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How to solve the most common Amazon Echo problems



Mostly you will not encounter many problems while using the Amazon Echo Echo Dot Echo Show or Echo Spot Speakers. Outside the box, they are easy to install and ready to deliver recipes, sports results, weather reports, music and more.

But the technology is never perfect and sometimes it can go wrong with your Echo and the built-in voice assistant Alexa. Here are some of the most common Alexa problems and how to fix them.

Editor's Note: Originally published July 28, 201

6, this article is regularly updated to include new information and corrections for problems that may arise.

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Understanding the Light Ring

Most of the time, Alexa is completely dormant until it is called. But the ring around the top of the Echo and Echo Dot lights up in seven colors, which can alert you if there is a problem.


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  • Spinning violet indicates that there was a problem during the Wi-Fi setting.
  • Spinning orange means that the device is connected to your network.
  • Solid red means that the microphone has been turned off and Alexa does not actively listen to your commands.

However, not all light rings are for. It can tell if someone is calling you if your Amazon order is out for delivery, speaker volume and more.

Read our guide on the Amazon Echo Light Ring to learn what everything can do.

Problem with Alexa

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In my time with the Amazon Echo, I have had very few problems, most of which were easily solved with a power cycle and some simple tweaks or adjustments. Here are some solutions to problems you may encounter.

first Alexa can't find your smart home devices

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If you are trying to add smart-home devices to your Alexa speaker, first make sure you want to add the device you want to add is nationally supported.

That list is constantly growing, including devices such as Ecobee3 and lines from companies such as Honeywell, Insteon, Lifx, Nest, Philips Hue and Wink. However, many devices have added official Alexa support through Skills.

To add a new device, open the Alexa app, navigate to Smart Home and press Discover Devices under the Your Devices section.

Although your units do not support the nation and do not have the skills, you are not entirely happy. Alexa has an official IFTTT channel and also integrates with Yonomi, both of which have a comprehensive list of supported smart-home devices.

If you've already added your devices but Alexa doesn't seem to join them, there are at least two possible solutions.

  • Check the command you are using, aka your invocation. Commands vary widely between units, Skills, and a connected service like IFTTT. They can be strange specific commands, and small differences in the wording or names of the devices can throw Alexa a loop.
  • Some smart-home devices have trouble keeping in touch due to program issues, crowded networks, always on or other issues. My Lifx lights go offline every day, making commands I issue to Alexa useless. A simple power cycle for the connected devices (in my case, a flip of the light switch) usually solves any connection problems you have.

If it does not solve the problem, try restarting the speaker and removing the device and reloading it from the beginning.

2nd Alexa Disconnects Wi-Fi

If your Echo speaker does not stay in your network consistently enough, there are some ways to fix connection problems .

First, switch all – routers, modems and Alexa speakers. After that, try to play sound for a few minutes to see if the problem occurs again. If so, try moving the speaker away from other devices, preferably closer to the router, and try changing the speaker to a 5 GHz channel to reduce the interference.

3rd Alexa doesn't hear you very well

Over time, you can notice that the Alexa speakers don't seem to hear you as much as they once did.

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Try not to crowd the speakers. Leave at least 8 inches (20.3 centimeters) of space around them.

Again, a good place to start turning on and off the speaker. If this does not solve the problem, try moving the speaker away from obstructions and at least 8 inches (20.3 centimeters) from the wall.

In recent months I have noticed that my echo has more and more problems to hear me than it did when I first bought it. Then it started on me. I bought Echo when it was still winter.

During the summer my air conditioning is constantly running. It is high and significantly raises the ambient level in the room. Before I moved it, the eco-tower was also placed near the cold air return, and when the power was on, I had to project my voice for the speaker to hear the wake.

When the AC unit was turned off or I moved it away from the valve, I found that Alexa had no problem hearing me speaking normally from nearly 6 feet away.

In other words, if you have any noisy devices, move the Alexa speaker away from them to reduce the ambient level.

In addition, you can use Voice Training which is located in the Settings app in the Alexa app. You read 25 phrases aloud in a "typical voice from a typical distance" so Alexa can better understand you.

4th Accidental Activation

If you are a fan of the TV server "Mr. Robot", you probably got the Amazon Echo names in Section 3 in the second season. If your speaker is somewhere near your TV, you can watch this episode, or something with lines that sound like standard wake words, activate your speaker.

It's harmless, but it's still a nuisance when Alexa starts talking unwanted answers to the TV show you're trying to watch. There are three things you can do to minimize this:

  • Move the speaker farther from the TV.
  • Press the power button at the top while watching TV.
  • Change the wet word from standard "Alexa" to either "Echo" or "Amazon."

Voice Activation is an area where Amazon can stand to make some general improvements, for example, learning a particular person's voice (a Motorola's Trusted Voice feature) or allowing custom voice tags.

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5th Alarms and Messages Are Too High

You may have noticed when the timer or alarm goes off, the sound is much higher (or maybe quieter) than the playback volume of Alexa. This is because the alarm and timer volume is controlled separately in the Alexa app.

To set the alarm, timer, and notification volume, open the Alexa app on Android or iOS and go to Settings> [your device name]> Audio and drag the slider to the desired volume level.

6th Issues streaming with Spotify

Amazon's Alexa speakers can stream music from third-party services such as Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and Pandora. Of them, Spotify seems to have more hiccups than the other services, with music randomly stopping the midstream without good reason and sometimes not playing at all.

There is no definitive action for the errors, but a good start to troubleshooting the problem is to restart the speaker. Then unplug your Spotify account and sign in again.

To disconnect Spotify, open the Amazon Alexa app and go to Settings> Music and Media> Spotify . Press Release the link from Alexa and confirm by pressing Unlink . Then tap Link Account on Spotify.com and follow the instructions to log in to your account again.

Another answer to the problem may be with your Spotify account. Unlike Google Home, which allows Spotify free users to stream Alexa still requires Spotify Premium accounts for streaming.

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7th Problems playing music on the right speaker

With Multi-Room Audio rolled out earlier this week, you can now control music playback on Echo speakers with another echo. The feature works with Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show, and it lets you play music throughout the house, a la Sonos.

If you do not have your Echo devices correctly named however, you will be on a snake trying to play music on other speakers. While you can name the speakers, no matter what you want, it will be easier to drive up music and remember which speaker is where you name each speaker after the room you are in or its location in the house.

For example, if you have an Echo speaker named Taylor's Echo Dot you need to say "Alexa, play Fleet Foxes on Taylor's Echo Dot." While it's not that hard to say, it's really easier and more natural to say, "Alexa, play float raft in the kitchen."


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