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Amazon Echo Troubleshooting: The Ultimate Guide

There is nothing more frustrating than experiencing tech issues with your smart home devices.

If your Amazon Echo device isn’t working as it should, and you have no idea how to go about fixing it, don’t panic.

This article will take you through some easy-to-follow troubleshooting methods for the most common Echo and Alexa issues.

Whether you are having trouble syncing the audio on multiple Echo devices or can’t get Alexa to pick up the WiFi connection, our helpful Amazon Echo troubleshooting solutions are on hand to help you resolve your issue.

Alexa Not Turning On

If you have plugged in your Echo device, but it is still not turning on, this could be down to a power supply issue. Check all other electrical devices in your home are working because you may have had a power outage without realizing it.

Once you have established that other electrical devices are working, try the basic troubleshooting methods below:

  1. Unplug the Echo device and plug it back in again
  2. Try plugging the Echo into an alternative power outlet
  3. Replace the Echo’s power adapter
  4. Contact Amazon Support

Alexa App Problems / Alexa App Not Working

The Alexa app acts as the central control center for all your Alexa-enabled devices.

If you ever experience issues with the Alexa app, it can be frustrating, but you can resolve the problem 99% of the time via a few simple steps.

amazon echo troubleshooting article - an image of the amazon alexa smartphone app icon

Try each of the troubleshooting exercises to fix the Alexa app:

Check Your Device’s Storage

The Alexa app needs at least 3GB of extra storage space to work effectively, so you need to ensure you have enough free space on your phone or tablet.

If you are struggling with storage, try deleting unused apps, deleting cookies, and removing unwanted photos or videos.

Restart the Device

Once you have checked the storage, you will need to restart your phone/tablet once.

Close the Alexa app, reboot your device and try opening the app once again to see if it has resolved the issues you were experiencing.

Update the App

App developers frequently release software updates to fix bugs and introduce new features. Running an out-of-date version of the Alexa app could be what is causing you to experience issues.

Make sure you never miss a software update by turning on auto-updates, which will allow your phone or tablet to automatically update the Alexa app every time a new version is released.

Check Your Internet Connection

The Alexa app requires a certain amount of bandwidth to function, so make sure there aren’t any apps open in the background that may be using up significant amounts of bandwidth.

The app requires a strong internet connection for optimal performance, so you should check your Wi-Fi router is switched on and working ok.

Re-Install the App

If you have tried all of the options above and the Alexa app is still not operating as it should, you could try deleting the app from your phone or tablet and re-installing it again.

This should clear up any issues the app may be experiencing, and you will be able to use the Alexa app once again.

Alexa Internet Connection Problems / Alexa Not Connecting to WiFi

Without an internet connection, your Alexa device will not be able to operate.

If you are experiencing WiFi connection problems with your Echo speaker, follow the suggestions below to resolve the issue and get Alexa back up and running again:

Check Your WiFi Router

Rule out issues with your broadband service provider by checking your router is working.

Make sure other devices – such as phones, televisions, tablets, and laptops – can all connect to the WiFi network. If your other smart devices are all connected to the internet, but Alexa is not, you will be able to narrow down where the issue is coming from.

Reboot Your Wireless Router and Modem

Turn your Echo device off and then manually restart your wireless router and modem. Wait for five minutes before attempting to reconnect Alexa to the WiFi.

Sometimes connectivity issues are caused by the network hardware, which a system reboot should resolve.

Reboot Alexa

If you are still experiencing issues connecting Alexa to the WiFi network, try restarting your Echo device, turning it back on again, and then connecting it again. Sometimes a device reboot can resolve WiFi connectivity issues.

Check the WiFi Password Is Correct

When Alexa devices experience WiFi connectivity problems, they don’t give any details about the specific issue.

If you are entering an incorrect WiFi password, Alexa won’t tell you it isn’t correct. To check if you are entering the correct password, find another device (such as a tablet or phone) connected to your WiFi network, disconnect it, and reconnect it using the same password you used to attempt to connect Alexa.

