Alexa Notifications: Everything You Need to Know

Is Alexa flashing a new color? Learn what it means and how to use it

alexa on a pile of books

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Alexa offers a variety of notifications settings and alerts that you can customize at will. Most notifications illuminate the colored ring found on all Alexa-enabled devices, such as the Echo and Echo Dot. These colors change depending on the type of notification being sent.

Here's what those colors mean, as well as a rundown of how you can set up and edit your notifications.

What Do the Alexa Notification Colors Mean?

Colors beamed in the ring of your Alexa device represent a specific type of notification or message. Here's what they mean and what you can learn from them:

alexa red ring
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  • White: The volume is being adjusted. You can tell the volume setting by how much of the ring is lit up.
  • Blue: The Wake Word has primed the device and it is listening for a command. A slightly different tone of blue will point in the direction from which the device is detecting the command.
  • Spinning Orange: The device is connecting to Wi-Fi.
  • Spinning Violet: There was a problem during Wi-Fi setup.
  • Red: The microphone has been muted and Alexa will not respond to commands.
  • Flashing Purple: The Do Not Disturb mode has been activated.
  • Pulsing Green: There is an incoming call.
  • Spinning Green: There is an active call.
  • Pulsing Yellow: There are messages in your inbox.

How to Use Alexa Push Notifications

Developers may want to contact customers to let them know about new skills on offer. You can keep up to date with these notifications by allowing your favorite apps to notify you when a new skill is added.

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app on your mobile device.

  2. Select Settings > Notifications if you want to adjust general notifications, such as when Amazon orders have been shipped or delivered. Adjust the slider settings as needed. For app specific notifications, continue to the next step.

  3. From the Notifications screen, select Skills & Games > My Skills if you want specific apps to notify you of new skills. This will open a menu of every skill you have linked to your Amazon Alexa device.

    alexa skills and games
  4. Select the skill you want to edit, then open the Notifications menu to adjust the settings.

Why Enable App Specific Notifications?

You can use Alexa notifications to track Amazon orders and shipments, and you can turn those notifications on or off through the Alexa app. Here's how:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your connected device.

  2. Open the Menu, then navigate to Settings > Notifications > Shopping Notifications. Tick the slider to turn on when your packages are either out for delivery or have been dropped off.

    You can also adjust if you want Alexa to say what products are in the package. You may want to turn this option off if you're ordering gifts for someone.

  3. Use the Alexa app to tick the slider back if you no longer want to receive these notifications.

Examples of Notification Skills

Every app is different, but there are a lot of useful notifications skills you can enable so your device will alert you. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Severe Weather Alerts: Most weather apps can alert you to severe weather updates, such as flooding or high winds.
  • Breaking News: If you've linked a news outlet, such as NPR or the Washington Post, you can enable breaking news notifications curated by that specific outlet.
  • Flight notifications: If you have a travel app linked to flight times, you can have your Alexa notify you of delays and departures. This is useful if you're planning to pick someone up from the airport or waiting for someone to arrive.
  • Sports scores: If you're unable to keep an eye on your favorite team, you can set up notifications for score changes.

If you don't want your Alexa device to light up at night, you can set times for the Do Not Disturb mode. This will stop notifications until Do Not Disturb is turned off. To set times, open the Alexa app and select Devices > Do Not Disturb > Scheduled. This will allow you to set different times for different devices.