How to set up your Amazon Echo and solve setup and Wi-Fi problems
The Amazon Echo is everywhere and it’s available in multiple iterations; from the OG Echo to the Echo Dot, from the Echo 2 to the Echo Plus, and even the Echo Show, there’s something for everyone.
There’s no doubt that Amazon’s Alexa-powered smart home device is having a bit of a moment. Chances are that you’ve probably got at least one of these devices in your home already and, it should come as no surprise to learn that Wi-Fi woes are chief among the issues Amazon Echo owners have to deal with.
Thankfully there is a solution, which is why we have put together a guide to resolving Wi-Fi problems with your Amazon Echo device.
Amazon Echo Wi-Fi setup: How to set up an Amazon Echo
- Plug in your Echo using its power cable. The ring light will turn blue and start spinning to let you know it’s turned on. In around a minute, this blue light will turn orange, to signal the speaker is in setup mode and Alexa will welcome you to the Amazon Echo. If the orange light doesn’t appear, go to step 4.
- Download the Amazon Alexa App from iOS or Android. You can also access the app from a browser.
- The setup process should start automatically and you’ll be prompted to sign in with your Amazon account email and password.
- If the setup doesn’t start automatically, or the orange light doesn’t appear when you first switch on your Amazon Echo, go to Settings and select ‘Set up a new device’.
- Select your language and choose which device you are trying to set up from the list.
- The next step involves connecting the app to your Echo and connecting your Echo to your Wi-Fi network. On the ‘Begin Echo Setup’ screen click ‘Connect to Wi-Fi’. The orange ring should now appear on your device. If the orange light still doesn’t appear, go to step 11.
- Close the app, open Settings, and go to Wi-Fi. If the phone has recognized your Amazon Echo device you will see a Wi-Fi network with a name that starts: Amazon-XXX. It can take up to a minute to appear on the list.
- Selecting this Wi-Fi network will drop your phone from your main Wi-Fi network and connect it directly to the Amazon Echo.
- Once connected, you will be prompted to connect the Echo to your main Wi-Fi network. Enter your Wi-Fi password when asked and Echo will join the network.
- From this point on, any Echo device on the same network can communicate with each other and with the Amazon Alexa app.
- Orange light still not appearing? Press and hold the Action button for five seconds and go back to step 7.
You will need to repeat this process for every Amazon Echo and Echo Dot you connect to your network.
How to use an Amazon Echo
To get started with your Amazon Echo, it helps to know what the individual buttons and lights mean.
The majority of the Amazon Echo devices are controlled in a similar way (with the added extra of a touchscreen on the Echo Show) and each model comes with an action button, volume controls, a light ring, and a microphone off option.
The Action Button, which you’ll need to use during setup and troubleshooting, is the button with a single white dot in the center. You can use this button to turn off the alarm and timer as well as wake up Echo.
The Volume controls are either represented with plus and minus buttons or via a ring on the Amazon Echo (known as Amazon Echo first generation) and the Echo Plus. On the latter, you can increase the volume by rotating the volume ring in a clockwise direction.
The button to disable the microphone, which stops Alexa from being able to listen to you, is depicted by a microphone with a line through it. Once disabled, the light ring will turn red. Pressing it again will turn the microphone back on.
To start using your Amazon Echo, following setup, simply say “Alexa” followed by your question or command. If it has recognized your voice, the light will turn blue to indicate it’s listening.
The Amazon Echo and Echo Dot on their own don’t do a whole lot – or they’re certainly not as useful without enabling Alexa Skills – which brings us to our next tutorial.
How to enable Alexa Skills
- Open the Amazon Alexa app, open the menu using the three lines in the top left-hand corner, and select Skills. You can also find the full list of Alexa Skills store on the Amazon website.
- You can browse for skills by categories, such as Business & Finance, Food & Drink and Games, Trivia & Accessories. Alternatively, use the search box to find a specific skill. You can see which Alexa Skills you’ve already enabled by clicking Your Skills in the top right-hand corner.
- Once you’ve found a skill you want to use, select it to open its dedicated detail page, and hit Enable. Some skills may require you to create an account or subscription with the Skill provider or to type your username and password for existing accounts.
- On each Skill page, you’ll be able to see what the Skill does, supported languages, and what you need to say in order to launch the app. You can also say Alexa, open [skill name.] If you need help with a skill, you can say, “[skill name] help.”
Amazon Echo setup problems
Alexa generally runs really well, but if you’ve run into problems this section is for you!
My Amazon Echo won’t connect to Wi-Fi
Amazon Echo devices can only connect to dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) networks that use the 802.11a/b/g/n standard. Your home Wi-Fi will run these bands/this standard but peer-to-peer networks or hotspots won’t, for example.
Test your Wi-Fi network and security
- If you can’t connect your Amazon Echo to your Wi-Fi network turn the device off at the plug, wait 10 seconds, and repeat the setup process above.
- Make sure you know your network password – this is the password needed to access your Wi-Fi network and is typically found somewhere on your router. This password is not your Amazon account password.
- Check to make sure other devices, such as your phone or smart TV, are connected to the Wi-Fi. If they’re not, this may signal that your Wi-Fi isn’t working rather than your Amazon Echo.
- If your main Wi-Fi network isn’t working, reboot the router by turning it off at the plug. If it’s still not working you may need to update the firmware for your router or modem hardware and the instructions will depend on your router. You can also contact your internet service provider.
- If you saved your Wi-Fi password to Amazon previously, but you recently changed the password, you’ll need to re-enter your new password to connect the Amazon Echo to your network again.
- By default, your router may use both WPA+WPA2 for security. To resolve connection issues, switch the router security type to either WPA or WPA2 only. If the router also has an option to set the type of encryption, setting it to AES only is recommended.
Reduce Wi-Fi congestion
If you have multiple phones, tablets, Amazon Echo, smart devices, TVs, and computers on your Wi-Fi network, or you’re downloading or streaming apps and content, you may find your Wi-Fi struggles to keep up.
- Turn off devices you aren’t using to free up bandwidth.
- Move your Amazon Echo closer to your router.
- Keep the Amazon Echo away from possible interference, such as microwaves or baby monitors.
You can additionally connect to your router’s 5 GHz Wi-Fi frequency band where possible. Many devices automatically connect to the 2.4 GHz band which can leave that band a little crowded.
Reset Amazon Echo
If this doesn’t solve the problem you can also reset your devices and start from scratch. To reset your Echo device:
- Find a paper clip, earring, or the SIM card tool found with new phones to press and hold the Reset button on the Echo device on the base of your device. The light ring on your Echo will turn orange, and then blue.
- Wait for the light ring to turn off and on again.
- The light ring should turn orange, and your device will enter the setup mode. You can try repeating the following steps at the top of this article.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why won’t my Echo connect to Wi-Fi?
We actually have an article here to help walk you through troubleshooting your Alexa Wi-Fi woes. To start, make sure that your phone (or tablet) is connected to the right Wi-Fi network.
Next, try restarting your router or your Echo device. You may need to perform a factory reset and start over from scratch if the connection issues continue.
What can I do if I can’t get my Echo working?
If you’ve completed the setup tutorial and taken the proper troubleshooting steps, it might be time to reach out to Amazon Support. You may have a faulty device or something specific to your network preventing a successful setup.