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The era of the smart assistant is upon us. As the holidays roll onward, you’ll likely get your hand on the latest tech and gadgetry. This even extends to Amazon’s Alexa and the accompanying Echo family. Alexa is a wonderful, smart assistant, and the Echo line of smart speakers is affordable and intuitive.

However, it can be a bit challenging to set Alexa up fresh out of the box. How do you connect something to WiFi that doesn’t have a screen? How do you get it to recognize your voice? If you’re a new Alexa user, you might have burning questions like these. Our simple guide will get you up and rolling with your Alexa so you can see what people have been raving about.

Step 1: Download the Alexa App

After installing the app, you’ll need to input your Amazon account information.

Anything you do with Alexa has to be done through the app. Amazon has done a great job of keeping the app accessible and easy to navigate. Installation is a breeze; you can find it through the Play Store or Apple App Store.

Your account information is necessary because Amazon will link the account to your Alexa, building a user profile from the things you search for and the way you use the Echo.

Step 2: Plug Your Alexa In

You can’t do a whole lot without some power to the Alexa device. Plug the AC adapter into the device’s power port and the most convenient power outlet. While it powers on, you’ll notice a series of lights around the device. These aren’t important yet, but they indicate that it’s ready to connect.

After a short while of booting up, your device may prompt you to go to the Alexa app to continue setup.

Step 3: Go to More on the Alexa App

Navigate to the more selection on the main screen and select the top item on the menu.

For this step, you’ll need to access the Alexa app.

Step 4: Add New Device

Select whichever Echo device corresponds to your purchase.

You’ll want to select the add a device option from the More menu. There are a variety of selections you can make from here. On some occasions, you may find that this step isn’t necessary. The Echo might prompt you to connect automatically once you launch the app.

Step 5: Confirm Device

Enter your network information and proceed to the next step.

After selecting your Alexa device, it should emit an orange light. The orange light indicates it is in setup mode or is actively configured. While this occurs, there should be a prompt on the app to select your available device. Following this prompt, the app will ask you for the available WiFi network and password to connect.

Step 6: Choose Language and Room

Alexa language selection
Select your chosen spoken language and the room where the Echo will reside.

Room selection has no bearing on how Alexa works, but it can allow you to set up additional devices in groups later. This can be great if you decide to expand how many Echo devices you have. You can use them for different content or purposes simultaneously.

Step 7: Voice ID and Address

The app will next ask you if you want to set up a Voice ID.

This part is optional, but it allows Alexa to set up a voice profile and base your preferences and results on that. You will then be asked to enter your address to receive accurate traffic information, weather updates, and local events.

Step 8: Sidewalk and Final Setup

Sidewalk is for discovering nearby devices and creating a local area network.

This is optional. After tapping disable or enable on Sidewalk, it’ll present a short setup video explaining how to use your Alexa device. Your Echo should also start playing instructions and giving options for the next steps. You can end this with a simple “Alexa stop” if you want.

Next Steps To Take

Now that your Amazon Echo is fully set up, you can explore other ways of personalizing your Alexa. With Alexa, you can set up custom routines and scheduled tasks. This is helpful if you have Alexa-compatible devices in your home. If you have more devices in the Amazon ecosystem, Alexa can handle those as well.

Alexa presents many possibilities for making your home life more accessible. Plus, it’s simple to use. While the setup can seem involved, it still is a user-friendly product.

Voice Profiles

Alexa can profile your voice, which it uses to tailor results, preferences, and other aspects of the device. There are certainly benefits to profiling your voice, as the Echo can address you by your name.

Voice profiles also provide personalized responses for skills, and Alexa’s name for apps, adding a degree of familiarity. Personal reminders, preferred music streaming services, and news briefings are available.

Here is a caveat. Voice profile requires more open privacy settings. If you’re a little more cautious about how your data is stored and transported, this might not be for you. Making Alexa feel more personal does make for a better experience.


Another configuration option, Sidewalk, is an established local area network for your other smart devices. This could be beneficial for things like smart doorbells, cameras, and other home surveillance equipment. It may help reduce pointing your devices toward the correct wireless network.

For the technically minded, this is Alexa establishing in a miniature mesh network in the home. You will find it helpful in finding your keys through a connected Tile. Another added benefit is Sidewalk will remain operational if your internet goes down. You can still control your doorbell, see your keys, and whatever else is using Sidewalk to connect.

On the flip side, Sidewalk shares network bandwidth with any nearby Alexa devices, like your neighbor’s. It takes a minimal amount of your network bandwidth, but Amazon claims that Sidewalk is safe and helpful for users.

How to Set Up Alexa in 8 Easy Steps FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Does Alexa take a lot to set up?

The only thing your Amazon Echo requires besides the device itself is for you to have the Amazon app downloaded to your phone. It is a relatively simple process to download and get installed.

Is the app needed to get Alexa running?

Yes, to get Alexa configured in your home you will need the app to complete the setup. There may be alternative methods, but Amazon’s preferred method of configuring your new Alexa is through using the app itself to complete all necessary steps for configuration.

Can the Alexa app do other things?

The Alexa app does quite a bit out of the box. It can allow your smartphone or tablet to have the Alexa smart assistant enabled, you can set custom tasks and routines for your Alexa, and you can control all of your devices that work with Alexa. This extends to things like children’s night lights, streaming devices for televisions, smart light plugs which can control lights and appliances being powered on, and a whole lot more.

Is the Alexa app free?

The Alexa app is always free, so Amazon users can at least get a taste of what Alexa is like before committing to purchasing an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. If you’re used to Siri or Google Assistant, it might not be as tuned to your needs, but it’s perfectly capable and is always getting better.

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  • Amazon Available here: https://www.amazon.com/alexa-setup-guide/b?ie=UTF8&node=17978645011
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