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Alexa Not Talking Back: 11 Causes & Ways To Fix It (2023)

Alexa Not Talking Back

“Alexa, are you dead?”

Is Alexa not responding to your queries?

Or does it not give command confirmations?

Don’t worry! It happens to a lot of users.

Sometimes Alexa is just silent…or asleep.

But there are a lot of ways you can wake her up.

Continue reading to discover:

  • 11 causes of Alexa not talking back.
  • How to increase the volume of the device.
  • 11 ways to make Alexa respond to queries.
  • What are the modes that make Alexa silent.
  • And much much more…

Why is my Alexa not talking back?

Alexa isn’t talking back because the microphone’s off or the “brief”, “follow-up”, and “do not disturb” mode are enabled. It’ll appear silent if the “whisper” mode is on, the volume is low, and an external device is connected. Power and WiFi connectivity issues can also cause Alexa not to respond.

Alexa not talking back – 11 causes & ways to fix it

#1: Unclear speech

Alexa is smart enough to understand different languages and accents.

And since it knows a lot of words and phrases, Alexa can sometimes mistake your word for something else.

For once, many English words sound similar.

If you say “buy,” Alexa can mistake it as “bye.”

As a result, Alexa may act differently from what you intended.

Alexa can also have a hard time understanding sentences that were spoken in a low voice. 

Plus, talking fast may sound like gibberish phrases to Alexa.

So, if Alexa isn’t responding to you, the device might be having a hard time understanding your speech.

How to fix it:

Alexa may be smart, but it’s still a robot.

And you have to be patient and direct when speaking to it.

When giving out commands, make sure that you speak clearly.

Here are some things that you can do:

  • Speak louder.
  • Talk at moderate speed.
  • Enunciate your words.
  • Communicate closer to the device.

#2: Microphone is off

Alexa always hears and follows commands. 

But not when its microphone is muted.

Amazon Echo devices have speaker buttons. 

Alexa users mute this if they want to stop Alexa from picking up conversations. 

Usually, when people are out of the house. Or if there are too many guests inside.

If your Alexa speaker doesn’t talk back, it must be because the device’s microphone is off. 

You might have muted the device on one occasion and forgotten to turn it on after.

You’ll know if the device microphone is on if there’s a blue light on the speaker.

And the microphone is off if that light turns to red.

How to fix it:

If your Alexa speaker has a red light on, it means that the microphone is off.

And the device will not follow your commands.

To make Alexa speak again, press the microphone button.

Note: The microphone button on Amazon Echo devices vary. It can either be the button with the microphone icon or a circle with a slash in the middle.

Read also: Alexa Not Discovering Devices: 10 Causes & Fixes

#3: Changed wake word

Alexa responds once it hears you say, “Alexa…”

If it doesn’t, the speaker must have a different wake word.

The wake word is the trigger word of the device.

And the default wake word of Alexa is “Alexa.”

If you or anyone in your house changed the speaker’s wake word, saying “Alexa…” won’t wake up Alexa.

And so, it won’t respond to your queries or confirm actions.

“I changed Alexa’s wake word. It was working fine until recently.”

Did you factory reset your Alexa speaker?

Because, if yes, the wake word was changed back to its default.

Factory reset deletes data and customization. And that includes your custom wake word.

How to fix it:

Check your Amazon Alexa app if you’re not sure what wake word is registered to your device.

To check Alexa wake word:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Select “Devices.”
  3. Choose “Echo & Alexa.”
  4. Tap your device.
  5. Then, click “Wake Word.”

Changing the wake word back to default is convenient.

But if you want to secure your home better, create a custom wake word for your Alexa.

#4: “Do not disturb” mode is enabled

Do you sometimes feel like Alexa is talking too much?

Then, you must be familiar with its “Do Not Disturb” mode.

A lot of users enable this mode to block Alexa from accepting calls and messages. 

Usually, users enable it during working or sleeping hours. Or if there are guests at home.

When the “Do Not Disturb” mode is enabled, Alexa’s actions will be limited.

For example, you can’t make announcements or receive all types of notifications.

And these limitations can make Alexa appear unresponsive.

How to fix it:

You can enable and disable “Do Not Disturb” mode through the Amazon Alexa app:

To enable or disable Alexa “Do Not Disturb” mode:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Select “Devices.”
  3. Choose “Echo & Alexa.”
  4. Tap your device.
  5. Click “Do Not Disturb.”
  6. Then, toggle the button on or off.

If you want to keep this mode on for certain hours, you can create a schedule.

#5: “Brief” mode is enabled

Whenever you command Alexa, it instantly answers with a command confirmation.

It’s a good indicator that Alexa has heard and understood your instructions.

But then, this command confirmation can sometimes be annoying. 

And it eats up so much time.

Developers release the “Brief” mode to make Alexa follow queries in an instant.

When this mode is enabled, you would hear a beep sound as a replacement for Alexa’s command confirmation.

Undoubtedly, it feels good not to hear Alexa repeat your words.

But if you’re not used to it, it can confuse you and make Alexa appear unresponsive.

How to fix it:

If the “Brief” mode confuses many people in your home, it’s best to disable it.

You can do this by navigating the Amazon Alexa app.

To disable Alexa “Brief” mode:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Tap the three-line icon.
  3. Choose “Settings.”
  4. Select “Voice Responses.”
  5. Then toggle the “Brief Mode” button off.

#6: “Follow-up” mode is enabled

Saying “Alexa…” a lot of times can be tiring.

To address that, the developers launched a “Follow-Up” mode.

Follow-Up” mode allows users to continue asking queries or sending commands to Alexa without repeating the wake word.

It saves a lot of time. And it allows Alexa to follow instructions better.

