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You just got your first Amazon Dash button -- now what?

Before you start pushing that button all willy-nilly, make sure it's set up correctly.


Ashley Esqueda/CNET 

Out of toilet paper? Press a button. Need more cat litter? Press a button. Diapers? Button.

That's the idea behind Amazon's line of Dash Buttons, which can be used to quickly order -- and reorder -- just about anything. (And not just items pertaining to poop.)

In my house, for example, we blow through a fair number of Caza Trail hazelnut coffee K-cups. But the consumption ebbs and flows, so I don't want regular deliveries; I want them when we're running low. The Caza Trail Dash Button is a simple solution: one press and another box gets shipped my way. And it's effectively free: Although I pay $5 to get the button, Amazon gives me a $5 credit the first time I use it.

If you haven't yet tried a Dash yourself, here's what you should know about setup and usage.

Setting up your Dash

To use a Dash Button, you'll need to have the Amazon app on your phone or tablet. You'll also need to have a 1-Click payment method set up for Amazon purchase.

Once you receive the button in the mail, do this:

Step 1: Open the Amazon app, tap the menu icon, then tap Your Account.


Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Step 2: Scroll down to the Dash Buttons & Devices section and tap Set up a new device. Choose Dash Button as the device you want to configure.


Psst: It's the one on the right.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Step 3: Agree to the requirements, then press and hold the Dash button until the little LED flashes blue. Follow the instructions from there to complete the setup process. (If your home Wi-Fi network is password-protected, be prepared to enter that password.)


Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Step 4: Choose a product to link to your Dash Button. In my case, that meant any of number of varieties of Caza Trail coffee, and also different quantities. Keep scrolling until you find the exact item you want, or use the search tool if you can't easily find the specific SKU you want.

Step 5: Confirm the details (shipping, payment method, etc.), then tap Complete Setup.

Using your Dash

The first thing to decide is where to put your button. You can throw it in a drawer, of course, but there's an eyelet if you want to hang it on a hook. There's also double-sided tape on the back so you can stick it to, say, the side of your coffeemaker or top of your washing machine.

From there, placing an order is literally as simple as pressing the button -- and that's it. This doesn't just add the item to your Amazon shopping cart and wait for you to complete the checkout; it orders it.

Okay, so what happens if, say, I order my K-cups at night, and my wife comes along in the morning, sees we're running low, and presses the button again? (Yes, clearly we need to work on our communication.) The Dash Button won't place a new order until the previous one gets delivered -- so in theory you've got a two-day window to press that sucker all you want, with no fear of 28 boxes of coffee showing up.

If you want to change the product selection -- say, a different quantity -- venture into the app menu as described above in steps 1 and 2, but this time tap Manage Devices. Here you can also enable "Allow multiple orders," which overrides the aforementioned one-at-a-time setting.

And that's it! If you want to take this whole fast-ordering thing to the next level, check out the Amazon Dash Wand -- and nine things you should consider before buying one.