Setting Up Your Amazon Echo Device

How to get started with your handy Amazon smart speaker.

Whichever model you own, your Amazon Echo is great for music, information and home control. Set it up and connect it to the Internet and you can use it to play your sounds or radio stations, make to-do lists, set alarms, stream podcasts, play audio books, get traffic, weather and sports information and more. It can also act as a home hub, controlling compatible smart home devices. But before you get started, you need to set it up.

It’s not a difficult process. All you need is an Echo, a free-to-download app on your smartphone and a wireless network. This guide works for all Echo devices except the Echo Show models, which have their own screens and can be set up without a smart phone; just plug it in and follow the on-screen instructions.

You also need an Amazon account, so if you haven’t got one already, set it up now and log into it with your smart phone. You’re then ready to start.

1 – Download the Alexa App

First of all, download the Alexa app on your phone. It’s available on iOS, Android, or Fire OS, and is completely free; no up-front charges or hidden in-app purchases. When it’s downloaded, open it.

2 – Choose Your Echo

Tap the Devices icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen, and then tap the plus icon in the top-right. A menu appears. Tap Add Device, and you’re asked to choose one. Tap Amazon Echo. You’re now shown a list of Amazon’s Echo devices. Tap the name of the one you wish to set up.

3 – The Echo’s Set-Up Mode

Plug in your Amazon Echo, and wait for it to show an orange light in the band around the top of the device. This shows it has entered Set-Up Mode. If it doesn’t, press and hold the Action button (the one with the dot on it) for around five seconds. Eventually the orange light comes on and you’re ready to continue. On your smart phone, you should be on the screen that asks whether your device is plugged in and displaying an orange light; tap ‘Yes.’

4 – Echo Online

Your phone app looks for nearby devices that are in Set-Up Mode. When it’s found, it’s listed under ‘Available Devices’. Tap your Echo in the list, and you’re asked to select your Wi-Fi network from a list of nearby services. Do so. If your phone is connected to the same network that you’re connecting your Echo to, it should get your Amazon device onto the network automatically. If it doesn’t, just follow the on-screen instructions.

5 – Which Room?

You’re asked which room your Echo device is to be used in. Select one from the list, or scroll down to the foot of the list and add a custom name. Tap continue. You should then choose or add the postal address at which it’s located, so you can get localised weather, news, traffic and more. When done, tap Continue and you’re treated to a short video. After that, your Echo is ready. To test it’s up and running, say, “Alexa Hello,” and the greeting is returned.

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Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.
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