If the device cannot reconnect to the WiFi, it’s more than likely that the password you are trying to use is incorrect.

Move Alexa Closer to the Router

If you have a large house and your Wi-Fi router is at one end, and your Alexa device is at the other end, it might mean it can’t establish a connection because it is out of range.

To resolve this, you could either move the Alexa device closer to the router or look into improving your network’s range by investing in a mesh WiFi system.

Check for Signal Blockages and Interferences

Sometimes, physical barriers such as brick walls, concrete walls, and reinforced doors can block the WiFi signal.

If you think one of these elements could be blocking the connection in your home, consider moving either the router or Alexa device elsewhere to unblock the signal.

Perform a Factory Reset

Reset your Alexa device to its factory settings, turn it back on again and follow the setup instructions.

A simple reboot is sometimes all it takes to fix any hardware issues and fix WiFi connection problems.

Contact Customer Support

If you have tried steps 1-7 and your Echo device is still having issues connecting to the Wi-Fi network, you should contact Amazon’s support team or speak to your internet service provider.

Alexa Not Responding to Commands / Alexa Not Responding to Voice

Alexa’s voice command feature has revolutionized the smart home technology market, so we can understand your frustrations if your Echo device stopped responding to your voice commands.

Most of the time, Alexa and Echo work perfectly in tandem with one another, but sometimes problems arise.

If your Alexa device ever responds with the answer ‘Sorry, I don’t know that one’ or ‘Sorry, I’m having trouble understanding you right now. Please try a little later,’ or she isn’t responding at all; try out the simple fixes below to get your smart home device back up and running again.

Make Sure the Microphone Isn’t Turned Off

A solid red ring light on your Echo speaker indicates the microphone has been disabled; therefore, Alexa can’t respond to your commands because she can’t hear you.

To turn it back on again, press the microphone button on top of the device, and the red light should turn off.

Stand Closer to Your Echo Speaker

Another reason why Alexa might not be responding to your voice commands could be that you are too far away from the Echo device.

Try moving closer to the Echo to see if that resolves the issues you’ve been experiencing.

Ensure the Device Is Plugged In

This may be an obvious solution, but you may want to double-check your Echo device is plugged in, turned on, and connected to the Wi-Fi network.

There could well have been a power outage without you realizing, which may be why Alexa is ignoring you.

Check Your Smartphone and Echo Are Connected to the Same WiFi Network

Your Echo device won’t respond to voice commands if the Alexa app device is connected to a different WiFi network.

Make sure they are both on the same network before testing if Alexa can hear you again.

Restart Your Echo Speaker

Sometimes, a restart or reboot is all that is needed to fix tech-related bugs.

Manually restart your Echo device, reconnect it to the WiFi network and see if Alexa responds to you now.

Review Your Command History

Open the Alexa app to see your voice command log. Here you will be able to see precisely how Alexa has interpreted each of your voice commands.

You may discover that she thought you said ‘Alexa, play mushroom’ rather than ‘Alexa, play music’.

You can fix this problem by making sure you speak clearly and slowly each time to make a voice command to ensure she hears you correctly.

Alexa Not Discovering Devices

Alexa can connect to a whole host of smart home devices, all of which are designed to make your daily life easier.

If you are experiencing issues when connecting a new smart home device to Alexa, it could be down to several problems.

Try any or all of the troubleshooting suggestions below to get Alexa to discover other smart home devices:

Check the Device Compatibility

While many smart home devices on the market are compatible with Alexa, a few out there aren’t.

A quick search on Google will tell you whether the device you are trying to connect with Alexa is compatible or not.

Perform a Restart on the Devices

Restart both your Alexa device and the other device you are trying to connect it to. Once they have both powered up again, connect them to see if that has resolved the issue.

Download an Alexa Skill

Some third-party devices need to connect to an Alexa skill to work. Open the Alexa app and check the skill store to determine whether your device requires a skill to proceed.

