How to enable Roku developer mode

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Judit Llordés
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Using Roku to download all the apps available to stream is how most people use it. However, you may want to create your own Roku channels to create your own Roku experience. Enabling developer mode and knowing how to load Roku apps that aren't in the official store are essential factors in customizing your Roku experience.

Even though developer mode is, for the most part, for developers, who says you can't figure out how to use it?

Read also: Unsynchronized video and audio on Roku, what to do


In fact, there are many situations in using Roku where you would like to be able to use a different channel than the one offered by Roku. Because? Well, simply because some of these third-party channels simply work faster and better. For example, Google's HTML5-based YouTube that is present on Roku devices may not be horrible, but it's far from the best solution, although it's not available by default on Roku devices. Knowing how to enter developer mode and how to sideload apps can help you.

Alternatively, maybe you want to create your own channel that will allow you to access the podcasts you like. All that is needed to do this is to download the channel in question, paste the URL into the config.brs document inside the “source” folder and perhaps add some custom images. Confused? Here's how to enable developer mode on Roku.


Now, accessing developer mode on a wide variety of modern devices isn't as easy as looking for the option in Advanced Settings. No, developer mode is not strictly intended for the "civilians" of the tech world. To enter this mode, you will need to press a particular sequence of buttons.


First, turn on your Roku and wait for everything to boot up correctly. Then, do the following sequence. Push the button Home three times. Then, press the button Su twice. Press a once right and then once a left. Then, again, hit Right again once and Left another time. Finally, finish by pressing the button right once.

This sequence should bring up the screen Developer settings. At the end of the Developer Settings description, you will see an IP address and username. Write these two down or just take a picture using your phone. Then, select the option Enable installer and reboot in the lower right corner of the screen. When prompted to confirm the SDK License Agreement, click Accept.

A screen will now appear asking you to enter your developer mode password. Create a password and be sure to memorize or write it down, preferably wherever you wrote your IP address and username. Now, select Set password and restart.


Once your Roku device has finished rebooting, go to the device (computer / smartphone / tablet) that is connected to the same network as the Roku device in question. Enter or paste the IP address previously into the address bar of any browser. You will now be asked to enter the username and password you have set.

This should open the Roku Development application installer in your browser. Here's how you will install / sideload third party apps and channels.


On the development application installation screen, you will see links Charge e Install. First, you will use the button Charge to upload the zip file with the application you want to install. Just click Charge, select the file in question and click apri. Once the upload is done, you should see the file name next to the button Charge.

Now, click the button Install and the installation process will begin. Once the process is complete, the app will automatically load and open on your Roku. That's why it's so important that your Roku and the device you're using for app sideloading are connected to the same network.


So, you can now launch another third-party app on your Roku device, right? Well, you can, but it's not like running a native Roku app. This is not called 'loading', but side load (literally “side loading”; translates to Spanish as “local transfer”) for a reason: you are using an external source to make the app available for use on your Roku. This means that without that external source, you won't be able to use the app in question.

Also, this means that more than one app cannot be sideloaded at a time. If you want to sideload another app on your Roku device, you'll need to repeat the process, which automatically stops the previously loaded app.

On the other hand, there aren't too many third-party apps and channels for Roku. In addition to these sideload-only options, there are many channels out there that are typically installed, without having to sideload anything or use it one at a time.


As you can see, even if it takes some time, enabling developer mode on Roku is pretty simple. Once you've enabled it, all you need to do to access it is paste the IP address you wrote down and it will start developer mode. There are many cool apps and channels for sideloading and installing out there, and it's as simple as loading and installing an app.

Have you ever used developer mode on your Roku device? Which apps have you transferred / installed in sideload? Let us know in the comments section below.

Further Reading:

  • How to download the YouTube app on Roku
  • How to enable HDR on Roku TV
  • How to enable developer options on Galaxy S10
  • How to enable developer options on Galaxy S10 Plus
  • How to enable Developer Option and USB Debugging on Huawei P30 Pro

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