Alexa offers a number of ways for you to communicate with family and friends, through your Echo speaker or display. The pulsing green light ring shows when you are receiving an inbound call. If the green light is spinning clockwise, it means you are on an active call or drop-in.
The green light is regularly mistaken for the yellow light ring, which signifies that you have a new notification or message. Check out our yellow light ring article, for how to manage these notifications and dismiss the yellow light.
How can Alexa receive calls?
There are a number of ways your Echo speaker or display can receive calls.
- “Alexa-to-Alexa Contact” allows people with Echo devices to call other people with Echo devices.
- If you’ve hooked up your mobile phone account (AT&T, Verizon, EE, Vodafone currently supported) to your Alexa profile, you can receive mobile phone calls on your Echo devices.
- If Skype is configured in your Alexa App, you can receive these calls via your Echo speaker also.
What is a Drop-In?
The Drop-In feature acts like a digital intercom and allows you to communicate with other Echo devices in your home.
For Echo and Echo Dot speakers, this acts like an automatically answered audio call while for the Echo Show, it acts like an instant video call.
To start a Drop-In you simply say:
- “Alexa, Drop In on [Echo device name]”
Or you can Drop-In from the Alexa app to your Echo speakers or displays if you are away from home.
You can also Drop-In on friends or family in other homes, if they have provided you with “Drop-In” permission. This is great if, for example, you are caring for an elderly relative and need to check in on them regularly.
Say to your Echo device:
- “Alexa, Drop In on [friend's name].”
This feature is configured on a contact-by-contact basis as you can see below:
What does a Pulsing Green Ring Mean?
If you see a pulsing green light on your Echo speaker, it means you are receiving a call. Alexa usually informs you who is calling.
You can then say
- “Alexa, Answer”
- “Alexa, Ignore Call”
By saying “Answer”, you will be connected with the caller. Echo devices with a screen will also display the name of the caller.
You can also ignore it by saying nothing. Your Echo will stop pulsing right after the person stops calling. Both ways work fine and will turn off the pulsing green light on your Echo.
What does a Spinning Green Ring Mean?
The other variation is the spinning green ring which shows when you are on an active call or someone has “dropped-in” on you.
You will see the green spinning light for as long as you are on that call. As soon as you or the other person hangs up, the green light will disappear.
To end the call or drop-in, simply say:
- “Alexa, Hang up.”
How to Fully Disable the Alexa Green Ring on your Echo speaker
If you don't want your Echo speaker to display the green light at all, and would rather disconnect Alexa from calls and Drop-Ins, follow the below steps.
- Launch the Alexa App on your smartphone device.
- Go to Devices at the bottom and click “Echo & Alexa.”
- Choose the speaker you would like to disable the call on.
- Click the cog on the top right and under General select Communication.
- Tap on the Communication to toggle it off.
- After you turn off Communication, it will turn grey.
Difference between an Alexa Call and a Drop-In
It’s possible to communicate with the Echo devices of family and friends through the Alexa Call or Drop-In feature.
The main difference between these methods is that you can reject an incoming call if it doesn’t suit, whereas you cannot reject a drop-in. A drop-in opens an instant conversation between the two Echo devices, like an intercom.
Drop-In is highly controlled and permissions must be granted on a contact-by-contact basis. This makes sense as it has the potential to be very intrusive. For that reason, it probably makes the most sense to only allow Drop-in for close family. I know that personally, I wouldn’t want my friends listening in on my conversations or watching me through my Echo Show camera!
To get rid of the green light, if you’ve said “Alexa, Ignore Call” and “Alexa, Hang Up” and the light is still spinning, then it’s possible that it's more of a Yellow Ring than a Green one! In that case, say “Alexa, Clear Notifications.” Check out our other article which explains more about this.
Also, it may be possible that Alexa misheard something you said, and accidentally started a call or drop-in on someone else. While “Alexa, Hang Up” should solve this, you can review your voice history on the Alexa app to see if this is what happened.
Let us know what worked for you in the comments below!