Skip to main content

What an Alexa red ring means and how to fix it

It's never a good sign when a red light appears on your electronic device. The color almost universally indicates an issue – and seeing it on your Alexa device is no different. A red ring on an Echo or Echo Show makes it nearly impossible to use, with the voice assistant unable to hear your commands (no matter how much you raise your voice).

Difficulty

Easy

Duration

10 minutes

What You Need

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

But unlike the infamous red ring of death found on the old Xbox 360, the Alexa red ring isn't nearly as ominous. In fact, it's actually a simple problem to fix, and there's a good chance you can get your device back into working condition in just a few seconds. From the Echo Show to the Echo Pop, here's a look at what an Alexa red ring means and how to fix it.

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.

Amazon Echo Pop in four colors.
Amazon / Amazon

What about a red light on an Echo Pop?

The new Echo Pop doesn’t have the same light ring as the Echo Dot lineup, but it does use a similar light bar to let you know its status. And if you see the Echo Pop light bar turn red, there’s a good chance it’s because the microphone has been disabled. You can fix this problem using the same method described above – simply tap the Mute button found on the top of your Echo Pop. If that doesn’t work, try unplugging it, then plugging it back in.

Editors' Recommendations

Tyler Lacoma
Former Digital Trends Contributor
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
Arlo Pro 5S vs. Ring Stick Up Cam Pro: Which is the best premium security camera?
The Arlo Pro 5S installed outside on a wall.

Security cameras are available at all budget levels, and it's not hard to find something under $50 that'll do a decent job of protecting your home. But if you're serious about home security, you'll likely want to increase your budget. Doing so will get you a product with better resolution, a wealth of useful features, and weatherproof designs that will work either indoors or out in the elements. And when it comes to premium security cameras, few products are as popular as the Arlo Pro 5S 2K and Ring Stick Up Cam Pro.

Interested in adding one of these high-end cameras to your home? Here's a comprehensive look at the Arlo Pro 5S 2K and Ring Stick Up Cam Pro to help you decide which is best for your needs.
Pricing and monthly fees

Read more
Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam vs. Ring Stick Up Cam Pro: Which is better for your home?
The Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam next to a smartphone.

The Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam is one of the latest products from Ring. It allows users to control the camera remotely, giving them a simple way to see all corners of their home. It's also much more affordable than the existing Ring Stick Up Cam Pro, which offers plenty of cool features, but can't pan or tilt.

That makes it difficult to determine which is best for your home. Should you opt for the premium Stick Up Cam Pro, or is the Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam a better option due to its cheaper price tag? Here's a look at the two security cameras to help you decide.
Pricing and monthly fees

Read more
Ring is launching its first integrated pan-tilt security camera later this year
The Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam Starlight on a shelf.

Ring's catalog is growing a bit larger this month with the arrival of the Ring Pan-Tilt Indoor Cam on May 30. This marks the first time the company has released an integrated pan-tilt camera, and for shoppers seeking a device that can capture all corners of their room, it should be an enticing option.

Using the Ring app, you can control the viewing angle of the Pan-Tilt Cam remotely. Its motorized base can swivel up or down and pan left or right, allowing you to move the camera as you see fit. That allows for 360-degree horizontal coverage and 169-degree vertical tilt coverage. Ring says it designed the camera to deal with a variety of common situations experienced by its customers -- such as scanning a living room to check on a pet or attempting to monitor multiple doorways and windows throughout the home.

Read more