When this mode is on, Alexa will stay silent as it listens to possible follow-up commands.

Sounds great, right?

But sometimes, users interpret this silence as Alexa not talking back.

So, users often end up repeating commands and confusing Alexa. 

How to fix it:

If you think that the “Follow-Up” mode isn’t necessary for you, you can disable it through the Amazon Alexa app.

To disable Alexa “Follow-Up” mode:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Select “Devices.”
  3. Choose “Echo & Alexa.”
  4. Tap your device.
  5. Click “Follow-Up Mode.”
  6. Then, toggle the button off.

Tip: In case you decide to keep the “Follow-Up” mode. Stop Alexa from waiting for follow-up queries by saying “stop,” “cancel,” “go to sleep,” or “thank you.”

Reading recommendation: 7 Reasons Why Alexa Takes So Long To Respond + 7 Fixes

#7: “Whisper” mode is enabled

Alexa has another interesting mode, which is the “Whisper” mode.

Whisper” mode allows you to speak to Alexa while whispering.

And what’s amazing about that is that Alexa also responds in a whisper.

Developers launched this mode to let users continue using Alexa during quiet hours.

“Whisper” mode is really helpful and convenient in the early morning or at night.

You can enable it by navigating the Amazon Alexa settings.

“So, when does it become a problem?”

“Whisper” mode can become a problem once you forget to turn it off.

As long as the “Whisper” mode button is toggled on, Alexa will continue to whisper.

You won’t be able to hear it from a distance.

And that can make Alexa appear not responsive.

How to fix it:

To disable Alexa “Whisper” mode:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Tap the three-line icon.
  3. Choose “Settings.”
  4. Select “Voice Responses.”
  5. Then toggle the “Whisper Mode” button off.

Pro tip: Create an Alexa reminder that tells you to turn on or off the “Whisper” mode at a certain time. This will help you not forget disabling the “Whisper” mode when needed.

If you’re curious about how Alexa responds in a whisper, watch this interesting video!

#8: Low volume

Similar to “Whisper” mode, you may not be able to hear Alexa if its volume is low.

Alexa has a volume range of 0 to 10.

nd 10

Zero being muted a being the loudest.

If Alexa’s volume is low, you might not be able to hear it respond from a distance. 

And you might assume that Alexa is not talking back to you.

You can check its current volume by saying, “Alexa, what’s your current volume?”

How to fix it:

Troubleshooting this issue is pretty simple.

You only have to increase Alexa’s volume. And you can do it in three ways.

By pressing the Alexa speaker buttons

Alexa speakers have physical volume buttons. To increase the volume, press the plus sign (
+) icon. To decrease the volume, press the minus sign (-) icon.

By commanding Alexa to volume down

You can volume up or down Alexa by saying “Alexa, volume up” or “Alexa, volume down.” You can also say a specific volume number by saying, “Alexa, volume 7.”

By changing the audio volume in the app

In the Amazon Alexa app, you can control the volume better since it offers a volume range of 0 to 100.

To increase audio volume through the app, go to settings. Select “Devices” → “Echo & Alexa” → Alexa device. Then, adjust the audio slider as desired.

#9: Power connectivity issues

Alexa speakers are not rechargeable. Meaning it has to be plugged in all the time.

Alexa won’t respond if the device is not plugged into a power socket.

“My Alexa speaker is plugged into a wall socket. Why is Alexa not talking back?”

Are you sure that the power socket has a charge?

Or is the power cable in good condition?

Unstable or weak power connectivity can cause Alexa not to respond.

If the socket has little or no charge or the cable is damaged, Alexa will not talk back.

How to fix it:

First, make sure that the speaker cable is not damaged. 

Look for any signs of bite or burnt marks.

If the power socket is the problem, plug your Alexa speaker into a different power source. 

Or at least use a wire extension.

Learn more: Why is my Alexa not turning on?

#10: Internet connectivity issues

Alexa Internet Connectivity Issues

Alexa depends on WiFi to work.

So, if your WiFi connection is unstable, it can cause Alexa not to respond. 

Alexa voice assistant consumes more data than other devices.

And it will stop working once the internet connection slows down.

Many things cause WiFi connection to cut off or weaken, including:

  • Out-of-range router.
  • Low internet bandwidth.
  • Connection interference.
  • Crowded internet connection.

How to fix it:

If this is your case, the solution ensures that your Alexa speaker gets a strong and stable WiFi connection.

Based on a study, putting your router in an open space allows WiFI to travel faster.

So, make sure that your Alexa speaker is close to your WiFi router.

Other things that  you can do is to:

  • Soft reset WiFi router.
  • Install extra WiFi routers.
  • Disconnect not in-use devices.
  • Soft reset Alexa speaker device.

You may also wonder: Do router antennas make a difference? 

#11: Connected to an external device

Some Alexa speakers allow external devices to be connected with them.

With this, users can use Alexa for specific electronics.

If Alexa is connected to a Bluetooth-enabled device, you can still send commands to Alexa.

But you won’t be able to hear it. Because Alexa’s audio is played to the connected device.

This often happens to connected wireless headphones.

“But I’ve already unplugged my headphone to the Alexa speaker.”

If the device was improperly unplugged, Alexa could think the device is still connected to it.

And so, Alexa continues to connect and play audio to the previously plugged device. 

How to fix it:

There are two ways you can disconnect the device from your Alexa speaker.

First, by saying, “Alexa, disconnect Bluetooth.”

Second, by navigating the Amazon Alexa app. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Select “Devices.”
  3. Choose “Echo & Alexa.”
  4. Tap Alexa speaker device.
  5. Click “Bluetooth devices.”
  6. Then, disconnect any paired devices.

If you’ve already unplugged the device, try plugging and unplugging it again properly.