Connect to the Correct WiFi Network

Both the Echo speaker and smart home device need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your mobile phone device.

If you have more than one Wi-Fi network available within your home, make sure all three devices are connected to the same one.

Download the Companion App

The smart home device you are trying to connect to Alexa may have an app that you need to install to complete the setup.

Check the smart home device’s manual to find out if this is the case.

Alexa Not Working (Red Ring)

If your Echo device ever displays the solid red ring light shown below, this means that the microphone has been disabled. In most cases, the disabling of the microphone is caused by someone accidentally pressing the microphone button on the top of the Echo device.

amazon echo troubleshooting guidance - an image showing the red ring Alexa light

To turn the microphone back on again, all you need to do is press the microphone button once, and the red light will disappear.

Alexa should now be able to hear your commands and respond accordingly. If it is still not working, however, try resetting the device.

Alexa Audio Sync Problems

If you own multiple Echo speakers throughout your home, you can create a multi-room audio system that lets you sync the audio across each device.

Even though Amazon has worked hard to make setting up audio sync quick and easy, you may still encounter some issues along the way.

If you have found one or more of your speakers isn’t playing music, or there is a slight delay, read below about some of the possible causes of ways to resolve it.

Connectivity Issues

In most cases, audio sync problems on Echo devices are the result of WiFi connection issues.

To operate audio sync, the Alexa app requires that you connect all Echo devices to the same network, bandwidth, and BSSID as one another.

A common issue is when your WiFi network has multiple access points, with each one broadcasting a specific BSSID, making it impossible for the Echo devices to sync with one another.

You could get around this issue by trying one or more of the following solutions:

  • Restart your router
  • Disable guest mode on your router
  • Turn off the 5 GHz bandwidth

Multi-Room Music Does Not Play With Alexa

If you are experiencing issues with your Alexa multi-room audio, try each of the solutions below to help narrow down and resolve the problem:

Ensure All the Echo Devices Are Connected to the Same WiFi Network

As mentioned previously, all the Echo devices need to be connected to the same WiFi network for Alexa multi-room audio to function.

Check each Echo device is connected to the correct Wi-Fi network to see if this solves the audio sync problem.

Similarly, switch all the Echo devices to a 2.4 GHz network rather than 5 GHz. A 2.4 GHz bandwidth is better equipped to cope when devices are spread out further, which is likely the case with all your Echo speakers dotted around the house.

Disconnect Any Bluetooth Speakers From Your Echo Devices

Alexa may not recognize any additional speakers you have connected to your Echo devices, so it’s essential to disconnect these when setting up your multi-room audio group.

Use the Correct Command

To be as specific as possible to help Alexa understand you want to sync the audio to a particular group of Echo devices, you need to make sure you are using the correct command.

Try saying: ‘Alexa, play [name of playlist] on the [name of Echo device group]

When setting up your device group names in the Alexa app, you need to use words that Alexa will understand, otherwise, this could cause problems with the audio sync function.

Keep the name simple by using words with at least two syllables and avoid special characters – for example, ‘Downstairs Echos’ would make a logical group name.

Use a Different Audio Source or Streaming App

Alexa multi-room sync supports Spotify, Amazon Music, Prime Music, Apple Music, Sirius XM, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio.

If you have issues audio syncing on one app, try using another program to see if that solves the problem.

Restart the Echo Device

Perform a reboot on any Echo device that is not working with multi-room audio.

Restart the Router and Modem

Unplug your wireless router and modem, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in again. Wait for it to reboot and then check each Echo device has successfully reconnected to the correct network and bandwidth.

Create a New Multi-Room Music Group

You can sync the audio between multiple Echo apps by setting up multi-room groups within the Alexa app.

If you’ve already set up a group and have problems getting audio sync to work on all the devices, try deleting the group and creating a new one from scratch.

Contact Amazon Support

If you have tried all of the options above and are still experiencing issues with the audio sync, the problem may lie with Amazon’s servers.

