Alexa Is Having Trouble Understanding (11 Solutions)

If you’re using Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, you can control many smart devices with your voice. You simply tell Alexa what you want her to do, and she takes care of it.

On occasion, Alexa will say, “Sorry, I’m having trouble understanding you right now. Please try again later.” Today we are determined to tackle this issue, so let’s get to it right away.

Why Does Alexa Keep Saying It’s Having Trouble Understanding?

Alexa might have trouble understanding you for different reasons.

When she can’t understand you, you will normally see a red ring on your Alexa device.

The most likely reason that this is happening is that your Alexa device isn’t able to connect to the Internet.

Wi-Fi Issues

There are different reasons that this could be the case.

The source of the problem could be your Internet service or your modem.

In either case, you will want to reset it.

You can find out if that is the culprit by trying another device in your home to see if it connects.

Router Issues

Another possibility is that your router needs to be reset.

Your Internet connection could be fine, but Alexa may not be receiving the Wi-Fi signal. The device might not be connected, or it could be too far out of range.

No Internet Connection

Alexa will not able to understand you if it isn’t connected to the Internet.

When you give a request, it is processed in the Cloud and then Alexa responds. If the device isn’t connected to the Internet, Alexa is incapable of responding.

A Device Bug

Another reason why Alexa could have trouble understanding is that the device is glitching.

This happens with different electronic devices, and it is easy to reset it by turning it off and then back on again.

Noise Issue

You could have too much noise in the room.

If you have a bunch of people talking and other sounds, Alexa may not be able to understand what you are saying.

Difficult Commands

If you use too many words when you speak to Alexa, it can also be hard for her to understand.

You need to simplify your commands so that what you are saying is straightforward and direct.

Problems with Amazon

It is possible that there is a problem at Amazon.

This is rare, but it can happen.

If you can’t find any other reason that Alexa is having trouble understanding you, then you can call technical support at Amazon to find out if the problem is on their end.

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need to panic.

There is likely a simple solution when Alexa isn’t understanding you.

If you try a few troubleshooting ideas, one of them is likely to fix the problem.

What to Do When Alexa Is Having Trouble Understanding

It is important to go through the different possible solutions and see which one works.

First, check to see if the Alexa device is connected to the Internet.

1. Check your Internet Connection

First, make sure that your Internet connection is working.

You can check another device in your home to see if it connects.

If Alexa isn’t connected to the Internet, you will see a red ring on your Alexa device.

2. Reset your Modem/Router

You can reset your modem and your wireless router to establish a connection.

Usually, there is a reset button on these devices, and you will hold it down until it resets.

Wait about five minutes to see if Alexa connects.

Alternatively, you can switch off your router by unplugging it from the power source, wait for a few minutes, then power it back on.

3. Turn it Off/On

This is a simple way to fix almost any software-related issue on electronic devices.

Alexa is not an exception.

Simply turn your Alexa off, wait for a minute or so, plug it back in.

4. Reset your Alexa 

If your Internet is coming into your home and Alexa isn’t connecting, you can also reset your Alexa device.

Power it off or unplug it, and then turn it back on.

Once it is on, see if it connects to Wi-Fi. Sometimes rebooting your Alexa device works to get Alexa up and running.

5. Use Amazon Adapter/Cable

Make sure you are using Amazon’s official cable and adapter that was included with the device to power your Alexa on.

Sometimes your Alexa might not be responding because the power it is getting through the low-quality cable is insufficient for it to function properly.

6. Switch to 2.4 GHz Connection

Echo devices can connect to dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) networks.

If you are using a 5 GHz connection, try switching to a 2.4 GHz frequency, and vice versa.

See if that will fix your issue.

7. Check your Alexa Settings

Make sure that your device isn’t muted by mistake.

The light indicator is red when your device is muted. 

8. Update your Alexa

All modern electronic devices won’t function normally unless they are running the latest version of the software.

Follow these steps to check for the updates:

  1. Open your Alexa App on your mobile device.
  2. In the primary menu, choose Settings.
  3. Select your device.
  4. Under About, compare the Device software version to the latest software version for your device.
  5. If there are any software updates available, install them

You can also force update your Alexa.

Press and hold the Microphone Mute button on the top for 30 seconds, and then leave the speaker for between 15-minutes and an hour.

9. Reposition your Alexa

If your Alexa still isn’t working, make sure that Alexa is within range of your Wi-Fi.

Even if the Wi-Fi is up and running, if Alexa is too far away, it won’t work.

Try moving your device closer to your router to see if you can connect.

You can also add a Wi-Fi extender if this is your problem.

You should also check for any interference, such as concrete walls or electronic devices.

10. Use simpler Commands

Try rephrasing your question or make it more specific.

Alexa might not be able to understand you because your command is too long as well.

You can also try saying, “Did you hear me?”. Make sure there is no loud background noise that can confuse Alexa.

11. Factory Reset Alexa 

If none of these options work, you can reset your Alexa device back to your factory settings.

To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Open your Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Go to “Devices.”
  3. Tap “Echo & Alexa,” and choose which Echo you want to factory reset.
  4. Scroll down to “Factory Reset” and confirm your choice.

Sometimes this solves the problem.

If all else fails, you can contact technical support at Amazon and find out if there is a problem on their end.

Final Words

When Alexa tells you that she is having trouble understanding, the most likely cause is that the device isn’t connected to the Internet.

Reboot your router. Switch it off by unplugging it from the power source, wait for a few minutes, power it back on.

Turn your Alexa off/on. Reset Alexa. Power it off, turn it back on.

Perform a factory reset. Open your Alexa app>go to Devices>Echo & Alexa>choose your device>scroll down to Factory Reset and confirm your choice.

I am confident that one of these solutions should definitely help.

I’ve been working with technology in one way or the other all my life. After graduating from university, I worked as a sales consultant for Verizon for a few years. Now I am a technical support engineer by day and write articles on my own blog here in my spare time to help others if they have any issues with their devices.