If you’ve ever owned an Amazon Echo, the chances are that you’ve had questions about the color-coded lights. While some of the colors mean that everything is working as it should, others indicate problems. And because Alexa only gives you a cryptic explanation (okay, we’ll be honest: she doesn’t give you much of an explanation at all), we’ve put together this handy guide to explain what each light means and what you can do to fix any issues if they arise.
When the Ring Lights Up Blue
When your Amazon Echo device’s ring lights up blue, it means that the device has heard you and is ready to respond. This could be because you’ve said “Alexa” or pushed any of the buttons on your Echo.
If you see a blue light, try asking for something again or wait for a few moments before speaking so that Alexa can hear you better. If it still doesn’t work, try unplugging and replugging your device and restarting both devices separately—this should resolve most connectivity issues.
If the Light Turns Red
If the light turns red, it means that there is an error. You’ll need to check the error code by asking Alexa or checking your Amazon app.
To check the status of your device:
- Ask Alexa “Alexa, what’s my status light?” or “Alexa, what’s my device status?”
- Visit the Alexa app on your phone and select Settings > Echo Dot > Device Status (at this point you can also see if you have any missed notifications)
To get more information about a specific error:
- Open up settings on your Amazon Echo Dot device * Select “More”>”Settings”>”Devices”>”Echo Dot”>”Status Lights”>”Device Details,” then tap on any of these options in order to be able to read descriptions for each one
If Alexa Is Thinking, the Ring Will Light Up Purple
If Alexa is thinking, the ring will light up purple.
This means that your command isn’t ready yet. It’s still in the process of working on it and will respond as soon as it is able to. If you are using voice commands with multiple steps, you may see this light while Alexa processes them in order to give you the best response possible. For example: “Alexa, play music from my playlist” could be interpreted as two commands by Alexa – play something from my playlist or start playing music from my playlist (which would result in different responses). In this case, Alexa needs time to process both options before responding with one response or another based on what it has been given permission for access to by its owner/controller (you!).
If You See a Bright Red Light, It Means There’s an Error You’ll Need to Check Into
If you see a bright red light, it means there’s an error you’ll need to check into.
To troubleshoot this issue:
- Check the Alexa app
- Check the Amazon website
- Check the Alexa support site (you can find it by clicking here)
- Check the Alexa forums (you can find them by clicking here)
- Follow Amazon Echo on Twitter and Facebook
If the Light Turns Orange
If the light turns orange, the device is in mute mode. This means that Alexa will not respond to you unless you tap the mute button again. You can also use the mute button to toggle between muting and unmuting.
Mute mode is useful if you don’t want Alexa to respond when someone else is talking or if you’re having a private conversation with someone else who might not like hearing Alexa’s responses in your home.
Tips for Using the Amazon Echo
Setting up and using the Amazon Echo is super easy. Here are the steps:
- Download the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet. The app will walk you through setting up your device, connecting it to Wi-Fi, and signing in with an Amazon account (or creating one if you don’t have one).
- Once set up, you can connect any smart devices around your home that use popular smart home platforms like Wink or Nest. To connect them via the Amazon Echo, just say something like “Alexa, discover my devices” or “Alexa, turn on/off [your connected device].” This will allow you to control those devices right from your speaker by saying something like “Alexa, dim lights” or “Alexa play music in the living room.”
- If you want more than just music from this little blue cylinder of wonders, the Alexa app also has built-in news feeds so that when you ask for an update on current events — say “what’s new?” — she’ll tell them! You can also ask her questions about movies (like who was nominated for Oscars), sports scores, and plenty of other random facts that might come in handy during trivia night at work tomorrow afternoon (sorry guys).
As you can see, the color of your Amazon Echo’s light ring has a lot more to say than you may have realized. Now that you know what those different colors mean, it should be a lot easier for you to tell whether or not your device is working properly. But what about those other blinking lights? We haven’t forgotten about them—they were just too extensive to cover in this article. Luckily, though, we have already written another one that covers all of the rest of the light patterns and their meanings: “More Amazon Echo Light Ring Patterns Explained.” To learn everything else there is to know about the device’s lights, follow that link.