such as News, Weather, Games, and Movies, but use your imagination and group them by whatever method works for you. If you're in a multi-user household, create a group for each person's favorites.
A drawback to My Channels is that when you exit a channel you are returned to the Roku Home screen, not to the My Channel menu. (This is a limitation of the Roku system, and not the fault of the app developer.) But if you move the My Channels app to the top of your Roku Home screen it will be easier to access.
Roku Cleanup Tip #4: Remove unnecessary home screen menu items
Now that you've cleaned and organized your channel list, let's do some clean up on your Roku home screen. The Movie Store and TV Store menu items are shortcuts to movies and TV shows available for rental and purchase through FandangoNOW. FandangoNOW is a great streaming service for those who prefer to purchase or rent videos rather than pay a monthly fee for unlimited streaming. But if you don't use FandangoNOW, there's no reason to clutter up your home screen with these links. To remove these links, from your Roku home screen go to Settings >> Home screen >> Movie Store and TV Store, then select Hide and press the OK button on your remote.
Likewise, you may not be interested in the content listed under the Featured Free selection on your Roku home screen. For many people, Featured Free is a great place to start if you want to browse for free movies and TV shows, but the selections take you the content in individual standalone Roku channels. If you don't have a channel installed, it will automatically install when you select a video found on that channel. Once you've found your way around the Roku Channel Store and installed channels you like, you'll know how to find great content in your favorite channels and you likely won't be browsing Featured Free very often. At that point, you can get rid of this link from your home screen by going to Settings >> Home screen >> Featured Free, then select Hide.
While you're at the home screen settings, you may also want to go to Shortcuts and select Hide for that as well. This will get rid of the "Add Channels" shortcut (and the "Turn TV Off" shortcut on certain Roku devices) that's found at the bottom of your list of channels on the Roku home screen. The Add Channels shortcut is nothing more than a link to the Streaming Channels link already found on your Roku home screen.
Roku Cleanup Tip #5: Remove titles you no longer wish to follow in My Feed
My Feed, accessible from a link on your Roku home screen, is a great way to be notified when a movie or TV show that you want to see becomes available for streaming, or becomes available for free or at a reduced price. But if there are titles that you've already seen or are no longer interested in, let's get rid of them.
Removing a movies from My Feed is simple - just select it from within My Feed and scroll down and select "Unfollow this movie" below the various rental/purchase options. TV series require a bit more work to remove, as this can't be done from within My Feed. To remove a TV series, you will have to go to the Search option on your Roku Home screen and search for the series. Select it from the search results and you should see the option to "Unfollow this TV show" from below list of available seasons.
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