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3 Ways To Make Alexa Stop Playing Music at a Certain Time

How To Make Alexa Stop Playing Music At A Certain Time

Many people turn to music or white noise to help them fall asleep, and a study on Tawaiinese citizens showed that this could help to improve sleep quality overall.

Luckily, you can easily gain the same benefit yourself using Amazon’s Alexa.

But since she’s voice-activated, is there a way to have her turn the music off without a command? 

Here are 3 easy ways to make Alexa stop playing music at a specific time:

  1. Add a Routine.
  2. Set a sleep timer. 
  3. Create a playlist. 

This article will give detailed instructions on three ways you can make Alexa stop playing music at a specific time.

We’ll then convert a few frequently asked questions, just in case you run into any issues.

1. Add a Routine

Alexa allows you to set something called “Routines.” These automated tasks help you do anything, from creating reminders to getting your butt up for the gym in the morning. 

They’re designed to give you more control over your device, and Alexa can even bundle routines together. 

For example, when the lights and music go off, Alexa can also switch on the security system.

Or, in the morning, Alexa can wake you with music and tell your smart coffee pot to start brewing at the same time.

Here’s how to add a Routine to your Alexa device:

  1. To set a Routine for your music, open the Alexa app.
  2. In the app, you will see Routines as an option. 
  3. Click on the ‘+‘ button and name your Routine (choose something like “Sleep Music” for easy access).
  4. Go to the next screen and find “When This Happens” as the next option. 
  5. You can either choose a “Voice” prompt or “Schedule” it to run at the same time every night. 
  6. Go to the next screen, find “Add Action,” and click the “+” button. 
  7. In the “Music” dropdown menu, choose whatever playlist, style of music, band, channel, etc., that you prefer to run. 
  8. Find “Duration” and put in your selected period of time (you can choose from a minimum of 30 minutes to a maximum of 1 hour). 

Reading tip: Why Is the Alexa App So Slow? 3 Reasons and Instant Fixes

Create as many of these Routines as you like. You can make them for different times, different styles of music, other playlists, or anything else you want.

If you want to set it for different days, there’s an option to set the day and time. 

For example, you could have a routine set for weekdays from 9 PM to 10 PM, but weekends from 11 PM to 12 AM.

That keeps you from having to set a new one for every day. 

Parents will often do this for their kids to keep them set on a specific schedule on school nights. 

But it works equally as well for adults who find themselves struggling to go to bed at a responsible hour.

Having a routine already set up as a prompt makes a difference. 

2. Set a Sleep Timer

Another great option to have Alexa turn off your music at night is to use the Sleep Timer function.

Here’s how to set a sleep timer with Alexa:

  1. Activate Alexa with your wake word and ask her to play your desired music.
  2. Alternatively, use your phone to play music through Alexa using Bluetooth.
  3. When you are ready for bed, say, “Alexa, set a sleep timer for [X Amount of Time].” 

This will switch off any streaming media automatically once it reaches that time limit. That includes the music streaming from your phone via Bluetooth.

The benefit of this method is that it can be done with a single voice prompt.

No settings have to be adjusted, and you don’t have to remember to ask her to stop the music later. 

Including Lights in the Sleep Timer

Sleep timers also dim lights, if you choose, which is especially helpful for kids.

With this method, you can set the lights to turn off when the music ends, when your kids should be asleep.

This can be done with smart bulbs or smart switches, like these Kasa Smart Dimmer Switch.

They work with Alexa and Google, and you don’t need a central hub for them to work.

When asking Alexa to stop the music, just add “and dim lights” to your command when setting up the timer for music. 

Other Uses for the Sleep Timer

Alternatively, you can do the opposite and raise the lights back up after you have slept.

This is a great feature for people who just want to take a quick nap. 

You don’t have to use it to snooze, however. You can set a sleep timer for just about anything. 

Want to get in a half-hour run on the treadmill? Put on some white noise for meditation? Focus on work for a set time without distraction? 

All of these, and more, are ways you can utilize a sleep timer with Alexa to set the mood for any task or occasion. 

3. Create a Playlist

The two options above have one drawback: you don’t have total control over what you hear. 

Suppose you ask Alexa to “play John Legend,” for example.

In that case, she will either pick John Legend songs at random from Amazon Music or find a radio station on Spotify that plays John Legend and similar artists. 

So, instead, you might want to create playlists.

Then, depending on your need or mood, each can have its own amount of time for longer or shorter durations. 

Once you’ve cycled through all of the songs, it will stop playing. 

Just tell Alexa to play the chosen playlist, which you can title based on how long it runs.

Then you have your ready-made command with more freedom over the music selected. 

Create a timed playlist with upbeat tunes, or choose one premade on a streaming service if you want to have a good workout. 

For sleep, select songs that are calming and gentle. If you need to work, a distraction-free set of instrumentals are perfect. 

Alexa is compatible with the following services: 

  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • Amazon Music
  • iHeartRadio
  • Apple Music
  • Deezer
  • Vevo
  • SiriusXM
  • Tidal
  • Saavn
  • TuneIn

Other services may be available, depending on their terms of service though some may require a subscription. 

Platforms like YouTube are not available for direct streaming.

But you can get a secondary device that links through Bluetooth to your Alexa device, which may also be compatible with similar websites. 

One other benefit of creating a playlist is that it gets around a common problem.

Some devices will time out when they don’t detect activity for more than half an hour. 

It might also shut off if it has run through the complete list of songs based on an album, artist, or tracklist. 

But if you have it set to a single playlist, it won’t shut off automatically until it has gone through the complete list of songs. 

You might also like: Can Alexa light up to music?


Do I have to adjust settings on connected platforms and devices when using my Alexa for timed music?

Adjust Settings On Connected Platforms And Devices When Using Alexa

Yes. Alexa doesn’t override the settings that it is connected to. If your settings say to shut down after a certain point, you’ll need to fix it. 

Why Is my Alexa turning off before I say to?

If the settings on the connected device or platform are correct, it may be Alexa itself.

Turn it off and on again. If that doesn’t work, disconnect, then reconnect your Bluetooth. 

How come Alexa won’t run my Routine?

Some people have had trouble with Alexa not running routines from their Amazon account.

To get around it, download the Alexa app. You can set a Routine that will override the issue from there. 

Why Can’t I Play YouTube On Alexa?

YouTube is a competition service that has not been set up to work with Alexa directly. 

You can connect it through Bluetooth to your Echo to play Youtube audio. Just use your Echo as a speaker and use Alexa commands that way.

Editor’s pick: 6 Easy Ways To Use Alexa As A Speaker For Your Xbox

Alexa isn’t setting my sleep timer correctly.

The first way to troubleshoot is to unplug Alexa, then plug it back in again. Make sure that all software is up to date with the current version. 

Change your firewall settings to run on a minimal level.

If all of that fails, check out this page to find the router ports Alexa uses and make sure they are not blocked off. 

Final Thoughts

Alexa is an incredible tool and one that will give you total freedom over your music.

Not only will it free up your hands for other things, but it can improve sleep and focus. 

All it takes is a simple command, and you are good to go.