There are two instances when the Alexa red light ring will show. The first is if the “Disable Microphone” button has been pressed while the second is if there are Wi-Fi connection issues.
Check out my video below where I talk through the various topics discussed in this article.
Scenario 1: “Disable Microphone” Button Pressed
All Echo speakers come with omnidirectional microphones which pick up voice commands for Alexa to respond to. They also all come with a privacy feature that allows you to disable these microphones.
As I have an Echo speaker in my office, I use this feature when on work calls, to avoid Alexa mishearing a command and interrupting my meetings.
To enable it you simply press the “Disable Microphone” button which is opposite the action button (which is the solid circle). Amazon Echo Show devices also have this button beside the decrease volume button.
To disable it, simply press it again and the red light will disappear and Alexa can hear you again.
It's worth noting that the “Disable Microphone” feature results in a solid red light ring on the top of the speaker, for 2nd & 3rd generation speakers, or on the bottom (for 4th & 5th generation speakers. The microphone button also illuminates red.
If you have a flashing red light, then the problem is related to your Wi-Fi connection and not your microphone.
Disable Microphone Issues
If you press the button, to re-enable the microphones and the solid red light remains on, then it’s possible that your Echo speaker has frozen or glitched and needs a reboot.
In this case, simply power cycle the speaker, by removing the power cable from the outlet, waiting 30 seconds to 1 minute and then plugging it back in.
If that doesn’t work there may be damage to or obstruction with the microphone button which might require a repair or replacement.
Scenario 2: Wi-Fi Issues
If your Alexa device is struggling to connect to Wi-Fi, or cannot connect to the internet via the Wi-Fi network, it can also display a red ring. The difference between this red ring and the microphone-muted red ring is that one flashes, whereas the other red ring is solid.
From my testing, the Echo 2nd and 3rd generation speakers demonstrate this red ring during connectivity issues while the 4th and 5th do not. I believe this is because the later generation Echo devices have a Zigbee hub built-in so can still work without internet connectivity.
There are a number of potential causes and solutions to this issue.
1. Wi-Fi Network is Down
If someone plugged out your Wi-Fi router, or it has frozen, then Alexa won’t be able to connect to it.
My first port of call is always to stand beside the router with my smartphone, disable mobile data, connect to the Wi-Fi network and see if I can access something in a web browser.
If you can access the internet on your phone, then I recommend moving the speaker closer to the router to rule out an interference or signal strength issue.
If you can’t access the internet, then I usually just power cycle the router, by plugging it out, waiting 60 seconds and then plugging it back in. Anytime I do this, I usually need to wait a few minutes for the router to come fully back online.
2. Internet is Down
Your router may be working fine, however, there may be no data coming through your broadband connection. This can happen if there is a local outage. On my phone, I usually check online to see if my internet service provider is having uptime issues in my area. If this is the problem, then it's just a matter of waiting until you’re back online.
3. Wi-Fi Details have Changed
If you have replaced your router, or changed the Wi-Fi network name or password, then Alexa won’t be able to connect, which can result in the flashing red ring.
In this instance, you need to re-configure the Wi-Fi network on your Alexa device. For this, I recommend you have Bluetooth enabled on your phone along with the “Find Nearby Devices” permission if on Android.
- Hold the “Action” button for 5-10 seconds until you hear the device has entered setup mode.
- The LED ring will start flashing orange and from there you go to the Alexa App on your phone.
- Click on the Echo device and select Wi-fi network.
- Re-establish the Wi-Fi connection via the Alexa app.
- Alexa should now be successfully reconnected to your Wi-Fi network.
Step by Step Screenshots
In some cases, changes to Wi-Fi security settings can hinder your Echo device from connecting to the network. You can go to your router settings page on a browser to see if your Echo device is registered on the network. If not then review the various firewall and security settings to see if anything could be hindering the connection.
4. Power Cycle your Echo Speaker
If your Wi-Fi network is working fine, has an active internet connection, and isn’t blocking your device from connecting, then it may be a glitch with the speaker itself.
In this instance, unplug the speaker, leave it for 30-60 seconds and then plug it back in.
5. Factory Reset your Echo Speaker
If none of the above works, you can factory reset your speaker by holding the action button for 30 seconds as opposed to 5-10 seconds.
This will take up to one minute and allows you to set up the speaker from scratch.
As you can see, each generation of the Amazon Echo & Echo Dot comes with a light ring on the top or the bottom to communicate. I hope this article helps you understand what the red light ring signifies and how to resolve it on your Echo speaker.