Alexa routines are great for integrating Alexa into your daily schedule. However, they can be a bit tricky as well, especially because you need to set up precise commands and decide which Echo device is linked to which routines. This can lead to problems such as routines not working at all.
To help you through this problem, we've combined all possible solutions for faulty routines so you can have your life back in order in no time.
1. Check if routines are correctly written
It's hard to believe, but something as inconsequential as a typo can affect your Alexa routine(s) functionality. For example, if you type ‘livingroom' instead of ‘living room' as a trigger for the ‘When this happens' section – Alexa may have some trouble distinguishing between the two.
The easiest way to ensure a spelling error isn't responsible for routine not working is to open the Alexa app and follow the steps below:
- Choose the ‘More' menu (looks like the burger button)
- Next, select ‘Routines' and then choose the ‘Your Routines' heading
- You'll now be able to see all your Alexa Routine listed successively
- Scroll through the list to ensure there's no spelling error or typo
- If you do notice a typo, select the routine you'd like to edit by tapping on it
- Fix the spelling of the routine or trigger under the ‘When this happens' heading
- Allow up to one minute for the new changes to be saved
- Try saying the trigger words to see if the routine is functional again
2. Try saying the trigger words to see if the routine is functional again
Remember back in the day when you'd fix your PC freeze by unplugging the CPU? There's a word for that. Whenever you switch off the main power to a device manually – it's a power cycle. And, it's surprisingly helpful when electronic appliances start acting a little wonky.
That's why performing a power cycle on your Echo device might help you bring your routines back to life by getting rid of firmware problems and hangups in the device memory.
Here's how to go about power-cycling your Echo:
- Unplug the Echo device from its power source
- Wait about 10 to 20 seconds and plug the device back to the power source
- Check to see if your routine is back online by saying the trigger word(s).
3. Check if Echo is connected to the routine
You can connect multiple Echo devices to the same Alexa account. That’s how most homes operate. However, routines are often set up for a particular device, since they usually operate in a particular room/space.
You can include around 99 routines per account, according to Amazon. But, if you have multiple Echo devices in your home, it's best to check which device is linked to the routine you're trying to activate.
Alternative Solution: Set a routine on all your devices!
If you want all your Echo devices to include a specific Alexa routine, you'll have to utilize the Alexa app to set up the same routine (with the same trigger and actions) for each device.
4. Check if the sensors are working
The Alexa app gives you various options for triggers (including voice commands, motion sensors, alarms, etc.).
However, if you've selected a voice command or set up a motion sensor as your trigger, problems with your Alexa microphone or the sensor can result in the routine not working. That's because, essentially, your trigger isn't doing what it's supposed to do.
The problem is pretty easy to resolve, thankfully. If your trigger is a voice command, you can check the functionality of your microphone by simply communicating with Alexa. Ask about the weather, time, or anything. If Alexa responds, the microphone is in working order.
However, if you want to check if your motion sensors are in working order, you might have to check it independently, perhaps by pairing it with another hub.
5. Delete and reinstall the routine
Sometimes, deleting and reinstalling a routine can take care of any kinks in the system. Here's how you can go about the process.
How To Delete A Routine:
- Open the Alexa app and press the ‘More' button
- Select ‘Routines' and tap on ‘Your Routines' to access the routine you'd like to delete
- Select the routine you want to delete and tap the vertical ellipsis button on the upper-right hand corner of the screen
- Choose ‘Delete Routine'
- And you're done!
How To Reinstall A Routine
- Open the Alexa app, select ‘More,' and tap on ‘Routines'
- Press the + button on the upper-right corner of the screen
- Next, type in the name of the routine and select the trigger(s) of choice from the ‘When you say' heading
- Move on the the ‘Add action' heading next and choose the actions you want to be linked to the routine in the order you'd prefer
- Once you've edited the routine to your specifications, press ‘Enable' on the top right corner of the screen to activate the routine.
6. Reset the Echo
If you've tried all the steps mentioned above and your routine still isn't working – your last big troubleshooting option is resetting your Echo device.
Not to mention, it's handy knowing how to erase all the saved data on an Echo, in case you're giving it away or moving homes. The process is pretty straightforward and will be over in seconds.
Here's what you need to do to reset your Echo:
- Press and hold on the action button (the button with a white blob or circle in the middle) for at least 30 seconds and till the light blinks orange
- That's pretty much it. Your device is now ready for a new setup, although switching off the power to the Echo for 10 seconds is preferable. This way, when you turn on the power again, the device will automatically be ready for setup.
7. Call Amazon Help
If none of the fixes mentioned here have worked out for you – your best bet is to get in touch with Amazon's customer service by doing the following:
- Open the Alexa app and select ‘Help & Feedback'
- Tap on the ‘Call Customer Service' option
- Choose your device and category
- Select the relevant issue you're facing (i.e., Alexa routine not working)
- Verify your information and press the ‘Call Me' option for a representative to get in touch with you asap.
Common Questions Relating to Alexa Routines Not Working
How do you reset Alexa routines?
Resetting a routine in the Alexa app will require you to first delete the routine you're having trouble with and then reinstall it. Here's how:
- Open the Alexa app and select the ‘Routines' selection from the ‘More' sidebar
- Tap on ‘Your Routines' and choose the routine you'd like to delete
- Press the vertical ellipsis button on the top-right corner of the screen, press ‘Delete Routine,' and you're done.
- To reinstall the routine, get back to the ‘Routines' option and this time click on the + button on the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Follow the prompts to include the triggers and actions you want in your routine and press ‘Enable' to activate it.
How many routines can Alexa have?
You can include up to 99 routines on your account. That means even if you have multiple Echo devices in your home – but they're all linked to your account, you'll still be able to create a total of ninety-nine routines among them.
Alexa Routines Not Working – The Verdict
As handy as setting routines on Alexa is, your device can sometimes act up, causing trouble. Hopefully, one of the resolutions in our article is the fix you've been waiting for.
However, if you've tried everything mentioned here, it's best to refer to the professionals and get some solid advice from Amazon's helpful customer service team.