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It’s a total pain when you ask Alexa to turn on or off a device, and she tells you “the connected device is not responding”!

We’ll guide you through the steps to get your smart home devices back up and running.

1. Check your home network

If a device Alexa connected to is unresponsive, start by checking your Wi-Fi. Your home network might be inactive or unstable, causing connectivity problems between Alexa and the device in question. This is the first thing you should get out of the way. 

Check that the connection is active and stable. If it isn’t, try restarting the router. Someone in your household may have changed the name of or the password to the Wi-Fi network. They could’ve even replaced the whole Wi-Fi without you noticing! Check to see if that’s the case and update the settings on your device if needed.

2. Confirm the device has power

This sounds a little silly, kind of like turning it off and on again. You won’t believe how common of a mistake this actually is. If you don’t live alone, it’s quite possible that your family member disconnected the device by accident. You could’ve done it yourself and just forgotten about it.

Imagine we’re talking about a smart light bulb. If someone turns the switch off, no power is getting to the bulb. As a result, Alexa can’t control the device. Check to make sure your device is connected to the power supply and switched on. If that’s the problem, then it’s incredibly easy to solve. Just turn the device on!

3. Check the manufacturer’s app

Can you access the device manufacturer’s app? Is it responsive? Try opening the app and see if your device responds to commands from that app. The problem could lie there, so if the device doesn’t respond, delete it from the app and reinstall it. If that doesn’t work, you might have to deal with Alexa directly.

  1. Go to the Alexa app, click on “More,” “Skills & Games,” and “Your Skills.”
  2. Find the skill you’re looking for, click on “Settings,” and then “Disable Skill.”
  3. Check “Devices” to make sure the device you disabled is no longer there.
  4. Disconnect your device, restart your router, and then reconnect it to Alexa again.

4. Check the Alexa Skill

If the problem is not in the manufacturer’s app, you have to deal with Alexa directly. You can follow the steps outlined above to proceed. Check your Alexa account on the mobile app or website to see that the device you’re looking for is connected to Alexa. 

In order to do that, you need to open the Alexa app or visit the website.

  1. Click on “More,” proceed to “Skills & Games,” and select “Your Skills.”
  2. If you’re doing it through the Alexa website, select “Skills” and then click “Your Skills.”
  3. Look for the skill or device in question. If the device is not there, you probably just need to add it.

5. Toggle the Alexa Skill

If you find your device in Alexa’s Skills, then you know the problem is deeper. That’s when you need to try alternative ways to deal with the problem. As mentioned above, you can try turning the device off and on again, but this time in the Alexa app. 

  1. Once you’ve found your device in the app, click on it to access“Settings.”
  2. Click “Disable Skill” to disable the device within Alexa. In the “Devices” section, look for your device. If it’s no longer there, then you’ve successfully disabled it. Disconnect your device from the power supply if you can. Restart your router by disconnecting it for one minute. Reconnect everything and see if the device works again.
  3. In the “Devices” section, look for your device. If it’s no longer there, then you’ve successfully disabled it.
  4. Disconnect your device from the power supply if you can.
  5. Restart your router by disconnecting it for one minute.
  6. Reconnect everything and see if the device works again.

6. Uninstall and reinstall the device manufacturer’s app

If, still your Alexa device is unresponsive, the problem might be in the manufacturer’s app. If you’ve already checked it, you can skip this step. If not, then keep reading! There are no clear signs that the manufacturer’s app is malfunctioning. The only thing you can do in this situation is turn it off and on again! 

Of course, it’s not that simple. You need to uninstall the app and reinstall it. Depending on your operating system, it’s usually quite easy and requires no extra work. Once you’ve uninstalled the app, go back to the App Store or Google Play and install it again. If the problem was with the device manufacturer’s app, this should make a difference.

7. Power cycle the device

We’ve been talking a lot about turning things off and on again. As you can tell, it’s a useful technique for all kinds of devices. Power cycling a device is the extreme version of that, but it’s also pretty straightforward and easy to do. Anyone can do it!

What you’re going to do is turn off your device completely and remove the plug from the outlet. Wait at least 30 seconds, though we recommend waiting a whole minute. Once that time has passed, you can plug the device back in and turn it on again. You just successfully power cycled your device!

