The Best Way to Enable Roku Developer Mode and Sideload Apps

If you’re an app developer or just curious about the Roku channel, but couldn’t find a way to install it on your Roku device then you can set it up. Roku is different from any other Android-based streaming device. You can only sideload apps to Roku OS. Developer Mode allows you to modify the UI and apps. This is technical customizing according to your needs. Let’s now learn more about the Roku Developer Mode.

What is Roku Developer Mode?

It works in the same way as your Android Developer Mode, and allows you to test new apps or screen mirror testing. It’s used to troubleshoot bugs, identify errors and make sure that features work well. Many times, apps that are not available in the Channel Store perform better than official apps. You may wish to sideload these apps in such situations. You can add the channels currently in development to your streaming device. Let’s start with the prerequisites.


Before you can use the developer mode, here are some important points.

  • A Roku Streaming device
  • Roku account
  • Enrollment in the Roku developer program
  • A code editor such as the Roku plug-in to Eclipse IDE or BrightScript extension to Visual Studio Code IDE.

Roku Developer Mode

To set up the development environment, follow the steps below.

  • Allow developer settings to be enabled on your Roku
  • Developer application installer for uploading or installing sample access.
  • Start the sample channel from your streaming device.
  • Check the channel using the developer settings.
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1. Enable Roku Developer Mode

Step 1: Turn on your Roku streaming device.

Step 2: Use the Roku remote’s combination keys to activate the Roku Secret menu. Use the following order to press the keys:

  • Click the Home button 3 times
  • Click the Up button 2 times
  • Right button – One time
  • Left button – One time
  • Right button – One time
  • Left button – One time
  • Right button – One time

Step 3: After you have entered the secret menu, a dialog box will open.

Step 4: Take note of the IP address (or Username) for the developer settings description. Click the Enable Installer button and click on Restart.

Step 5: Next, you will be asked to confirm your SDK License Agreement. Click the “I Agree” button.

Step 6: Enter your Development Webserver password or web developer mode password. Make sure you remember your password.

Step 7: Next, click on Set Password and reboot. Your Roku device will now restart and you’ll be in Developer mode.

2. Get the Roku Developer Mode

Step 1: Open a web browser on your smartphone or PC. Open the Web Browser and enter the IP address you have previously noted.

Step 2: Type your Roku Username or Password. Click the Login button.

Step 3: The Roku Development Application Installation Screen will now open.

3. Roku and Running Samples Apps: Install or Update

The file must be saved on your smartphone or PC in ZIP format. To save the file as a zip file, you can use any type of zipping software.

Step 1: Click on the Upload option at the Development Application Installation screen.

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Step 2: Navigate to the Zip file in the folder where you saved it. Choose the file you wish to upload.

Step 3: Wait for the file to upload. The upload button will display the file name you have uploaded.

Step 4: Next, click the Install button. Check that your Roku streaming device is connected to the same WiFI network that your PC is connected to.

Step 5: Start your Roku and locate the installed file in the My Channel section.

Step 6: Open the Roku app and test it.

4. Check out the Developer Settings to see the channel.

1. Package Inspector: This will check the creator date and the developer ID to make sure that the same developer ID is used for updating the pack. It will ensure that all channel registry data remains intact. All channel data won’t be accessible if you use a different ID developer.

2. Rakey Utility: You can use the Rakey Utility feature to replace your signing key with one from an existing Roku pack. It is useful if you have multiple channels to develop on the same Roku device.

3. Screenshot Utility: The screen can be used to capture the apps that can be submitted with the app in the Roku Channel Store. Simply click the Screenshot button to capture the screen. Screen recording is not allowed.

4. BrightScript Profiler will track important metrics such as CPU usage, well clock time, and the number of functions called during execution of your channel.

All of the utilities and features mentioned above will allow you to submit a channel to the Roku Channel Shop for publication. This process is known as Packaging a Channel. It uses cryptographic hardware to embed into Roku devices and creates an encrypted package. It can then be distributed securely and easily on Roku devices.

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Important Points

These are some of the things you should keep in mind when using the Roku Developer Mode.

  • While sideloading your channel, one can only upload Zip files. The file must be formatted as (.pkg) in order to publish.
  • The channel must not exceed 4MB in size.
  • You can only sideload one app at a given time. If you try to upload another file, it will be replaced with the first one.

This is about sideloading an application and the Roku Developer mode. Roku software is likely to be more complicated than your Android. You must ensure that you don’t bring any harm to the firmware or software of your device. It is delicate like iOS.


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