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What To Do If Your Alexa Device Is Unresponsive in 2022

Is Alexa causing you difficulties? Is Alexa not executing your voice commands? When an Alexa device is unresponsive, the issue could be attributed to various factors. Maybe your internet is not working, there is a bug in your Alexa-backed Amazon device, or the virtual assistant isn’t picking up what you’re saying correctly. 

Regardless of the problem, getting the assistant functioning again is vital, especially for users who rely on voice commands to control their smart home devices. There are various methods to fix your unresponsive Alexa device, and this guide covers the best of these troubleshooting hacks!

Alexa Device Is Unresponsive? Try This First

If your Alexa device is unresponsive to your voice commands, you must first check if its cable is loose. You must also check whether your internet connection is working if your Alexa device is not responding. If there’s no issue with the internet or cable, resetting devices is another way to get them working. 

Troubleshooting Steps When Alexa Device Is Unresponsive

It’s annoying when your Alexa device becomes unresponsive as you can no longer control your smart home devices with voice commands. It takes away the entire purpose of having a smart assistant, right? But don’t worry! We have the best troubleshooting methods to use when the Alexa device is unresponsive. 

Check the Wi-Fi connection

If Alexa cannot communicate with a device, start the troubleshooting process by testing your Wi-Fi connection. An idle or unreliable home network might cause connectivity issues between Alexa and your device. Determine whether the connection is functioning and stable. You should restart the router to fix any temporary connectivity issues. 

There is also a chance that someone in your home has changed the Wi-Fi network’s name or password. Even if you hadn’t noticed, they might have changed the whole Wi-Fi system settings! If that’s the case, make any necessary changes to your device’s settings.

Move the Alexa device close to the router

This solution ensures that your Echo device is within your router’s signal range. You should move your Alexa device closer to the Wi-Fi router. Users often keep their smart home devices in a corner which can affect their signal range and weaken their connection to the home Wi-Fi network. 

If your Echo device does not seem to be within your network’s connection range, try moving it closer to the router. 

Make sure the Alexa device has power

This fix may sound silly, but you won’t believe how frequent of an error this is! If you don’t live by yourself, it’s entirely possible that a family member inadvertently unplugged the device. Or you could have unplugged it and forgotten to plug it back in. You should quickly check all your smart devices to ensure that Alexa has access to them.

Reset the device

To fix an unresponsive Alexa device, your next best move is to soft reset the device. It’s a simple process and could fix the issue by forcefully ending all the functions running in the background and giving the device a fresh restart. 

How to reset the Alexa device

  1. Unplug your Alexa device’s adapter from the wall socket
  2. Wait for at least 30 seconds 
  3. Now, plug it back in and wait for the device to restart
  4. Please note Alexa’s microphone will not be active right away; you’ll have to wait at least 15 minutes for it to start working again

Restart your router

Rebooting your router is a handy option that can be used to fix the issue with your Alexa device. If the problem is not with your Echo device, then it is possible that your Alexa device is not responding due to Wi-Fi connectivity issues. Follow the steps below to restart your router. 

How to restart your router

  1. Unplug all the cables connected to your router
  2. Switch off your router and wait for 30 seconds
  3. Now, re-plug the cables and power on your router
  4. After the router restarts successfully, check again if your Alexa device is responsive 

Check the app

Our next suggestion is to check if your Alexa device is responding to commands made from the app. Is it possible for you to use the app provided by the manufacturer? Is the app able to execute commands on your device? There could be a bug, so you should remove the device from the app and configure it again before you check if it responds to commands. 

Check and Enable Alexa Skills

Some Alexa-enabled devices must be paired before you can use them. Device-specific applications and features are known as Alexa skills and are part of Alexa’s operating system. 

Alexa can now be used to operate a variety of smart gadgets. Check your smart device’s handbook to determine whether skill-enabling is required. 

First, check to see whether your smart gadget has Alexa skills; if it does, then you need to enable the Alexa skills. Follow the steps below to do it. 

How to enable Alexa skills

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone or tablet  
  2. Open the menu and then go to the Settings 
  3. Select the “Skills & Games” option from the drop-down menu
  4. Now, tap the search icon to run a search and enter the skill name
  5. Tap the option named “Enable To Use” to activate it
  6. Finally, you can command Alexa to activate the skill by using the voice command “Alexa, enable the (skill name)”

Power cycle the Alexa device

Power cycling is another nifty technique to fix an Alexa device that’s not responding. It is a pretty simple process that could help fix many issues and give your Alexa device a fresh start. 

How to power cycle your Alexa device

  1. Turn off your Alexa device and unplug it from the wall socket
  2. Wait for 30 seconds, then re-plug the device and turn it on

After the device is all set, you should check if it is responding now. 

Uninstall and reinstall the app

In some instances, there may be a problem with the app provided by the manufacturer. The Amazon Alexa app is essential for using Alexa. Your smart device’s manufacturer app is also crucial since it acts as a companion app for the Alexa device. 

If your Alexa device is unresponsive, you should check the manufacturer’s app to gauge if it is the root of this problem. We suggest uninstalling the app and then reinstalling it. If the app was the issue, your Alexa device should work fine after reinstalling it. If it does not, move on to the next troubleshooting method. 

