Are you a curious app developer looking to install a channel on Roku that is unavailable on the Roku channel Store? Yes, you can try doing it using the Roku developer mode. Unlike Android, Roku devices work on their dedicated Roku OS. So, if you need to sideload any apps to your Roku device, we can use developer mode to modify the UI based on our requirements.

What is a Developer Mode on Roku

If you feel some applications that aren’t available on the Roku channel store are better than the official app. Then the developer mode lets you sideload the apps and enjoy using them on your Roku device. By doing so, you can also add the channels under development. But the actual purpose of the developer mode is to debug apps, errors, and other features to improve the efficiency and the experience of the users streaming on Roku devices.

How to Enable Roku Developer Mode

1. Turn on the Roku device, and follow the below-listed instruction on your Roku remote.

  • Press the Home button three times.
  • Press the Up button two times.
  • Now, Press the Right button once.
  • Press the Left button once.
  • Press the Right button once.
  • Then, Press the Left button once.
  • Finally, Press the Right button once.
Enable Roku Developer Mode

2. The Developer Settings Screen will appear on your Roku.

3. Note the IP address and the Username for the developer settings description.

4. Click on the Enable installer and restart option.

Select Enable Installer and restart

5. On the SDK License Agreement screen, read through the agreement and click on I Agree.

Select I Agree

6. You need to create a password from the development web server screen.

7. Enter a password using the on-screen keyboard and select Set password and reboot.

Select Set password and reboot

8. Your Roku device will reboot, and you have successfully enabled Developer Mode on Roku.

How to Access Roku Developer Mode

1. From your PC, launch the default web browser and enter the IP address you have made a note of.

Note: Make sure you connect your PC to the same WiFi network as Roku.

2. On the Authentication Required window, type the User Name and Password and click on Log In.

Select Login

3. By doing so, you will be directed to the Roku Development Application Installer screen.

How to Install or Sideload Channels Using Developer Mode

Before beginning the sideloading process, you must download the desired application on your PC or smartphone in ZIP format. Once you are done, you can proceed further with the sideloading process.

1. On the Development Application Install page, click on Upload.

Select Upload - Roku Developer Mode

2. Select the ZIP file on your PC and click on Open to upload the file.

Note: Make sure that the sample channel you select is in Zip file format.

3. Wait for the upload to be complete, and then select the Install option.

Note: Ensure that the PC and the Roku device are connected to the same WiFi.

4. The channel will be installed on your Roku device.

5. The sideloaded channel will be available on the bottom row of the My Channels section.

6. Launch the app on your Roku device and check if it works fine.

How to Examine a Channel Using Developer Settings

Developer Settings includes several tools that are essential for channel development. Moreover, this Packaging a Channel process on Roku helps us to submit a channel for publication. So, only after these processes will we get the application on our Roku device.

  • Package Inspector
  • Rakey Utility
  • Screenshot Utility
  • BrightScript Profiler

Package Inspector

It is a tool designed to check the details of a package, such as the developer ID used and the creation data. This tool is helpful when you verify the developer ID used when updating the package to ensure the channel registry data remains intact. All the channel registry data will be lost if a different developer ID is used to update a published channel.

Rakey Utility

This tool can help you replace the signing key on your current Roku device with a key from an already existing package. It would be helpful to develop multiple channels on the same Roku device.

Screenshot Utility

This tool is designed to enable developers to capture images of sideloaded channels. Developers can upload these channel images with a channel submission to showcase these images in the channel store after publication.

To take a screenshot:

1. First, sideload a channel.

2. Next, navigate to the screen that you want to capture.

3. Finally, select the screenshot button.

4. You have taken a screenshot of your sideloaded channel.

Note: You can only take screenshots of sideloaded channels and static content. It is not possible to take screenshots of a video. To take FHD (1920×1080) screenshots, you must have a 4K-compatible Roku set to 1080p or 4K UHD display type.

BrightScript Profiler

It gathers metrics such as:

  • CPU Usage
  • Wall Clock Time (The time it takes to execute in the real world)
  • The number of times functions are called during the execution of your channel.


Can you have more than one application sideloaded on Roku simultaneously?

No, you can have only one application sideloaded at the same time.