Alexa Quick Start

It’s about that time of year once again, when I post a roundup of the most useful and popular posts on the site: an Alexa quick start guide if you will, bringing together links to the essential information that’s buried in Amazon’s help pages, or not really documented anywhere else at all.

Be sure to bookmark this page for future reference, and use the buttons at the bottom of the post to share with family, friends and colleagues who may need help with their own Alexa-enabled devices or would find this roundup useful. As always, remember that the information provided is accurate as of this posting but subject to change at any time in the future, should Amazon change their software, hardware, or device line up.


Only One Who Did The Reading


Alexa 101

Which Alexa Device To Get
What do the different devices have to offer, and how to decide which will meet your needs best.

Echo Show FAQ and Alexa Intercom FAQ

Echo / Alexa Help Desk
Page with contact information for Amazon Echo / Alexa tech support and links to how-to and troubleshooting posts.

Universal Alexa Skill Commands

Alexa Help Commands

How You Can Make Alexa Smarter

Things To Ask Alexa Archive


Music & Other Audio Content

Free Music For Your Echo
Applicable to all Alexa devices that are capable of playing music or streaming audio.

Getting Your Music Into Amazon Music Library So Echo Can Play It

The Secret, Undocumented Audio Equalizer in Amazon Echo
I can’t say for certain whether other Alexa devices include this feature or not, but I just verified it’s still there on my Echo.

Bluetooth Playback Controls For iTunes On Echo, Google Music On Echo

Can The Echo Play Podcasts? You Betcha!

Keeping Audible Books Synced On Amazon Echo

Echo Radio Integration Means You Can Get That Great Radio Station From Back Home, Or Back In The Day!

Yes, You CAN Access Another Household Member’s Music Library On Your Echo (or other Alexa device)


Security & Privacy

Echo Security Concerns

Is Alexa Spying On You?


Advanced Topics

Traveling With Alexa

Echo Lifehack: How To Turn Your Echo (or other Alexa device) Into A Clock Radio

Alexa To Do List Hacks

Echo Custom Wake Words: Why Isn’t This A Thing Yet?

Amazon Echo Google Search: Why Isn’t This A Thing Yet?

I Got 99 Problems, But Alexa Ain’t (Usually) One
There are many reasons why Alexa sometimes doesn’t do what you expect her to; this post explains which types of problems probably have nothing to do with your Alexa-enabled device.

How Echo Can Help Care For Aging Or Disabled Family Members

How To Tell Alexa’s Software Version

How To Check Amazon Server Status