Amazon Alexa

Alexa won’t stop playing music. What can I do?

Amazon Echo
Enjoy the silence: stop Alexa playing music

Alexa, stop. ALEXA, STOP. ALEXA, FOR *!%*’s SAKE, STOP! If you constantly find yourself yelling at your Amazon Echo devices because Alexa won’t stop playing music, you’re not alone. Judging by online forums and social media, lots of folk have problems getting Alexa to behave.

The tips below might not cure all problems, but they’ve definitely helped to keep Alexa under control in our house. Here, then, is how to get Alexa to listen and restore peace in your home.

Turn down the volume

The number one cause of Alexa failing to stop playing music in our house is that the volume level is high. If the music is loud, Alexa’s mics may have trouble hearing or interpreting your voice commands. If you’re being ignored, try using the volume buttons/dials on the Echo device to turn the volume down. In our experience, this seems to be a bigger problem with smaller devices such as the Echo Dot, which don’t have the same mic array as the larger Echo speakers.

Tell Alexa to stop playing music

Being more specific can sometimes help. Instead of saying:

“Alexa, stop”


“Alexa, stop the music”

Or, if you’re listening to an online radio station:

“Alexa, stop the radio”

I’ve no idea why being more specific makes a difference, but it does. Sometimes.

Use the Home button

On Echo Show devices with screens, use the touch controls to get Alexa to go back to the Home screen.

To do this, drag down from the top of the screen and select Home in the top-left corner.

Then try asking Alexa to stop playing the music again. Again, I’ve no real idea why this works, but it does.

Pull the plug

It’s the nuclear option, of course, but if all else fails yanking the plug out of the wall will kill the music. More pertinently, it will also soft reset the Alexa device and seemingly make it behave a little better. For a while, at least.

most useful Alexa commands

Why won’t Alexa play a Spotify playlist?

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About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at


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  • Pull the plug? Sure it works but that is ridiculous. That is what I have to do and I am using Sonos 1 and the plug is a bear to get out. The result of this is that the Alexa spy device is unplugged most of the time – ready to give it away since it is of zero use if it will not turn off. And it is not because the volume is too loud – it hears me but will not comply.

  • So funny! After all the commands to Stop the music..I had to resort to Nuclear..and pulled the plug!

    Thank you!

  • Pulling the plug doesn’t work for me. She now says”I don’t know how to do that” when I say stop. Ridiculous help!

  • Just had the same problem. Turned down the volume, asked Alexa in multiple ways to “Stop the music” “Stop the shuffle” and more and more, but we needed Don McLean to talk about the day the music died. I asked Alexa about the weather and I received an answer but the music continued to play. That’s when I held the power button down. That’ll teach her to disobey.

  • just uninstall/disable the skill that is playing the music and then reinstall it by telling the device to play again or from the alexa app on the phone.

  • The workaround for me is to ask “Alexa what’s the news?” while the music (eg Spotify) is playing. Alexa will start to speak what the news is (or start news channel audio) and pause the music in favor of news audio. You then say “Alexa off” and the news audio stops playing leaving you in blissful silence. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  • That did work! Distracting her with the news is brilliant! She was so anxious to tell me the news that she forgot to torture me with nonstop music!