Alexa is the perfect voice assistant that can do almost anything for you, but sometimes your commands seem to fall on deaf ears.
Your Echo worked fine a moment ago, but now it takes forever for it to hear you.
So, why does Alexa take so long to respond?
Alexa takes so long to respond because your WiFi is too weak, the Echo is bugged, or the firmware isn’t updated. You can fix most issues with Alexa by plugging the Echo out and back in. If it’s an internet issue, try moving the Echo closer to the router to see if that’ll fix the problem.
In this article, I’ll explain 7 reasons why your Alexa isn’t responsive. I’ll also go over how to fix some of those issues.
Why Is My Alexa Responding So Slowly?
There are a few reasons why your Alexa isn’t picking up your voice.
Your Alexa is responding slowly because it may have problems with the internet connection in some way, shape, or form. However, if your WiFi is excellent, the problem likely comes from the device itself.
Most of the time, a simple reset will fix it.
So, let’s go over a few reasons why your Alexa is responding so slowly.
1. The Echo Has a Weak WiFi Signal
If your Echo is far away from your router, it won’t get enough bandwidth. This will cause Alexa to be unresponsive or very slow.
When you ask Alexa something, your message travels to Amazon’s cloud, gets processed, and you get the answer.
That’s why you need strong WiFi for a more responsive Alexa.
However, your router might not have strong enough WiFi to support your Echo’s connection.
Even 2.4 GHz WiFi only has a range of up to 150 feet (45.72 m) indoors. And that’s the best-case scenario.
Also, the further away you are, the less bandwidth you get.
Your Echo must be as close to the router as possible to get the optimal signal strength.
You can also switch to 5 GHz WiFi for more bandwidth and speed. However, you’ll lose even more range and object penetration.
But maybe you can’t put the Echo next to the router. The next best thing is to use a WiFi extender/repeater.
One of the best is the TP-LINK AC750 WiFi Extender (available on Amazon.com).
Simply plug the device into a wall socket and connect it to your router. It’ll double your WiFi coverage.
2. Your Internet Doesn’t Have Enough Bandwidth
There are times when you put the Echo directly next to the router, but Alexa takes too long to respond.
That could indicate a problem with your internet connection. If the connection is slow on your phone as well, that’s a dead giveaway.
We know that Alexa needs a fast connection with plenty of available bandwidth.
That way, your Echo can send your voice message and get a response back.
The less bandwidth you have, the longer it takes to send and receive packages.
So, what can you do about a weak internet connection?
Here are a few viable solutions:
- Disconnect other devices from the router.
- Get a better router.
- Restart the router.
- Get a better Internet plan.
- Change your ISP.
3. A Device or Home Appliance Is Interfering With the WiFi Signal
The IEEE 802.11 family of standards is filled with wireless devices.
Everything from your smartphone to your printer and wireless keyboard is a part of it.
One study found that the interference between networks caused up to 58% packet loss.
So, a lot of interference will make the Echo slower because of the significant packet loss.
If you notice that your Echo takes forever to respond only sometimes, it could be signal interference.
Maybe your microwave was on when you were saying a command. Or there are a few other smart gadgets between your router and your Echo.
Again, the best solution for signal interference is to bring your Echo closer to your router.
You could also try moving home appliances that are located between the two.
4. You’re Using the Wrong WiFi Network
Many people have several WiFi networks available in their area.
For example, I can access 2 unlocked WiFi networks from my living room.
So, perhaps you weren’t paying attention when setting up your Echo.
Or maybe you punched in multiple passwords for different networks.
This isn’t a problem when you do it on your phone. However, it’s not a good idea to do it with the Echo.
Always connect your Echo to your own WiFi network. That way, you’ll ensure Alexa gets the strongest and fastest connection possible.
Reading recommendation: Should Smart Devices Be on a Separate Network? The Truth
5. The Cable Isn’t Inserted Correctly
Maybe your power adapter cable got loose over time. Or perhaps you were resetting the device and didn’t push it all the way in.
Whatever the case, a loose power cable will cause a lot of problems.
Chances are, the Echo won’t work in the first place, and you’ll be left wondering why it’s not working.
But a loose cable could also cause the Echo to reboot non-stop.
When that happens, Alexa won’t be attentive to your needs.
So, check the cabling to ensure everything is set up correctly.
6. The Data on the Echo Is Bugged or Corrupted
It seems like every device in existence slows down and gets buggy over time.
This happens because of several reasons, such as software bugs and limited RAM or storage.
The Echo is no different.
Alexa gets less and less responsive as time goes by. There’s no way around this.
Thankfully, the solution is as easy as it can get. Unplug the power adapter cable from the Echo, wait a minute or two, and plug it back in.
You must wait a few minutes to give the Echo time to wipe its cache.
If your Alexa still takes too long to respond, then you might need to do a factory reset.
Here’s how to do a factory reset on the Echo:
- Go to the Alexa app.
- Open ‘Devices.’
- Go to ‘Echo & Alexa’ and select your Echo.
- Press ‘Factory reset.’
Now that you’ve wiped your Echo, it’s time to pair it again. Check if the delay issue is gone.
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7. The Firmware Is Out of Date
The Echo gets major updates from time to time. These updates can sometimes cause issues with Alexa.
If Alexa takes so long to respond after a recent firmware update, stay patient.
Check online to see if other people are facing the same issue. If enough people are reporting the issue, Amazon will fix it in the next update.
Or maybe you never even thought of updating your Echo. In that case, you should do it.
Almost every major update brings some fresh features and fixes existing issues with Alexa.
You can check Amazon’s official website to see what the latest software version is.
Check the software version on your Echo before you attempt updating.
Here’s how you check the software version:
- Open the Alexa app.
- Go to ‘Settings.’
- Tap on the Echo.
- Scroll down to ‘About,’ and you’ll see ‘Device software version.’ Compare it to the version on Amazon’s website.
The Echo usually updates automatically.
But if, for some reason, your software is outdated, here‘s how to force an update:
- Check if you have a good WiFi connection.
- Press the mute button. The LEDs will turn red.
- Wait for the Echo to update itself. Alexa will let you know that the firmware is being updated.
There are many reasons why Alexa isn’t responsive. Most issues are related to your internet connection.
Checking your internet and restarting your Echo will fix the issue straight away in most cases.
Learn more: Can Alexa be hacked?