Alexa can be a helpful assistant, but sometimes she can be a bit dumb. No doubt you’re reading this after Alexa failed to answer the question “why are you flashing yellow?” (or whichever colour you’re seeing.

So for your convenience, here’s what all the colours mean, and they apply to the Echo Show range as well where the colour will be displayed as a line along the bottom of the screen.

Why is Alexa flashing yellow?

Why is Echo Yellow

If your Echo’s Light Ring is yellow, it means you have a message waiting. It could be from a friend, or it might be an Amazon notification telling you a package is out for delivery.

To hear the message(s) say “Alexa, play my messages”.

Why is Alexa purple?

Why is Echo Purple

A purple Light Ring, which appears after you ask Alexa something, means that the Echo is in Do Not Disturb mode.

That prevents people from calling you or using the Drop In feature when you want some privacy. To turn off the mode say “Alexa, turn off do not disturb”.

Why is Alexa red?

Why is Echo Red

Red means the microphones are muted, which in turn means Alexa cannot hear you and won’t respond when you say the wake word.

To unmute an Echo, press the mic mute button which will be on top of the device.

If you have an Echo Show 5 or 8, the mic mute button is activated by sliding the cover over the camera, so to unmute, move the slider left so it isn’t showing red.

If the Light Ring is flashing red, then there’s probably an issue with your broadband connection as this means Alexa can’t communicate with Amazon’s servers.

Why is Alexa orange?

A This means there was a problem with the Echo’s Wi-Fi connection, so you need to either use the Alexa app, or if you have an Echo with a screen, swipe down from the top and tap the Wi-Fi icon to select a network and enter the password.

Why is Alexa flashing green?

Green means someone is trying to call you or is using the Drop In feature, for which you will have needed to approve them via the Alexa app in their contact page.

You should hear a ringing tone along with the green light when someone is calling, and you only need to say “Alexa, answer call” or “Alexa, ignore” to deal with it. If you accept the call, you can say “Alexa, hang up” to end it.

For more, read our guide on how to use Alexa calling and messaging.

You'll also find many more tips in our how to use Alexa guide, and some more advice on how to fix it when Alexa won't connect to Wi-Fi.