How to Set Up Your Amazon Echo

Add Alexa Skills and more

The Amazon Echo makes your life easier just by speaking. Before you can start using your Echo, you need to set it up. It's pretty straightforward, but you should know a few tips and tricks to help you get up and running.

Instructions in this article apply to the following models: Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and Echo Tap. If you have another model, learn how to set up an Echo Show or Echo Spot.

Download the Amazon Alexa App

To start, download the Amazon Alexa app. You'll need this to set up the Amazon Echo, control its settings, and add Skills.

Download for:

How to Set Up Your Amazon Echo

With the app installed on your device and your Echo plugged in and in setup mode, follow these steps to connect it:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone and sign in, if necessary.

  2. Select Devices, then choose the plus sign (+) in the upper-right corner.

  3. Choose Add device > Amazon Echo > Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and More.

    Amazon Alexa Echo setup iOS
  4. Select your device from the list, choose the language you want the Echo to use from the drop-down menu, and then select Continue.

    Amazon Alexa Echo setup iOS (2)

    If the Echo is not detected, you may be asked to make sure it's in setup mode. If so, follow the troubleshooting steps to connect your Echo device. If it is connected but not recognized, make sure your mobile device's Bluetooth settings are on.

  5. Select Connect to Wi-Fi to join the device to your Wi-Fi network.

  6. Wait for the Echo to show an orange light, then choose Continue.

  7. On your smartphone, go to the Wi-Fi settings screen. You should see a network called Amazon-XXX (the exact name of the network will be different for each device). Connect to it.

  8. When your smartphone is connected to the Wi-Fi network, return to the Alexa app. Select Continue.

  9. Select the Wi-Fi network you want to connect the Echo to by tapping it. If the Wi-Fi network has a password, enter it, then choose Connect.

  10. Your Echo will make a noise and announce that it is ready. Select Continue, and you're done!

Make Your Echo Smarter With Alexa Skills

Smartphones are helpful devices, but their true power is unlocked when you add apps to them. The same thing is true with your Amazon Echo, but you don't install apps; you add Skills. Skills are what Amazon calls the extra functionality you can install on the Echo to perform various tasks.

Companies release Skills to help the Echo work with their products. For example, Nest has Echo Skills that let the device control its thermostats, while Philips offers a Skill to let you turn its Hue smart lightbulbs on and off using the Echo. Like with apps, individual developers or small companies also provide silly, fun, or valuable Skills.

Even if you never install a Skill, the Echo comes with all kinds of functionality. But to get the most out of your Echo, you should add some Skills.

Add New Skills to Your Echo

You don't add Skills directly to your Amazon Echo. Instead, you add the Skill to your account on Amazon's servers. Then, when you launch a Skill, you're communicating directly with the Skill on Amazon's servers via the Echo.

Here's how to add Skills:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.

  2. Tap the menu icon to reveal the menu options.

  3. Tap Skills.

  4. You can find new Skills the same way you find apps in an app store: Check out the features items on the homepage, search for them by name in the search bar, or browse by category by tapping the Category button.

  5. When you find a Skill you're interested in, tap it to learn more. The detail page for each Skill includes suggested phrases for invoking the skill, reviews by users, and overview information.

  6. If you want to install the Skill, tap Enable. (You may be asked to grant permission to certain data from your account.)

  7. When the Enable button changes to read Disable Skill, the Skill has been added to your account.

  8. To start using the Skill, say some of the suggested phrases shown on the detail screen.

Remove Skills From Your Echo

If you no longer want to use a Skill on your Echo, follow these steps to delete it:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.

  2. Tap the menu icon to open the menu.

  3. Tap Skills.

  4. Tap Your Skills in the upper-right corner.

  5. Tap the skill you want to remove.

  6. Tap Disable Skill.

  7. In the pop-up window, tap Disable Skill.

More About Using Your Echo

The instructions in this article will get you up and running with your Amazon Echo and help you expand its functionality by adding Skills, but that's just the beginning. The Echo can do more things than listed here. For example, you can make calls using Amazon Alexa. And as the center of your smart home, Alexa adds voice controls to lights, appliances, and more. So have fun. The possibilities are endless.

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