What is wrong with Alexa? Millions of Amazon Alexa device users hit with error

Amazon Alexa, what is wrong with Alexa?
(Image credit: Alamy)

What is wrong with Alexa? Amazon Alexa users around the world are reporting being hit with unexpected and irritating Alexa errors today

Millions of of households around the world rely on Alexa to do daily tasks such as switch lights on and off, play music, make hands free telephone calls and organise their day-to-day life.

At Christmas parents used it to make their kids behave but there were also some Alexa warnings too.

But as people woke this morning, they started experiencing Alexa issues.

What is wrong with Alexa?

Wondering what's wrong with Alexa today? It's likely that you, like millions of other Amazon Alexa users, have been hit with a 'something went wrong error message'.

Vast numbers of users across the world reported the problems which suggest it's a widespread issue but Amazon Web Services – which powers its online tools such as Alexa, as well as a variety of other websites that are not part of the company.

The full extent of the outage isn’t clear, however, there are reports of outages in the UK., Ireland, Spain, Germany, Italy and other parts of Europe.

And social media is ablaze with people reporting problems with Alexa, with some people unable to switch off their morning alarms.

One unhappy user tweeted, 'Alexa is down and won't turn our alarm off.'

Other customers have complained of not having any lights with another person tweeting, 'Trying to find my light switches this morning. #AlexaDown'

Why is Alexa not playing music?

Your Alexa may be failing to play music today amid a global Alexa outage that has left people unable to use their home intelligence system.

In order to play music, users must ask Alexa to play music and one of the most popular and go-to solutions for fixing any Alexa device when the music stops playing, or any other problem, is also the simplest: unplug the device, wait for a minute, and then plug it back in.

In many cases, this hard reset is all Alexa needs to get rid of any bugs and start working as intended.

  1. Restart Echo - You should start by resetting the power cycle for your Echo. For that, remove the power cable from the Echo. Then, wait for at least 20-30 seconds before plugging it back. Once plugged in, try playing the music from Amazon Music using Alexa.
  2. Check currently streaming devices - You won’t be able to stream music on other gadgets using the same Amazon account because of the streaming limit. That's because, Prime Music allows streaming only on a single device at a time.
  3. Check linked accounts - Prime Music only works for Amazon prime members. So if your Echo device has multiple profiles linked to multiple Amazon accounts, you need to be signed in to the one that has a Prime membership. To switch users, issue the ‘Alexa switch user’ or ‘Alexa switch profile’ command.
  4. Check subscription - users must have an active subscription to either Amazon Prime or Amazon Music Unlimited to play songs with Alexa. But don't worry, you can view your current subscription details, follow these steps, Step 1: Open the Amazon website for your country and log in with your account details. Step 2: Click on your name at the top and select Memberships & subscriptions. In some countries, you will have different options such as Your Prime Membership. Step 3: You can view all active subscriptions here.
  5. Set Prime as a default music manager - If Prime is the default music provider, you can simply say ‘Alexa, play xxxxxx’, and it will start playing it on Prime Music. However, if it isn’t the default and you use the same command, it will play it through the default music provider (if the song is available). Using a full command like ‘Alexa, play XXXXX  from Amazon Music.’ will stop it from trying to source the song from elsewhere as it might not be available on other music platforms. To activate the default manager follow these steps: Step 1: Open the Alexa app and tap on the three-bar icon at the top. Select Settings from it. Step 2: Tap on music. Step 3: Tap on Default Services and select Amazon Music.
  6. Turn off Explicit filter - Songs with explicit lyrics won't play on Amazon Alexa unless you turn this filter off. Chances are a song won't play because it contains a swear or rude word. To adjust, simply Open the Alexa app, tap on the three-bar icon, access Settings and go to Music. Select Explicit Filter and then tap to disable it.

If the above steps fail to work, try to update your Amazon country - select your current location using location services for this, or transfer music to a different country and finally deregister Echo as a last resort before adding it again.


Why is Alexa red?

Alexa is red because the microphone has been turned off and Alexa is not actively listening for your commands.

A pulsing yellow light is telling you that you have messages in your inbox. You can say, "play my messages" or "check my notifications" for more information.

Why is my Alexa having trouble understanding?

The "I'm having trouble understanding you" error occurs when an Amazon Echo device has trouble contacting the Amazon servers to help decipher and understand what you're saying. Alexa users around the world are reporting outages today, but it could be because you lost the wireless connection, or perhaps your internet service is down.

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Why is Alexa not working?

Customers issuing voice commands to Alexa devices are either being met with complete silence, or messages that “something went wrong” or that Alexa has lost its connection.

The problem is not only affecting Amazon’s range of Echo speakers, but devices such as the Fire TV Stick and the Amazon Alexa app for smartphones.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)