Alexa is Amazon’s digital assistant and whether you love her or loathe her, she is undoubtedly part of your household and called upon whenever you want to listen to music, get a weather forecast or turn on the kitchen lights.
For the most part Amazon Echo speakers and smart displays are trouble-free – if you discount all the times Alexa responds to your question with “Hmm. I don’t know that one.”
If she’s refusing to answer anything at all, check if the Alexa service itself is down. Your commands aren't processed on the Echo itself (in most cases) but instead use Amazon's servers. If they're not working, Alexa can't work.
If, on the other hand Alexa is complaining that she can’t connect to Wi-Fi, here’s what to do to try and fix the situation.
5 ways to get Alexa connected to Wi-Fi
1. First, check another device – your phone, ideally – to see if it has an internet connection. Be sure to turn off mobile data to force it to use Wi-Fi and then open a web browser and check you can load web pages.
This will tell you if it’s your Echo or your router. If you can open web pages, it’s the Echo, not some other problem with your home Wi-Fi network.
The next step depends upon what you just discovered.
2. If your Wi-Fi network appears to be working fine, it’s time to restart the Echo. So unplug it from the mains and plug it back in after a few seconds. Wait until it boots up and check if Alexa now works or not.
3. If you found your phone can’t open any web pages, then try restarting your router. If it doesn’t have a restart button, do the same as for the Echo: unplug it from the mains and then plug back in.
Again, wait for it to start up and give it a good couple of minutes to re-establish an internet connection.
If you have other devices such as powerline network adapters with Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi extenders or a mesh Wi-Fi system, be sure to do the same with all those devices as well to ensure everything is powered off and restarted.
The old turn-it-off-and-back-on-again is the top fix for just about all tech problems. But if that doesn’t work, read on.
4. Reset your Echo’s Wi-Fi settings. We have a separate guide which explains how to connect Alexa to a different Wi-Fi network, but the gist of it is to hold down the button with a dot on it on your Echo. Keep holding it until you see the light ring glow orange.
This means it’s in setup mode and you can use the Alexa app to quickly run through setup again and choose your Wi-Fi network once more. This can sort out strange problems causing Alexa to have no internet connection, even if no-one changed the Wi-Fi password, but it’s also the fix when that has happened.
If you have an Echo Show it won’t have this button, but you can swipe down from the top of the screen to show the setting cog. Tap that and go to Wi-Fi settings and choose your network.
5. Another possible issue is that you’ve moved your Echo too far from your router and the Wi-Fi signal is either too weak or non-existent in that location. Try plugging in your device in the same room as the router or whatever provides Wi-Fi in your home and see if this cures the problem.
6. It’s very unlikely that the hardware inside the Echo has failed, but it can happen. If none of the other suggestions has got Alexa connected to the internet, go to Amazon’s website and sign in.
Click the three horizontal lines at the top left, then scroll down until you see Help & Settings. Click the link for Customer Service and follow the instructions. And if you do need a replacement, here are the best Echo speakers and displays to buy.
You might also like to know what the different colours mean on Alexa's light ring.