Smart Home

I got an Echo Dot 3—now how do I set it up?

Alexa is about to become your new best friend.

Credit: Amazon

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Controlling your smart home is easy to do with the best Echo speaker, since Amazon’s Alexa works with so many different smart home gadgets.

If you’ve recently acquired an Echo Dot (third-generation) and aren’t sure how to set it up, you’ve come to the right place. Setting up your new Echo Dot (third-generation) speaker doesn’t take long at all, but there are a few steps you need to follow. Here’s how to set up your Echo Dot 3.

How to set up your Echo Dot (third-generation)

Amazon Alexa app
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

The Amazon Alexa app is available for download on iOS and Android devices.

1. Download the app

Install the Amazon Alexa app to your iOS or Android device. If you already have the app installed, check to make sure you're running the latest version of it.

2. Plug it in

Place the Echo Dot 3 in an area of your home where it will get the most use. Amazon recommends placing the smart speaker at least 8 inches away from any walls, like on your kitchen counter or living room end table. Plug the power adapter (included with your purchase) into the backside of the Echo Dot and then plug the speaker into a nearby electrical outlet. The ring surrounding the top of the Echo Dot will begin flashing blue for about 60 seconds.

3. Add your Echo to the app

Then, open the Amazon Alexa app. Navigate to the Settings Menu in the upper left-hand corner of the app and select Add Device. Under All Devices, click on Amazon Echo > Echo Dot. Then, click the option to set up the third-generation Echo.

By now, the spinning light should have changed from blue to orange, indicating that the Echo Dot is in setup mode. The Amazon Alexa app will scan for the Echo Dot speaker. Once it appears, click on the device name within the app to finish the setup process.

4. Connect the Echo to WiFi

Before you start asking your newest Alexa-enabled device questions, you need to connect it to your home's WiFi. This can be done by following the on-screen instructions in the Amazon Alexa app that appear during setup. (You can update the WiFi settings in the Amazon Alexa app by navigating to Settings > Device Settings and choosing the device you’d like to update.)

Once you’ve successfully connected your Echo speaker to the internet, we recommend performing a quick test to make sure your Echo speaker is working as it should. You can say something as simple as “Alexa, hello,” and she will respond back with a greeting.

5. Getting to know your Echo Dot (third-generation)

There are more than 100,000 Alexa skills that can help you control your smart home. But, you can also have fun with Alexa using the Echo Dot 3 to create a playlist and listen to music, entertain your kids, and even help you celebrate holidays like Halloween and track Santa on Christmas Eve. She can also help make your life easier by ordering you an Uber, finding your phone, and more.

However, before you can begin using any of these skills, you will need to enable them using the Amazon Alexa app or Amazon Alexa Skills website in order to take advantage of all of the awesome things Alexa can do for you.

Troubleshooting

Echo Dot 3
Credit: Amazon

Amazon customer support should be able to assist if you encounter any problems while setting up the Echo Dot (third-generation).

Having trouble setting up the Echo Dot? First, make sure that the speaker is plugged into the wall. Second, check your WiFi connection to make sure it's operating as normal. You may need to unplug your router for 30 seconds and then plug it back in.

Thirdly, if your Dot is still not working, you may try restoring the device to its factory settings and repeating the setup process. To do so, press and hold the Action button (the one with a white dot) on the top of the Echo Dot for about 25 seconds or until the light ring turns orange. From here, you can restart the setup process.

Still no dice? Reach out to Amazon’s customer service department to further troubleshoot the issue.

The Echo Dot (third-generation) and privacy

Amazon Echo Dot (third generation)
Credit: Amazon

An Amazon account is required to set up your Echo Dot (third-generation) speaker.

Privacy might seem like a thing of the past, as everywhere you go, there's some computer watching or listening. But in your own home, you can do a few things to protect yourself, even from naturally invasive smart home devices.

You can stop your Dot from listening for (and possibly mishearing) your wake word by turning off your mic via the mute button on the top of the device. Or, turn on audible alerts within Settings in the Alexa app to know when your Echo is listening beyond just the indicator light.

Bloomberg recently reported that Amazon employs workers to manually review voice recordings. You can opt-out of having your voice recordings included in the review process by going to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Your Alexa Data, then toggling off the setting that says Use Voice Recordings to Improve Amazon Services. In these privacy settings, you can also delete voice recordings, which are accessible to anyone you share the app with. You can even set up auto-deletion every three or 18 months.

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