Fast Tips Friday: Alexa Device Reset Fixes Many Issues, Won’t Delete Your Content

Post Publication Date: 9/28/18 – When your Echo, Dot, Show or other Alexa device is misbehaving, an Alexa device reset fixes many issues and won’t delete content the way resetting a smart phone or other tech device can because all your content (music, audiobooks, game skill progress, etc.) is stored in Amazon’s cloud servers.

 

Reset Harder

 

An Alexa device can start acting up just like any other tech device, and often for the same reasons: what we techie types call “data droppings”. Data droppings are leftover bits of data from processes that didn’t complete properly, or from processes that store temporary files and fail to delete them completely. Just as with so many other tech devices, a device reset will clear those droppings away and get your device back to normal. Sometimes just unplugging the device, waiting 15 seconds and plugging it back in will do the trick. If not, read on for more information (and reassurance!) about the factory reset process.

 

Don’t Fear The Reset: Your Content’s Safe In The Cloud

Many consumers don’t seem to understand that when it comes to digital content you buy or get free from Amazon, the entire system is set up to work like a library.

All that content is stored on Amazon’s cloud servers and it’s meant to stay there more or less forever. You can access the content by streaming it or downloading copies to specific devices (e.g., where you’re allowed to download a video or music to your tablet, phone, etc.), but your “library” of content remains intact until/unless you log on to the Amazon site, go to Your Content & Devices, and purposely delete the content from there. Deleting the content from your device does not delete it from your library.

Alexa devices released thus far do not store ANY content on the device, they are only intended to be streaming devices. That means resetting your Alexa device has NO impact on your content library, including Kindle or Audible bookmarks, music playlists, or Alexa skill game progress.

 

What DO You Lose?

The only stuff you stand to lose is anything specific to the device. That means you will have to re-register the device, and if you’ve customized its settings in any way (e.g., different wake word than Alexa, different alarm tone than the default, different display options on the Show or Spot) you will have to change those settings back from the defaults to the way you wanted them. Paired Bluetooth devices will have to be re-paired. If you’ve set any passwords on the device (for Amazon purchases, etc.) you will need to re-create those passwords. Alarms and timers set on that specific device may be lost—see next section.

But that’s it! Your music, audiobooks and other content will stream as per usual. One caveat with respect to audiobooks: it’s wise to manually sync your Audible library with Amazon’s servers before you do a device reset to ensure your bookmark(s), including the bookmark that’s automatically set to save the spot where you left off, will be updated. You can do a sync in the Audible mobile app.

 

What About Alarms, Timers?

Alarms and timers may have to be reset, or they may persist. This behavior seems a bit unpredictable, and it seems to vary by device. If you have important alarms and timers set on the device you’re going to reset it’s probably safest to look them up the Alexa app and make a side note of them (times, days) first, then after the reset is complete you can go back into the app and see if they’re still there. If not, you can re-create them from your notes.

 

How To Reset

The reset process varies by device. Here are the reset directions, from Amazon’s help pages.

1st Generation Echo, Dot
1. Use a paper clip (or similar tool) to press and hold the Reset button. You can find the Reset button at the base of your device.

2. After you press and hold the Reset button, the light ring on your Echo device turns orange, and then blue.
Wait for the light ring to turn off and on again. The light ring then turns orange, and your device enters setup mode.

3. Open the Alexa app to connect your device to a Wi-Fi network and register it to your Amazon account.

 

2nd Generation Echo, Echo Plus, Dot
1. Press and hold the Microphone off and Volume down buttons at the same time until the light ring turns orange (about 20 seconds). Then light ring turns blue.

2. Wait for the light ring to turn off and on again. The light ring then turns orange again, and your device enters setup mode.

3. Open the Alexa app to connect your device to a Wi-Fi network and register it to your Amazon account.

 

Echo Devices With A Screen

1. Say the wake word followed by, “Go to settings,” or swipe down from the top of the screen and select Settings.

2. Select Device Options.

3. Select Reset to Factory Defaults. This erases all your personal information and settings on the device.

4. Once the device resets, it begins the setup process.

 

Echo Connect
1. Use a paper clip (or similar tool) to press and hold the Reset button for twenty seconds. It’s located on the back of the device, between the phone line in port and the power cord port.

2. After twenty seconds, all LEDs flash. Then, the power LED is white, and the Wi-Fi LED flashes amber. Your Echo Connect enters setup mode.

 

Echo Tap
1. Press and hold the Wi-Fi / Bluetooth button and Previous button for 12 seconds.

2. Wait for the light indicators to turn off and on again.

3. Open the Alexa app to connect your device to a Wi-Fi network and register it to your Amazon account.

 

Fire TV Cube
1. Select Settings from the Home Screen.

2. Tap down, scroll right.

3. Select Device > Restart.

4. Select Restart again to confirm.

 

Related Links

Big News: Alexa Repeating Reminders Are Here!

How To Find & Start Music From The Alexa App, To Play On Your Alexa Devices

New Music Services for Alexa

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