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‘I’m having trouble understanding right now.’ How to fix those annoying Amazon Alexa glitches


If Alexa is experiencing Wi-Fi connectivity points, attempt unplugging your Amazon Echo.

Ian Knighton/CNET

You usually can count on your Amazon Echo sensible hub to answer voice instructions with none issues. Nonetheless, that is not at all times the case in terms of Alexa. “I am having bother understanding proper now” is a standard phrase you possibly can count on to listen to if one thing is improper along with your Echo-enabled system. And generally, the voice assistant will even carry out a unique motion than what you requested. 

It is irritating to consistently repeat your self or troubleshoot the issues. However relaxation assured that it isn’t you. Typically Alexa runs into just a few glitches. However we’re right here to assist. Whether or not it is reconnecting to your Wi-Fi or connecting your sensible units to Echo, we have got you coated. 

So do not reset your Amazon Echo speaker but. We’ll share some fast and straightforward fixes to the commonest Amazon Echo ($30 at Amazon) issues. And as soon as every part is again to regular, attempt these Halloween Alexa abilities to prepare for spooky season. 

This story updates periodically with new info.

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4 common Amazon Alexa problems and how to fix them


First, here’s what Echo’s light ring means

Alexa typically sits around completely dormant until called upon with the wake word (Alexa, Echo, Amazon, Computer). But sometimes the LED ring around the top of the Echo and Echo Dot, or a light bar on your Echo Show screen, lights up even when you’re not actively using the smart speaker. 

In this case, the colored light could alert you to a problem. Here are a few of the colors you may have encountered if you’re having issues with your speaker.

  • Spinning violet. Indicates that there was a problem during Wi-Fi setup (addressed below). 
  • Spinning orange. The device is currently connecting to your network.
  • Solid red. The microphone has been turned off and Alexa is not actively listening for your commands. Push the microphone button to turn it back on.

The light ring can also tell you if someone is calling you, if your Amazon order is out for delivery, the volume of the speaker and more.


Pay attention to what the light ring on your Echo is telling you.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The music keeps cutting out on your Amazon Echo speaker

When you’re listening to music on your Amazon Echo, it can be frustrating when the song cuts out for a few seconds at a time. If this happens, the issue could be Wi-Fi related. Try unplugging your Amazon Echo from the wall and rebooting your router. Wait 20 seconds and plug both devices back into the wall. For better results, connect your Echo device to your router’s 5GHz channel. 

Amazon also suggests keeping your smart speaker away from metal objects, microwaves, baby monitors and anything else that could cause interference with your Wi-Fi connection.

Alexa can’t find your smart home devices

Amazon Echos support a long list of smart home appliances. The growing list includes devices like the Ecobee3 and lines from companies such as Honeywell, Insteon, Lifx, Nest, Philips Hue and Wink. Even more devices and services have added official Alexa support by way of skills that help make that service or device take your verbal commands (e.g., “Alexa, tell Philips Hue to turn on the kitchen light”).

To add a new device, open the Alexa app and tap Devices > Add Device > select the device you’d like to add (like a smart switch or plug) and follow the instructions in the app. 

Even if the devices aren’t natively supported and don’t have skills, you’re not entirely out of luck. Alexa has an official IFTTT channel and also integrates with Yonomi, both of which have an extensive list of supported smart home devices.

If you’ve already added your devices but Alexa can’t seem to connect to them, there are a couple of solutions. Check the command you’re using, aka your invocation. The commands vary between different devices, skills and connected services, like IFTTT. They can be oddly specific commands, and small differences in the phrasing or names of the devices can throw Alexa for a loop.


If Alexa can’t find your smart home device, try powering down the devices.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Some smart home devices have trouble staying connected due to software problems, crowded networks, being always on or other issues. Powering down the connected devices and turning them back on again will usually fix any connectivity problems you’re having.

If that doesn’t fix the issue, try rebooting the speaker by unplugging it and removing the device that’s acting up and adding it back once more.

Alexa is disconnected from Wi-Fi

If your Echo speaker isn’t staying connected to your network consistently enough, there are a few ways to fix connection issues.

First, power-cycle everything — the router, modem and Alexa speaker. After that, try streaming audio for a few minutes to see if the issue arises again. If so, attempt to move the speaker away from other devices, preferably closer to the router, and try switching the speaker to a 5GHz channel to decrease interference.

Alexa doesn’t understand your voice command

“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that” is a phrase often spoken by Alexa. It happens when the voice assistant didn’t comprehend what you said. Fortunately, Amazon added a feature last year that allows you to ask Alexa what it just heard. You can say “Alexa, tell me what you heard” to find out what it thought you said.

You’ll also want to make sure the Echo is positioned in an open space away from noisy household items like the TV, washer, dryer and dishwasher. It may hear you better, then.

You can also use Voice Training, a tool in the Your Profile settings in the Alexa app. You’ll read 25 phrases aloud in a “typical voice from a typical distance” so Alexa can get a baseline understanding of your pronunciation and cadence. This helps you to customize your Alexa experience.


Try not to crowd the speakers.

Accidental activation

Whether it’s commercials or shows talking about Alexa on TV or you said a word that sounded similar to “Alexa,” your speaker just activated and you’re confused. Luckily, there are four things you can do to minimize this:

  • Say “Alexa, why did you do that?” — This feature gives you more insight as to why Alexa performed an action.
  • Move the speaker farther from the television.
  • Press the mute button on top while watching TV.
  • Change the wake word from the default “Alexa” to either “Computer” or “Amazon.”

When Alexa performs an action without your command, ask it why.

Ry Crist/CNET

Alarms and notifications are too loud

You may have noticed when timers or alarms go off, the sound is much louder (or maybe quieter) than the playback volume of Alexa. That’s because alarm and timer volume is controlled separately within the Alexa app.

To set the alarm, timer and notification volume, open the Alexa app on Android or iOS and go to Devices > [your device name] > Sounds and drag the slider to the quantity stage you need.

Points streaming music with Spotify

Amazon’s Alexa audio system are able to streaming music from third-party companies like Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and Pandora. Of these, Spotify appears to have extra hiccups than the opposite companies, with music randomly stopping midstream for no good cause and generally not taking part in in any respect.

There isn’t any definitive repair for the errors, however begin to troubleshooting the issue is to reboot the speaker. Then unlink your Spotify account and register once more. 

To unlink Spotify, open the Amazon Alexa app and go to Settings > Music > Spotify. Faucet Disable Ability and make sure by tapping Disable. Subsequent, faucet Allow to make use of and comply with the directions to log in to your account once more.


If you happen to’re having bother streaming Spotify by means of your Echo, attempt unlinking the Ability within the Alexa app.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Bother taking part in music on the right speaker

Utilizing Multi-Room Audio, you possibly can management music playback on Echo audio system with a unique Echo. The characteristic works with the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Present, and it helps you to play music all through the home.

Nonetheless, if you do not have your Echo units correctly named, you will run into a difficulty when attempting to play music on different audio system. When you can title the audio system no matter you want, will probably be simpler to queue up music and keep in mind which speaker is the place in the event you title every speaker after the room it is in or its location in the home.

For instance, in case you have one Echo speaker named Katie’s Echo Dot, you will should say, “Alexa, play Queen on Katie’s Echo Dot.” Whereas that is not very troublesome to say, it is actually simpler and extra pure to say, “Alexa, play Queen within the kitchen.”

Having different points along with your Amazon Echo that we did not handle? Tell us within the feedback. Additionally, take a look at these three irritating Amazon Echo pet peeves and methods to repair them, six Amazon Echo settings you will not remorse altering and 4 prime Amazon Echo options to good and enhance now.

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