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12 Reasons Why Alexa Doesn’t Turn On + 12 Fixes (2023)

Alexa Not Turning On

“Alexa, come on, wake up…”

You can always rely on Alexa for many things.

From playing funky music to finding fine-dine recipes.

By just saying, “Alexa…” you can have everything handed out to you.

But sometimes, Alexa can get into some trouble.

And suddenly become unresponsive…or worse, turn off completely.

Why does it happen? And is there a way to get Alexa back to running?

Continue reading to discover:

  • How to reset Alexa-enabled devices.
  • 12 ways to get Alexa back to running.
  • 12 reasons why Alexa doesn’t turn on.
  • How to force update Alexa-enabled devices.
  • And that’s only the beginning…

Why is my Alexa not turning on?

Alexa isn’t turning on because the outlet is faulty, the device isn’t fully plugged in, the power adapter is damaged, and the speaker power port is dirty. It’ll shut down if its circuit board or motherboard gets damaged. It won’t also turn on if the device isn’t set up or its firmware is outdated.

Alexa not turning on – 12 reasons & ways to fix it

#1: Faulty power outlet

Is this your first time plugging your Alexa device into a power outlet?

Does it not light on when plugged?

Perhaps the power outlet you use has no charge.

If that’s the case, then your Alexa device won’t work.

Use an outlet tester to check if the outlet has a charge.

If you don’t have that device, you can also try plugging in other devices.

Get a lamp or a phone. Then, try plugging them into the same socket.

If both devices don’t turn on or charge when plugged, the power outlet is faulty.

How to fix it:

If you’re knowledgeable about electricity, fix it, fixing its wirings.

If not, then consider plugging your Alexa device into a different outlet.

“But I don’t want to change its location…”

Then, use a wire extender.

This way, you can plug your Alexa device in another outlet without changing the device’s spot.

Learn more: Is Alexa a fire hazard?

#2: Not plugged in properly

“I checked the power outlet, and it has a charge.”

This time, check the power connection of your Alexa device.

Is the power adapter fully inserted into the outlet?

Is the other end of the cord connected to the device?

Sometimes the power adapter of your device can loosen or get unplugged.

It may be due to a worn-out power adapter. Or loose outlet or speaker port.

Regardless of which, Alexa won’t turn on if the power is interrupted or cut off.

How to fix it:

Make sure that the power adapter is fully inserted on both the power outlet and the port of your Alexa device.

If you think that the outlet is loose, consider plugging the device into another outlet.

Or at least use a cable holder to hold the power adapter into place.

If possible, plug your device in a corner or a non-busy area. 

Given that the outlet is loose, sometimes the device can unplug if someone bumps into it.

#3: Damaged power adapter

Do you have pets at home?

If yes, check your power adapter cord immediately.

It’s common for households that have pets to get their power adapter damaged.

As you may know, pets love strings. And they can sometimes mistake electric cords for string toys.

If you see any bite marks or exposed wirings on the cords, consider your power adapter broken.

Dispose of the cords immediately. 

As damaged electric cords can damage your Alexa device and harm your pets.

Plus, a damaged power adapter may not give enough charge to your Alexa device. Causing Alexa to turn off from time to time.

How to fix it:

If the power adapter is damaged, it’s better to get a replacement.

Buying tip: Buy an Amazon-certified power adapter replacement to ensure product quality.

While waiting for the replacement, cover the exposed wirings with electric tape.

Doing this will help prevent anyone at your home from getting electric shocks.

Next time, put your device’s power cords inside a cable box organizer to prevent your pets from biting it.

#4: Uncertified power adapter

“I just bought a new power adapter replacement. But Alexa still doesn’t work?”

Is your power adapter replacement Amazon certified?

Did you buy it from the Amazon store?

Because if not, chances are your power adapter is fake and not compatible with your Alexa device.

Some universal power adapters work with Alexa. And some can’t.

Whether you like it or not, it just depends on your luck.

If you found one that perfectly works with Alexa, then good for you.

If not, then you have to get a new one.

Alexa devices are not rechargeable. 

Meaning, Alexa has to be plugged in all the time. 

And you must use a quality power adapter so that Alexa can receive the right amount of electric charges.

How to fix it:

The only way you can resolve this problem is by replacing your power adapter again.

To ensure product quality, buy your replacement directly from the Amazon store.

Ensure that it’s Amazon certified and compatible with your Alexa device.

Doing this can also save you costs. 

Because certified power adapters last longer than universal ones.

#5: Dirty speaker power port

“My power adapter is Amazon-certified. What’s the problem this time?”

How long have you been using your Alexa device?

Or did you store it for several months?

Alexa devices are also prone to dust and dirt.

And sometimes dirt can get into the speaker power port.

Accumulated dirt inside the speaker power port can block the device. And prevent electric charges from going into the device’s circuit board.

As a result, Alexa won’t turn on.

This is common to Alexa devices that have been stored unplugged for many months.

How to fix it:

If you have stored your Alexa device for a long, make sure to inspect your device first.

Check whether there’s accumulated dirt and dust on the speaker power port.

Note: The speaker power port is the port where you insert one end of the power adapter.

If there’s dirt on it, remove it by blowing air into it.

If some are stuck, use a cotton bud or a toothpick to remove dirt.

Make sure to be gentle, as any scratches can damage your Alexa device further.

#6: Damaged circuit board

Your Alexa device has a circuit board.

This circuit board receives power from the power outlet. And disturb charges to the other electrical components of the device.

It makes sure that electricity flows throughout your Alexa device’s system.

