How to set up your new Amazon Echo

Where to start with you new smart speaker

The Amazon Echo is one of the most popular presents around in 2017. 

It's not difficult to see why. It's the kind of present that's immediately fun to toy around with, and has functionality that you slowly grow to appreciate the more you use it. 

But they can be a little bit of a pain to set up, which is especially annoying when you want to show off your new present to your friends and family. 

With our simple guide you can have your new smart speaker up and running in no time at all. 

Step 1: Check you've got everything you need

To get started you’ll need an Amazon Echo (obviously), and its included power adaptor - since it’s unable to run on batteries. Then you’ll need a phone or tablet in order to complete the software side of the setup. Both Android and iOS devices are supported across both phones and tablets, or, since this is an Amazon device after all, you can also use an Amazon Fire phone or tablet. 

Step 2: Get the Alexa app

All of the technical control of your device is done through the Alexa app, so we’ll need to download it to set up the device. Head over to the app store on your device of choice. On iOS this is the ‘App Store’, on Android it’s the ‘Google Play Store’ and on Fire devices it’s the ‘Amazon Appstore’. Once in the store, download the ‘Amazon Alexa’ app. 

Step 3: Plug in the Echo

Now that we’ve got the software that we need, it’s time to get the hardware itself set up. Take the Amazon Echo speaker and turn it over to find the power jack. Then, take the Echo’s power adaptor and plug it into the power jack on the Echo speaker. Finally, take the power adaptor’s other end and plug it into the wall. Your Echo now has power, great work. 

Some models of the Echo also include a 3.5mm output, but this is optional

Step 4: Wait for the device to initialise

Ok now we’re talking. Once the Echo is plugged in you’ll have to wait a couple of seconds for it to initialise. Its light ring will turn blue for a couple of moments, and will then switch to orange along with playing a short greeting to let you know that your Echo is now ready for setup. Don’t worry about rushing, the Echo will stay in this mode until you’re ready. 

Step 5: Open up the app

Now you’re going to need to open the Alexa app that you downloaded earlier on to your phone or tablet. Once the app is open, go into the settings menu using the icon on the top left of the screen and then select ‘Settings’ from the bottom of the menu. Select ‘Set up a new device’ to start the Wi-Fi connection process. 

Step 6: Select your device

Next, select which Echo device you want to set up. For the purposes of this guide we’ve been assuming that you’re setting up a full-size Amazon Echo, but these instructions will also work if you’re setting up the mini Echo Dot, the Echo Plus or the battery-powered Amazon Tap (the four are all controlled through the same app). Select the right device, and then pick the correct language from the next page. 

Your Echo is going to have to be connected to the internet if you want it to work

Step 7: Connecting to Wi-Fi

Select ‘Connect to Wi-Fi’ from the next page to begin the connection process. The instructions will ask you to check that the device is currently displaying an orange ring, but if it’s not then you’ll have to hold the ‘action button’ for five seconds first to put the device into setup mode. Now you’ll need to hop out of the Alexa app and into your settings app.

Once in the settings app, jump into Wi-Fi settings. Turn on Wi-Fi if it’s not on already, and then select the Amazon Echo device from the list of access points. The Echo’s name should start with the word ‘Amazon’. Once connected to the device, jump out of your settings app and back into the Alexa app, where it will say that it’s connected to the Echo. Tap ‘Continue’. 

Now you’ll need to connect to you home’s Wi-Fi. Select yours from the list presented to you, and enter your Wi-Fi’s password. Tap ‘Connect’. Depending on your home’s Wi-Fi speed, it might take a few moments for the device to connect, but once it’s done so you should be taken back to the settings menu with your Amazon Echo listed as being ‘Online’. On the device itself the light ring should turn off. 

Step 8: Don’t want to say ‘Alexa’? You can change it

By default your Amazon Echo will be set to activate when it hears the word ‘Alexa’, but there are a couple of reasons why you might want to change this. Maybe one of your family members is called Alexa and you don’t want your smart speaker to activate whenever you’re talking to them? 

Thankfully, it’s a fairly simple process to change your wake word to something that’s more convenient. 

In order to change this wake word you’ll need to jump into your Echo’s settings, which you can do from the app’s main settings menu. Tap on your Echo, and then scroll down to where it says ‘Wake Word’. Tap this and you’ll have four options: Alexa (the default), Amazon, Echo, and Computer. Unfortunately none are completely unique words, but hopefully one should work for you. 

You're done!

Congratulations, your Amazon Echo is now connected to your Wi-Fi and is ready to be integrated into your daily life. If you want to test to make sure that it’s working then you can try out a couple of simple commands. Try saying your wake word, followed by ‘Hello’. If everything’s working as expected then your Amazon Echo should say ‘Hello’ back. Simple, really.