Alexa Routines Not Working [7 Fixes to Resolve Issues]

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  • Post last modified:September 19, 2021
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You can easily automate your smart home thanks to Alexa routines which are highly customizable. However, as with all technology, they don’t always work.

In this article, I’ll provide some tips on how to fix Alexa routines when they aren’t working properly.

How to Test a Routine

When troubleshooting routines, you can easily test the routines from within the Alexa app. This is a helpful way to understand if the problem is with the triggers or the actions.

To test a routine:

  • Open the Alexa App
  • Go to the ‘More’ tab and select ‘Routines’
  • Tap the play icon next to the routine.

If the routine does not play, then you may have the actions set up incorrectly. If the routine plays during a test but does not play in real life, then it is likely a problem with the triggers.

Alexa Routines Not Working

Here are 7 fixes that should help you troubleshoot and resolve problems with Alexa routines:

1. Ensure the Routine is Enabled

In a recent update, Amazon added a toggle to each routine that allows you to turn the routine on or off without needing to delete it when not in use. If you’re routine is not working, it could be due to the toggle being off.

To check this:

  • Open the Alexa App
  • Go to the ‘More’ tab and select ‘Routines’
  • Select your routine
  • Ensure the toggle at the very top is enabled

2. Ensure That Your Device is Not Muted

If your Alexa voice routine is not working, ensure that your Amazon Echo device is not muted as the routine will not be able to override this.

The light indicator on an Amazon Echo will be red if the device is muted.

If your routine involves a voice command, you can try saying “Alexa, did you hear me?” to check if she correctly heard your command.

3. Double Check Your Spelling

Alexa isn’t as intuitive as her counterpart over at Google when it comes to understanding language. A simple spelling mistake might throw her off or even forgetting to put a space in between words.

This is especially important if you’re using the ‘Customized’ actions which can often cause problems. If you can use one of the predetermined actions, this is always preferred.

Checking your spelling and removing any complicated or unusual words might fix your problems with Alexa routines not working. You might have some success by rephrasing routine triggers or actions to be simple and specific.

4. Is Your Internet Working and is Alexa Connected?

Although Amazon has added some offline capabilities such as basic offline voice commands for lights with certain Echo speakers, however, routines don’t work offline.

Ensure you have a working, strong internet connection. If you are using smart home devices in your routines such as motion sensors, smart lights, or Ring doorbells, ensure these are also connected and fully functional.

5. Check the Device Settings

If the routine involves Alexa responding or saying something, ensure that you have selected the correct device for her to respond from.

To check this:

  • Open the Alexa App
  • Go to the ‘More’ tab and select ‘Routines’
  • Select your routine
  • Check which device is listed under the ‘From’ section at the bottom, tap it to change.

I prefer the ‘The device you speak to’ setting so that it doesn’t matter which Echo speaker or Alexa-compatible device you use.

Note: the ‘From’ section only appears when it’s relevant to the routine, so if you can’t see this then it isn’t a problem.

6. Delete the Routine and Try Again

In most cases where routines aren’t working, deleting the routine and creating it again from scratch should solve the problem. This is the Alexa equivalent of turning it off and on again.

To delete a routine:

  • Open the Alexa App
  • Go to the ‘More’ tab and select ‘Routines’
  • Select your routine
  • Tap the three dots at the top right of the screen
  • Select ‘Delete Routine

You can then create it again as you would when creating a new routine.

There is an option to copy all actions to a new routine which you can try if you’re in a rush, but typically deleting the routine and recreating it from scratch works better.

7. Contact Customer Support

If you’ve tried all of the above and your Alexa routines still aren’t working, the last step is to contact Amazon customer support and they will help you troubleshoot your issue. You can contact customer support here.

Related Questions

How Do I Reset Routines in Alexa?

Whilst there is no way to reset routines in Alexa, you can either copy the actions to a brand new routine or completely delete the routine and recreate it from scratch.

Both of these things can be done by selecting the routine in the Alexa app, choosing the three-dot settings menu, and selecting either ‘Copy actions to new routine’ or ‘Delete routine’.

Do Alexa Routines Work Automatically?

Yes, Alexa routines can work automatically if you have set them up correctly. You can choose a trigger which might be a specific time of day or based on smart home devices such as sensors or thermometers. However, there are also voice routines which are triggered when you say a specific phrase. The triggers can be selected in the Alexa app.

What Do You Do if Alexa Isn’t Responding?

If your Echo or Alexa device isn’t responding, you can check if the device is listening by pressing the action button to see if you can get a response from the device. You can also try saying “Did you hear me?”. If Alexa isn’t responding, unplug the Echo, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in again.

How Many Alexa Routines Can I Have?

You can have up to 99 routines in your Alexa account.


I have been building up my smart home since 2016 so I'm a bit of a smart home expert by now. On this blog, I share my favourite smart home devices that I've tested along with tips and tricks I learn by watching countless YouTube videos, scrolling through forums, and tinkering around with my own smart devices. I've always been a Google Home user but I'm starting to think Alexa might have the edge, what do you think?