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How to Fix Amazon Alexa Not Understanding You

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path by rating it at the end.

Introduction

While Alexa can help you with a variety of tasks, sometimes she can have errors hearing audio.

Amazon Alexa device

This guide will help you diagnose and repair several common listening issues.

1 Ensure Mic Unmuted

If your Amazon device cannot hear you, chances are you're muted. To check if you're muted, just look at the top of the device. The microphone button and light ring will be red if you are muted. Simply tap the microphone button to enable voice control.

Amazon Alexa device with microphone button selected.

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While Alexa can help you with a variety of tasks, sometimes she can have errors hearing audio.

Amazon Alexa device

This guide will help you diagnose and repair several common listening issues.

If your Amazon device cannot hear you, chances are you're muted. To check if you're muted, just look at the top of the device. The microphone button and light ring will be red if you are muted. Simply tap the microphone button to enable voice control.

Amazon Alexa device with microphone button selected.

To restart your device, unplug the power adapter from the back of the device or from the wall outlet. Then, plug the power adapter back in.
Illustration of an Amazon Echo showing how to plug in
  1. Open your Alexa app.
    Amazon Alexa App icon
  2. Select the Menu.
    Amazon Alexa App Menu
  3. Select Settings.
    Amazon Alexa app settings icon
  4. Select Your Echo Device.
    Amazon Alexa list of devices
  5. Select Update Wi-Fi.
    Amazon Alexa update Wi-Fi
  6. The Wi-Fi network you're connected to will be listed.
    Amazon Alexa Wi-Fi network list

Keep in mind:

For Alexa to work, you need an active Wi-Fi connection. An active Wi-Fi connection means that Alexa can stream music and other media from the Cloud, and answer your questions or process your requests.

Place your Alexa device in an ideal location

  • Make sure your Alexa device is at least eight inches away from walls or other objects that may cause interference (like microwave ovens or baby monitors).
  • If your Alexa device is on the floor, move it to a higher location.

Be clear

  • Make sure there is no background noise when you speak to Alexa.
  • Speak naturally and clearly to Alexa.

Be specific

  • Repeat your question or request.
  • Rephrase your question or make it less general. For example, there are many cities around the world called "Paris." If you want to know the weather in Paris, France, say, "What's the weather like in Paris, France?"
  • Check the Alexa app to see what Alexa heard. On the Home screen, select Learn more at the bottom of the interaction card. You can read what Alexa heard, listen to your request, or provide feedback.
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