I was having the same issue. But if you have a LAN line, just run it straight to the t.v for a wired connection and turn it off then back on. Then the app should work.
That remote is absolutely worthless with Roku tv's, and says so too. Do you see tv power key or volume keys on that remote? Its a standard Roku IR remote for stand alone roku like the express or premiere.
Plug your ROKU box up via your Ethernet cord it will allow you to connect it to the app. Once you have done that, go to your network settings and change it to wireless and connect to your network of choice. Then unplug the Ethernet cord and your phone will now work as a remote as it is back connected via WiFi!
It does appear that this now works.
I suspect its part of the 9.4 build.
But if you can just use Ethernet instead.
It is far less problematic and better.
Why do I have to have the remote to connect to wifi??? I am away from home, brought the stick, but forgot my remote at home. Am trying to set up iOS mobile app instead. Is there a way to reset the device from my account, logging in via my computer? Cannot connect to router via ethernet (because it's a stick), and don't remember my home network IP that's stored in the remote, and only have one phone...
Ugh, smh. I just had a long chat with customer service, and there is no solution. One MUST have a physical remote in order to reset the location & IP address, and that must be done in order to use the virtual app remote. There is no way to change the IP address in the stick itself. Grrrr. Frustrating. It should be a no brainer for Roku to write a code to be able to do this OR to change their corporate policy if that's the problem. Cust Serv says "Roku does not store the IP address associated with the device," so unless you carry your home router's IP address with you and follow some of the hacks mentioned above, your only option is to go find a store and buy a second remote for $20.
I recently moved and had to change internet providers. I need to change my wifi info for the roku but I only have the app remote not the actual remote. What do I do?
It depends on the model Roku you have. If it's a Roku Stick of any kind, you can only control it with a genuine Roku WiFi Direct remote. And the same remote doesn't work on all Stick models. If it is any other model of Roku player, i.e. anything but a Stick, then you can use a generic IR remote that can be purchased almost anywhere. Just make sure the packaging lists Roku players as a supported device.
There is one other potential workaround. If you can log into the new Internet router and have the proper permissions within the configuration, you can change the SSID and password for the WiFi to match your previous router. But both must be identical to the previous router. And don't perform a factory reset on your Roku or you are truly stuck without an actual remote.
A quick googling of the TV manufacturer's page (TCL, not Roku, as they don't make televisions), and here is a sample remote they display. So it appears that it looks similar to normal Roku remotes like others, and could be paired. Or just shop for that exact TCL remote, as if you were trying to replace any other TV remote.