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:
- You can “limit ad tracking” on your Roku to disable personalized advertisements. You’ll see generic advertisements rather than ones tied to your device history instead.
- You can disable “info from TV inputs” on a Roku smart TV to remove pop-up advertisements that Roku sometimes shows over live TV from an OTA antenna or cable box.
- You can disconnect your Roku TV from the internet and it won’t be able to download ads or upload tracking data—but you also won’t be able to stream anything.
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.
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.
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.
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.