Smart & Connected Life Smart Home How to Set Up Your Amazon Echo by Sam Costello Writer Sam Costello has been writing about tech since 2000. His writing has appeared in publications such as CNN.com, PC World, InfoWord, and many others. our editorial process Facebook Twitter Sam Costello Updated on July 01, 2019 Courtesy of Amazon Smart Home Amazon Smart Home: Alexa & Amazon Echo Your Best Year Ever: College Tech Tips Appliances & Lighting Google Tweet Share Email The Amazon Echo makes your life easier just by speaking. But before you can start using your Echo, you need to set it up. Setup is pretty easy, but there are a few tips and tricks you should know to get you up and running quickly. Instructions in this article apply to the following models: EchoEcho DotEcho PlusEcho Tap If you have another model, check out these instructions: Echo ShowEcho Spot Download the Amazon Alexa App To start, download the Amazon Alexa app for your iPhone or Android device. You'll need this to set up the Amazon Echo, control its settings, and add skills. Download Amazon Alexa app for iPhoneDownload Amazon Alexa app for AndroidDownload Amazon Alexa app for Kindle Fire How to Set Up Your Amazon Echo With the app installed on your device and your Echo unwrapped and plugged into a power source, follow these steps to set it up: Open the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone. Tap the menu icon to open the menu. Tap Settings. Tap Set Up a New Device. Select the kind of device you have: Echo, Echo Plus, Dot, or Echo Tap. Choose language you want to use the Echo in from the drop down and then tap Continue. Tap Connect to Wi-Fi to join the device to your Wi-Fi network. Wait for the Echo to show an orange light, then tap Continue. On your smartphone, go to the Wi-Fi settings screen. On that screen, you should see a network called Amazon-XXX (the exact name of the network will be different for each device). Connect to that. When your smartphone is connected to the Wi-Fi network, return to the Alexa app. Tap Continue. 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 tap Connect. Your Echo will make a noise and announce that it is ready. Tap Continue and you're done. Make Your Echo Smarter With Skills Smartphones are useful devices, but anyone who's used one for a little while knows that 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. Just like with apps, individual developers or small companies also offer skills that are silly, fun, or useful. Even if you never install a Skill, the Echo comes with all kinds of functionality. But to really get the most out of your Echo, you should add some Skills. Adding New Skills to Your Echo You don't add Skills directly to your Amazon Echo. That's because the skills aren't actually downloaded to the device itself. Rather, the Skill is added 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: Open the Amazon Alexa app. Tap the menu icon to reveal the menu options. Tap Skills. You can find new Skills in basically 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. When you've found 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. If you want to install the Skill, tap Enable. (You may be asked to grant permission to certain data from your account.) When the Enable button changes to read Disable Skill, the Skill has been added to your account. To start using the Skill, just say some of the suggested phrases shown on the detail screen. Removing Skills From Your Echo If you need longer want to use a Skill on your Echo, follow these steps to delete it: Open the Amazon Alexa app. Tap the menu icon to open the menu. Tap Skills. Tap Your Skills in the top right corner. Tap the skill you want to remove. Tap Disable Skill. In the pop-up window, tap Disable Skill. More About Using Your Echo The instructions in this article have gotten you up and running with your Amazon Echo and have even helped you expand its functionality by adding Skills, but that's just the beginning. The Echo can do many, many more things than listed here. For example, you can make calls using Amazon Alexa. And as the center of your smartphone, Alexa adds voice controls to lights, appliances, and much more. So have fun. The possibilities are endless.