New Amazon Echo? 5 essential tips you need to know now


These tips will help you from the moment you unpack your Amazon Echo.

Chris Monroe / CNET

You just have your new Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock or Echo Show 8 out of the box, but what exactly are you doing with it now? You already know can play music, tell the weather forecast and set alarms – but Amazon’s Alexa does so many things that it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start.

For example, Alexa can learn who it’s talking to, order supplies around the house, and even turn on the lights. Not to mention, you can make calls and send texts with the Echo speaker – of fall in with someone else’s speaker (with their permission, of course).

Just outside the box, Alexa will not tell you how to do these things, but we have you covered. Read on for essential tips for your Amazon Echo that you need to know.


Find the perfect home location for your new Amazon Echo.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Find a good place for your Echo in the house

The first thing you will do when unpacking your new Amazon Echo is connect it. And if you only have one Echo speaker, you do not want to put it down anywhere in the house – in fact, there is four places where you should never place your device. You need to make sure it is in a central location where you can carry your voice from most rooms, such as in the country kitchen or lounge. (Here is the four best uses for Amazon Echo in every room of your home.)

Take care of the basics first

Now that your Echo is plugged in and set up, it’s time to learn the basics. This includes downloading the Alexa app and setting up your location to have an accurate weather forecast.

We also recommend that you take the time from start to finish create a voice profile for everyone living in the house. Although you can configure it at any time, Alexa users can recognize the voice of different users, but it will give each user a personalized experience. For example, if Alexa recognizes your voice, it’s playing the music and news you’d like to listen to and will call or message people in your address book.

You may also want to set up voice purchases so you can quickly order an item you buy regularly, such as paper towels. To do this, you must also enable 1-click ordering in the settings program. Remember to set a password so that only you can make purchases this way. You can find it in Institutions > Account settings > Voice purchases.


Once your Echo is plugged in, you can get started with the basics.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Use voice commands to get things done

Every action you want Alexa to take need a voice command. For example, to turn on music, control the volume of the smart speaker, and create lists or reminders. You’ll just say something like, “Alexa, turn down the volume,” or “Alexa, add coffee to my shopping list.”

You can also communicate with Alexa through texts, instead of talking. Just open the Alexa app and tap on the Keyboard button in the upper left corner.

Do not want your password to be Alexa? You can change it to Echo, Computer or Amazon. Just say “Alexa, change the password” and make your choice.

Read more: We tested all 4 Amazon Echo passwords. Here’s what we learned about Alexa

Control your smart home devices from your Echo speaker

Do you want to be able to arrive home at night with the lights already on? Well, if you have smart lights, you need to have smart plugs ($ 25 by Amazon) or switches, you can control it using the Alexa app so you never have to climb the stairs to the front porch again.

Other devices you can control include smart locks (if you forget to lock your door before you leave), thermostat, robot vacuum cleaners and more


Connect all your smart devices in the Alexa app.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Call, text and call your friends with Alexa

Lose your phone at home again? No worries – you do not need it because Alexa can make calls and send you text. Just say something like, “Alexa, call Mom.” The contacts must be in your address book for them to work.

You can also use your Echo speaker to fall in on friends and family you have added as an accepted contact. To do so, just say something like, “Alexa, come on, Dad.”

Oh, and about the lost phone – Alexa can help you locate it in your house.

Now that we’ve got rid of the essentials, it’s here Five Surprising Things You Didn’t Know Your Amazon Echo Can Do, 10 weirdest things Amazon Echo can do and how to turn your Fire TV into a bigger Amazon Echo Show.

Play now:
Look at this:

Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) review: Dot, Dot, Dot …