Alexa Not Responding

8. Update the firmware of your device

To put it simply, firmware is basically software that makes your device work. Much like any other software, it’s not perfect, and it’s prone to bugs and other system errors. You can get rid of some of these errors and speed up your device by upgrading its firmware.

Find the exact model of your device and figure out its firmware. Now you can visit the website of your device’s manufacturer or contact the manufacturer directly to find out if there is an update. Before you get to the update, back up the current firmware. Then you need to follow your device’s manufacturer’s instructions regarding the firmware update.

9. Factory reset the device

If all else fails, you can still try a factory reset. A factory reset wipes the device completely and returns it to its original form. The problem with performing a factory reset is that the device’s memory will be erased. That’s why most people save this solution as a last resort. 

Different devices follow different instructions when it comes to factory resets. Android devices, for example, allow you to perform a factory reset by going to “Settings,” then “System”, “Advanced,” and “Reset Options.” There you select “Erase All Data and Reset.” Each device is unique, so contact the manufacturer for specific instructions.

Alexa Device is Unresponsive – The Verdict

In conclusion, it almost always comes down to simple solutions like turning your device off and giving it some time to think. It’s truly amazing how often people simply forget to plug their devices in, turn them on, or connect them to the Wi-Fi.

If you’ve become a victim of technology going rogue on you, you can easily make it obey you with the simple steps mentioned above. Leave a comment if none of the above worked!

Sources

Amazon Forum

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10 Comments

  • Brittany
    Posted November 13, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    Hello. I have 5 Philips Hue bluetooth bulbs which do not require a philips hub and there is no Alexa skill for BT bulbs. Everything worked perfectly for about a year and now every week or so random bulbs are unresponsive. I remove them from the Alexa app and add them back through discovery however the majority of the time Alexa still can’t connect. I’ve been on calls for hours with Alexa support and more than not it’s a ping pong match between Amazon telling me to contact Philips and Phillips telling me to contact Amazon. The lights always work fine through the Philips app so I don’t think it’s an issue on that end. This technology is amazing when it works but mostly it’s a huge annoyance.

    I’m open to any suggestions you may have. Thanks in advance.

  • Jonny
    Posted November 9, 2021 at 12:17 am

    #5 worked for me. Thanks!

  • Lisa
    Posted August 15, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    I bought a shark robot vacuum & Alexa recognizes the device but thinks it’s powered off & unresponsive.

    • Susie Ford
      Posted October 23, 2021 at 4:32 pm

      Delete the shark App if there is one and reinstall it. This is what fixed the same problem with my Philips Hue lights

  • Priscilla Bender
    Posted August 9, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    I have an Alexa that I have had for several years. It stopped working and nothing I do to reconnect it is working. It is currently in set up mode with the orange ring going around but nothings works. Any suggestions?

  • Steve Ellis
    Posted August 8, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Alexa will not respond to my voice.
    Already have:
    Reset to factory
    Added iPhone app & reset my voice profile
    Power cycled several times
    Cleaned & air blasted unit
    Please help.

    • Susie Ford
      Posted October 23, 2021 at 4:35 pm

      Can you reach out to the company itself? Who did you buy it from, can you return it? I bet it’s still under warranty (which is longer than you might think) so contact the company that made it.

  • Ken Whitson
    Posted July 14, 2021 at 2:37 am

    It’s becoming an every day pain in the butt. Always with our lamps which have smart bulbs that use the Wiz app along with Alexa. Wiz can always get the lights to respond, but for Alexa, it frequently requires messing with it.
    Sometimes recycling the lamps, sometimes rebooting the Echo, once disconnecting Wiz from Alexa and reconnecting…but it’s always something. Works for about half a day then takes a dump. Pfffttt!!!!

  • Maureen Kelly
    Posted June 10, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    Nothing worked. Not one damned thing. I am so pissed off right now I want to throw the whole lot into the trash and forget about it all!!!

    • Daniel Walsh
      Posted June 14, 2021 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Maureen,

      It looks like the Tuya / Smart Life cloud service had an outage for a number of hours on the 10th of June which was the problem.

      Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done during those times as the issue is out of users hands. (Other than complaining directly to the manufacturer!)

      It’s difficult to avoid dependencies on cloud services with smart home devices (as Alexa itself is a cloud service). I’d recommend reading up on Hubitat or Home Assistant if you are interested in deploying a “local-only” smart home network (with no cloud service dependencies).

      Best of luck

      Daniel

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