As technology becomes more integrated into our day-to-day life, it can be super frustrating when things don’t go smoothly. This is especially true if you’ve built out your Alexa-compatible smart home, and you learn it doesn’t work well smart bulbs and other connected accessories. Luckily, most of the common issues can be cleared up in a few seconds, right from your phone, and we’re here to guide you through them.


What to do when your Alexa can’t play music on your Amazon Echo device

There are a few reasons why Alexa might not be playing your music or maybe isn’t connecting to your streaming service of choice. If the problem is with one service, make sure it’s connected in your Alexa app. In the Alexa app, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Play tab and scroll to the bottom.
  2. If the service you want to use is in the Link New Services section, select your service.

  3. Select Enable to Use.
  4. Log in with your credentials.

  5. If your service isn’t listed in the Link New Services section, click the Manage Your Services link.
  6. Select your service. If your service isn’t listed (like YouTube Music, for example), it may not be supported.

  7. Tap Enable to Use.

  8. If these steps didn’t work, your next step is to unplug your Echo device for a few seconds and try again after it reconnects to the Wi-Fi.

What to do when Alexa won’t connect your smart speakers or smart displays to Wi-Fi

If Alexa can’t manage a stable Wi-Fi connection, your Echo won’t be able to play nice with any of your smart home gear or stream any tunes. If other devices on your network are having issues, you may need to power cycle your router. If everything else is on the Wi-Fi with no issue, the first thing to try is power cycling your Alexa device.

If your Echo device still doesn’t connect to the Wi-Fi, re-enter the router info in your Alexa app. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Devices tab.
  2. Select Echo & Alexa.

  3. Select the device that has the problem.
  4. Select the Settings icon in the upper-right corner.

  5. Go to the Wi-Fi Network section and select Change.
  6. The Alexa app guides you through the setup process from there.

As a last resort, you may have to factory reset your Echo device. Hold down the Volume Down and Microphone Off buttons for approximately 20 seconds. After the light turns off and back on, your Echo has been reset and needs to go through the setup process again.

What to do when Alexa doesn’t respond to your questions

If your Echo device heard the wake word but didn’t respond, you might need to say your command more clearly. You probably wouldn’t be looking at a troubleshooting guide if the issue was something as simple as talking with your mouth full, so we’ll go over some other possible causes.

It may seem like a super obvious thing, but double check that your Echo’s microphone isn’t muted. The light ring will be red if that’s the case, and you need to press the Mute button again to toggle it back on.

If your Alexa device is totally unresponsive, try the Wake button. If this still calls Alexa up, the issue may be that someone has changed the wake word. To change the wake word in the Alexa app:

  1. Go to the Devices tab.
  2. Select Echo & Alexa.

  3. Select the device that has the problem.
  4. Tap the Settings icon.

  5. Tap Wake Word.
  6. Select a new wake word.

  7. You’ll see an on-screen message that lets you know that your Echo has changed its wake word.

Like with most electronics, if none of these things have helped, your next step is to unplug your Echo for a few seconds.

What to do if you can’t set up your Amazon Echo smart speaker or smart display in the Alexa app

The first thing you should do if you’re having trouble setting up an Echo device is to double-check that your Alexa app is up-to-date. If issues persist, it may be a Wi-Fi signal issue.

Make sure your Echo is close enough to your router and not too close to devices that put off a lot of interference, like baby monitors. If other devices have issues connecting to the router, power cycle the router.

If all else fails, unplug your Echo device for a few seconds, and try the setup process again from the beginning.

What to do when your Amazon Echo and other Alexa-connected devices don’t cooperate

Anyone with a decent-sized collection of smart lights knows this (admittedly minor) struggle. You’re about to go to sleep, you pull the covers over yourself, say “Alexa, goodnight” to turn your lights off, and one bulb stays on at full brightness, mocking you. The problem probably wasn’t Alexa since your other lights turned off, so your next step is to troubleshoot your light or whatever your particular offending device is.

Start by power cycling the device. Light switches make this the fastest troubleshooting option at your disposal, as well as the most common fix. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Devices.
  2. Select Lights.

  3. Select your unresponsive device.
  4. Power it off and on.

  5. It will behave normally again if this worked.

If that doesn’t do the trick, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Devices tab.
  2. Select Lights.
  3. Choose the light that has the problem.

  4. Make sure that the device is enabled, and toggle it back on if it’s disabled.
  5. If that still doesn’t work, you may have to delete and set up the device as new again. The same options page has the option to delete the offending device.

  6. Go through the set-up process for that particular device again, whatever it may be.

Fewer snafus in 2023 thanks to new smart home standard

Now that we’ve unraveled the mystery of the most common Alexa issues, you might want to find out how to make the most of Amazon Echo smart speaker or learn more about the new Matter smart home standard.

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