How to Use Alexa's Drop-In for Intercom and Announcement Features

Turn your Echo devices into a whole-house communication system

Having Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, such as Echos, Echo Shows, or Echo Dots, throughout your home helps you easily communicate with family members. Use an Echo in one room to "drop-in" on an Echo in another room so you can make announcements or talk to others as if you were on an intercom. Here's how the Alexa Drop-In feature works.

Drop-In works on all Alexa-enabled devices, except for the Amazon Tap and Echo Look. If you have a video-enabled Echo device, connect with both audio and video. 

Amazon echo dot in a bedroom with a woman seated nearby tying her shoe

Set up Alexa Calling and Messaging on the Alexa App

To begin using the Drop-In feature as an intercom, you must first enable Alexa Calling and Messaging on the Alexa app. You'll be prompted to do this when you download and install the app. If not, select Communicate from the bottom menu, enter your mobile phone number, and give permission for calling and messaging.

Enable Drop-In on Your Echo Devices

Drop-In is set to off by default, so you'll need to turn it on for your Echo devices.

  1. Log in to the Alexa app on your mobile device.

  2. Tap Devices.

  3. Tap Echo & Alexa.

    Alexa App with Devices and Echo and Alexa highlighted
  4. Tap your Echo device > Communications, and then select and enable Drop-In.

    Permissions include Off, On, and Only My Household.

How to Use Echo's Drop-In Feature as an Intercom

After you've enabled Drop-In on all your Echo devices, you can start using the Echo's Drop-In feature as an intercom.

When each Echo has a unique name, such as "Living Room" or "Kitchen," it's easier to know where your message is going.

  1. Log in to the Alexa app on your mobile device.

  2. Tap Communicate from the bottom menu.

  3. Tap Drop-In from the top menu.

    Set up Drop In on the Alexa App
  4. Select your Echo device's name and begin speaking. When you're finished, select Hang Up.

    While you can contact your Echo devices from the Alexa app, they can't Drop-In on the app.

  5. Optionally, say "Alexa, drop in on [Echo name}” using another Echo device in your home. You'll connect instantly and be able to communicate with anyone in that room. 

    If you're using an Echo Show, you'll see a Recently Active indicator showing whether someone is near the other devices in your home. 

Alexa Announcements

Using Announcements is a great way to tell the family it's dinnertime or let everyone know it's time for bed. Use Announcements from any Echo speaker by saying a command such as:

  • Alexa, announce…”
  • Alexa, broadcast…”
  • "Alexa, tell everyone…”

For instance, if you say, "Alexa, tell everyone it’s time for breakfast," Alexa will play a chime on every Echo device and say, "Announcement.” Alexa will then playback your voice saying, "It’s time for breakfast." 

Make an Announcement Using the Alexa App

You can also use the Alexa app to make an announcement, which is helpful if you're away from home:

  1. Log in to the Alexa app on your mobile device.

  2. Tap Communicate from the bottom menu.

  3. Tap Announce.

  4. Type or speak your message, and then press the arrow.

    Set up an Announcement on your Alexa App
  5. Your message will play instantly on your Alexa-enabled devices.

When You Want to Avoid Interruptions

If you have a video-enabled device, but you don’t want to use video during a Drop-In conversation, say, "Alexa, Video off" or touch the screen and tap the Video Off button. 

To turn on Do Not Disturb, say, "Alexa, don’t disturb me."To turn off Do Not Disturb, say, "Alexa, turn off Do Not Disturb."

Schedule Do Not Disturb for specific times and specific devices using the Alexa app.