How to Set a Custom Alexa Wake Word [Easy Guide, 2023]

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One of the great features of Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, is the ability to change the wake word to something of your choice.

Wake words are a great way to make your interaction more personalized and unique and to avoid accidentally activating the wrong Echo device. In this guide, we’ll show you how to set a custom Alexa wake word and make the most out of your smart home experience.

The Basics of Alexa’s Wake Word

Before we dive into the process, let’s first understand what a wake word is. Essentially, a wake word is a word or phrase designed to “wake up” your Alexa device and make it ready to accept your commands.

By default, the wake word for Alexa is, well, “Alexa.” But if you have someone named Alexa in your home, or simply want a different wake word, Amazon allows you to change it.

If you have multiple Echo devices, I suggest setting a different wake word for each, especially if they are in nearby rooms. Close-by devices sharing a common wake word can cause it to seem like your Alexa is not responding, when really it’s just responding from the wrong device.

Steps to Set a Custom Alexa Wake Word

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you set a custom Alexa wake word:

  1. Open the Alexa app.
  2. Go to Devices -> Echo & Alexa.
  3. Select your device from the list.
  4. Press the gear icon in the top right to open Settings.
  5. Click Wake Word.
  6. Choose from the options provided: Alexa, Echo, Amazon, Computer, or Ziggy.
The Alexa app wake word selection screen

Unfortunately, as of the time of writing this guide, Alexa doesn’t support fully customizable wake words. The options are limited to the five provided and sometimes 1-2 seasonal or event-based options like Hey Santa.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Sometimes, Alexa might not respond to the new wake word immediately. If you encounter this issue, try the following steps:

  • Restart your device.
  • Ensure your device’s software is up-to-date.
  • Confirm you’re pronouncing the new wake word correctly.
  • Make sure you set the wake word on the right device if you have multiple Echos.

Can I set any word as my Alexa wake word?

Currently, Alexa only supports five options: Alexa, Echo, Amazon, Computer, and Ziggy. Sometimes, they will add seasonal or event-based alternatives to that list.

Does changing the wake word affect Alexa’s functionality?

No, changing the wake word does not impact Alexa’s ability to process and respond to commands.

Can I use different wake words for different devices?

Yes, each device can have its own wake word. I recommend doing this, especially if your devices are within earshot of one another.

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