Are You a YouTube TV Subscriber Who Lost Access on Your Roku? Here’s What You Should Do Now

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Good news! The dispute between YouTube TV and Roku was resolved on Dec. 8, 2021. You can read about the new multi-year agreement between the companies and how it impacts streamers here. The information in the article below was published prior to the agreement being reached.

Are you a YouTube TV subscriber who has lost access to the live TV streaming service‘s app on your Roku device?

You’re not alone. There are others experiencing newfound issues and errors during this frustrating stalemate between the two tech giants.

Members of Team Clark have been impacted by this in recent weeks too, and we want to make sure you have a solution if you experience a similar disruption in your ability to stream YouTube TV on a Roku device.

What Is New and a Recap of Why This Is Happening

YouTube TV and Roku are in the midst of a months-long contract dispute that has left new YouTube TV users unable to download the service’s app on Roku devices.

It was an issue previously impacting new users who didn’t download the app prior to the public breakup between the companies.

But now, some existing users are feeling the same kind of pain.

Existing YouTube TV users had mostly been immune to fallout from this disagreement, as Roku allowed them to keep their existing downloads of the YouTube TV app on their streaming dongles and Roku TVs.

But there have been reports in recent weeks that some existing users are experiencing errors when trying to load the YouTube TV app on their Roku devices.

There have been a couple of different types of errors reported:

  • Some users report a “Can’t Run Channel” error message when trying to load YouTube TV. This was addressed by Roku on its official blog with a fix that may resolve the issue for you.
  • Other users, such as Team Clark’s Christa, have received a message saying there is not enough memory to run the app. She deleted other apps and did a factory reset of her device in an effort to remedy the situation, but she still can’t access the YouTube TV app.

The Solution … For Now

As mentioned earlier, Roku has issued a remedy for the “Can’t Run Channel” errors. So if you’re encountering that error message, try following these directions from Roku to update your device:

“In order to apply the latest fix please follow the instructions below to manually check for a software update. 

  1. Press the Home button  on your Roku remote.
  2. Scroll up or down and select Settings.
  3. Select System.
  4. Select System update.
  5. Select Check Now to manually check for updates.”

If that error doesn’t apply to you or this attempt at a fix does not work, you may have to resort to the workaround that Google has built into the YouTube app on Roku devices.

Rather than going to the YouTube TV app, instead, load the regular YouTube app from the Roku Channel Store. Once on this app, you’ll see a link at the bottom left corner of your screen that says “YouTube TV.” That link will allow you to sync your Roku as a device that can stream your YouTube TV account.

YouTube TV has previously sent subscribers instructions on how to do this:

This workaround requires that you access YouTube TV through the YouTube app each time you want to watch something on your Roku device.

This is annoying, we know, but it’s actually what all new users have been required to do since Roku and YouTube TV broke things off in May 2021. And it may be the simplest solution for those experiencing errors until a long-term resolution can be reached between the two companies.

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