How to Set Up Amazon Alexa

Brianne Sandorf
Staff Writer, Home Security & Smart Home
Read More
February 24, 2022
2 min read

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Struggling to set up Amazon Alexa? Not getting enough help from Amazon’s guide? We’re here to help.

Keep reading to learn more details about setting up Alexa. We’ll follow the steps Amazon provides while fleshing them out to give you more detail.

1. Plug in your Echo.

Technically, you can plug your new Echo in at any point before Step 7. But we like to start with this so that the equipment is ready to follow the app instructions.

2. Open the app.

The Alexa app is available on both the App Store and Google Play. Once you’ve downloaded it, you’ll log in with your Amazon account (or create an account if you don’t already have one).

You’ll keep the app open while you set up your Echo.

3. Select the settings menu.

On the homepage of your Alexa app, you’ll notice a stacked-bar icon in the upper left-hand corner. When you select it, the dropdown settings menu appears.

4. Select Add Device.

Choose Add Device from the settings menu.

Alternate way to add devices
Light Bulb

You can also select the Devices on the lower right-hand corner of your homepage, then hit the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner. Then you’ll hit Add Device to reach the Setup menu.

5. Select Amazon Echo.

Once you’ve navigated to the Setup menu using the previous steps, the app screen will read, “What kind of device are you setting up?”

Select Amazon Echo. The app will You can also select the Devices on the lower right-hand corner of your homepage, then hit the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner. Then you’ll hit Add Device to reach the Setup menu. Then it will present a list of Echos to choose from.

6. Choose your Echo type.

You need to select the correct Echo to finish installation. If you can’t remember what kind of Echo you have, check the packaging.

Currently, the Alexa app has the following options:

  • Echo
  • Echo Dot
  • Echo Dot Kids Edition
  • Echo Sub
  • Echo Auto
  • Echo Buds
  • Echo Loop
  • Echo Input
  • Echo Link
  • Echo Link Amp
  • Echo Studio
  • Echo Show 15
  • Echo Show 10
  • Echo Show 8
  • Echo Show 5
  • Echo Show 5 Kids
  • Echo Frames
  • Echo Flex
  • Echo Glow

7. Follow the app’s instructions.

Once you start connecting your Echo to the app, the process will be a little different depending on your Echo type. But rest assured, we’ve connected five different Echo models, and none of them were difficult to set up.

Be aware: setup is a visual process. The instructions will direct you to look at the light ring or screen as you set up your smart speaker.

Screen switching
Heads Up

If you’re setting up an Echo Show, or any other Echo device with a screen, the setup process will jump back and forth between your Echo screen and your phone screen.

If this is your first Echo, you’ll have to connect it to your Wi-Fi. But after that, your app may save the Wi-Fi login so you don’t have to keep using it.

Recap

If Echo setup has been a struggle for you, just follow our instructions, and you’ll be golden.

Amazon Alexa FAQ

Do I need good internet to use Alexa?

To fully maximize your Amazon Echo experience, you need internet that stays reliably connected. Otherwise, Alexa may tell you that she can’t help you with your inquiries.

If you have smart home devices connected to your Echo, you’ll want internet that’s fast too. The more devices you have, the speedier your internet should be. Slow Wi-Fi can’t keep up with multiple smart home products.

To learn more about setting up a smart home, check out our guide to smart home setup.

Does Alexa need to be plugged in to work?

Yes. This can be inconvenient at times. For instance, if Alexa’s also your alarm clock, she won’t wake you up if the power goes out.

There’s a way around this, though. Some third-party companies make Alexa battery stands so you can place your Echo in a spot with no accessible plug.

How does Alexa work?

You control your Alexa device through voice command. For example, if you want Alexa to read you a story, you say, “Alexa, read me a story.”

Alexa pulls from many different “skills.” To use an Alexa skill, you usually have to agree to the conditions of the third party that made the skill.

What can I do with my Alexa?

Alexa can do all kinds of things, like tell you the weather, set timers for you, call your friends, and sing you songs. She can also control compatible smart devices. Try hooking a smartbulb or smart lock to your Alexa app and say, “Alexa, turn on the lights,” or “Alexa, unlock the front door.” It’s like magic.

To learn more about how to use your Echo, check out our roundup of how to have fun with Alexa.

Which Echo Device should I get?

We’re partial to the Amazon Echo Dot. It packs the capabilities of a full size Echo into a small and affordable package.

However, if you’re looking for an Echo speaker with a screen, the Echo Dot is not for you. You'd be better off with an Echo Show.

Do I need an Amazon account to use Alexa?

You won't need to have Amazon Prime to use Alexa, but you will need a basic Amazon account. Your Amazon account is how you will set up Alexa and get it working properly. 

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining Reviews.org, she wrote safety and security content for ASecureLife.com. Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on MSN.com, Social Catfish, and Parents.com. Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at brianne@reviews.org.

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