Roku streaming devices have become increasingly popular over the years, providing a convenient and cost-effective way to access streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more. It’s worth mentioning that some Roku devices include a USB port, which can be used to connect an external USB drive to access and play media files stored on it. However, there are times when your Roku device may not recognize the connected external USB drive.

In this article, we will discuss the possible reasons why your Roku streaming device is not recognizing your external USB drive and how to resolve the issue. Additionally, we will introduce a versatile data recovery tool named iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to guide you on USB drive data recovery in case of a corrupt drive.

Possible Causes and Fixes for a Roku Streaming Device Not Recognizing the External USB Drive

Insufficient Power Supply

The market is filled with a wide range of USB drives, many of which operate at different levels of power. It’s very likely that the USB drive merely lacks the power to function to its full potential. In such a case, the USB drive may not be recognized by your Roku device. If your USB drive has an external power adapter, plug it into an electrical outlet. Otherwise, try using a USB hub with a power supply to connect the USB drive to the Roku device.

Unsupported File System

The Roku streaming device supports several file systems, including FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, HFS+, EXT2, and EXT3. If your external USB drive is pre-formatted with a file system that is not supported by your Roku device, such as exFAT, your device may not recognize it.

To identify the file system of your USB drive, refer to the following steps:

Step 1 Insert the USB drive into a Mac and wait for a while until the drive is successfully mounted.

Step 2 Go to Launchpad > Other > Disk Utility to launch the Disk Utility program.

Step 3 Locate and click the drive you want to check in the left-hand pane.

Step 4 View the drive information listed in the right pane to identify the file system of your USB drive.

Roku Not Recognizing USB

Alternatively, you can right-click the drive icon from the Mac desktop and select “Get Info” from the drop-down list to verify the file system information.

If you find that the USB drive is using a file system incompatible with your Roku device, then you need to format the drive with one of the supported file systems. It’s important to note that formatting the drive will erase all the data on it, so make sure to back up your files before formatting.

Outdated Roku Software

Ensure that your Roku device is running the latest software version. Outdated software can cause compatibility issues with external USB drives. Updating the software can resolve the issue and help your Roku device recognize the USB drive. To update Roku streaming device, you can follow these steps:     

Step 1 Press the “Home” button on your Roku remote to enter Roku’s home screen, and navigate to the “Settings” menu.    

Step 2 Select “System” and then “System update.”    

Step 3 Launch the update procedure by selecting the “Check Now” option. Your Roku will check for any available updates and immediately begin downloading and installing an update if one is available. Once the update is complete, your Roku will restart. 

Note that your Roku streaming device must be connected to the internet to check for and download updates. Also, make sure to keep your Roku device updated to ensure that it has the latest features, bug fixes, and security patches.

USB Drive Corruption

Your external USB drive may be corrupted, and that could be why your Roku streaming device is not recognizing it. Corruption in the USB drive can occur due to various reasons such as improper ejection, virus or malware infection, hardware failure, or power surge. When a USB drive is corrupted, it can cause several issues, including the inability to access files stored on it or a device not recognizing it.

In case of a corrupted USB drive, you may need to retrieve lost files from it first and then you can repair it to make it detective and recognizable on your Roku streaming device.

Step 1: USB drive data recovery with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac. iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is a feature-rich data recovery software that can help you recover data from your USB drive due to accidental deletion, formatting, virus attacks, corrupted file systems, drive corruption, system crashes, and other reasons. It supports various file systems, including FAT32, exFAT, APFS, HFS, HFSX, and HFS+, and can recover data from different storage devices, including USB drives, memory cards, and external hard drives.

  • Complete the downloading and installation process of iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.
Roku Not Recognizing USB
  • Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac after connecting the corrupted USB flash drive to your Mac computer.
  • Locate and select the USB drive under Storage Device and click Search for Lost Data to commerce the scanning process.
  • Preview the found results, tick the target files you’d like to recover, and then click Recover to get them back from your USB drive. 
Roku Not Recognizing USB

Step 2: USB drive repair with First Aid in Disk Utility.

  1. Connect the USB drive to your Mac and launch the Disk Utility application (found in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder). 
  2. Find and select the corrupted USB drive from all listed drives.
  3. Move to the top toolbar of the Disk Utility window, click “First Aid” and follow the on-screen instructions to repair any errors on the drive.

Final Words

There are several reasons why your Roku streaming device may not recognize your external USB drive, including the power supply issue, unsupported file systems, outdated Roku software, and USB drive corruption. By following the above solutions, you can resolve the issue and get your Roku device to detect your external USB drive. If none of the solutions work, contact Roku support for further assistance.