So, when it gets damaged, the device won’t be able to receive electrical power.

And Alexa won’t turn on.

“I didn’t touch its circuit board. What causes it to get damaged?”

Many things cause circuit boards to get damaged. 

But, most commonly, it’s because of power surges and water damage.

How to fix it:

Unfortunately, damaged circuit boards are not something that anyone can easily fix. 

It has a complicated system on its own. That only an electronics technician can manage to fix.

So, if you have spilled water on your Alexa device, even just once, bring your device to a service center.

Ask your technician to fix or replace the circuit board of your Alexa device.

#7: Damaged motherboard

If not the device, then it must be the motherboard that is broken.

The motherboard is the main circuit board of your Alexa device. Meaning it holds the circuit board, processor, memory, and hard drive of your device.

Without this, Alexa won’t function.

And if any of its parts get damaged, the whole device system may malfunction.

Many things cause the motherboard to get damaged, including:

  • Overheating.
  • Power surges.
  • Water damage.
  • Physical impact.
  • Physical damage.

Did any of these happen to your Alexa device?

If yes, then chances are the device’s motherboard has stopped working due to damage.

How to fix it:

Like circuit boards, you can only replace a damaged motherboard.

Fixing it doesn’t only need basic electrical knowledge. But specific knowledge about creating and fixing motherboards.

So, if you want to revive your Alexa device, bring it to the service center as soon as possible.

And let an electronics technician do the job for you.

#8: Device not set up

“I just bought my Alexa device. There’s no way it’s broken!”

Well, some brand-new devices can be defective.

You’ll know if your device is defective if it doesn’t turn on at all.

If it does, then it must be because your device isn’t set up yet.

Newly-bought Alexa devices should be set up first to be able to work. 

Since Alexa works with WiFi, it should be connected to your WiFi network via the Amazon Alexa app.

How to fix it:

To turn on Alexa to your new device, register it first to the Amazon Alexa app.

To set up Alexa device:

Note: Before starting, make sure that your WiFi connection is stable. And that your Alexa device is plugged into a power socket.

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Tap the three-line icon.
  3. Click “Add Device.”
  4. Select “Amazon Echo.”
  5. Choose “Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and more.”
  6. And follow the on-screen instructions.

Need a step-by-step video guide on how to set up Alexa? Then, watch this video!

#9: Unstable internet connection

Is your device on, but Alexa doesn’t respond?

Then maybe your internet connection at home is unstable.

Alexa needs WiFi to work. And it needs greater data compared to other WiFi-enabled devices.

So, if your internet is slow and unstable, Alexa will have a hard time functioning.

“What causes my internet connection to get slow or cut off?”

Commonly, WiFi gets slow when the device is too far away from the WiFi router.

And sometimes, it can also be from having low internet bandwidth.

Once you’ve reached your data limit, your ISP will throttle your internet.

How to fix it:

You can ensure that you’re Alexa device is receiving a stable internet connection by:

  • Upgrading your internet plan.
  • Managing your internet data usage.
  • Disconnecting not-in-use WiFi-enabled devices.
  • Placing your Alexa device close to the WiFi router.
  • Installing extra WiFi routers in other areas of your house.
  • Putting Alexa directly below the router (if at different floor levels).

Reading recommendation: Can You Use Your Mobile Hotspot for Alexa? 9 Simple Steps

#10: Software bugs

“Alexa works perfectly, until recently.”

Alexa devices can have software bugs. And these can cause Alexa not to turn on.

These are software errors or faults which can be fixed by updating the device.

Normally, Alexa devices update themselves automatically.

But sometimes, they fail to do so due to system errors.

When your device is outdated and infected with software bugs, Alexa can malfunction.

How to fix it:

To resolve the issue, you have to restart Alexa first. Then, force Alexa to update itself.

To restart Alexa-enabled device:

  1. Unplug the power cord of the Alexa device.
  2. Wait for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Then, replug the Alexa device.

After that, you should force Alexa to update by muting the device for at least 15 minutes.

Alexa devices update during off-hours. 

So, muting the device could force Alexa to accept a new update installation.

Editor’s pick: Can Alexa Be Hacked? 10 Shocking Security Facts

#11: Muted microphone

Alexa's Microphone Is Muted

“The Alexa device lights up. But Alexa doesn’t work…”

Have you tried pressing the microphone button on the Alexa device?

Most of the time, users assume that Alexa is not working when it doesn’t talk back.

As silly as it sounds, the most common reason for that is because Alexa’s microphone is off.

You might’ve muted Alexa once and forgotten to turn on the microphone after.

If that’s the case, Alexa won’t work because it doesn’t hear any commands.

How to fix it:

Troubleshooting this issue is fairly simple.

You just have to press the microphone button to wake Alexa up.

Alexa devices have different microphone button designs. 

Some have a microphone icon, while some have a slashed circle icon.

Check which one you have, then press it once.

#12: Changed wake word

“Alexa is not muted. But it still doesn’t turn on!”

Hold on!

Do you remember changing Alexa’s wake word?

If yes, then that’s the reason why Alexa is unresponsive.

Once you’ve changed the wake word, Alexa will only respond to the new wake word.

Unless you change it back to default.

How to fix it:

Changing Alexa’s wake word can confuse some people in your house.

So, if you want to change it to default, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Go to the menu.
  3. Tap “Settings.”
  4. Choose “Device Settings.”
  5. Select Alexa device.
  6. Then, input “Alexa” as a wake word.

After this, you shouldn’t have any problems turning on Alexa.