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Amazon’s Echo Devices are best known for their ability to process voice commands and perform various tasks with nothing but a user’s voice.

However, when your device fails to respond to your voice commands properly, it can be a struggle to understand why Alexa is suddenly not working.

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8 Causes to Alexa Lighting Up But Will Not Respond

Below is a list of the most common reasons your device may be lighting up but not responding and how to fix the issue.

1. Alexa Did Not Understand Your Voice Command

The most common reason that your Alexa lights up but does not respond is that it is unsure of what you said.

This can be because she did not understand your words or you are giving her an incorrect command that she cannot perform.

Your Alexa will still light up due to detecting a voice command but will not actually do anything if it cannot understand what you said.

Alexa also has a specific set of voice commands that do work so it is important to learn and understand what voice commands work for your device.

2. Your Device Needs A System Update

Your device may not be functioning properly in response to a voice command if it needs a system update.

Typically, your Alexa will automatically deal with operating system updates and will not require you to manually start updates.

However, if for some reason your Alexa did not go through with an operating system update on its own, then it may not respond properly when it detects voice commands.

Thankfully, this can be easily remedied by ensuring your device is running on the latest updates.

3. Alexa Is Not Connected To The Internet

Since your Alexa needs a good internet connection in order to function, if your device is not properly connected to your Wi-Fi network then it may not respond to your voice commands.

There is nothing wrong with your device if this happens. It just means that it is unable to go through with your command.

If your Alexa is connected to other devices, such as your television, it must be on the same Wi-Fi network as that device. Not being properly connected to the same Wi-Fi network will prevent your Alexa from responding to your voice commands.

4. Your Device’s Microphone Is Muted

It is not uncommon for users to struggle using their Alexa when the microphone is muted.

Whether by accidentally pushing the mute button or forgetting to unmute after a voice call, if your Alexa’s microphone is muted, it will light up but not respond to your commands.

Your Alexa will display a red light instead of the usual blue and teal light if it is muted. It can still detect that you are speaking to it but will not be able to execute any commands you give it.

However, there is nothing actually wrong or broken with your device. It is just muted.

5. A Separate Echo Device Processed Your Request

If you have other Echo devices in your house, it is possible that another device picked up on your voice command and processed your request instead.

This can happen if your devices are too close together or if they have the same or a similar sounding wake word.

When another device picks up your voice command and processes it, your current device that you are trying to use will still detect your voice but not go through with the command since another device has done so.

This can be confusing if you do not realize that a nearby device is listening to your voice and is currently functioning.

6. “Do Not Disturb” Or “Whisper” Mode Is Activated

When certain modes are activated, your Alexa will still pick up on your voice but will not respond.

This is because modes like “Do Not Disturb” or “Whisper” are designed to minimize noises and activity, thus causing the lack of response from your machine.

If you have this mode on and have forgotten about it, that would explain why your device is not responding to you. These modes will override typical functionality and cause your machine to not respond or be much quieter than expected.

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7. There Is An Amazon Web Server Outage

Echo devices need to run requests to cloud servers whenever processing a voice command from its users. If these servers are down due to an outage, then your device will not be able to process and execute commands.

Unfortunately, there is not much users can do when these outages occur. However, at the very least, it does mean that the issue is not on your end and that your machine is likely completely fine.

Once the server connection is restored, your device should function properly again.

8. Your Device’s Wake Word Has Been Changed

Your device may light up upon hearing your voice but not respond if its wake word was changed. This means that your Alexa understands you are speaking to it but does not hear its activation word and is therefore not executing any commands.

The purpose of a wake word is to activate your device by saying that specified word. Every Alexa has a set of premade wake words you can choose from. However, if changed, your device will no longer respond to its previous wake word which could explain why your Alexa is lighting up but no longer responding to your commands.

How To Fix The Issue

The first step is to try and repeat your voice command. Make sure you are speaking clearly.

It is highly likely that your Alexa did not fully understand what you said or did not hear your entire command and was not able to determine what your request is.

If your command still does not go through, the next step would be to check your Alexa’s settings. Using your Alexa app, select your device and go to its settings menu. Check if your device’s “Do Not Disturb” or “Whisper” mode is on.

You can also check your device’s microphone and volume settings. Your device’s volume may be just turned down unusually low. It could also be that your device is muted. If so, push your microphone mute button to fix the issue.

If the issue is caused by a lack of connection, check your home’s Wi-Fi network. It may require resetting your router to ensure your device is connected securely.

You can also check online to see if Amazon’s servers are down, causing the issue.

Be sure to also check for changes within your home, such as an additionally nearby Echo device or if your machine’s wake word has changed. If you know you have other Echo devices, check their recent history to see if your voice command went through there instead.

If not, you can check your device’s wake word settings to see if it has been recently adjusted.


Most of the time, your Alexa will light up but not respond due to not understanding your voice command. Common causes include a muted microphone, an enabled silence mode, or a failed internet connection.

When all else fails, Amazon’s support team can help you troubleshoot your device and get your Alexa back to its normal functionality.