Contact Amazon Support to find out whether they are experiencing any known issues with power outages.

You could also visit the Amazon Alexa help page to see if you can find a solution to your issue there.

Alexa Not Working on Sonos

Not only is Sonos is a popular brand of smart speakers and one of the best available on the market, but it is also compatible with Alexa.

amazon echo troubleshooting article - an image of a sonos speaker device

Should you have any issues getting Alexa to work with the Sonos smart speaker, one of the solutions below may help you out:

Download the Sonos Skill

To get Alexa and Sonos communicating with one another, you will need to download the Sonos skill onto your Alexa app by following the steps below:

  1. Open the Alexa app
  2. Select ‘More’
  3. Select ‘Skills & Games’
  4. Tap the magnifying glass icon and search for ‘Sonos’
  5. Select the Sonos skill from the list and press ‘Enable’

Re-Enable the Sonos Skill

If you have previously downloaded the Sonos skill, a software bug within the app may have caused it to become disabled at some point. To re-link the Sonos skill, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Alexa app
  2. Select ‘More’
  3. Select ‘Skills & Games’
  4. Tap on ‘Your Skills’ and scroll down until you find ‘Sonos’
  5. Select ‘Disable Skill’ from the skill settings menu.
  6. Close the Alexa app and re-open it again
  7. Follow the steps from the Download the Sonos Skill solution above to re-enable the Sonos skill again.

Disconnect the Sonos Speaker

If you have tried the first two solutions and are still having trouble connecting Alexa to your Sonos speaker, the issue could lie with the speakers themselves rather than Alexa.

Try unplugging the speaker(s), waiting a couple of minutes, and then plugging them back in again.

Once the speakers are back online, check if the problem has been resolved by testing if they are connected to Alexa.

Update the Sonos Firmware

Launch the Sonos app on your phone and open the settings.

Check for firmware updates by tapping ‘Systems’ followed by ‘System Updates’ and selecting ‘Check for Updates’.

If there are updates available, you should install them and check if that has resolved the issue.

Check Your Amazon Account

The Sonos system can only link to one Amazon account at a time.

If you have connected your account to a Sonos system elsewhere, you will need to create a second Amazon account if you’d like to sync Alexa with both smart speaker systems.

Contact Sonos Support

If you have tried steps 1-5 and Alexa is still not connecting to your Sonos system, we recommend contacting Sonos’ support team directly.

If there is something wrong with your device, they can share some troubleshooting methods that may help resolve the issue.

Alexa Not Playing Music

If you have asked Alexa to play a song and it doesn’t play music through Amazon Music or another streaming service, it could be down to several issues.

Read on to find out how to fix it and get your Alexa to play music.

Firstly, to play music through Alexa, you need to link it to a streaming service like Spotify or Amazon music.

If you have an Amazon Prime account, Alexa will stream music through that service by default as long as you are signed into the correct Amazon account on your Alexa app.

To connect Alexa to your music provider, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Alexa app, go to ‘Menu’ followed by ‘Settings’
  2. Select ‘Music’ and you should see a list of third-party music streaming services that require permission to allow Alexa to access your account.
  3. Tap on the link to the music provider you wish to use and follow the instructions.
  4. Once you have completed the linking process, the Alexa app should notify you to let you know how to change your default music provider.
  5. Select which music service you wish to make your default provider in the app settings and select ‘Done’ when completed.
If you have successfully linked your music streaming service to Alexa, but your device is still not playing music, then follow the steps below to resolve the issue:

Restart the Alexa Device

Unplug your Echo speaker, wait 20-30 seconds, and plug it back in again.

Once it has powered itself up again, try playing music using Alexa to see if the issue has been resolved.

Check for Other Devices

Certain music streaming services, such as Amazon Music, only allow streaming on one device at a time.

Check if any other devices, such as smartphones, smart speakers, or tablets are connected to the same account and are currently streaming music.

Check Your Account Details

If you are trying to stream music through Amazon Music, you must be logged in to an Amazon Prime account.

