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

Connect with others using only Alexa

Use Alexa as an intercom in your own home
Use Alexa as an intercom in your own home.

Rachel Murray / Stringer / Getty Images

Having Amazon Alexa-enabled devices throughout your home offers many advantages. You can listen to the same music as you go through the house, set reminders, or check the status of your Amazon orders from any room. Perhaps one of the most useful ways to utilize multiple Echo devices is to communicate with others in your home. 

You can use one Echo to drop in on another Echo in a different room, speak to someone as you would via an intercom, or make announcements without shouting down the hall or traipsing up the stairs.

Here's how you can use Alexa as an in-home (and even away-from-home) intercom system.

Supported Devices

Before you try to use one of these helpful features, make sure all of your devices are compatible. Drop-in and Announcements will work on all Alexa-enabled devices, except for the following:

  • Amazon Tap
  • Echo Look
  • Amazon Connect

In addition, if you have a video-enabled Echo device such as Echo Spot or Echo Show, you will have the ability to connect with audio and video. 

How to Use Echo Drop In as an Intercom

In order to begin using Echo Drop In as an intercom, you must first sign up for Alexa Calling and Messaging on the Alexa app and enable Drop In on your devices. 

Using Echo Drop In as an Intercom
Using Echo Drop In as an Intercom.

Set Up Calling and Messaging

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

  2. Tap the Conversations icon; the little text bubble at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Follow the prompts to confirm your name, allow access to your contact list, and verify your phone number (with an SMS code). 

  4. Tap the hamburger icon in the upper left to expand the menu.

  5. Tap Settings and select the first Echo you want to enable from the list.

  6. Under General, look for Drop In and select On if it's not already selected.

  7. Tap Drop In and select Only My Household to restrict this feature to devices in your home.

  8. Repeat for your remaining devices. 

Name Your Device

Name Your Devices
Name Your Devices.

If you have multiple Echo devices in your home, you will want to give each one a unique name that makes it clear where the device is so you can use the intercom feature more easily. 

  1. Open the Alexa app on your mobile device and tap the hamburger icon.

  2. Select Settings and tap the Echo you want to name.

  3. Tap Edit Name

  4. Delete the current name and enter a new one, such as "Living Room" or "Boys’ Room."

  5. Rename the rest of your devices and exit the app.

Once you've set up the feature and named your Alexa devices, you can say "Alexa, drop in on the Living Room” to any of the other Echo devices in your home. You will connect instantly and be able to communicate with anyone in that room. 

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

Alexa Announcements

Using the Announcement feature is easy once you have Alexa Calling and Messaging set up. Simply say one of the following phrases, then make your announcement:

  • 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.” 

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. 

Turn on Do Not Disturb
Turn on Do Not Disturb.

You can also enable the Do Not Disturb feature to stop alerts for calls and messages, as well as prevent Drop In contact on specific devices. Do Not Disturb is available on the following Alexa-enabled devices:

The feature is not supported on Fire tablets, iOS devices, or Android devices.

  • Amazon Echo (1st Generation and 2nd Generation)

  • Echo Dot (1st Generation and 2nd Generation)

  • Echo Show

  • Echo Spot

  • Echo Plus

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

Additionally, you can schedule Do Not Disturb for specific times using the Alexa app:

  1. Start the Alexa app.  

  2. Tap the hamburger icon in the upper left to expand the menu.

  3. Select Alexa Devices.

  4. Select your device.

  5. Select Do Not Disturb

  6. Enable Scheduled.

  7. Tap Start and End to set the times.