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What an Alexa red ring means and how to fix it

We’re conditioned to associate a red ring on our devices as bad news. If you suddenly see one on your Alexa device like an Echo, it’s easy to start worrying. It’s even worse when you try to use Alexa but find that the voice assistant isn’t responding as it should.

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10 minutes

What You Need

  • Echo or Echo Show, along with some other Alexa devices

Don’t worry! You didn’t break your smart device. Echo devices use their indicator rings to relay many types of information. In this particular case, a red ring isn’t as bad as you might think. With a few basic steps, you can fix it fast. Let’s jump into the details.

red ring meaning on alexa and how to fix echo
via Reddit/u/Razor512

Why does my Alexa have a red ring?

For many Echo devices, a red ring simply means the microphone has been turned off. The device can no longer pick up voices, including wake words and voice commands, so the Echo will also stop responding when the red light is on. Sometimes this no-microphone mode is enabled on purpose for privacy reasons; other times, it can happen by accident, especially when you move around an Echo device.

Other devices where Alexa is built-in may use similar indicator lights as well, so our steps may work for them, too.

Steps to fix an Alexa or Echo red ring

Step 1: Look for the microphone button on your Alexa device. Typically, this looks like a small microphone icon or a circle with a slash through it. The button is usually on the top of your Echo and easy to spot. Press it, and see if the red ring disappears. Confirm that your Echo is working by giving Alexa a brief voice command.

Amazon Echo Action Button
Kevin Parrish/Digital Trends

Step 2: If your Echo is stuck on a red ring no matter how much you press the microphone button, it could be frozen or have a similar problem. Unplug it, wait for several seconds, then plug it back in and let your Echo power back up. Now try to use the microphone button and see if it’s working properly.

Step 3: You can also check your Wi-Fi connection and make sure your Echo is connected to your Wi-Fi network. Sometimes this can cause problems with Alexa responding to commands or Echo settings that won’t turn off. Verify the Echo is in range, and try disconnecting it from your Wi-Fi, then reconnecting it. If this doesn’t work, try resetting your Wi-Fi router and see if that helps fix the problem.

Step 4: Check your Echo for physical damage. A drop or dent could be interfering with the microphone capabilities and automatically switching your mic off occasionally or disabling it permanently. This may also be the result of internal damage, such as getting the top of your Echo wet. There’s not much you can do in the case of physical damage, but if you are not responsible for the defect, then Amazon’s limited warranty may help out.

What about a red light on an Echo Show?

Echo Shows have similar indicators as well — often a bar on the display that will change colors based on the setting. On an Echo Show, a red indicator light can also mean the microphone is not working. In this case, it will also turn off the camera. Fortunately, the steps above should also work to solve any red light issues on a Show. However, on some Show models, the power button and the mic button are the same, so watch out for that and consult your manual if necessary.

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