Alexa is the virtual assistance we all need in our lives today. She can set reminders, make appointments, control lights and temperature, play music, and whatnot! But what she can also do is not always respond to us. It really does de-track you when Alexa is not responding. However, Alexa is a VA, and if she doesn’t register your commands or respond, there’s probably a technical error. And luckily, technicalities can always be fixed!
Today we’ll go through some common problems that limit your communication with Alexa for Amazon. After finding out why Alexa is not working, we’ll head right into the fixes. So, read through to the end and get back on talking terms with Alexa!
Common Alexa and Echo Smart Speaker Problems (Alexa Not Responding)
Alexa works through an app available on Alexa-enabled devices and the Amazon Echo Speaker series. Since Echo speakers make up for the lion’s share of Alexa devices, we’ll cover mostly the problems related to Amazon Echo (Dot, Plus, Studio, and Show).
- Usually, when Alexa doesn’t respond to voice commands, it’s because Echo Dot can’t connect to Wi-Fi. That may happen because either the Wi-Fi router is out of range, it is disconnected, or you’ve typed in an incorrect password (or changed it).
- On the contrary, Alexa also fails to register voice commands because Alexa can’t connect to Wi-Fi. This is a bit different from the previous step, where the device fails to connect. In this case, your device may very well be connected to Wi-Fi. Still, because of limited connection or data limits, Alexa fails to connect to its servers.
- Another common cause when Alexa doesn’t respond is when users use an alternative power cable for the Amazon Echo. Alternative cables bought at aftermarket sales are generally not good for electronics. If the power output to your device is not precise, it may end up damaging the motherboard and other components.
- Failure to recognize voice, accent, or tone also makes up for a decent share of reasons why Echo Dot doesn’t respond. Even we humans miss out on things said too quickly or under the lips of others. And Alexa’s only a VA!
Easy-to-Follow Fixes for When Alexa is Not Responding
More than a couple of problems end up with Alexa saying, “Sorry, I don’t know that one” or “…trouble understanding you right now”. Maybe it’s the internet, microphone, or simply because Alexa cannot hear you. Besides the obvious fix of moving closer to the microphone, let’s go through some easy tips and tricks to get Alexa back up and running again.
1. When Alexa Won’t Connect to the Internet
If Alexa responds to voice commands with an error message, it’s usually one of the two problems. Either you have enabled the required Alexa skills to perform that task, which we’ll get to later in the article. Or when Alexa or Echo won’t connect to Wi-Fi.
Note: Chromecast can’t connect to Wi-Fi. Find a quick fix for your Chromecast connectivity problems here and get back to streaming your favorite shows!
Connect All Devices to The Same Wi-Fi Network
You need to connect your smartphone’s Echo speaker and the Alexa app to the same Wi-Fi connection for Alexa to register voice commands. If you’re not connected to the same network, check if the Echo speaker is connected to the Wi-Fi at all. You can also check that through the app on your smartphone from settings>connected devices.
Move Alexa Devices Closer to The Wi-Fi Router
If the Alexa app on your smartphone and Echo speaker are both already connected to the same Wi-Fi network, but Alexa still doesn’t respond, you’re probably out of the range of Wi-Fi. In this case, try moving the echo speaker and your smartphone closer to the Wi-Fi. It should definitely work if there’s no other underlying problem.
2. When Alexa Doesn’t Respond to Voice Commands
When Alexa fails to carry out a voice command, it is more or less always a connectivity issue, as mentioned above. But when Alexa doesn’t respond to voice commands at all, it indicates a much more basic problem with the Echo speaker. Either you’ve pressed the “Mute” button on top of the speaker. Or, you’ve plugged the power chord in wrongly. Either way, here’s how to fix both.
Unmute the Amazon Echo Speaker
The easiest check to make for this step is to see the light on the ring of the Echo speaker. A red light indicates a muted microphone, while a blue one indicates an unmuted one.
If the light on the ring of your Echo speaker is red, you’ve found the culprit! All you need to do is press the button with the crossed microphone and wait for the light to turn blue.
Reconnect the Power Chord to the Echo Speaker
If it’s not a muted microphone, why does “Alexa not Responding” happen? It’s probably the power cable. Problems with the power chord for Amazon Echo are quite common and are nothing to worry about.
Simply unplug the power chord from the Echo speaker and reconnect again. This works nine times out of ten. But if it doesn’t, try replacing the power chord with the one recommended by the manufacturer.
3. When Alexa Can’t Complete a Task
If it isn’t obvious enough, Alexa is a VA that needs a working internet connection and preloaded skills to complete a task. If Alexa continuously fails to recognize your voice commands or takes no action, the problem typically indicates either of these two cases. So, let’s go over them one by one and find a fix for when Alexa can’t complete a task.
Verify the Internet Connection
Connectivity problems don’t only occur when Alexa or Echo Dot can’t connect to the Wi-Fi. Your devices may be connected to Wi-Fi but won’t respond if they’re not connected to the internet.
It happens because your data package ran out, as mentioned above. Or, a problem from the service provider’s end prevents Alexa from connecting to its server. You can call your ISP and have either of the above issues fixed.
Download Skills for Alexa
Alexa works on skills that can be downloaded for the VA. An uncommon reason for Alexa not responding is that you probably don’t have the skill downloaded for the command you’re giving Alexa.
Fortunately, if that’s the case, Alexa will tell you herself. And you can head over to the store via the smartphone app to download the necessary skills. Once downloaded and installed, you can then expect Alexa to respond to your voice commands efficiently.
4. When Alexa Misunderstands You
Even in life, we come across people we have a hard time understanding. It is probably because of a different accent or the way they pronounce some words. So does Alexa! But in Alexa’s case, you can fine-tune your voice to the VA and overcome the obstacle quite easily.
Get Alexa Accustomed to Your Voice
Desensitizing your voice to Alexa is a good way of improving communication and getting rid of Alexa not responding to errors. And it’s even easy since Alexa has a built-in feature to do so in its app.
- Enter “Settings” from the app.
- Select “Your Profile”
- Tap on “Voice”
You can then try saying different phrases out loud to desensitize Alexa to your speech. Also, you’ll have to add a new voice profile after doing so.
Work on Your Speech
Another way of filling up the communication gap between you and Alexa is by asking her to repeat what she understood. You can do so by saying, “Alexa, tell me what you heard” to the Echo speaker.
This will help you pinpoint the vocabulary Alexa seems to be struggling with. And it gives you an insight into improving things. Every time Alexa doesn’t respond now, you’ll know where the hindrance is and can repeat your command in a clear speech.
VAs are among some breakthrough technology inventions of today. But even such a pedestal doesn’t mean it comes free of problems and issues. But now that you’ve been through 4 different fixes for common Alexa problems, you can enjoy an uninterrupted experience with the VA.
To sum it up, if Alexa isn’t responding or isn’t working, it’s either the Internet, Power, Skills, Speech, or Microphone that’s causing the problem. And with the tips and tricks from above, you can find an easy fix for either of these. Let us know if the above article has been helpful enough by leaving a comment below!
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