7 Ways to Fix Protected Content License Error [Roku, Disney+]

A corrupt application could bring up the protected license error

by Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire likes to think she's got a knack for solving problems and improving the quality of life for those around her. Driven by the forces of rationality, curiosity,... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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  • A protected content license error is an issue that can occur when trying to watch a video on your Roku device. 
  • If you are using an unsupported streaming service provider such as Disney+ or Netflix, you are likely to encounter this error.
  • Luckily, there are more than enough solutions to get access to your content again.

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If you’ve been watching Disney+ content on your Roku, you may have encountered the dreaded Protected Content License Error message. This message shows up while trying to play a certain movie or TV show. Roku, like all streaming devices, has its problems. And, in many cases, these issues are fixable.

Usually, if you have an active subscription, you should have no problem accessing the content. If you are getting this error, it means that the file or folder you are trying to open is locked and only licensed users can access it.

As streaming TV services become widespread, you may encounter licensing issues from time to time. With a few tweaks, you can bypass DRM restrictions. However, some sites have stringent rules that make it almost impossible to view such content.

In such cases, you can try troubleshooting the error provided you are not using pirated software and have a legally obtained and valid subscription to view the content.

What is the protected content license error? 

The protected content license error is a common error that occurs when you attempt to play protected content. This can be caused by an issue with your system or by an issue with the content itself.

Such files often have DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection, which means they can only be viewed on certain devices or applications.

Different websites have different requirements for accessing this type of content. Some will require you to register and authorize your account before you can watch their videos. Others will simply ask you to agree to their terms of use before they let you watch their content.

Why am I getting the protected content license error? 

There are many reasons why this can occur but here are a few:

  • You are using a trial or free license – If you are getting this error, then it means that you have not purchased a license for the content and hence, it is not available to you anymore.
  • Outdated firmware – If your device is running on an outdated or unsupported version, you will get the protected content license error.
  • Bad network connection – Make sure you’re connected to the Internet and try again. If it continues to happen, check for any changes in your network configuration. Sometimes, your Roku device may be connected to Wi-Fi but still not working.
  • Damaged HDMI – If you are getting the protected content license error, it could be because of a damaged HDMI port on your TV. 
  • Outdated application – There is a chance that the developer has disabled support for the app in the current version you are using. Check for any updates available and update accordingly.

Other times it could just be an internal server issue or downtime with the server. You can wait it out and try again after some time.

How do I fix the protected content license error? 

1. Unplug and re-plug the power/HDMI cables

Unplug all cables from the back of your computer, Roku device including power cords and HDMI cords, wait 30 seconds and then plug them all back in again. 

This will reset the device, giving it a fresh start with any new content that you’re trying to play. Sometimes, a simple restart can clear up any problems that might be preventing you from playing content on your PC or TV.

2. Check your network connection

If you’re using Wi-Fi or Ethernet for internet connectivity on your PC or TV, make sure that these are working properly. Ensure your device has a strong Wi-Fi or cellular connection and that you’re not in an area with poor coverage.

A weak or poor internet connection can often cause these issues, so it’s worth checking that you have a strong enough signal. If your signal is poor, try connecting to another Wi-Fi source or switch from a wireless to an Ethernet connection.

3. Reset your Roku player/TV/Router

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Roku players, TVs, and routers are set up to connect to your local network, but they can occasionally get disconnected.

Resetting your router will clear out any temporary problems with it, so this is usually a good place to start with any other problems. To reset your router, unplug it from power for 30 seconds, then plug it back in and wait for it to fully power up again before powering on anything else.

4. Update your Roku device software

  1. Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  2. Scroll down and select Settings.
  3. Click on System.
  4. Select System Update.
  5. Click on Check now for available updates.

5. Update your router firmware 

If you have a wireless router, you may need to update the firmware. Some routers come with outdated firmware, which can cause problems with protected content streaming. If this is the case, make sure you update your router’s firmware.

You can usually check if this is the case by logging into its web interface and checking for any available updates.

6. Uninstall and reinstall the associated app

First, try closing and reopening the app. This will clear any files that may have been causing the issue in the background. 

If that doesn’t work, try uninstalling and reinstalling it from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. This will clear any traces of corrupt files associated with the app. Now, go back and reinstall it again and see whether the protected content license error persists.

7. Disable hardware acceleration

Hardware acceleration refers to hardware-accelerated video decoding. With hardware acceleration, the video card (GPU) is used to decode the video, which saves system resources and improves overall performance. 

Disable the Hardware Acceleration

However, if you have an older computer or one with poor graphics card, then disabling hardware acceleration may be necessary for viewing protected content properly. If you are using a desktop browser, you can disable hardware acceleration and see if that helps.

If you are still experiencing the error even after trying these solutions, you may have to try another browser if you are using a PC. We have recommended the best browsers that work with Roku so be sure to check that out.

In some rare cases, the content may be restricted from your country. You will need to remove the geo-restrictions and try again.

Alternatively, you can also contact Roku customer support and report the issue for additional help. Ensure to include as much detail as possible for prompt help.

Hopefully, you have been able to solve the protected content license error and can enjoy videos uninterrupted.

We love your feedback so be sure to let us know of any additional thoughts you have on this issue down below.

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