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Connecting Alexa to Wi-Fi is an easy enough process, but the instructions Amazon gives aren’t always clear.
This article is meant to fill in that gap, including:
- Step-by-step instructions.
- Screenshots to illustrate the process.
- Common pitfalls, how to avoid them, and how to fix them.
Whether you have access to the Alexa app or not, this easy guide will show you how to connect Alexa to Wi-Fi in just a few minutes.
Does Alexa Need Wi-Fi?
Almost everything Alexa does requires Wi-Fi. Alexa doesn’t even process your speech on its own. Instead, it sends your speech to the Alexa Cloud.
Some of that is changing as newer Echo devices will include local voice processing. Currently, this is only available on the 4th-generation Echo and the 3rd-gen Echo Show 10. Moving voice processing offline is mostly for security purposes, though. You’ll still need Wi-Fi for most of Alexa’s functions for a long time to come.
Can You Use Alexa Without Wi-Fi?
While most of Alexa’s skills require Wi-Fi, there are still a couple of ways to use Alexa when the Wi-Fi is out:
- You can use Alexa as a bluetooth speaker without Wi-Fi, but you’ll need Wi-Fi for the initial pairing.
- Active Alexa alarms and timers will still work without Wi-FI, but you can’t set new ones or say “Alexa stop” when they go off.
How to Connect Alexa to Wi-Fi on the Alexa App
This process should work for connecting any Echo to Wi-Fi. First-generation echo devices will require a couple of extra steps, but we’ll cover that below.
1. Open the Alexa app
Open the Alexa app on your smartphone (or other device) and wait about 30 seconds for Alexa to detect your new device.
In most cases, you’ll be met with a popup saying that your Echo can be set up. If that doesn’t happen, it usually means that your device is a 1st-generation Echo that will need to be detected manually.
2a. Confirm your device (If you got the popup)
- Press CONTINUE on the pop-up if it shows the right type of device. If the device isn’t yours, hit LATER and try the steps in the next sub-section.
2b. Find your device (If you didn’t get the popup)
- Select More from the buttom menu bar.
- Click Add a Device from the list of menu items.
- Click Amazon Echo from the list of device types.
- Select your Echo device type from the menu. For most Echo smart speakers, you’ll just want to select “Echo, Decho Dot, Echo Plus and more”.
- Check your Echo to ensure that it is displaying an orange light.
- If the orange light is already showing, just press YES in the app.
- If your Echo is a 1st-generation device, click the “Manual Setup” option in the app instead. If you’re not sure what type of device you have, just click YES. Worst case, the process will fail back to manual setup if your device actually was 1st-gen.
If you don’t see an or, you’ll need to enter setup mode using one of the following methods.
- If you don’t see an orange light on your device, you’ll need to put it in setup mode. Once that’s done, go ahead and press YES in the app.
- Select your device from the list of available devices.
If you don’t see the right device in the list, press “Device not listed?” for further instructions.
If your app fails to find any devices, make sure the orange light is still showing and that you are within 10 feet of your Echo. Then, follow the instructions to try again. The app will take you through a manual setup, which will work for even 1st-generation Echos. Those steps are very similar to setting up an Echo without the app, which I’ll cover in the next section.
3. Connect to Wi-Fi
- Pick a Wi-Fi network. If you already have your Wi-Fi connection saved to your Amazon account, the app might auto-pick the network and skip this step. Just make sure that the network it picks is the one you want to use. Otherwise, there will be an option to pick a different network.
- Click CONTINUE again to finish the process. This screen may take about a minute to pop up. That’s it! Your echo is connected to Wi-Fi and ready to set up.
How to Connect Alexa to Wi-Fi Without the App
The Alexa app is the easiest way to set up an Echo device. However, Amazon has set up a website that can be used instead.
1. Open the website
Go to alexa.amazon.com. This website is incredibly buggy, so be prepared to try it in multiple browsers or even on multiple computers if it doesn’t work the first time. Here’s a shortlist of the browsers I had issues with:
- Chrome on Windows 10 — Kept crashing back to the homepage.
- Safari on Windows 10 — Wouldn’t even load the page.
- Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 — Kept crashing back to the homepage.
- Firefox on Windows 10 — Didn’t recognize some Echo devices.
- Chrome on MacOS — Kept crashing back to the homepage.
- Chrome on iOS— Have to request desktop site and kept crashing back to the home screen.
The only browser that consistently worked was Safari and only when used on macOS or iOS. On iOS that did require requesting the desktop version of the site.
2. Find your device
- Click Settings in the left menu bar.
- Select Set up a new device from the list in the main window.
- Pick your Echo device type from the list. When you click, your browser may reload the homepage. If that happens, try switching to a different browser or a different computer. Like I said, it’s a buggy site.
- Click Continue to start the setup process.
- Check your Echo for an orange light around the ring. If it’s there, hit Continue. That light indicates that your Echo is in setup mode, which is necessary for the next steps. If there’s no orange light, click the “Don’t see the orange light ring?” link.
- Connect to Echo’s Wi-Fi from your computer. Look in your list of available Wi-Fi networks for one called “Amazon-XXX” For instance, mine was called Amazon-KV9.
Yes, this will disconnect you from your current Wi-Fi network. If that is your internet connection, you’ll be offline for the next couple of steps, but you won’t need the internet for the remaining steps. Just keep the rest of these instructions at hand.
When you select the network, wait a few seconds until your Echo audibly confirms the connection. Then, it will take another several seconds for the browser to reload for the next step. If you don’t get the audible confirmation or the browser window doesn’t change, you may need to try a different browser or another computer.
- Press continue to proceed to the next step.
- Select the Wi-Fi network you wantto connect your Echo to.
- Wait for setup to complete. This can take several minutes, so just leave the browser alone.
- Click Continue to finish the setup process. Congrats!
With your Wi-Fi network setup, it’s time to enjoy your cool new Alexa gadget. You can find a ton of fun or practical Alexa skills in the app or at alexa.amazon.com. Now’s a great chance to connect your other smart devices to Alexa and give it access to your Spotify or other music accounts. If you’re using the Echo Show, this is also the time to connect Youtube or any of your streaming services.
Let me know in the comments if you ran into any issues with the setup process. Amazon is always changing their app and their site, so there’s always a chance that I’ve missed the latest revision.
Until next time!