Alexa skills not working? 11 ways to fix the problem

The full set of 100,000 Alexa Skills is a powerful platform, but sometimes those Alexa Skills just don’t work. The Server providing the Skill may be malfunctioning, or there may be an issue with the way the Skill is deployed in your smart home.

If you find that the Alexa Skill isn’t working or isn’t working as intended, here are some fixes to try.

1. Make sure Alexa is connected to WiFi

Amazon Echo requires WiFi to work properly. If your device is not connected to WiFiAmazon Skills won’t work because Amazon can’t process your voice commands.

2. Make sure you are using the correct phrase

Many Alexa Skills have specific trigger phrases. If you find that the Alexa Skill isn’t working as you expect, make sure you’re using the correct trigger phrase. For example, the Food Network Cook skill can be activated in three separate ways:

  • “Alexa, open the Food Network Kitchen.”
  • “Alexa, show me cooking classes from Food Network Kitchen.”
  • “Alexa, show my saved recipes from Food Network Kitchen.”

3. Check if a Skill needs parental permission

Unable to activate some Alexa Skills without parental permission. If you’re using a Skill and it requires parental permission, you’ll have to enable it from your home screen. This is especially true for Child-Focused Skills.

4. Skill Activation

In some cases, the Skill may have been disabled. When this happens, you’ll need to reactivate the Skill from within the Skills menu.

5. Reset Skill

If you have a Skill that worked for the most part but suddenly stopped working, there may have been an error and can be remedied by disabling the Skill and re-enabling it. When you disable a Skill, it will unlink it from your account. Activate the Skill and re-link it. Doing this will fix most problems.

6. Verify your device is on the correct configuration

If there are multiple profiles in an Amazon account, each profile can use different Skills. If you notice the device becomes unresponsive when you try to activate the Skill, make sure you are using the correct profile.

7. Reactivate the device

Many Amazon Skills are associated with specific devices. If a Skill is unresponsive, go to your Alexa app’s Devices menu and turn the relevant device off and back on again.

8. Device Reset

If turning off your device doesn’t work, remove it completely from your account. You can do this by opening your device settings and tapping the trash can in the upper-right corner of the screen. After removing the device, you’ll need to add it back to your Amazon account. A fresh install will usually fix the problems that arise.

9. Force Firmware Update

Some Alexa Skills may not be available until the Echo hardware performs a firmware update. While any connected device will periodically check for updates automatically, you can force firmware update to bring your Echo in with the firmware version it should have.

To do this, press the mute button on your Echo. It will only take a few minutes to half an hour, but Alexa will notify her that she needs to perform an update. Once done, the hardware will reboot and no longer be muted. Of course, this only works when a firmware update is available.

10. Make sure you complete the skill

Alexa skills can be customized through the Skill Plan system. However, you can create a Skill without updating your account and add it to the list of active Skills. If your Skill is custom-made and doesn’t work, make sure it’s actually completed in the system.

11. Create voice profiles

Some people may have a more confusing problem: Alexa may not understand what they’re saying. If this happens, you can train Alexa to recognize your voice. Go Setting > Account Settings > Recognized Voices > Manage Voice Profiles.

From this screen, you can choose to have Alexa personalize your skills or delete your voice profile. You can also press Voice profile matching to say a series of phrases that Alexa will use to better match your voice as you speak. This allows Alexa to understand you better.

Alexa skills are one of the features that set Alexa apart from the competition. The vast skill library and easy-to-use Skills Blueprint let you get virtually unlimited creativity in how you control your smart home and your life. The only hitch is when these Alexa Skills stop working.

Just try any one of these 11 tricks to get your Skills working again. At least one of these options should get your Alexa working again.

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