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A smart speaker that beeps in the middle of the night can be beyond frustrating. The first time it happened, I just wanted an answer: Why does my Alexa randomly beep, and how can I stop it?
Well, here’s the answer I wish someone had given me. These fixes will solve the most common reasons that your Alexa beeps randomly or comes on in the middle of the night. Let’s jump right in.
1. Check Your Routines
Alexa Routines are probably the most common cause of random Echo beeps, especially if your Alexa comes on in the middle of the night.
There are a few different types of triggers for routines, including button presses and voice commands. Seemingly random beeps, though, are usually caused by routines that trigger on a schedule.
Open your Alexa app to More -> Routines and look for any routines that have the clock icon (see image below). These are the scheduled routines.
Click each of them and check their set times listed under the “When It’s” header. Go ahead and delete any routines you don’t recognize and fix any that have their times set incorrectly.
Even if you don’t see any suspicious routines, there’s another step to try. Click Activity at the top of the Routines page to see a list of your recently triggered routines. If you see a triggered routine that coincides with your random beeps, click on it and press View Routine to edit or delete the routine.
2. Change Your Wake Word
Some of Alexa’s wake words are easier to trigger than others. I had to change from “Alexa” to “Echo” way back during one of the early seasons of House of Cards because any mention of the Russian Ambassador, Alexi Moryakov, would set off my smart speaker.
Your random beeps might be caused by environmental noises triggering your Echo. If that’s the case, your best bet is to change the wake word. Fortunately, there are five to choose from: Alexa, Amazon, Computer, Echo, and Ziggy. Pick a different one, try it out, see if it gets rid of the continuous beeping.
To change your wake word, open your Alexa app to Devices -> ‘Echo & Alexa’ and select your device from the list. Then click the gear icon in the upper right to open the device settings menu. Scroll down and click on Wake Word under the General section. Then select your new wake word and hit ok to confirm.
3. Check Your Alexa History
Alexa keeps a history of every voice command it has heard and every action it has taken. You can access that history from the Alexa app by going to More -> Activity. Click the Voice History tab at the top because that’s the one we’re going to be looking at.
You can filter to a single device or a given time period by clicking the Displaying line. Go ahead and select the device that has been beeping. If you’ve had a problem with more than one device, select the one that is beeping most continuously.
4. Turn Off Notifications (Some or All)
Beeping sounds that are accompanied by Alexa’s blinking yellow light are a sure sign that you’re getting notifications on your device. These can come from individual skills, but they are more likely Amazon delivery notifications or extreme weather alerts.
You can answer these notifications by saying (with your wake word, of course), “Alexa, notifications”. You may not want to deal with them, though, so Alexa gives you the option to turn off individual notification types or just stop all notification sounds.
To turn off individual types of notifications across all of your devices, open the Alexa app to More -> Settings -> Notifications. Each item in this list is an individual type of notification, and you can enable or disable any of them by clicking and looking for the Enable option within the submenu.
To deactivate all notification sounds on a single device, access the device settings menu. You can find this by going to Devices -> ‘Echo & Alexa’, clicking on the device name, and pressing the gear icon in the upper right. Then, click Sounds under the General section and select Notification under the Custom Sounds section.
Switch it from Default to None, and your Echo will no longer beep when it gets a notification.
5. Turn off Communications
Alexa’s drop-ins, calling, messaging, and announcements can all cause it to beep. You can disable these temporarily by putting Alexa in do not disturb mode. Just say, “Alexa, turn on do not disturb.” When you want communications to work again, say, “Alexa, turn off do not disturb.”
You can also deactivate communications altogether for an individual Echo device. Go to Devices -> ‘Echo & Alexa’, select the device name, and click the gear icon in the upper right. Then, click Communications in the General section of the menu. Here, you’ll be able to turn off Announcements, Drop-in, or all communications.
6. Fix Your Wi-Fi Connection
When your Alexa stops responding, typically due to a failed Wi-Fi connection, it responds with a beep and a message. Check the status of your Wi-Fi network. If it is going down in the middle of the night, that could be the cause of your randomly beeping Echo.
You could try connecting Alexa to another Wi-Fi network. Generally, though, you’ll just need to fix your network to prevent this from happening again.
7. Mute the Microphone
You can silence your Echo by pressing the mute button on top of the device. That will prevent any beeping until you press the button again to unmute the microphone.
I highly recommend using this as a short-term fix when Alexa is beeping continuously through the night. You can then go through some of these other debugging steps when you’ve gotten some sleep.
8. Disconnect Bluetooth Devices
Alexa’s Bluetooth connection lets it act as a wireless speaker for your phone or other devices. If you have an active Bluetooth connection to your Echo, the beeping sound may actually be coming through Bluetooth from your phone.
You can easily disconnect your Bluetooth devices by saying “Alexa, disconnect Bluetooth.” If the problem persists, you may need to unpair a device to prevent it from re-connecting.
To unpair a Bluetooth device, go to Devices -> ‘Echo & Alexa’ and select your Echo speaker. Then, click the gear icon in the upper right and select Bluetooth Devices from the Wireless section of the menu. You should see a list of paired devices. Click any of them to see a dropdown menu. Then, click Forget Device to unpair it.
9. Turn Off Brief Mode
Alexa typically responds to commands with words. When it’s in brief mode, though, it will often respond with a sound (like a beep) instead. That could explain those random noises you keep hearing, especially if Alexa is picking up ambient sounds.
You can turn off brief mode by going to More -> Settings -> Voice Responses. Toggle brief mode off in that menu, and your Echo should stop beeping in response to commands.
With those beeping sounds fixed, let’s put your smart speaker to good use. Check out my mega-lists of Alexa Spotify commands and Alexa Fire TV commands for some of the best ways to control your sound system with Alexa. With the low price of Alexa, it’s an ideal hub at the center of your smart home.
Oh, and if you’re having other problems with your Echo, I’ve been working on troubleshooting guides for common issues like when Alexa won’t play Apple Music or when you can’t link Philips Hue with Alexa. Alexa is great when it works, but I like to keep these solutions around for when Alexa is being temperamental—which is more often than I’d care to admit.