An ad on a Roku home screen.

Whether you have a Roku TV or a Roku player plugged into your TV’s HDMI port, you’ll see advertisements on your Roku’s home screen next to your streaming channels. That’s just part of the Roku experience.

Roku Makes More Money From Ads Than Hardware

You might think of Roku as a hardware company, but Roku makes a lot of money from advertising. Roku reported it made $740 million in ad revenue in 2019 alone.

Roku’s forecast for 2020 projected total revenue of $1.6 billion with three-quarters of that coming from advertising. Yes, Roku projected it would bring in more dollars from advertising than hardware sales for 2020.

That’s one reason why Roku can offer such inexpensive devices: Roku devices come with tracking and advertising built-in.

There’s No Built-in Way to Disable These Ads

That’s a long way of setting up the answer: No, there’s no built-in option on a Roku to toggle those advertisements off. You can’t pay to get rid of the home screen ads, either.

As long as your Roku is connected to the internet, it will download and show those advertisements. They’re just simple images, however, and will use a very tiny amount of bandwidth compared to everything you stream on a Roku.

You Can Disable Some Ads and Tracking

There are some ads and tracking features you can disable on a Roku:

But, even after you tweak all the available settings, there’s no built-in way to hide those home screen ads while your Roku is connected to the internet.

RELATED: How to Disable Custom Ads and Tracking on Your Roku

Is There Any Way to Disable Roku Ads?

If you have a Raspberry Pi, you can set up a “Pi-Hole.” It can reportedly block ads by preventing your Roku from connecting to the advertising server. That’s a solution for more tech-savvy users, however.

RELATED: 16 Cool Projects for Your New Raspberry Pi 4

Consider Another Streaming Player

If those Roku ads really get on your nerves, consider getting another streaming device without as many advertisements built in. Even if you have a Roku TV, you can plug another streaming box or stick into your TV and use it instead.

For example, the Apple TV doesn’t have Roku-style home screen ads—but the Apple TV starts at $149 while Roku’s line of players starts at $29.

And, while you won’t see Roku-style ads on the Apple TV’s home screen, the Apple TV will advertise TV shows and movies from iTunes on your home screen instead.

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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