Normally, when you ask Alexa to perform a task, it replies with a voice sound—confirming the action. However, the reverse is the case for some users—Alexa performs the task but won’t talk back to confirm the action.
If that sounds like what you’re currently experiencing with your Amazon Echo (Echo Dot, Echo Plus, etc.), then you want to keep reading as I’ll walk you through the steps to fix the problem. Let’s begin!
In short, here’s what to do if Alexa won’t talk back to you:
- Reboot your Echo device.
- Check whether Brief Mode is enabled on your Echo device and turn it off.
- Plug in an external speaker or headphones and then unplug it.
- Increase the volume on your Echo speaker.
- Uninstall and reinstall the Alexa app on your phone/mobile device.
If that’s not enough information to help you fix the issue, keep reading as I’ll go into more details about the above troubleshooting tips. Let’s begin!
Alexa Won’t Answer Back After a Command: How to Troubleshoot
So here are the troubleshooting steps to try if you’re having issues with Alexa responding to your commands:
1. Restart Your Echo Device
So the first step to troubleshooting this issue is to restart your Amazon Echo device. The reason is, you might have made some programming changes via the Alexa app that didn’t sync with the Echo speaker. And this might sometimes cause some malfunctions—just like what you’re currently experiencing.
So head over to your Echo device and restart it. Whether you’re using the Echo Dot, Echo Plus, or Echo Show, here’s a simple way to restart any of your Echo devices:
- Unplug it from the power source.
- Wait 10 to 15 seconds and then plug it back in.
This should restart/reboot your Echo device and possibly fix the “not talking back” issue.
If the issue persists, continue to the next troubleshooting step.
2. Turn Off Brief Mode
Because the spoken response from Alexa can sometimes be disturbing, Brief Mode helps to minimize or completely mute the spoken response.
So when the Brief Mode feature is enabled, Alexa may speak less or not make any sound at all when you issue a voice command.
So if Alexa won’t answer back after asking it to do something, then you want to check if the Brief Mode is enabled. If so, disable it and then try to ask Alexa to do something again and see if the voice response is restored.
To disable Brief Mode, follow the steps below:
- Open the Alexa app on your mobile device and tap the three-bar icon in the top left-hand corner. Next, select Settings from the drop-down.
- Tap Voice Responses and then turn off the toggle where you have Brief Mode.
And that’s all you need to do to turn off Brief Mode. You can now try to speak to Alexa again to see if it returns a voice response.
Still didn’t work? Continue to the next step.
3. Try the External Speaker Hack
Your Echo device may sometimes function as if you plugged in an external speaker or headphones. As you probably know, you won’t hear any sound from the Echo speaker if you plugged in an external speaker or headphones.
This usually happens if you previously plugged in an external speaker or headphone and didn’t remove it properly—causing the Echo device to function as though an external speaker is still plugged in.
To rectify this issue, plug in an external speaker or headphones and then unplug it. Do this two to three times and then try to speak to Alexa again to see if the issue is fixed.
4. Check and Increase Volume
Usually, the above troubleshooting steps should resolve the not talking back issue with your Echo device/Alexa. But if the issue persists, check the volume on your Echo device to see if it’s too low. Yes, it may sound unlikely, but this could cause the problem sometimes.
Perhaps you mistakenly turn down the volume or so. So check and increase the volume on your Echo device with the physical volume button or ask Alexa to increase the volume. You can issue a command like “Alexa increase the volume” or “Alexa volume 6” or so—up to 10.
5. Reinstall Alexa App
If the issue continues, then you want to check if you’re running the current version of the Alexa app. You could just uninstall/delete the current app on your phone and then reinstall it. This way, you will get the most current app with all updated features.
Probably this could fix the voice response issues—assuming the other tips didn’t work for you.
So that’s how to fix the not talking back issue with Alexa. For the most part, rebooting the device or plugging in a headphone and unplugging it will fix the not talking back issue with your Alexa.
But you want to try other tips if the problem persists after trying the first two troubleshooting steps.
More so, your Echo speaker may go mute if it’s connected to a Bluetooth device like a headphone or external speaker. So check to see if your Echo device is paired to any Bluetooth device (speaker) and disconnect it.
Your internet may also cause this issue, so check and ensure your internet is stable. If needed, move your router closer to your Echo device or reset the router and your Echo device.
This might fix the voice response issue with your Alexa system. But if not, then you want to contact Amazon for further help.
You may also like to see how to troubleshoot Alexa and Spotify connection problems.