How to Fix It When Alexa is Having Trouble Understanding Right Now

Maybe it's Alexa... but maybe it's you

Amazon's lineup of smart Echo products may find themselves a bit lost, and you a bit confused, when Alexa can't respond to your requests. Typically, Alexa will speak this phrase when there is an issue, in addition to the echo's lights illuminating red.

"Sorry, I'm having trouble understanding you right now. Please try a little later."

Causes of 'Alexa Not Understanding You Right Now' Errors

When an Amazon Echo device has trouble contacting Amazon's servers to help decipher and understand what you are saying Alexa will speak the above error message. Exact causes of the issue include not having a connection to your wireless network, not having internet access or even an error on Amazon's end.

Man using smartphone next to internet router
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How to Fix 'Alexa Not Understanding You Right Now' Errors

  1. Turn Alexa Off and On: A tried and true method of the tech world, a simple restart of Alexa might be all you need to get it working again. Simply unplug your Echo device from the wall, then plug it back in again.

  2. Check Your Internet Connection: Is your Wi-Fi up and running at the moment? Alexa needs an active Wi-Fi connection to access the internet and decipher your commands. Check your router and modem to ensure you have access; if you don't, follow our guide to troubleshooting your internet connection.

  3. Ensure Alexa is Within Wi-Fi Range: Your Wi-Fi might be available and internet might be streaming, but that is no help to Alexa if it is too far away. If other devices in your house are also receiving a weak signal in the area Alexa is placed, attempt to move her closer to the router.

  4. Check with Amazon Support: Sometimes computer systems, even those owned by Amazon, see downtime. Alexa could have trouble connecting, but it the problem may lay with Amazon. Contact their support to see if they are currently aware of any issues.

  5. Reset Alexa to Factory Defaults: Your Echo unit might be having a software issue that it can't resolve on its own. Reset Alexa back to factory defaults in an attempt to fix the issue.

Need Extra Help with Alexa?

Businesswoman wearing headset at desk
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If you need extra help troubleshooting Alexa and your Echo device, we recommend that you contact Amazon support for more help. As the manufacturer of the Echo product line, the company's support channels should be able to get you back up and running if you feel stuck.