6 useful Amazon Echo tips that you will use daily


Alexa can help you set alarms and listen to music with one simple command.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Whether you just have a new one Amazon Echo if you’ve had it for years, you’ve probably used it play your favorite music and get updates on the weather – but there’s a whole world of skills that Amazon’s Alexa Assistant can perform which you must use.

For example, you probably knew that you could ask Alexa to turn on the lights when you were at home, but did you know that you could turn off the lights remotely in the Alexa app?

Read on for six essential tips that you will use daily, and check out even more Alexa tips at the end.

Turn your Echo into a free TV speaker

Your Echo is not only handy for turning on the TV, but can also take the place of your TV speaker. For example, if you’re having a hard time hearing what’s on TV and your Echo is sitting next to you, you can start stream the sound from your speaker. To get started, make sure your Echo is within range of the TV and say “Alexa, connect.” On your smart TV, navigate to the Bluetooth settings to find the Echo speaker you want to pair. For example, I might see ‘Katie’s Echo Dot’ or ‘Living Room Echo Plus’. This is the same process as having a Fire TV.

Note that all smart TVs are different, so the setup may not be exactly the same for you, although it should be close. When you are ready to disconnect the TV speaker, just say, “Alexa, disconnect.”

Connect your Echo to your smart devices

First things first, when you get a new thing smart home device, connect it to your Echo (just make sure it is Alexa compatible). It helps you turn off the lamps or plugs you missed while storming out the door, and you can even control your thermostat while you’re away.

After installing your smart devices and activating Alexa skills, just say “Alexa, discover my devices.”

While not at home, you can open the Alexa app and say “Alexa, turn off the porch light” or “Alexa, turn off the bathroom stop.”


With Alexa you can crawl into bed and just turn off the lights with your voice.

Ry Crist / CNET

Set an alarm from home or on the go

Option 1: If you’re near your Echo, you can say “Alexa, set an alarm for 6:30”

Option 2: If you’ve out of the house and want to set an alarm, go to your Amazon Alexa app menu. Type Alarm clocks and counters > Alarms > Add alarm. You can also let Alexa wake you up with music with any song of your choice.


Set an alarm on your Echo.

Ian Knighton / CNET

Listen to music, audiobooks and podcasts

Once your Amazon account is linked to your Echo, you can start listening to music immediately. However, unless you have Prime or Amazon Music Unlimited, you may encounter songs and artists that are not available. So it’s a good idea to have your other music services linked to your account.

Connect Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn: Tap in the Alexa app menu Institutions > Music and select the music service.

Connect with Deezer, SiriusXM, Tidal, Apple Podcasts, Vevo: Tap if you link to one of these links Switch new service, select the service and enter your login information.

Link to YouTube Music: If you have YouTube Music, you can only use your Echo as a speaker. You have to manually select the songs you want to listen to on your phone. Go to your phone’s settings and turn on Bluetooth. Then say “Alexa, pair.” Select your Echo when it appears on your Bluetooth screen.

Read more: 5 amazing music hacks to try with your Amazon Echo tonight

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Play games with your friends or kids

This one can be fun if you’ve got no board games and you’re trying to entertain friends or kiddos. Alexa has a ton of games you can play, like Jeopardy, Harry Potter trivia, music games, kids games and many more. You can also play multiplayer games with Amazon Echo buttons.

Just say “Alexa, play a game,” or if you know exactly what you want to play, say “Alexa, play [name of game]. “

Alexa will explain how to play each game.


Play multiplayer games with Amazon Echo buttons.

Ry Crist / CNET

Ask for measurement conversions

If you’re cooking and you need to know how many ounces are in 3 cups, just ask Alexa. You might say “Alexa, how many ounces are there in a cup?” and your Echo gives you an instant conversion.

Ready for more Amazon Echo tips? Look at this four places to never put your Amazon Echo in your home, how to use Amazon Echo’s latest calling features and four annoying things Alexa does and how to stop it.