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How to change the name Alexa responds to

Pick from Echo, Amazon or Computer instead

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For the most part, addressing your Amazon Echo speaker by saying 'Alexa' is trouble-free. However, it will occasionally respond to the wrong word or phrase – like when someone says 'I'll text her' – or wake up more often if someone in your home is called Alex, or indeed, Alexa.

Talk about footballer Alexis Sánchez and, even if you say his full name, Alexa may spring into life, listen for a few seconds, then promptly say she can't help. Or she might crack a joke, or read out the weather forecast. In a house of football fans this can quickly become annoying – and remember, everything Alexa listen to during these accidental recordings is saved to Amazon's server.

Thankfully, the Alexa app allows you to change the 'wake word' from Alexa to one of three alternatives. You can change the wake word for each Alexa device in your home, or set them all to have the same word. Here's how:

How to change the name Alexa responds to

  1. Open the Alexa smartphone app or visit alexa.amazon.com
  2. Tap on the Devices icon, then on the Echo & Alexa button at the top
  3. Now find the device you want to change the wake word of and tap it
  4. Scroll down to the General section and tap on Wake Word
  5. Tap on the one you want, either Alexa, Amazon, Echo or Computer

Tap on the one you want, then wait a moment for the change to be made and close the app. To change the wake word of another Alexa device in your home, repeat the process above. There's no way to change the wake word globally – that is, on all of your Alexa devices at once.

As our housemates tend to refer to the Echo speaker as Alexa in conversation, we thought we would change the wake word to Echo. We at first thought this would cause the speaker to wake up every time we said 'the Echo' or 'Amazon Echo', but to our surprise this wasn't the case.

Changing Alexa's wake word Changing Alexa's wake wordGearBrain

Saying 'Echo' on its own works just as well as 'Alexa' did before, but saying a sentence with the word 'echo' in it did not cause the speaker to wake up accidentally.

Similarly, changing the wake word to 'Amazon' did not cause the speaker to wake up every time we mentioned the company name. If we started a sentence with the wake word, it would often start listening, but sentences containing Amazon after the first word could be said as normal without interruptions from Alexa.

This ability to change the wake word is unique for Alexa, as it can't be done with Apple's Siri or the Google Assistant. Albeit the latter does have two wake words active at one, 'Hey Google' and 'Okay Google'.

Check out these GearBrain guides to unlock new Alexa features:

Check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility checker to see the other compatible products that work with Amazon Alexa devices.

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