Always stay tuned to Alexa

How to troubleshoot the Amazon Echo

Birgit Götz, Martyn Casserly

The Amazon Echo has become a useful assistant for many, but every now and then there is a problem in the relationship between user and device. We present solutions to the five most common problems.

EnlargeEcho Show: For many users, it is impossible to imagine the home without it

Amazon Echo has become a popular smart speaker in many households thanks to its ability to play music, read audiobooks, answer questions, control lights, and otherwise be useful. However, there are moments when there is a problem and the user scolds his device instead of thanking the voice assistant Alexa for reminding him of today's appointments.

To restore peace at home, we present solutions to the five most common problems an Echo user may encounter. Most of the time it does not depend on the device itself, but rather a change in the settings or simply a user error.

1. Why doesn't my Echo connect to my WiFi?

In order for the Echo to answer questions, receive voice commands, or stream media, it must be connected to the Internet. If the problem occurs after you've used Echo, here's a try:

Reset the echo. To do this, unplug the power cord for a few seconds and then reconnect. Sometimes that helps, as does turning the router off and on.

If you have recently changed your password, you will have to go through the setup routine again. If the Wi-Fi symbol appears crossed out in the app, you are not connected.

Interference can also be caused by other devices on your Wi-Fi network. Amazon suggests the following possible solutions:

  • Turn off devices that you are not using to free up bandwidth on your network.

  • Move your Echo closer to your router if it's in another room or if something is blocking it.

  • Make sure your Echo is away from sources of interference, such as microwave ovens or baby monitors.

  • Optional: Connect to your router's 5 GHz Wi-Fi frequency band (if you have one). Many Wi-Fi devices only connect to the 2.4 GHz band. However, if multiple devices use this band on your network, the network speed may be slower. You can connect to the less congested 5 GHz band for better range and less interference.

2. Why do I see red and Alexa is not working?

Amazon's voice assistant Alexa constantly listens to your commands. If you see a red light at the top or a red ring (or a red line on the Echo Show's display), Alexa is becoming uncommunicative. This is because - as indicated by the red signal - the on-board microphone has been deactivated. To turn it back on, press the button with a microphone icon that is now crossed out. Then the red light should turn off and Alexa should listen to you again.

3. How do I get Alexa to stop blinking yellow?

What is going on when the light ring around the echo flashes yellow? No problem: All you have received is a message that you can now either read via the Alexa app on your smartphone or have it read out to you with the command "Alexa, read my messages".

4. How do I get Alexa to connect to other devices?

If you're having trouble getting Alexa to connect to another smart device in your home, the first thing to do is check that that device works with the Amazon Echo series at all. Briefly enter the device name next to "amazon echo compatible" in Google that should answer that.

Then set up the device in question according to the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure it's connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Echo (otherwise it won't work), then check for updates for the device.

Now open the Alexa app on your mobile phone and select "Add device" from the menu. Follow the instructions for the type of equipment you want to connect and complete any information specific to that model. That should solve the problem.

5. Why isn't Alexa playing music from Spotify?

Spotify is not immediately offered as a player option by Alexa after setting up the Echo. That doesn't mean it doesn't support the service, you just have to change the settings. By default, Alexa will try to play songs from Amazon Music or My Music (any MP3 albums you've purchased or uploaded to your Amazon Music account).

In order for Spotify to become the default setting, you need a Spotify Premium subscription, because the free subscription unfortunately does not work on Amazon's Echo devices. Then Spotify has to be linked to the Echo. To do this, open the Alexa app and tap the three-line icon in the top left corner of the screen. From the menu that appears, go to Settings> Music and select Link Account on Spotify.com.

Log into your account, tap "I agree" to allow Alexa to use the service, and you will receive confirmation that the service is now linked. To use the service, add "on Spotify" to the end of voice commands. For example: "Alexa, play Jimi Hendrix on Spotify".

If you don't want to say "on Spotify" every time, change the default setting "Amazon Music" via "Select default music service" to Spotify.


This post was first published by our English colleagues on techadvisor.co.uk

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Reset Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show / Spot - this is how it works