why is my echo dot red

Why is My Echo Dot Red? How to Fix It [Steady or Blinking]

In Echo Dot, How Tos by Tim Brennan

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In this article, I’ll help you answer the question “why is my Echo Dot Red” and walk you through how to fix it step by step.

Echo Dot’s Mysterious Light Ring

I love the Amazon Echo line of smart speakers. I currently have three Echo Dots in addition to several other Alexa electronic devices that include two Echo Shows, a Fire TV Cube, a regular Echo, Echo Ear Buds, the Echo Auto, and an Echo Flex. I guess you could say I’m a big Echo guy.

An early adopter of Alexa, I pretty much have each Alexa ring color figured out now. For example, I know that…

  • a spinning orange ring light means the device is in setup mode
  • yellow ring notifications mean I have new messages
  • a spinning green light means there is an active call
  • a spinning cyan light means the device is starting up

However, the light rings—especially the red-light ring—and what they mean may not be obvious for many folks.

This post from CNET comes close to helping solve the question but it doesn’t fully address the red ring issue.

To add insult to injury, Amazon’s documentation on some of the light rings (including the red one) is a bit dodgy as well.

Amazon says:
Red
What it means:
Solid red light shows when the microphone on/off button is pressed. That means the device microphone is disconnected and Alexa is not listening. Press it again to enable your microphone.

While it is true that having the microphone muted may be the cause for the red ring, this is not the only reason a red ring can occur on an Alexa speaker. There are actually two different ways it can appear. That said, let’s check and see if your mic is muted first.

Note that you do not need to use the Amazon Alexa app to follow these simple steps.

📚Related: Echo Auto vs Echo Input vs Echo Dot: What’s the Difference?


Reason 1: Muted Microphone [Solid Red Ring]

The most obvious cause for the solid red ring issue on an Echo Dot is simply that your microphone button is muted. This how Alexa alerts you that she is unable to respond to your commands.

Some people like to turn on this feature if they have concerns about Amazon eavesdropping, or if they do not want to be disturbed by a drop-in incoming call and/or Alexa phone calls.

An Echo Dot Alexa device with a muted microphone button on top of the device looks like this:

2. To unmute, simply press the red-lit-up mic button (e.g., mute button) on top of the Dot (circle with a line through it).

unmute my echo dot red

3. If this was your problem, the solid red light will go out, and you will be able to resume Alexa normally again.

echo dot

4. Try saying “Alexa are you there.” She should now reply with her usual blue flashing lights Yes, I’m here….I listen when I hear the wake word.

📚Related: 21 Best Echo Dot Stands, Wall Mounts & Holders


Reason #2: Internet Connection Issue [Pulsing Red Ring]

The second reason in response to the question Why is my Echo Dot red? Well, you could be experiencing a red light on your Amazon Echo device if your internet connection is having an issue.

In this is the case, she will typically flash a red ring in response to a command. And then she’ll issue a low tone, and say something like “I am having trouble connecting right now.”

Since this may be your first time seeing this, I’ll unplug my internet router so I can show you what this looks like on my Amazon echo speaker:

This type of the red light ring could happen for many reasons, including:

  • A temporary Wi-Fi network connection issue or outage in your area
  • A service interruption in your area
  • A low or weak Wi-Fi signal or a change to your wi-fi setup
  • A firewall or blocked ability to connect (such as at many college dorms)

If you have a typical home network, I suggest you do the following:

  1. Check your internet provider (e.g., cable company’s website to see if there is an outage.Note: This is the most likely scenario and, in this case, you just have to wait for them to restore the connection.
  2. If it is not obvious what is causing the problem, you can try restarting your router at home. But do it in this exact order:
    1. Completely unplug your Echo Dot.
    2. Unplug your router from the wall.
    3. Wait a full five minutes.
    4. Plug the router back in, then plug Echo Dot back in.
    5. Give Alexa a few minutes to come back online and run a test command (e.g., Alexa are you there?)
  3. If you still don’t have any luck, I suggest you contact your cable /internet company. Or leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Note: if you have an Echo Show and your microphone is muted, it will look like this:

echo show


Why is My Echo Dot Red: Did this help?

I hope this helped answer the question: Why is my Echo Dot red.

I initially thought Alexa might be “blushing” but clearly that is not the case.

So, what do you think about all of Alexa’s different light colors? Some people refer to the red one as the red ring of death!

Did my troubleshooting steps above help you return your Echo Dot back to normal operation?

Please leave me a comment below and let me know if this was the red ring fix you have been looking for!


About the Author

Tim BrennanTim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger

Tim Brennan [a.k.a. "Tec Timmy"] is a senior technical writer with over 20 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. In addition to actively writing for this smart home blog, Tim is also a regular contributor over at UniversalRemoteReviews.com. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. You can learn more about Tim here.