“I’m having a hard time understanding right now. »How To Fix These Annoying Amazon Alexa Problems


If Alexa is having Wi-Fi connectivity issues, try unplugging your Amazon Echo.

Ian Knighton / CNET

You can often expect your Amazon Echo smart hub to meet voice commands no problem. However, this is not always the case when it comes to Alexa. “I’m having a hard time understanding right now” is a common phrase you can expect to hear if something is wrong with your Echo-enabled device. And sometimes the voice assistant even goes perform a different action than what you asked for.

It’s frustrating to constantly repeat yourself or solve problems. But rest assured, it’s not you. Sometimes Alexa has some issues. But we’re here to help. Whether it’s reconnecting to your Wi-Fi or connecting your smart devices to Echo, we’ve got you covered.

So don’t reset your Amazon Echo speaker Again. We’ll share some quick and easy fixes to the most common Amazon Echo. ($ 30 on Amazon) problems. And once everything’s back to normal, try these Halloween Alexa Skills to prepare for a scary season.

This story is updated periodically with new information.

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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 desired volume level.

Music streaming issues with Spotify

Amazon’s Alexa speakers are capable of streaming music from third-party services such as Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Pandora. Of these, Spotify seems to have more problems than other services, with music stopping randomly halfway for no good reason and sometimes not playing at all.

There is no definitive solution for the errors, but a good start to solving the problem is to restart the speaker. Then unlink your Spotify account and sign back in.

To unlink Spotify, open the Amazon Alexa app and go to Settings > Music > Spotify. Faucet Disable skill and confirm by pressing Deactivate. Then press Activate to use and follow the instructions to reconnect to your account.


If you’re having trouble streaming Spotify through your Echo, try unlinking the skill in the Alexa app.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Problem playing music on the correct speaker

Using Multi-room audio, you can control music playback on Echo speakers with another Echo. The feature works with Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show, and it lets you play music all over the house.

However, if your Echo devices are not correctly named, you will run into an issue when you try to play music on other speakers. Although you can name the speakers whatever you like, it will be easier to queue music and remember which speaker is on if you name each speaker after the speaker. room in which it is located or its location in the house.

For example, if you have an Echo speaker named Katie’s Echo Dot, you would have to say “Alexa, play Queen on Katie’s Echo Dot”. While it’s not very hard to say, it’s certainly easier and more natural to say, “Alexa, play queen in the kitchen.”

Do you have other issues with your Amazon Echo that we haven’t resolved? Let us know in the comments. Also check out these three irritating Amazon Echo pet peeves and how to fix them, six Amazon Echo settings you won’t regret changing and four main features of Amazon Echo to perfect and improve now.

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