Amazon Echo Dot

Are you curious about voice-activated digital assistants and smart home devices? You can check out the Library Amazon Echo Dot which features the Alexa digital assistant to try one out. The Amazon Echo Dot connects to your home Internet and a smartphone or tablet for setup. It has a microphone and speakers and listens to and vocally answers questions after you wake it up with the word, “Alexa.”

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Features | Instructions | Using Alexa | More Help


– Amazon Alexa digital assistant compatible, able to install Amazon Skills
– Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity
– Integrated microphones
– Integrated speakers
– Volume +/- buttons
– Action button
– Mute button
– 3.5 mm speaker out/headphone plug to connect to turn your existing speakers into smart speakers


Part 1: Signing into the Alexa App

On a smartphone or tablet

Install the Amazon Alexa app, which is available in the Amazon App Store, Google Play, and the Apple App Store. Installing the app may require a password, fingerprint, or facial recognition authentication depending on your device settings.

Once the app has finished downloading and installing, open it up and sign in with a free Amazon account.

If you haven’t created an Amazon account, go to then hover over Account & Lists then select Start here and follow the instructions to create an account.

Once signed in to the app, go to your Settings and make sure the Alexa app has permissions to use Bluetooth. Alexa initially connects to your device over Bluetooth, a local wireless connection.

Part 2: Getting the Alexa speaker ready

With the Alexa device itself

Plug one end of the included power adapter cord into an outlet and the other into the larger circular plug on the back of the Alexa device.

Wait as the device turns on and thinks.

Part 3: Add and configure the Alexa speaker in the app

On a smartphone or tablet

1. Open the Alexa app. Go to the Devices section.

2. Select +.

3. Select Add Device, Echo, Smart Home, and Accessories.

4. Press Amazon Echo from the list. Press Echo Dot from the next list. Press 3rd Generation from the last list.

With the Alexa device itself

5. On your device, make sure an orange light is spinning around the device. If it didn’t do this on its own, press and hold the grey dot Action button on top of the device until an orange light starts spinning around the device.

On a smartphone or tablet

6. If your device asks you if there is an orange light present, select Yes.

7. From the list that appears, select Echo Dot-534.

8. On the Select your Wi-Fi Network screen, pick the Wi-Fi Internet network the device should connect to. In most cases, this should be the same Wi-Fi network that any smartphones, tablets, or laptop computers in your home also connect to. If that network has a password, your device will ask you to type it in. After you have entered this information, the device will connect to that network. It may also ask you to describe where the Echo Dot is in your house, but you can simply press Skip. You can also skip teaching Alexa your voice, physical street address, and their introduction video

Part 4: Using the Amazon Alexa Echo Dot smart speaker

With the Alexa device itself

The Alexa speaker will tell you that it’s updating. What it says, “Your Echo is ready,” it’s done updating and ready to use.

Click here for a version of these handouts that is printable for offline viewing.

See Using Alexa below for more on its use.

Using Alexa

By default, the Echo Dot device listens for a wake word. After hearing the wake word it more actively listens to whatever you say until you stop talking. Background noise can confuse Alexa. Speak loudly and clearly. The default wake word is “Alexa”

So you can say things like:
“Alexa, remind me on Saturday to go to the Library.”
“Alexa, what’s the weather like in Lincolnwood, Illinois?”
“Alexa, tell me the news.”
“Alexa, play jazz music.”
“Alexa, how many ounces are in a cup?”
“Alexa, what’s 20 degrees Celsius in Fahrenheit?”
“Alexa, how do you say ‘thank you’ in [another language]?”
“Alexa, add bread flour to my shopping list.”


Alexa calls apps “skills”. Skills are made by third parties other than Amazon. Most skills are free, but some “premium skills” require payment. Do not attempt to sign up for paid skills on the Library Amazon Echo Dot.

You can ask Alexa about skills: “Alexa, what are your top skills?” Or you can ask for skills by name. Many common services and sources of information have skills, such as: “Alexa, open NPR.” “Alexa, open CNN.” “Alexa, open Fox News.”

Each skill typically reads you its instructions and tells you how to use it when you first invoke them. Listen carefully.


– For more ideas of what to do with this Echo Dot, open the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet, go to the horizontal ||| menu and press Things to Try.
– If Alexa is taking too long, your just need it to stop, or is going into too much detail about something, say: “Alexa, stop.”
– To stop the device from listening to you, press the Ø button, or simply unplug it from power.
– To increase volume, press the + button.
– To decrease the volume, press the – button.

Demo Video

More Help

Need more help using one of our Amazon Echo Dot? Contact the Information Services Desk at the library by calling (224) 233-1841 or email