What do Alexa’s colored rings mean?

A blue colored ring on the Amazon Echo 4th-gen

Adam Molina / Android Authority

The light ring (or bar, on some Echo Show devices) is one of the most iconic elements of Amazon’s Echo speakers. But as you’re probably aware, it’s not there just for entertainment. Here’s what the different colors of Alexa’s rings mean.

Read more:  How to use Amazon Alexa

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Blue means your Echo is listening to, or responding to, a voice command. Yellow is a message, reminder, or notification alert, green is a call or Drop In, and purple (usually) indicates Do Not Disturb mode. White signals volume changes, or Alexa Guard switching to Away mode. Orange means a device is in setup mode or trying to connect to the internet. Red means that microphones and/or a camera are deactivated, or that an Echo can’t access the internet at all.


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What do Alexa’s colored rings mean?

Echo Studio with blue colored ring and control buttons

Most of the time, the only color you’ll notice is blue. Solid blue indicates your Echo is listening for a voice command after hearing your wake word, which is “Alexa” by default. When the command is done, a blue glimmer lets you know it’s running. You’ll also see spinning blue when you power on a device, but only for a few seconds.

One of the first colors you’ll see on any new Echo is orange. Generally a spinning orange light means the speaker is in pairing mode, i.e. ready for setup. Once pairing is complete however, the same light means that your speaker is trying to connect to the internet. That could be a bad sign if it lasts, since an Echo is normally connected 24/7.

White most often signals volume changes — the more of the ring that’s lit, the higher the volume. The only variation on this color is a spinning pattern, showing that Alexa Guard is in Away mode. Guard is an optional security feature that listens for things like smoke alarms or breaking glass. It has to be set to Away mode to work, and disarmed when you return home.

See also: How to set up Alexa for emergencies

Flashing yellow represents a waiting message, reminder, or notification. Unless you turn on Do Not Disturb mode or disable rings entirely, the flashing will continue until you say “Alexa, what are my messages/reminders/notifications,” or some equivalent version of that phrase.

Purple appears after voice commands when Do Not Disturb is on. That option blocks all alerts, except for alarms, timers, and reminders. You may also see purple during setup if there are any Wi-Fi connectivity problems.

Red usually has negative connotations. At best, solid red means that microphones are muted, or that the camera is disabled in the case of an Echo Show. You may well want that — if you see flashing red however, that means your Echo can’t connect to the internet. Often your speaker will tell you as much if you try to ask for something.

A red colored ring on a 2019 Amazon Echo

Finally, green is linked to calling features. Pulsing green indicates an incoming call, while a spinning light is used for an ongoing call or Alexa’s Drop In feature, which lets devices under the same Amazon Household (or consenting contacts) have intercom-style conversations.

Can you turn off Alexa’s light ring?

A woman talking to an Amazon Echo Dot with a green colored ring

Mostly. This is done on a per-device basis using Do Not Disturb, which still allows alarms, timers, and reminders. Here’s how to toggle the mode manually using the Alexa app for Android, iPhone, or iPad:

  • Open the Devices tab, then tap Echo & Alexa.
  • Find and select your speaker.
  • Tap the moon icon to flip Do Not Disturb on or off.

You can also use the Alexa app to schedule daily downtime, which is highly recommended:

  • Open the Devices tab, then tap Echo & Alexa.
  • Find and select your speaker.
  • Tap the gear icon, then the field Do Not Disturb.
  • Toggle on Scheduled and pick Start and End times.

Read more: The best smart speakers you can buy

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