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Why Is Alexa Yellow? What Do the Echo Light Rings Mean?


If you want to know why Alexa is yellow (or white, purple, orange, green, red, various shades of blue), this guide has the answers. It clearly explains what each of these Echo lights mean. The various Alexa colored lights convey the different communication statuses of Alexa, so you can quickly find out what’s happening on your Echo speaker, whether there’s a problem, or if no action is required on your end.

Tip: you can use your Amazon Echo as a Bluetooth speaker. 

1. Yellow (Pulsing)

One reason you may be wondering why Alexa is yellow, is that you may see it often. A pulsing yellow light on the Echo device means various things, but it boils down to pending notifications, messages or missed reminders associated with your Amazon account.

Alexa will start blinking yellow because:

  • Amazon shipments: when you purchase something on the Amazon website, you can expect the Echo speaker to display a yellow ring on the day of shipment.
  • Forgotten reminders: did you set a reminder for a planned activity in the near or distant future? If you forget to turn it off, the Echo device will display a flashing yellow light after the moment has passed.
  • Messages from Alexa contacts: if you have friends and family in your Alexa contact list, they may want to drop in or call you on your Echo speaker. Pending messages are represented by a yellow light.

As the Alexa yellow light only conveys notifications and reminders, it’s not worrisome and does not require you to do anything. The notifications automatically expire after some time has passed. To view the yellow lights at any time, ask the speaker, “Alexa, what are my notifications?” If you have too many notifications, delete them by saying, “Alexa, dismiss all my notifications.”

2. Green (Pulsing/Spinning)

The green light is a priority communication status on your Echo speaker and refers to phone calls and texts. There are two different types of the green Echo light:

  • Pulsing green light: appears when you have an incoming call on your Alexa speaker due to your contacts “dropping in” unexpectedly. Generally, the pulse is slow.
  • Spinning green light: indicates an ongoing call or active drop-in on your Alexa speaker. The speed of the spin indicates how many calls or drop-ins you have.

A green light will go away on its own after the call. However, if for some reason, the green light won’t stop, just say, “Alexa, hang up.”

Good to know: if you’re having problems receiving your calls or messages via Alexa, learn how to reset your Alexa-enabled device.

3. Red (Solid)

Alexa can also display a solid red color, which means it’s no longer listening to you. Every time you press the microphone on/off button on your Echo speaker or turn the camera off on an Echo Show device, you will see a solid red ring. It will remain until you re-enable the microphone or camera on the device.

Alexa showing a red ring,  indicating the microphone is off.

If you see the Alexa speaker displaying a red light and can’t recall turning the mic or camera off, it may have happened accidentally. In that case, just unmute the microphone by pressing the button or open the shutter on the camera.

4. Orange (Spinning/Pulsing)

Sometimes, the Alexa speaker displays an orange ring, which indicates the following statuses:

  • Spinning orange: indicates that your Alexa device is in setup mode or trying to connect to the Internet.
  • Pulsing orange: when you factory reset your Alexa speaker, the light ring will pulse orange after pressing the action/microphone button for 20 seconds.
Alexa displaying an orange light, indicating a reset mode.

Alexa’s orange status should clear once the required setup/reboot is over and requires no user intervention. However, if you decide to cancel the setup, the only way to get rid of the orange ring is to turn off the Echo device power supply. After a reboot, it will flash blue as usual.

Sometimes, Alexa is stuck on orange for far too long due to glitches. It may mean that it is having trouble connecting to the local Wi-Fi network.

Tip: need help setting up your Amazon Echo device? We can help!

5. Purple (Pulse)

The purple light on your Amazon Echo device has different meanings:

  • Single pulsing purple color: indicates a “do not disturb” mode. When you instruct Alexa to switch to this mode, the light will briefly pulse purple. Echo devices with a screen, like Echo Show, also display a purple color to indicate that do not disturb is on.
  • Continuously pulsing purple color: if your Echo is continuously pulsing purple, an error occurred during the setup.
Alexa displaying a purple light, indicating the "Do Not Disturb" mode is On.

The “Do Not Disturb” mode in Alexa gives you a break from drop-ins, calls, and unwanted notifications. To get rid of the purple light, tell your speaker, “Alexa, turn off the do not disturb mode.”

Alexa displaying a purple light, indicating an error.

It’s unlikely that the Echo speaker will remain stuck on purple. But if it does, it will indicate that the “Do Not Disturb” mode is on and should be turned off. If you can’t do it on the speaker itself, turn it off on the Alexa mobile app.

6. White (Spinning)

A white light on your Amazon Echo device has two meanings, based on the frequency of the light streak:

  • Single streak of white light: indicates you adjusted the volume on Echo’s buttons or via the Alexa voice assistant.
  • Spinning white light: indicates that the “Alexa Guard” feature is turned on, putting you in Away mode.
Alexa displaying a white light, indicating speaker volume is being increased or decreased.

The single streak of Alexa white light goes away on its own and requires no user intervention. If it’s spinning continuously because Alexa Guard is enabled, just tell your speaker: “Alexa, I’m home.”

FYI: your Echo speaker can do many things! Learn how to use your Echo for remote learning.

7. Blue (Spinning/Pulsing/Solid)

Alexa’s blue lights are very common, but do note that there are different shades of blue on the device, and all mean different things.

  • Cyan spotlight spinning on blue ring: when Alexa is listening or responding to you, and there are no problems, it will be indicated by a cyan spotlight spinning on a blue ring. This goes away on its own after the task is over.
Alexa displaying cyan on blue color, indicating the Echo speaker is in listening mode.
  • Pulsing teal on blue light: this usually means the device is receiving software updates. If the light is rotating constantly, your device may be powering on. In other cases, it’s simply processing a request.
Alexa displaying slowly spinning teal on blue light, indicating startup or software update.
  • Solid blue ring: also known as the “blue ring of death,” this indicates underlying problems with the Echo device firmware or software. It’s never a good sign when you encounter this. Basically, Alexa is confused by your voice instruction. It may even quip, “I do not understand.” However, if there are firmware or software issues, you’ll need to temporarily switch off your Echo speaker and try restarting after 15 to 20 minutes, but you may need to factory reset your speaker.
Alexa indicating a solid blue color, which is never a good sign.

Good to know: if you still feel like your Echo is having issues, read on to learn easy fixes for common Amazon Echo Dot problems.

Now that you know why Alexa is showing a yellow light or another color on your Echo device, you may want to explore some Alexa skills to build a smart home. It’s extremely easy to connect Alexa to a smart TV, such as a Samsung TV. If you are tired of manually setting your Alexa device, learn how to switch to a hands-free mode to handle your instructions.

All images by Sayak Boral.

Sayak Boral
Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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