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Why Your Amazon Echo Is Blinking Different Colors

Red, cyan, yellow, blue, purple. Here's what each of Alexa's lights are trying to tell you.

David Priest Former editor
David Priest is an award-winning writer and editor who formerly covered home security for CNET.
Taylor Martin CNET Contributor
Taylor Martin has covered technology online for over six years. He has reviewed smartphones for Pocketnow and Android Authority and loves building stuff on his YouTube channel, MOD. He has a dangerous obsession with coffee and is afraid of free time.
David Priest
Taylor Martin
4 min read
Amazon Echo 4th gen speaker

When your Echo lights up with blue and cyan, it means Alexa is listening.

Dale Smith/CNET

Call out to Alexa and the light on your device turns blue, swirling around as Alexa processes your voice command. You've come to recognize that blue color as a comforting sign that Alexa is listening, but what does it mean when the light blinks yellow or green, or alternates blue and cyan? 

No matter if you have an original Amazon Echo smart speaker or one of the many newer Amazon products such as the Echo Dot, the fourth-gen Echo, the Echo Plus, and even in some cases the Echo Show, you have probably noticed your Amazon device flashing a bright color at some point. One of the most unique design characteristics of Amazon's smart gadgets is the light ring -- or in the case of Echo Show smart displays, the light bar. In the simplest explanation, your light ring or light bar serves as a status indicator and a notification light for all kinds of information. This means with each color, Alexa is trying to tell you something.

Most of the time, the light ring stays off. If the device is plugged in and there are no lights showing, it means the speaker is active and waiting for you to speak the wake word. When you interact with Alexa, you will see white and various tones of blue. The light ring will tell you if there are any problems with Alexa, as well. Status indicators are red, purple or orange. Now that Alexa lets you send messages and make calls Amazon  has introduced two new colors for notifications: green and yellow. You can just ask Alexa what the colors on your Echo device mean. Or you can read on to learn more.

Blue and cyan mean Alexa is working for you

  • If you speak the wake word or manually wake Alexa, the light ring will turn solid blue, and a small section of cyan will point in the direction of the person speaking.
  • Solid blue with spinning cyan after you've spoken a command means Alexa is processing your request. This also happens when the speaker is powering on.
  • Alternating blue and cyan means Alexa is responding to a command or query.
Amazon Echo smart speaker blinking green

When the green light is on, a call is coming in.


Green lights are a call indicator

  • A pulsing green light indicates an incoming call.
  • A spinning green light means you're currently on a call or an active Drop In.

White could signify volume changes or Away Mode

  • The light ring will show the volume percentage in white when you manually turn the light ring on the Amazon Echo or the first-generation Echo Dot, press the volume up or down on the second-generation Echo Dot or tell Alexa to adjust the volume.
  • continuously spinning white light means Alexa Guard is on Away Mode.
Echo Dot blinking red

When the red light is on, the Alexa microphone has been turned off.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Purple points to Wi-Fi issues or "Do Not Disturb" settings

  • Pulsing violet indicates that there was a problem during Wi-Fi setup.
  • spinning blue light that ends with a purple flash indicates that Do Not Disturb has been activated.
  • flash of purple after you interact with Alexa means that Do Not Disturb is still enabled.

Yellow, orange and red: The rest of Alexa's light ring colors decoded

  • Spinning orange means the device is currently connecting to your network.
  • Solid red means the microphone has been turned off and Alexa is not actively listening for your commands.
  • pulsing yellow light is telling you that you have messages in your inbox. You can say, "Play my messages" or "Check my notifications" for more information.
Echo Show 15 smart display

The Echo Show has a handy screen to communicate with users... but it still uses bands of colored light on the bottom of that display.

Molly Price/CNET

Echo Show color bar meanings

Unlike the Amazon Echo smart speakers, the Echo Show benefits from having a full display. But the device still uses similar light signals to its speaker counterparts, and they appear on the bottom of the screen in a thin band. Here are the color meanings:

  • A solid band of blue with a cyan spot indicating the direction of the speaker will appear when you speak the wake word.
  • A solid band of red means the microphone and camera have been turned off. After a few seconds, the light will turn off, leaving a microphone/camera-off symbol in the upper right hand corner of the display.
  • A band of orange means your Echo Show is experiencing network connectivity issues.
  • A band of violet means you have set the Echo Show to Do Not Disturb mode. After a few seconds, the light will turn off, leaving a crescent moon symbol in the upper right hand corner of the display.

For more Amazon Echo tips, here are some Alexa settings you won't regret changing, how to turn off Amazon Sidewalk, which automatically shares your Wi-Fi with neighbors, 5 surprising Alexa features that make working from home easier, and the best Alexa devices for 2022.

More Alexa advice: