Skip to Content

Alexa Not Discovering Devices: 10 Causes & Fixes (2023)

Alexa Not Discovering Devices

“Help! I can’t connect my thermostat to Alexa.”

Alexa is an amazing device that can transform your whole house into a smart home.

Once you’ve connected all your smart devices to Alexa…

You can enjoy a more convenient and automated everyday life.

But then, Alexa can sometimes fail to discover certain devices.

Leaving several smart devices unpaired and useless.

What causes it to happen?

And how can you successfully connect smart devices to Alexa?

Read on to discover:

  • How to enable paired smart device skills.
  • 10 causes of Alexa not discovering devices.
  • Why turning on UPnP can help discover devices better.
  • 10 ways to successfully connect smart devices to Alexa.
  • And a lot more…

Why is my Alexa not discovering devices?

Alexa isn’t discovering devices because it’s incompatible with them and is connected to a different WiFi network. It can’t detect smart devices that aren’t set up and have uninstalled skills. Having an outdated app and device firmware or disabled UPnP can also prevent Alexa from discovering devices.

Alexa not discovering devices – 10 causes & fixes

#1: Incompatible smart device

Alexa is compatible with thousands of smart devices. 

Manufacturers register their smart devices to Amazon’s system to make them work with Alexa. 

If your smart home device is Alexa-enabled, you shouldn’t have a problem connecting it with Alexa.

And if your device is not registered with Alexa’s system, Alexa won’t be able to detect it.

Meaning, you can’t use Alexa to control your smart device.

How to fix it:

You can review Amazon’s Smart Home page to check if your device is listed.

This page only features smart home devices that are Alexa-enabled.

So, if you can’t find your device on this page, it means your device is unregistered.

And you can’t connect it with Alexa.

The best thing you can do is to buy another smart device that is Alexa-enabled.

If you don’t want to spend, wait for your smart device manufacturer to register their product to Amazon.

The downside with it is that you don’t have control over it. And it will surely take a long time.

Buying tip: Check out Amazon’s Smart Home page first before buying any smart home device. Doing this will help you ensure that your device is Alexa-enabled.

#2: Device not connected to the same WiFi network

For multiple devices to work as one, they should be connected to the same network.

Your Alexa speaker device, Amazon Alexa app, smart home device, and smart device companion app should be connected to one WiFi network.

Each of these devices sends signals to another device using radio waves.

And your WiFi router is what carries and delivers these signals.

So, if any device is connected to a different WiFi network, the signals won’t be carried out successfully.

Using a 5 GHz WiFi band connection can sometimes also be a problem.

How to fix it:

First, check both the Amazon Alexa app and the smart device companion app. And see which WiFi network they’re connected to.

To check or change WiFi settings on the Amazon Alexa app:

  1. Select “Devices.”
  2. Tap Alexa speaker device.
  3. Click “Change” under the “WiFi network.”
  4. Then, follow the on-screen instructions.

To check or change the WiFi setting on your smart home companion app, refer to its user manual.

Different brands have different instructions on changing WiFi settings. So, it would be better to review your user manual for this.

Check if the devices are connected to the same WiFi network.

Note: Most smart devices only work with a 2.4 GHz WiFi band. So, make sure to connect your Alexa speaker and smart home device to a WiFI network with a 2.4 GHz frequency.

#3: Smart device not set up

“My smart device is Alexa-enabled, and it’s connected to the same WiFi network. But why can’t Alexa discover my device?”

Have you set up your smart home device yet?

If not, then that may be the reason.

Alexa can only detect devices that are already on and set up.

Since Alexa uses radio waves, your smart device should first be connected to WiFi.

You can only do that by setting up your smart device to its companion app.

Most smart devices come with a companion app. So, you can control and customize the device’s settings better.

How to fix it:

If you have just bought your smart home device, make sure to set it up first.

Check your user manual to see which app you should download.

Usually, developers name smart device companion apps with their brand name.

Once you have downloaded the app, follow the instructions to set up and connect your device to WiFi.

Once it’s connected, Alexa should be able to detect your smart device.

Note: Don’t unplug the smart device or close the companion app on your phone while the setting up is ongoing. Doing this can cause the setup to fail.

Check out: Alexa Device Is Unresponsive: 16 Causes & Fixes

#4: Smart device skill not enabled

Most smart devices have Amazon skills.

And some of them require that you install their Amazon skill first to connect your smart device to Alexa.

Skills are manufacturer apps in the Amazon system.

Users download it to give Alexa access and control to their specific smart home devices.

If Alexa can’t discover your smart device, installing its skill may resolve the problem.

How to fix it:

To enable skills on the Amazon Alexa app:

  1. Go to the menu.
  2. Select “Skills.”
  3. Search for the manufacturer’s skill.
  4. Click “enable.”
  5. Then, follow the on-screen instructions.

After that, go to the “Devices” section and click “Add device.”

You can also ask Alexa to discover your smart home device by saying, “Alexa, discover my devices.”

Then, Alexa will guide you throughout the setup process.

Here’s an instructional video on how to enable Amazon skills!

Reading recommendation: 10 Things Alexa Can Do Without a Smartphone (Best Features)

#5: Outdated Amazon Alexa app

When was the last time you updated your Amazon Alexa app?

If that’s months ago already, then the issue must be on the Amazon Alexa app.

The Amazon Alexa app acts as a bridge between your WiFi network and the Alexa speaker device.

