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6 common Amazon Echo problems and how to solve them – Android Police

Fix Amazon Echo problems with communication, privacy, and more with our quick guide and the Alexa app
One handy feature of the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show devices is that they're primarily fire-and-forget after setup. You do most of the work in the Alexa app. After connections are made and you've found a good spot to perch the smart speaker, it tends to take care of itself. That includes updates, power management, and other Alexa device formalities.
But sometimes things go wrong with the Echo. It may stop responding to your Alexa voice commands or run into problems playing music. That's not a pleasant experience, so our troubleshooting guide will help you put things right again. Here's what can go wrong with your Echo device and the best ways to put it right.
This is likely a problem with Amazon Echo account connections and prioritization. In the Alexa app, you can search for music and connect different accounts (you'll need your account login information for the music service you choose). Then you have to be specific. Ask Alexa for music from the service you want, such as adding "From Spotify" to the end of your command.
If you use one music service to the exclusion of others, visit Music & Podcasts in the Amazon Alexa settings. You can link services and choose a service for Alexa to default to without naming it. Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Tidal, and others are included. If music isn't playing, check your default service to see if it's down. In the meantime, you can connect to your Echo speaker with a Bluetooth connection with a command like, "Alexa, connect to my [name of Android phone]."
If Alexa was attentive before but won't listen now, check your Echo, especially if it shows a red light. That indicates that the mic has been turned off, and Alexa can't hear you. This is a privacy feature on Alexa devices. However, sometimes it's enabled by accident or not turned off when you want to use the service. Flip the microphone on, and Alexa should respond.
If this still doesn't work, give your Echo a light reboot. Unplug the device, let it sit for 10 seconds or so, and plug it back in so that it starts up again. Now test if Alexa can hear you.
If your Echo sometimes recognizes you and sometimes doesn't, practice speaking clearly and consider turning on the Adaptive Listening mode in Alexa App Settings. You can also visit your Profile to set up a voice ID and help Alexa recognize your voice more clearly when you use your chosen wake word.
An Echo can't do anything without Wi-Fi (sometimes denoted by a spinning purple light). If your Echo keeps dropping a Wi-Fi signal, it could quickly feel useless. This is a sign that your Echo may be too far from the Wi-Fi router. Amazon suggests keeping it within 30 feet of a router. If walls or appliances are in the way, it may need to be closer for a reliable signal. Remember to update your Amazon Echo device if your Wi-Fi password changes. You can also switch to a mesh network if you run into frequent Wi-Fi problems in a certain room.
If that makes you uncomfortable, it's time to head into the Alexa app. Select Communicate at the bottom of the screen, then the tap person icon in the upper-right corner. Select the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner of the next screen, and you will see handy options like Block Contacts and Contact Access, which limit who can call your Echo or who can use the Drop-in feature to make unexpected contact.
Echos can use Amazon Alexa to control a variety of smart devices, which you can set up quickly in the Devices section of the Alexa app. Here, you can discover which devices are compatible (Alexa is generally excellent about support via Alexa skills and other compatibility) and log in to them so that Alexa can control them. That's handy if you want to tell your Echo to turn off the lights or turn on your TV, but sometimes this synergy stops working entirely.
If a smart device connection drops, check the device app and the device's Wi-Fi connection. If it lost Wi-Fi, reconnect it before your Echo speaker can control it. Check that the Alexa app and your smart home device have the latest updates. If one has fallen behind on key updates, it could lose compatibility with your Echo.
Echos can connect to the one-click purchase options on your Amazon account and order things with a voice command, a feature called voice purchasing. But that can create big problems if someone purchases things without your permission (young kids have been known to do this, and even parrots have been accused of ordering from Echo devices).
Visit your Account Settings in the Settings section of your Alexa app, and you'll find the option to choose Voice Purchasing and control how it works or disable it entirely.
Amazon Echos typically update themselves, often with a spinning yellow light, so you know not to disturb it. The Alexa app doesn't always follow suit, so make sure the app stays updated on the devices you keep it on. The Alexa app is an all-around useful spot to stop by and look at new features, notifications about what has changed, and the different things you can do with your Echo. We suggest visiting it regularly.
Tyler Lacoma has spent more than 10 years testing tech and studying the latest web tool to help keep readers current. He’s here for you when you need a how-to guide, explainer, review, or list of the best solutions for your Android life.