If you are struggling with Alexa not responding, we may just have the solution to your problem. Below, we’ve compiled 12 common steps to fixing Alexa devices that don't respond to voice commands.
Let us know in the comments below if these help you out or if you have any other tips or tricks we can add!
1. Does Alexa have power?
Before you begin to troubleshoot any problems, you want to make sure the device has power, so check the power adapter. First, make sure you are using the power adapter that was included with your device. Additionally, make sure the adapter is properly and securely connected to the outlet.
Older Amazon Tap device versions had built in batteries that would go for a short period without power. However, newer Echo devices require constant power supply. If the power adapter doesn’t let electricity pass through, you may have to replace it with a new one.
2. Does Alexa have an active internet connection?
Sometimes you may experience troubles with your Alexa Echo dot or show not responding due to poor internet or no internet connection at all. So, the first thing you want to check is if your device is connected to the internet. If it is, but Alexa still isn’t responding, move the device closer to the router.
If Alexa is unresponsive and you suspect your Wi-Fi signal is the issue, you could invest and install a Wi-Fi repeater or extender. A Wi-Fi repeater or extender is used to extend the coverage area of your Wi-Fi network – it receives the existing Wi-Fi signal, amplifies it, and transmits the boosted signals to the devices around.
3. Is Alexa muted?
If the power cable conducts electricity effectively and the device has proper internet connection, the problem may be that it is muted. To check whether or not your device is muted, look at its light indicator. If the light indicator is red, your device is muted.
The mute feature prevents the device from picking up your commands and responding to them. To unmute the device, press the microphone button for at least two seconds and the device will send an indication that it has been unmuted.
If the device is not muted, you may have to opt for the next best diagnostic method – to check its responsiveness. You may do so by testing to see if responds to a button press or by touching the screen.
If your device has a screen, touch or tap on the screen to see if it responds. Alternatively, if your Alexa Echo device doesn’t have a screen press the Action button on the device to see if it responds.
5. Leave a slight gap between saying “Alexa” and asking your question
Sometimes, the reason why your Alexa Echo Show or Echo Dot is not responding may simply be caused by the way you relay the commands. To ensure the voice commands are properly and adequately relayed, leave a slight gap when you pronounce the word “Alexa” followed by your question.
As you relay the commands, make sure you speak naturally and clearly. To get a better understanding of how Alexa picks up your commands, you may access the Alexa history and see what the device interprets during your voice commands.
6. Test the microphone by saying “Alexa, can you hear me?”
If you have confirmed that the mic is working by unmuting it, the next best thing is to test it by asking “Alexa, can you hear me?” If the Alexa device is responsive, you will then hear a response that it receives the commands. Thus, you can then repeat the voice commands by talking more naturally and clearly.
7. Ensure nothing is blocking your Alexa device
Sometimes, your Alexa device is unresponsive due to slight obstacles or a blocked line of sight. Yes, sometimes, your Echo show or Echo dot device only works effectively within a clear line of sight! Therefore, you have to ensure that there is no obstacle between you and the device. To make sure Alexa hears you at all times, move the device away from walls.
Additionally, other forms of waves may affect how your Alexa device works. So, make sure you position them away from other speakers, electronic devices, and background noises. Additionally, make it a point to clean the device from time to time to make sure it is free of dust – especially around the microphone area.
8. Rephrase the question if Alexa just isn't getting it
Other times, the problem with Alexa not responding may be related to the way you ask the question. Therefore, if you don’t get a response, simply rephrase the question with a different word. Alternatively, make the question more specific.
For example, if you want to ask a question about a specific area such as Ontario – phrase your question as “what is the time in Ontario, Canada?” rather than just saying Ontario. This is because there may be other places called Ontario, such as Ontario in California, USA.
9. Reposition your Alexa device away from background noise
As mentioned above, one of the easiest ways to interrupt the effectiveness of Alexa is if there are background noises. So, to ensure Alexa clearly hears your commands and is able to respond, you want to get rid of all background noises. These include anything from TV or music player sounds, sounds from kitchen appliances, and even human conversations, just to mention a few.
10. Disable Alexa Privacy mode
If you try the solutions above and Alexa still isn’t responding, the next thing to try out is to disable Alexa’s privacy mode. To disable the Alexa privacy mode settings, to “Settings,” then “Alexa Privacy,” and then disable the settings.
In addition to disabling the privacy mode, you can explore a few more hacks to improve Alexa’s ability to pick up your commands. Some of the features include turning on the brief mode, turning off or disabling the camera if you have the Echo Show device, and switching off Hunches.
11. Restart your Alexa device
If making changes to the device settings doesn’t work, then, you may have to simply restart your Alexa device. After turning it off, unplug the power adapter and let the device rest for a few minutes.
For devices with removable batteries, make it a point to remove the battery after unplugging them from the outlet. Then, before plugging the power adapter to the outlets, reinsert the batteries first. Finally, plug the power adapter into the outlet and restart the device to check it is working
12. Reset your Alexa device
If the above diagnostic and remedy methods don’t work, then you may have to resort to the last option – reset your Alexa device. To do so, using the Alexa app on your iOS or Android smartphone, go to “Devices,” tap on the Echo & Alexa icon at the top, choose the device you want to reset to factory settings, scroll down to “Factory Reset” and tap on it. Confirm the reset and you should be done. Before you begin to use the device, you may want to turn it off, unplug it, replug it, and then restart it.
Alexa Not Responding – The Verdict
So there you have it! 12 tips and tricks to resolve the issue of Alexa not responding.
If you try the solutions above with no success, your next best solution is to call Amazon’s customer support to see if you can seek further professional help or replace/exchange the device.