Check for a firmware update

Alexa devices, like smartphones, have software. In addition, this firmware is also updated regularly. Alexa’s functions and security benefit from these regular updates. Alexa devices often update automatically at night. However, if there are system issues, it may not be able to do so. If the firmware is dated, your Alexa device may not respond to voice or app instructions if the firmware is dated. So you need to check for a firmware update on your Amazon Alexa device. 

How to update the Alexa device

  1. Open your Alexa app and go to Settings 
  2. Tap Device Options > Check for Software Updates
  3. If there’s an update, tap Install to trigger the update

If you are using an Alexa-enabled device from a different brand, then you can go to the manufacturer’s website and look for any updates about firmware there. 

Factory reset the device

Factory resetting an Alexa device that is not responding could work wonders in fixing it.  When you factory reset your device, all of your settings, including any associated Amazon accounts, get removed. 

After the process of resetting is complete, you will be able to reconfigure your device to link it with your Amazon account again. 

How to reset the Alexa device 

  1. Launch the Amazon app on your phone or tablet 
  2. Tap the Devices option in the app’s navigation bar 
  3. Tap the All Devices option and select your Alexa device from the list
  4. You will now be inside your device’s settings menu. Scroll and tap the Factory Reset option
  5. Tap the Factory Reset option again
  6. Your Alexa device will begin the reset process and restart

Refer to this video to learn how to factory reset your Alexa device:

Common Causes Why Alexa Device is Unresponsive

Below, we list the most common causes for your Alexa device being unresponsive. 

Physical interference

Wi-Fi transmissions may be disrupted or blocked by certain wireless gadgets. Disturbing signals will, of course, make the gadget unresponsive. Keep your Alexa device away from any potential source of electromagnetic interference. The best way to fix this is by moving your Alexa device to a location not obstructed by walls or pillars. 

Proximity to router

One of the reasons why your Alexa device is unresponsive is because it is too far from the router. You must keep it closer to your router so that it can receive strong network signals and perform tasks seamlessly. 

Also Read: My Router Keeps Losing Internet Connection – How to Fix

Incorrect Wi-Fi password

One of your family members may have recently changed the Wi-Fi password and not told you about it. Check if that’s the situation. If so, get the new password, log in, and configure your Alexa device

Loose cables

Did you check the cables connected to your Alexa device? Sometimes, those cables can get loose and cause unresponsiveness in your Alexa device. You must check the cables connected to your unresponsive Alexa device and ensure that they are plugged in tightly, so there’s no potential power loss. 

Muted microphone

If the color of the light on your Alexa device is red, then that means its microphone is muted. In such a case, your device will not be able to register what you are saying, so it will stay unresponsive to your voice commands. To fix this issue, press the microphone button on your Alexa device. Some Alexa devices have a microphone button with a microphone icon on it, while some have an icon of a microphone inside a circle with a slash over it (the mute icon). 

Muted microphone on an Alexa device
Muted microphone on an Alexa device

Whisper mode is enabled

“Whisper” mode enables users to converse with Alexa while whispering. This option is ideal for using your Alexa device without disturbing others. 

The only downside of enabling Whisper mode is that Alexa will keep answering in whispers until you disable this mode. So if your Alexa device is unresponsive, it is possible it has Whisper mode enabled, and you just can’t hear it. 

You need to disable Whisper mode on your Alexa device to make it work normally. Follow the steps below to disable Whisper mode.

How to disable Whisper Mode on Alexa

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app and tap the three-line menu option
  2. Now, tap Settings > Voice Responses 
  3. Toggle off Whisper mode

Device was not set up properly

Did you purchase your Alexa smart device recently? Did you set it up properly? When your device is not configured correctly, it can trigger various issues and cause your Alexa assistant to not respond. For a third-party Alexa-enabled device, check its manual, install its companion app, and set up the device properly. 

Connected device is switched off

If the smart home device paired with your Alexa device is switched off, there’s no way your Alexa assistant can interact with it and make it work. You must ensure that your connected smart devices (like smart home lights) are switched on to receive Alexa commands and function seamlessly. 

Incompatible smart hub

You must also ensure that your connected smart devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Alexa device. If they are on a different Wi-Fi network, your voice assistant won’t be able to communicate with them and trigger functions.

New “wake word” 

As the name implies, the wake word serves as Alexa’s activation trigger — it’s the command you use to wake Alexa. For example, “Alexa” is the default wake word for the Echo Dot. 

However, you have complete freedom to modify the wake words for Alexa devices. If you have a habit of changing the wake word often, then you may face an issue when you try using the old wake word to summon the assistant because it won’t respond.

How to reset Alexa’s wake word

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone. 
  2. Tap the three-line icon to open the menu and tap the Settings option. 
  3. Now, tap Device Settings and then tap on your Alexa device name.
  4. Enter the new wake word or choose the option to use the default wake word, i.e., “Alexa.”

Here’s a video that you could refer to learn how to change wake words for your Alexa device. 

Conclusion

If your Alexa device is unresponsive, we hope this guide helps you figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it. If you’ve tried everything and your Alexa device still remains unresponsive, you should contact customer service. And if any of our methods worked for you, let us know in the comments!

About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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