How to download and use the YouTube app on Roku

How to download and use the YouTube app on Roku
There are a few different ways to watch YouTube on your Roku.Fertnig/Getty Images
  • You can use the Roku YouTube app to watch nearly any YouTube video, make playlists, and more.
  • The YouTube app on Roku supports multiple user accounts, and is easy to set up.
  • The YouTube TV app is no longer available to download on Roku, but you can access it through the regular YouTube app.
YouTube started out as a free-to-watch platform and has added paid options through the years. You can still watch free content from the Roku YouTube app, but you also have access to YouTube Premium and other content you have purchased or rented.

Here's everything you need to know about watching YouTube content, including YouTube Premium and YouTube TV, on your Roku.

What you can do with YouTube on Roku

The Roku YouTube app gives you access to all YouTube features, such as playlists and purchased content. To get started, install the free YouTube app from the Roku channel store. Once installed, you can log in with your Google account to access a variety of content.

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You can search for videos using the magnifying glass icon in the left sidebar. To watch a video, just highlight it and press OK on your Roku remote. It'll start playing immediately - albeit usually after a few ads.

Roku's YouTube app has a number of other familiar features as well.



After you've logged into your YouTube account, you'll have access to your playlists. You can also add videos to your playlists as you browse through YouTube. Playlists are available from the left sidebar menu.

Guest account access

The YouTube app for Roku has a handy guest account that can be used to watch free content without logging into a Google Account. You won't need additional set up to jump into your favorite videos after installing the Roku YouTube app.

YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium, formerly called YouTube Red, is a paid subscription that includes commercial-free viewing, unlimited music streaming, and access to YouTube Original shows. To access YouTube Premium content from the Roku YouTube app, be sure to log in with the YouTube account you used to subscribe. Use the search option to find the content you'd like to watch, or visit your followed Premium channels.

The app also supports multiple users so you can easily switch users as needed.

How to download and use the YouTube app on Roku
Sign into the account you've subscribed to YouTube Premium with to access its content.Michelle Greenlee/Insider

YouTube TV

YouTube TV subscribers get access to live TV streaming with over 85 channels and unlimited DVR storage.

Unfortunately for Roku users, Google (which owns YouTube) and Roku have severed ties when it comes to live TV streaming - the YouTube TV app has been removed from the Roku Channel Store and can no longer be downloaded.

But there are workarounds. If you have the most recent version of the YouTube app, you should find a "Go to YouTube TV" option at the bottom of the left sidebar. Click that and sign into your YouTube TV account to be brought there.

Additionally, if you already have the YouTube TV app downloaded on your Roku, it'll still work. Don't delete the app, because if you do, there's no getting it back.

Rentals and purchases

The Roku YouTube app lets you purchase movies and TV shows from directly within the app. You can also access content you previously purchased through YouTube or Google Play Movies and TV - these purchases will show up in the Purchases section of the app.

How to download and use the YouTube app on Roku
You can access all your purchased movies and television shows in one menu.Michelle Greenlee/Insider
Content eligible for Google Play Family Library can also be viewed on the Roku YouTube app from accounts with access to your shared library of titles.


Casting from mobile to Roku

Using the YouTube mobile app, you can cast video from your phone to Roku. This will launch the app and video on your Roku right away.

How to download and use the YouTube app on Roku
Casting is a great way to get YouTube videos on Roku.Michelle Greenlee/Insider

This method is handy because it's much easier to type out the name of a video using your phone than it is using the Roku remote.

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