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The Alexa action button is an important part of many troubleshooting and how-to guides for Echo users. If you have an Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, or Echo Show 10, there’s an obvious problem with that: There’s no action button!
None of the Echo Show models have an action button. Instead, you’ll use the screen to perform resets and stop timers. This works for all Echo action button tasks except waking Alexa.
In this article, I’ll explain what the Alexa action button does, why the Echo Show doesn’t have one, and how to use the screen in place of an action button.
What Does the Alexa Action Button Do?
The action button on most Echo devices serves multiple purposes. You need it t:
- Put Echo in setup mode—A long press will reset Alexa, putting it into setup mode where Echo shows an orange light and you can connect Alexa to your Wi-Fi network.
- Wake Alexa—When it’s not convenient to say “Alexa” or when Alexa is not responding, you can press the action button on an Echo or Echo Dot to get its attention.
- Stop Alexa alarms and timers—You can press the action button to stop an Echo timer or alarm instead of saying “Alexa, stop”.
Where Is the Action Button on Echo Show?
The Echo Show doesn’t have an action button. Instead, the touchscreen can be used for tasks like canceling timers or resetting your Echo. Unlike other Echos, though, you can’t wake the Show without using the wake word.
For example, when your timers go off, you’ll be presented with a screen that includes a Dismiss button. Pressing that will stop the timer, just like pressing the action button on an Echo Dot.
In fact, the screen replaces most of the functions of the action button and even several functions of the Alexa app. You can access all of the device settings through the Echo Show’s touchscreen, something that you couldn’t do on the Echo or Echo Dot without using the smartphone or computer apps.
Where Is the Reset Button on Echo Show?
To reset an Echo Show, you need to use the touchscreen. Here’s the process:
- Swipe down from the top of the screen to bring up the menu bar.
- In the menu bar, press Settings.
- Scroll down in the Settings menu until you see Device Options. Press that item.
- Scroll through the Device Options menu until you see Reset to Factory Defaults. Press that to reach the confirmation page.
- Press RESET to finish reseting your Amazon Echo Show. This is the last confirmation step, so make sure that you understand the impact before you click.
- Wait for your Echo Show to reset. This process will take 2–3 minutes, during which time the device will restart.
What Are the Buttons on Top of the Echo Show?
The Echo Show has three buttons and a slider along the top. None of these buttons are meant to replace the action button. Their functions are similar to those of the other buttons on the Echo or Echo Dot.
Here’s what the Echo show buttons and slider do:
- Mute button—Turns off the Echo microphone and stops the Show from listening for its wake word. You can tell your Echo Show is musted by the red bar along the bottom of the screen and the mute icon in the upper right. You can turn off mute by pressing the mute button a second time.
- Volume up and down buttons—These buttons adjust the speaker volume of the Echo Show. When you press one of them, you’ll see a volume slider appear indicating the current speaker volume. You can also control this slider by pressing and dragging on the touchscreen.
- Camera privacy slider—The privacy slider puts a physical cover over the Echo Show’s camera. This slider can only be enabled and disabled manually, which is important for privacy purposes. When you move the slider, you’ll see an info bar at the top of the screen saying either Camera On or Camera Off. You can also see the cover itself if you look where the camera lens would usually be on your device.
How to Put Echo Show in Setup Mode
To put your Echo Show in setup mode, you’ll need to reset it using the steps above. Once the reset process is complete, your device will be ready to set up for a new user.
You don’t need to use Alexa’s setup mode to change Wi-Fi networks or to pair your Echo to your smartphone. You can do all of that in the settings menu.
There are only two reasons to use setup mode:
- You bought a used Echo Show and you need to switch it to your account. This shouldn’t be necessary for new or certified refurbished Echo Shows since they are shipped ready for setup.
- Your Echo Show isn’t responding due to an Alexa firmware update problem or similar issue, and you have to resort to a factory reset to fix it.
When you move from an Echo or Echo Dot to an Echo Show, the screen-based actions are one of the harder parts of the learning process. Fortunately, the touchscreen is very intuitive, and you’ll quickly realize its advantages.
The Echo Show is pricy compared to the cost of most Alexa speakers. The upcoming Echo Show 15 is going to be the most expensive Alexa device—even more expensive than the Echo Studio with its 3D Audio!
But the extra utility of the screen makes the Show a great smart hub, enabling several new smart plug uses, integration with security camera feeds, and a whole lot more. It’s a pretty awesome device once you get used to not having an action button.
Zak has spent 12 hears in the tech industry focusing on automation, analytics, and cybersecurity. His passion is tech education; he uses his industry expertise and STEM PhD to break down complicated concepts into simple step-by-step guides. When he’s not writing or coding, you can find him binging anything Star Trek or Marvel or reading far too many sci-fi novels.