How to set up your Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo
(Image credit: Amazon)

With the ever growing popularity of Amazon Echo, the Bluetooth smart speaker powered by Alexa, it's increasingly likely that you're going to own one in the near future? Maybe you already do and that's why you're here, looking for help on how to set up your Echo? Well don't worry, we've got a step by step guide below showing you exactly how to get your new device set up and ready to go.

1. Get everything ready

The first thing you need to do is get everything you're going to need in one place. In the culinary arts it’s called "Mise en place", the practice of getting everything you need ready before you start cooking. This approach works wonders when dealing with new technology so make sure you’ve got your Amazon Echo, power adapter and a mobile device close to hand before you start trying to set up your Amazon Echo.

2. Download the Amazon Alexa app

The first thing you’ll want to do is download the Alexa app onto your mobile device. The app can be found in the relevant app store (Apple Store or Play Store). Just search for Amazon Alexa and you’ll find it. Once you’ve found the Amazon Alexa app, click install. This process might take a few moments, depending on the speed of your internet connection. Once the Amazon Alexa app has installed, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Amazon Echo

(Image credit: Future)

3. Choose a location for your Echo

You can’t just throw your Amazon Echo on a shelf in the corner and call it a day. The Echo works best when placed in a central location, at least 8-inches away from walls or other large obstacles. Amazon themselves have a variety of good recommendations for locations to put your Echo, including kitchen counters, bedside tables or a side table in your living room.

Amazon Echo

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Plug in your Echo

Once you’ve unwrapped your new Amazon Echo, the next thing you’ll need to do is plug it into the power supply using the supplied power adapter. Once the Amazon Echo is plugged in, a blue light ring will start to spin around the top of the Amazon Echo. 

Wait while the Amazon Echo boots up. After around a minute, Alexa will greet you, prompting you to continue with the set-up using the Amazon Alexa app. The light on the device should also turn orange.

(Image credit: Future)

5. Connect your Echo with the Alexa app

Open up the Amazon Alexa App on your phone. Click the icon in the top left corner of your screen, the one that looks like a small line followed by two longer lines stacked on top of each other. A menu overlay will pop up. The first option at the top of this menu will be Add Device. 

Click the Add Device option. You will be taken to another menu screen displaying all the options for the various devices that Alexa supports. This includes Amazon Echo, but also various smart products like Philips Hue, smart plugs and more.

Choose the Amazon Echo option, which should be at the top of the list. This will take you through to another menu listing all of the various Echo products — this includes the Amazon Echo itself, but also Amazon Dots and various speaker systems. Click on Echo, which should be the top option once again.

The Alexa App will ask you if you can see the orange light on your Amazon Echo. Click yes. Your Alexa App will now ask you to turn on your Bluetooth functionality on your phone. Turn on your Bluetooth. The Alexa App will now search for nearby devices, including your Amazon Echo. Click on your Amazon Echo device when it appears on your screen. You may be asked to choose your language preference at this point.

Amazon Echo

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Connect to your WiFi network

The next step is to connect your Echo to your home WiFi network. Look at the list of available WiFi networks and click on yours, entering a password if required. Once your Echo connects to your WiFi network you will see a message on your smartphone screen that says “Your Echo is online”. 

Congratulations, you’re done setting up your Amazon Echo and Alexa.

Changing your wake word (Optional)

When you first set-up your Amazon Echo and activate Alexa, she will respond to her name. So if you want to ask her for the time you’ll say “Alexa, tell me the time”. However, you can change the wake word to something else if you want to. 

If you want to change the activation word, go to the device settings menu in your Alexa app and click on the wake word option. From here you can change the wake word to either Alexa, Echo or Computer.

Ian Stokes

Ian Stokes is the Tech Editor here at Top Ten Reviews. He has extensive experience in tech and games journalism, with work published on IGN, Kotaku UK, Waypoint, GamesRadar, Trusted Reviews, and many more. You'll find him covering everything from smartphones and home computers to 3D printers and headphones. He's also our resident cocktail expert.