How to Get an Amazon Echo Show Up and Running

Getting started with the Amazon Echo Show

Amazon Echo Show Setup Illustration
Amazon Echo Show Setup Illustration. Images provided by Amazon

Making the decision to buy an Amazon Echo Show, is just the beginning. After you get it home and unbox it, you need to get it up and running.

What You Need

Initial Setup Steps

  1. Download the Alexa App to your PC/Mac or Smartphone Tablet. The app can be downloaded from the Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store, or Google Play. You can also download the app directly from Alexa.amazon.com using Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer 10 or higher.
  2. After downloading the Alexa App, find a spot for your Echo Show (should be eight inches or more from any walls or windows) and plug it into an AC power outlet using the power adapter. It will turn on automatically.
  3. Once on, you should hear Alexa say, "Hello, your Echo Device is ready for setup."
  4. Next, there are onscreen prompts for Select Language, Connect to Wi-Fi (have your password/wireless key code), Confirm Time Zone, Log in to your Amazon account (should be the same as the account you have on your smartphone), and then read and accept the Echo Show Terms and Conditions notice.
  5. If there are any available firmware updates, the screen will display an updates ready message. Tap Install Now, shown on the screen. Installation may take several minutes. Wait until the screen notifies you that installation of the update(s) is complete.

    After the updates are installed, an Introducing Echo Show video will become available that will familiarize you with some of its features. After viewing the video (recommended), Alexa will say, "Your Echo Show is ready."

    Using Alexa Voice Recognition and Touchscreen

    To start using the Echo Show, say "Alexa" and then state a command or ask a question. Once Alexa responds, you are ready to go. Alexa is the default Wake Word. However, you can also change your wake word by commanding Alexa to Go to settings or use the touch screen to get to the Settings menu. Once there, select Device Options, and select Wake Word. Your additional Wake Word choices are Echo, Amazon, and Computer. If you like one, select it and then tap Save.

    Tips for Using the Echo Show
    Using your Echo Show is as easy as using your smartphone:

    • You can change the Wake Word via the Alexa App on your mobile device or PC. Go to Settings, select the Echo Show as your device, scroll down to Wake Word, make your choice, then hit Save.
    • Now, simply talk to the Echo Show by asking questions or giving commands. If the Echo Show recognizes your questions, it will give you a verbal response, display the result, or simply perform the task.
    • When speaking to the Echo Show, talk in natural tones, at a normal pace. Over time, Alexa will become familiar with your speech patterns.
    • When using the touchscreen, employ the same tapping pressure and scrolling method you use to navigate a smartphone or tablet screen.
    • If you're not at home where your Alexa device is located, you can still control Alexa through your smartphone or tablet

    Once comfortable with Alexa's voice and the touchscreen, take a few minutes to sample Playing Music, Watching Videos, and Make a Phone Call.

    Play Music With Amazon Prime

    If you subscribe to Amazon Prime Music, you can start playing music right away simply with commands such as "Play rock from Prime Music" or "Play top 40 hits from Prime Music."

    When listening to music, the Echo Show will display Album/Artist art and song lyrics (if available). You can also verbally command the Echo Show to "raise the volume", "stop the music", "pause", "go to next song", "repeat this song," etc...

    Watch Videos On YouTube Or Amazon Video

    Get started watching TV shows and movies via YouTube or Amazon Video. To access YouTube, just say "Show me videos on YouTube" or, if you know what type of video you are looking for, for example, you can also say something like "Show me Dog videos on YouTube" or "Show me Taylor Swift music videos on YouTube."

    Note: Amazon and Google have a continuing dispute regarding Amazon's use of YouTube access on several of its devices, including the Echo Show. This means that Echo Show users may have intermittent access to YouTube until this dispute is permanently settled.

    If you subscribe to Amazon Video (including any Amazon streaming channels, such as HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, and more...), you can ask the Echo Show to "Show me my video library" or "Show me my watch list." You can also verbally search for specific movie or TV series titles (including by season), actor's name, or genre.

    Video playback can be controlled by verbal commands, such as "play", "pause", "resume." You can also go back or skip ahead in time increments, or command the Echo Show to go to the next episode if watching a TV series.

    Let Alexa Make A Phone Call or Send A Message

    For voice-only calling or messaging, you can use the Echo Show to call or message anyone that has a compatible device (Echo, smartphone, tablet) that has the Alexa App installed.

    For video calling, both parties need to have an Echo Show or one party needs to have a video-call-enabled smartphone/tablet with the Alexa app installed. To make a video call, tap the on-screen icon. If the person you want to call is on your contact list, just say the person's name the Echo Show will connect you.

    The Bottom Line

    Once you get the Echo Show set up and sample its core features, you can customize it further via built-in setting options and by enabling selections from Alexa Skills via the Alexa App on your smartphone or tablet.