Alexa, please stop your spinning blue light. Hey, wait, she isn’t responding.
Years ago, they called it the “blue ring of death,” turning your smart speaker into a mysterious annoyance.
Yet, there are still complaints that sometimes the spinning blue Alexa light just won’t stop. They say there is no trigger word to stop the blue ring of death which can sometimes last up to 48 hours.
If you ask Alexa, her answer would be, “I am updating my firmware.”
Why is the Alexa Blue Light Spinning?
If the Alexa blue light continuously spins on your smart speaker for more than 10 minutes, the likely cause is that it needs a firmware update.
Alexa will usually do a software update nightly as long as it is connected to Wi-Fi.
Alexa is an AI-powered digital assistant that does what you ask through voice commands. Also known as the Amazon Echo device, she will talk back to you, she’ll run through your playlist, and set your alarm for morning wake-up.
Some other features include playing streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing current weather and news.
She even has an ambient sound feature where you can choose from several calming sounds to drown out background noise.
Today, Alexa has run through several generations of smart displays, including the Echo Dot, the Echo Plus, and the Echo Show.
All of these versions feature some form of LED light bar displaying different colors for specific actions and responses.
And, that means a lot of people face this irritation, considering that the latest stats show the Amazon Echo was the most popular smart speaker in United States households in 2020.
So Amazon took up more than half of the share of the smart speaker market and is expected to keep its stronghold through 2022.
Initially, you have to set up the Alexa app on your phone to start conversing with your device. The Alexa app also allows you to control your Echo devices from anywhere.
Normally, Alexa’s LED ring turns solid blue after you speak the wake word.
When the blue ring is blinking, she is turning on and a small area of cyan will point in the direction of the person speaking. Also, Alexa glows blue when she is listening to your query.
What does Amazon Say?
Simone, an Amazon shopping staff member, responded to a forum complaint on the issue, saying the blue ring spins to signal the updating process of the device’s software.
She says it takes place automatically and without the need for a voice command.
But, that information was not listed on Amazon’s General Echo Support page where a quick search does explain all the various lights that Alexa uses and what they mean.
Meanwhile, another forum member agrees that the Alexa blue light spinning in the middle of the night is due to software updates.
The smart speaker waits for a quiet time to load updates, so it’s not unusual for them to load overnight. If you interrupt the update process by unplugging it, then it will try again later.
How Do I Stop the Spinning Blue Light on Alexa?
If you see the Alexa blue light spinning non-stop, it’s probably due to a firmware update. So, you need to let it do its updating. It may take your Alexa device several hours to update, unfortunately.
Don’t unplug it when it’s in the process of updating or else it will just restart the software update.
Now, some users have mentioned that the spinning blue Alexa light is happening because the device could be set to guard and it hasn’t been turned off.
They say it can easily be fixed by just changing the status from away mode to “Home.”
What Do the Different Colors on the Alexa Light Ring Mean?
The different light modes on the Echo light bar are status indicators. Each color is signifying a different message or notification. And, Alexa can explain the meaning of the color values if you simply ask her.
Let’s break down the light bar colors on the Amazon Alexa device:
You’ll see the trademark Amazon Echo blue ring after you turn Alexa on. You’ll also see a small bit of cyan (light blue) pointing toward you, waiting for your direction.
As soon as you command Alexa to do something, the solid blue ring along with the cyan lights will start circling.
When you see it alternating between blue and cyan, that means she is processing your request.
If the Echo device is in Wi-Fi pairing mode in setup mode, the LED light bar will glow orange.
A spinning orange light means the Amazon Alexa device is currently connecting to your Wi-Fi network.
If the system doesn’t connect after three minutes, you may experience “dead Alexa.” It’s a term used when you can’t get a response from your Alexa device.
The solid red light may look a little scary but fear not. It just means the microphone is on mute; Alexa isn’t going to hear you no matter how loud you shout.
If you want to unmute your microphone push and hold the microphone button on your Alexa device for a minimum of two seconds. She will send a signal showing you the microphone has been unmuted.
A pulsing yellow light is telling you that you have messages to get to. You can follow up and ask Alexa to play your messages to hear them if you want.
You can ask her to “play my messages” or “check my notifications” to hear them.
When you see the pulsing green light, you’ve got an incoming call or someone’s dropping in on your device.
(A drop-in is an optional feature that allows you to connect with other Alexa-supported devices in your home, such as in a child’s bedroom. You can have a conversation with that device or with the child.)
A spinning green light shows you’re on an active call.
When you see the white light intensifying, then fading, it means you’re changing the volume. If you see a white spinning ring, that indicates guard mode is activated.
ChardTheTechGuy on his YouTube channel, says Alexa guard mode is a fairly new feature Amazon added to the Alexa device.
He says it helps protect your home, so it’s listening out for your smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm, glass breaking, etc.
Any weird noise in your home will send you a message that you should pay attention to. If and when you want your smart speaker to stop guarding, you say, “Alexa, I’m home,” and the guard mode will switch to Home mode.
When there is a pulsating purple glow, that means there was a problem during the Wi-Fi setup. But, if the color appears to be slowly pulsating or looks like a purple flash, it is in Do Not Disturb mode.
Other Options to Stop the Alexa Blue Light Spinning
If you want to unplug it and throw it in the river, try this instead:
- Try pulling the power, letting it sit for 30 seconds, and then reconnecting. This resolves the problem most of the time.
- Try swapping your power adapter (if it is the same type). It may be damaged or perhaps there is an electrical problem.
- Try a factory reset on your Amazon Echo device. There are instructions on how to do this below.
- If the factory reset doesn’t work, make sure your Echo device is using the original USB cord that it came with and is plugged directly into the electrical socket – no extension cord.
- When all else fails, contact Amazon customer service. Amazon has an excellent service team and they are usually willing to work with you on some sort of resolution.
How to Reset Your Echo device
This pertains to the Alexa Echo Dot. You may need to reset Alexa if you receive a used one or are experiencing any glitches with the device.
The instructions may be different depending on which version of the Echo you have since the most recent versions are even simpler to reset.
- Find the minus button on the Amazon Echo device.
- Locate the mute button.
- Make sure it has power – the blue light will come on.
- Simultaneously, hold down the mute button and the minus button for 30 seconds.
- A yellow light will pop up. Keep holding the two buttons down until you see a solid blue light. You can now stop pressing both buttons.
- The light should start spinning blue, which will begin the restart process.
- Alexa will notify you that she has been reset and is ready to start working for you once again.
Considering the popularity of Amazon’s smart speaker, you are not alone in your search for solutions to Alexa’s spinning blue light.
Now you know what’s behind the blue spinning light and what you can do to fix it. It is most likely due to its firmware updating.
Patience is going to be your best friend in that case. If the spinning light doesn’t stop even after some time of waiting, there’s a list of options you can try to resolve the problem.
Learn more about Smart Home Security