Amazon Alexa Smart Home

Why is my Echo so slow to respond?

amazon echo slow

Every now and again you may find that your Amazon Echo is slow to respond. Your once-snappy friend Alexa will instead take several seconds to wake up, which makes natural conversation difficult. Here are the reasons why it happens and what you can do about it.

Breaking news 31 Jan 2022: there are reports of an Amazon Echo outage in the UK and other parts of Europe. The advice below may not solve the problem.

Before we delve deep into steps to follow, here’s a quick checklist. They may sound simple, patronising even, but it’s easy to assume things…

  • Sorry to even ask, but is the Echo definitely switched on? It’s so easy to knock out a plug…
  • Is the microphone switched on? Some models have a button at the top that people (or fellow household dwellers) press and then forget about
  • Did you forget that you changed your wake word? (I’ve done this.)
  • Is your internet definitely working?

Fixing a slow Amazon Echo: option 1

It’s boring but effective: you need to unplug your Echo, leave it for around 30 seconds, and then plug it back in again. Don’t worry, it will reconnect to your network so you won’t need to plug in any new settings.

Some people find that they need to repeat this process, but it worked fine for me on the first attempt.

Fixing a slow Amazon Echo: option 2

If restarting your Echo doesn’t work then it could be an internet connectivity problem. If you’ve positioned your Echo too far away from a router or it’s suffering from interference (eg microwaves) then it will either take longer or stop working altogether.

The fix? Try moving the Echo to a location that’s away from electrical appliances and closer to the router.

Fixing a slow Amazon Echo: option 3

It could be that something is wrong with your Echo. The first step is to perform a reset of the Echo, which will hopefully fix the issue. If it doesn’t, it’s time to get in touch with Amazon about a replacement.

Fortunately, we also provide a guide to getting a refund out of Amazon after 30 days have elapsed.

READ NEXT How do I remove Alexa devices from my account?

About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis. Email tim@bigtechquestion.com

8 Comments

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  • Thanks for the tip about unplugging and waiting 30 seconds to cure a “lagging” Echo. It worked.

    • Reboots are a band aid, not a fix. There is definitely an issue where Echos get slower after running for extended duration.

      I liked one person’s idea to use a smart plug to make the Echo reboot weekly. But that is an added expense and not a real fix.

      • Using a cheap 24 hour timer is the solution I’m considering.

        I have 4 Amazon Echo (2nd Generation) devices, and they haven’t had an issue for 3 years now. But all of a sudden, all 4 of them start getting slow after a few days of uptime.

        I believe this is done on purpose, because Amazon is wanting customers to move to the newer hardware, because it has the creepy mesh network “feature” turned on by default. Which I’m SURE you can’t actually turn off.

        I’m sure Amazon is aware of this. But they will have you reset it, nuke it, start over, and it will do the same thing. If these devices become defunct do to “planned obsolescence” I’m not going to buy new ones. I’ll just use my phone for a timer, and get radio light switches. LOL

        Does anyone have any issues with the newer devices?

      • What do you mean by the “mesh network” feature? Do you mean the Sidewalk feature? This is only active in the US and can be switched off even then.

      • David Artiss,

        Yes, the “sidewalk ‘feature'” is what I’m talking about. It’s absurd because you don’t “turn it off” you opt out of it –if you even know about it, which most users won’t and Amazon knows this.

        You purchase devices because of their features, not purchase them and have to study about how to turn “features” off.

        Your echo device can connect to other echo devices in your neighbor’s house. Allowing a potential path into your network. It won’t be long before we will hear about an exploit.

        That’s why it’s important to watch the traffic on IOT devices, because they can open VPN connections without your permission, allowing others to enter your network.

        Amazon might just rename the “sidewalk ‘feature'” and turn it back on, then years later after you find out that it’s turned back on, with a different name, you’ll have to turn it back off again.

        It’s just more Surveillance Capitalism. They should offer an option for paying your way out, so that you can avoid the surveillance “features.”

  • We have 6+ Echo’s – About 3 weeks ago they all became slow. When they do turn on “Alexa Off” rarely works – So I doubt it’s just unplugging for 30 second – But I’ll try that. any other ideas in the meantime?

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