If the app runs into some problems, your Alexa speaker can also malfunction. And it can stop receiving signals from other devices.

Most of the time, phone apps malfunction when there are software bugs in their system.

If not that, it’s because new app updates are incompatible with the previous software.

When developers update apps, they sometimes remove or replace features.

And that causes the app to malfunction.

How to fix it:

Updating the Amazon Alexa app removes software bugs and updates its system.

Open your app store and check if there’s an update available for the Amazon Alexa app.

If yes, then update the app immediately.

If none, try restarting the app by uninstalling and reinstalling it.

Doing this deletes temporary memory and data, including generic bugs.

Note: Uninstalling and reinstalling the Amazon Alexa app wouldn’t delete data.

#6: Outdated Alexa speaker device

Alexa speakers also have firmware. 

Meaning, they regularly receive system updates as well.

If your Alexa speaker’s firmware is outdated, it may not be able to receive signals from your smart home device.

Aside from software bugs, outdated devices are more prone to viruses.

And these viruses can block radio signals as well.

One study showed that even WiFi-enabled devices could experience modification attacks.

Usually, Alexa speakers update themselves automatically.

But sometimes, certain situations can prevent automatic updates.

How to fix it:

The issues with the software bugs can be resolved by restarting the device.

To restart the Alexa speaker device:

  1. Unplug the cord of the Alexa speaker from the power socket.
  2. Wait for about 30 seconds.
  3. Then, replug the device to the socket.

After this, you should mute your Alexa speaker for at least 15 minutes.

Just press the microphone icon on the device to mute.

Muting the device will allow Alexa to receive new update installations. As Alexa only updates itself during off-hours. 

Muting the device, in a sense, sends signals to Alexa that it’s “off-hours.”

Learn more: Why is my Alexa not turning on?

#7: Outdated smart device companion app

“But my Amazon Alexa app and Alexa speaker are updated….”

If nothing on the side of Alexa is the issue, then it must be on the side of the smart device.

Check whether your smart device companion app is working perfectly.

No matter how much you troubleshoot your Alexa speaker and Amazon Alexa app, nothing will be resolved if the smart device app is the problem.

The smart device app can also malfunction due to software bugs or outdated firmware.

Your best solution is to update and refresh the app.

How to fix it:

First, check whether there’s an update available for the app.

To update smart device companion app:

  1. Go to the app store.
  2. Proceed to “Apps.” Or search for the app.
  3. Click “Update” if displayed.

If there are no updates available, try uninstalling and reinstalling the app as well.

In case the app continues to lag or crash, call your manufacturer’s support line.

#8: Alexa muted microphone

Alexa Muted Microphone

It may sound silly. But sometimes, Alexa doesn’t respond to you because its microphone is off.

Saying, “Alexa, discover my devices” is the easiest way you can connect your smart home device to Alexa.

But if the microphone is muted, Alexa won’t respond because it can’t hear anything.

You’ll know if your Alexa speaker is muted if the device flashes a solid red light.

How to fix it:

If the microphone of your Alexa speaker is muted, just press the microphone button.

Note: Alexa speakers have different microphone buttons. Yours could have a microphone icon or a slashed circle icon.

Press the microphone button on your device, and try waking up Alexa by saying, “Hey Alexa.”

If Alexa responds, continue connecting your smart device to Alexa.

Just say, “Alexa, discover my devices,” to prompt Alexa to guide you throughout the setup process.

You might also like: Why is my Alexa not talking back?

#9: Complex smart device name

“My Alexa speaker is not muted. It responds to some of my queries…“

Were you able to connect the same smart device to Alexa before?

And did you ever change the smart device name?

If yes, then that must be the reason.

When you change the name of your smart device, you should let Alexa rediscover it.

Alexa can follow your instructions if it’s familiar with your smart device.

“Alexa has already rediscovered my smart device. But it stopped responding after that….”

If that’s the case, then Alexa must be struggling to understand the smart device name.

Alexa is smart, but it can struggle to pick up complex names. Especially those that have numbers or special characters.

How to fix it:

When renaming your smart device, make sure that Alexa can easily understand it:

Here’s a quick guide in renaming smart devices:

  • Keep the name descriptive.
  • Use easy to pronounce words.
  • Keep the name under 20 characters.
  • Avoid using any existing device name.
  • Avoid using symbols or special characters.
  • Avoid using numbers in place of some letters.

After that, let Alexa rediscover the device by following the original discover-device instructions.

#10: Disabled router UPnP

WiFi routers have Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) protocols.

In simple terms, UPnP protocols allow devices to be automatically discovered.

With this, smart devices can easily connect and communicate with each other.

But sometimes, users disable UPnP to protect their WiFi router and network.

In 2013, a study was published showing the extreme vulnerabilities of UPnP.

It shows that millions of unique IP addresses can respond to several UPnP discovery requests. And that is an advantage for cyber attackers.

By all means, disabling UPnP on your router is a good thing.

But if it’s disabled, it can cause your smart devices to discover one another barely.

How to fix it:

You can fix Alexa not discovering devices by enabling the UPnP on your WiFi router.

To enable UPnP on WiFi router:

  1. Connect your smartphone or computer to your WiFi router.
  2. Open a web browser.
  3. Copy-paste your IP address to the web address.
  4. Log in to your router account.
  5. Select “Advanced.”
  6. Click “Advanced Setup.”
  7. Tap the check box next to the “UPnP.”
  8. Then, click “Apply.”

After that, Alexa should be able to discover your smart home device more easily.