After I wrote a couple of blog posts about getting the most out of Amazon’s Alexa, several people emailed me to ask how to set up Alexa on an Echo device. I just assumed people knew how easy it is to set up. Well, you know the saying about people who assume things…
So! I decided to backtrack and write a post on how to set up Alexa on your Echo device. Then, I took it another step further: I made a demo video. I made the video because I want people to see just how easy it is to set up Alexa. She metaphorically takes your hand and walks you through the process.
If you had any doubts about buying an Echo device because you weren’t sure how difficult it would be to set up, this blog post and demo will erase those doubts. Plus, if you decide to buy an Echo device from Amazon (Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate and will make a small commission from Amazon if you buy through this link), I’ll send you an Alexa cheat sheet as a bonus. The cheat sheet has dozens of things you can ask Alexa or tell her to do, without any extra set-up steps. That way, you can start having fun with Alexa right away.
To get the bonus cheat sheet just send a copy of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can take a screenshot of it, or forward the email from Amazon, or take a picture of it with your camera and send it. After you email the receipt to me, you’ll get a link to download my handy, one-page cheat sheet.
How to Set Up Alexa on Your Echo Device
#1 Download the Alexa app to your phone or tablet.
If you’re an Apple user, you can download the free app from Apple’s app store. Android users can download the Alexa app directly from Amazon (affiliate link) or from Google Play.
After you download the app, log into the app using your Amazon id (usually your email address) and your Amazon password. This will connect your Echo or Echo Dot to your Amazon account.
#2 Plug in your Echo device.
After you’ve downloaded the Alexa app and put in your ID and password, it is time to plug in your Echo device. One end of the cable goes into the device and the other end gets plugged into an electrical outlet.
Tip: Place your Echo device in a central location where you spend most of your time. My first Echo Dot is in my kitchen.
You should see blue circles on your Echo device after you plug it in. Give it a few seconds if they don’t appear right away. Then Alexa will say, “Hello. Your Amazon Echo Dot is ready for setup. Just follow the instructions in your Alexa app.”
Then the blue light will change to orange. If, for some reason, your device is still stuck on blue and you are not seeing an orange light, don’t freak out! All you need to do is press and hold down the power button. (That’s the one with the little dot on top.)
If you hold that down for long enough, you will see the orange light and Alexa will say that she is now in setup mode.
#3 Open the Alexa app.
Open the Alexa app if you closed it and tap on the menu. (The three dashes in the top left.)
- Tap on “Alexa devices.” (Also, you might see this screen immediately.)
- Tap “add new device.”
- Then you’ll see a list of choices. Tap the device you have, i.e. Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, etc.
- Choose language from the pull down menu, and then click the blue “Continue” button.
- Tap the blue button that says, “Connect to Wifi.” And then hit continue.
#4 Go to Settings on your phone or tablet.
Now Alexa will say, “Go to your WiFi settings on this phone, and select the network of the format Amazon-xxx.”
- Leave the Alexa app and go to the Settings on your phone.
- Choose WiFi settings.
- When you select WiFi settings, you’ll see all the WiFi networks around you. One of the networks will start with “Amazon-.” Choose that network.
Do not freak out! Amazon is not installing a network in your house or on your device. This is only a signal between the Echo and your phone that allows them to connect. And once you’re connected, that network will go away.
Now Alexa will say, “You’ve connected to Echo Dot. Go ahead and finish the setup in your Alexa app.”
#5 Go back to the Alexa app.
Now, go back to your Alexa app on your phone or tablet. It should say, “Connected to Echo Dot.”
- Tap continue.
- When you see “Select your WiFi network,” choose the network you use when you’re at home.
(Your phone should already have a WiFi network set up, because I’m assuming that when you’re at home, your phone is on your WiFi. If, for some reason you have not logged into your WiFi, leave the Alexa app at this point and go into the WiFi settings on your phone or tablet. Then, add your network and your network password to get on your WiFi. After that, go back to the Alexa app.)
- Now the screen should say, “This may take a few minutes.” Be patient.
Tip: When you are connecting the Echo Dot to the WiFi, don’t walk away with your phone or table. I made that mistake. Your phone or tablet needs to be close to the Echo to make the WiFi connection. Mine never connected and I had to repeat the whole process. Then, I made sure to leave my phone right next to the Dot, and it connected just fine.
- You should see “Setup complete. Echo Dot is now connected to WiFi.”
- Then tap the blue “Continue’ button.
Tip: You may see a screen that asks how you want to use your Echo Dot. You don’t really need that step because both devices are on WiFi. I chose “Bluetooth,” I tapped “Skip this step” on the next screen. You don’t need the Echo to be paired to Bluetooth because it’s on the WiFi.
And that’s it! At the top of the home screen in the Alexa app it says, “Things to try.” Pick any one of these to see what happens. You can also say, “Alexa, what can you do?” Then you’re on your way!
Again, if you buy an Echo device from Amazon (affiliate link), I’ll send you an Alexa cheat sheet as a bonus. Just email your receipt to email@example.com and you’ll get my cheat sheet with lots of fun and useful Alexa commands.
I’d love to know how your Echo or Echo Dot has made your life easier. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post with your favorite Alexa skill.