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Does Alexa Have To Be Plugged In To Work? + Alternatives

Does Alexa Have To Be Plugged In To Work

Amazon’s Alexa is a virtual assistant AI that can run on Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo.

Alexa can make life a lot easier, but having lots of devices in your home can really bump up your power bills!

But does your Echo device have to be plugged in to work?

Most Alexa-enabled devices like Echo have to be plugged into a power source for Alexa to work. There are no battery-powered Echo devices currently available outside of India. However, you can buy third-party portable battery bases or a Smart Speaker from another brand that allows you to use Alexa. 

If you’re thinking of getting an Echo device, but you’re worried about your electric bill, keep reading this article to find out more about why you need to plug them in all the time, why you need constant wi-fi connection, what happens if you unplug yours and if there are any Alexa-enabled devices that don’t need to be plugged in all of the time.

Let’s get started!

Why Does Alexa Need To Be Plugged In All the Time?

If you were hoping to save on your power bills by unplugging your Amazon Echo but still use Alexa, unfortunately, that just isn’t possible for most Echo devices. 

Alexa-enabled devices need to be plugged in all the time to work because they’re wired and need a constant power supply to function. Most Echo devices don’t have any batteries, meaning they can’t store any power themselves. If anything interrupts the Echo’s power source, it’ll shut off immediately.

If you have one of the following Echo devices, you need to keep it plugged into the power outlet:

  • Echo 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gen
  • Echo Dot 2nd and 3rd gen
  • Echo Plus
  • Echo Studio
  • Echo Show
  • Echo Spot

Only India has a battery-powered Echo device.

Amazon unveiled the Echo Input Portable (which is battery-powered) over a year ago, but currently, that product is exclusive to the country. There’s no word on when it’ll be released worldwide. 

Check out: 10 Things Alexa Can Do Without a Smartphone (Best Features)

Does Alexa Work Without an Internet Connection?

Alexa doesn’t work without an internet connection. As a piece of technology that heavily relies on the internet to work and do anything that it’s designed to do, you need to maintain a constant wi-fi connection to your Echo device. 

If your Echo doesn’t have an internet connection, Alexa can’t respond to what you’re asking or commanding it.

Alexa needs the internet to be able to answer your questions and perform any tasks you ask for.

With the internet, it connects to the Amazon Cloud to find the information it needs to help.

Can I Unplug Alexa?

You can unplug your Alexa-enabled device whenever you want without damaging it. For example, if you know you’re going to be away for a while, it’s a good idea to unplug your Echo to save power. Also, you can unplug your Echo device if you don’t want it to be able to overhear you for whatever reason.

If you keep your Echo plugged into the power source but have no internet connection, the device won’t do anything.

You won’t be able to ask Alexa anything or have it perform any tasks. 

Should I Unplug Alexa at Night?

Whether or not you unplug Alexa at night is entirely up to you. There’s no major benefit to doing so other than maybe saving a bit of power. If you’re worried about being woken up by your Echo during your sleep, you can set the device to “do not disturb.”

What Happens to Alexa When the Power Goes Out?

What Happens To Alexa When The Power Goes Out

When the power goes out, nothing bad will happen to your Alexa-enabled devices. It’s the same when you unplug your Echo device. The only thing that no power will do is turn the device off and make it unusable until you power it up again. 

Some people worry about the power going out or the power to their Echo getting interrupted because the power loss will reset the device’s settings.

Fortunately, that doesn’t happen. It retains all your settings, and this also applies when you move your device to another location.

When you turn your Echo on again, it’ll boot up as if literally nothing happened.

Learn more: Is Alexa a fire hazard?

Can I Move My Echo From One Room to Another?

You can move your Echo from one room to another, and the settings will stay the same. To transfer it from one room to another and leave it there, simply plug it into the power outlet in its new spot and make sure it has a wi-fi connection. 

If you want to move your Echo around without it needing to be plugged in, you can buy a portable battery base for it.

This Caramote Portable Battery Base is available from and is compatible with third-generation Echo and second-generation Echo Plus devices.

If you have an Echo Dot, you can check out this GGMM D3 Portable Battery Base from

How Do You Use a Portable Battery Base With an Echo?

To use a portable battery base with an Echo, you just need to plug the battery base in to charge (most of them charge full within a few hours), then plug your Echo in on top. 

The batteries for these bases usually last around six to nine hours. Although, that depends on what you’re doing with the Echo.

Some of them let you also plug your smartphone or iPad into it too with a USB cable.

Are There Other Portable Alexa-Enabled Devices?

There are other portable Alexa-enabled devices, but you’ll have to look past Echo products and check from other brands. For instance, the stylish Bose Home Speaker 500 from does everything you’d want a Smart Speaker to do with the benefit of being portable. It also allows you to use Alexa.

Additionally, there’s the optimistic-sounding Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST Portable Speaker, (available on

This one also has full Alexa support and is also “virtually indestructible,” according to the manufacturer.

At the very least, it’s waterproof, which makes it a great speaker to use for outdoor parties.

Are There Any Echo Devices That Don’t Need To Be Plugged In All the Time?

Amazon Tap and Echo Input Portable are two Echo devices that don’t need to be plugged in all the time. However, both Bluetooth Smart Speakers are difficult to get your hands on. Amazon Tap was discontinued a while after its 2017 launch, while the latter option is only currently available in India. 

The Echo Input Portable is wireless and runs off a 4,800-mAh battery that lasts for around 8 to 10 hours, depending on the use, and it charges using a micro-USB.

It’s currently unknown when the Echo Input Portable will make its debut globally.

As for Amazon Tap, there are sometimes refurbished units available online at the time of writing, but none were found on 

Final Words

If you have an Echo device, it’ll need to be plugged into the power source at all times to use Alexa (unless you’ve got an Echo Input Portable).

This is because currently, most Echo devices don’t have any internal batteries.

Hopefully, in time, Amazon will embrace wireless technology in more of its Alexa-enabled devices.

In the meantime, if you want to make your Echo device portable, you can use a portable battery base. 

Alternatively, if you want a portable Smart Speaker, you can get one from another brand and still be able to use Alexa wherever you want.

Read next: Can You Use Your Mobile Hotspot for Alexa? 9 Simple Steps