If your Echo device has multiple profiles linked to various Amazon accounts, make sure you are signed in to one that has a Prime subscription.

Check Your Amazon Prime Subscription Hasn’t Expired

Your Alexa device may not be playing music via Amazon Music if your Prime subscription is no longer active.

To check your account details, visit the Amazon website, log in to your account and visit the ‘Memberships & Subscription’ page to view your active subscriptions.

Turn Off the Explicit Filter

Another reason your Echo device isn’t playing certain songs could be that you have the explicit filter turned on.

To turn off this feature, open the Alexa app, head to ‘Settings’ followed by ‘Music’.

Select ‘Explicit Filter’ and then disable it.

Check the WiFi Connection

A bad Wi-Fi service could be causing songs to buffer or not play.

Turn off any other devices that are connected to your WiFi to free up some bandwidth. Alternatively, try moving the Alexa device closer to the router.

Contact Customer Support

If you have exhausted all of the above solutions, we would recommend contacting Amazon, as well as the customer support of the music streaming service you are trying to play music through, such as Spotify or Pandora.

Alexa ‘Drop In’ Not Working

If Alexa ‘Drop In’ can’t connect, can’t access a specific device, or it disconnects intermittently, try the following troubleshooting solutions:

  1. Check the WiFi connection
  2. Make sure you have permission to ‘Drop In’ on your contact
  3. Check if ‘Drop In’ is enabled on your Alexa device
  4. Disable ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode on your Alexa device
  5. Ensure your Alexa app is up-to-date
  6. Reset your Alexa device
  7. Contact Amazon Customer Support

Alexa Not Working on Fire Stick

If you are having trouble connecting Alexa to your Fire Stick, try each of the following solutions to resolve the issue:

  1. Check that your Alexa device and Fire TV Stick are registered to the same Amazon account.
  2. Make sure both the Alexa device and Fire TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  3. Update your Alexa app to the latest software version.
  4. Restart your Alexa device.
  5. Unplug the Fire Stick, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in again.
  6. Link the Alexa app and Fire TV by following the steps below:
    1. Go to ‘Settings’ in the Alexa app
    2. Select ‘TV & Video’
    3. Find Fire TV on the list and press the plus icon
    4. Press ‘Link your Alexa Device’ and follow the setup instructions
  7. Check the Alexa app and Fire Stick are both running in the same timezones within their settings.
  8. Contact Amazon Customer Support.

How to Reset Alexa

To perform a factory reset on Alexa via the app, follow the step-by-step instructions below:

  1. Go to ‘Devices’
  2. Tap the Echo & Alexa icon at the top
  3. Choose the speaker you want to factory reset
  4. Scroll down and tap ‘Factory Reset’
  5. Confirm you want to reset

To perform a factory reset on the Echo speaker itself, follow the appropriate step below:

  1. To reset the Echo Dot 2nd Generation, simultaneously press and hold the Microphone Off and Volume down buttons. Wait approximately 20 seconds until the light turns orange.
  2. To reset the Echo Dot 3rd or 4th Generation, press and hold the action button for 30 seconds. Wait for the ring light to turn off and then on again.
  3. To reset the Echo Show, press and hold the Mute and Volume down buttons at the same time until you see the Amazon logo.

In Summary

In a nutshell, there are many reasons you may be experiencing issues with your Amazon Echo device.

We hope this article has provided you with some practical support and basic knowledge in how to go about resolving common issues associated with the popular smart home device.

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Author: Tamsin Bright
Writer, ToolCrowd
Tamsin Bright regularly writes about architecture and home design topics and is the editor for the Smart Home and Home Tech sections of ToolCrowd. Tamsin holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and loves nothing more than helping people see the potential in their homes and making their lives easier through great design. When she’s not writing for ToolCrowd, you can find Tamsin indulging her passions for graphic design, cooking, gardening, and all things tech. Contact Tamsinarrow_right_alt