Smart speakers are all the rage right now but we all remember who started it all. Yes, Amazon started the smart speakers industry with the Amazon Echo, powered by the Alexa voice assistant and now, there are a ton of Alexa powered speakers out there. Be it the Amazon Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Show or any other Alexa speaker from another manufacturer. Heck, Alexa is now part of even Windows with the integration to Cortana. Well, I have been using the Echo Dot for a year now and I still constantly get amazed by the things that I can do just with my voice.
For me, one of the best things about Alexa is that it’s constantly evolving, with new features and commands being added every other week. If you want to take full advantage of your Alexa speaker you will need to keep with the new commands. However, it’s easier said than done as there are just unlimited commands out there. That’s why we are bringing you a curated list of the best Alexa commands which you can use to get the most out of your Amazon Echo speakers. So, whenever you are ready, here are 70 best Alexa commands you can use to get the most out of Amazon Echo speakers:
Note: Some of these features are restricted to US only. Check your country’s status by clicking on the links provided in the article.
Best Alexa Commands (Sections)
- Music Control Commands
- Time Related Commands
- Calendars and Reminders
- To-do and Shopping Lists
- Alexa Commands for Audiobooks
- Buy stuff on Amazon
- Get Facts and Knowledge
- Check Definitions and Spellings
- Math Commands
- Translation Commands
- Controlling Smart Home Products
- Best Alexa Skills
- Using Alexa Skill Blueprints
- Special Skills for Echo Show
Let us start our list with the command that you are going to use the most and that is playing music on your Echo speakers.
1. Play Songs
Using Alexa to play songs is the easiest thing to do with Alexa. Whether you are using Amazon Music or a third-party streaming service like Spotify, you can use your voice to play songs with Alexa. Just say commands like, “Alexa, play “insert song name” or “Alexa, play “song” on Spotify” and it will do that. You can also ask Alexa to play specific playlists. For example, I can say, “Alexa, play Jazz playlist on Spotify” and it will do that.
2. Check What Song is Playing
If you’re playing a random Spotify playlist, and you hear a song that you don’t recognize, you can ask your Echo to tell you what song it is playing by saying, “Alexa, what song is this?“.
Note: Amazon Echo only tells the name of the song it is playing, or the one it was playing last. It does not recognize songs playing elsewhere, the way Shazam and Siri do.
3. Increase Volume
One of the good things about using Amazon Echo speakers is that you can control their volume just with your voice. For example, I can say, “Alexa, increase the volume“, and Echo will automatically increase the volume by a single step.
Other variations of this command are: “Alexa, higher volume”, “Alexa, more sound” etc.
4. Decrease Volume
Similarly, if you want to reduce the volume, you can say, “Alexa, decrease the volume“ and it will automatically decrease the volume by a single step.
Other variations of this command are: “Alexa, lower volume“, “Alexa less sound“ etc.
5. Set Volume to a Particular Value
Increasing or decreasing the volume by the commands given might suffice for some situations, but what if you want to increase the volume to a particular value. If you use the commands given above, you might have to repeat them multiple times. In such situations, you can simply say, “Alexa, volume 5” to set the volume to 50% of the maximum value. You can use a value between 0-10 in the command to go from 0% to 100%.
Other variations of this command are: “Alexa, set volume to 5“, “Alexa, change volume to 50%“, etc.
Time Related Commands
1. Get the Current Time
Amazon Echo devices can tell you the time as well. This can prove useful in a variety of situations, and if you want to use this command, simply say, “Alexa, what’s the time?“, and Echo will speak out the current time.
Other variations of this command are “Alexa, what time is it?“, “Alexa, tell me the time“ and more.
2. Set Alarms
You can even set alarms on Amazon Echo devices using Alexa. The command is simple, and all you have to do, is say, “Alexa, set an alarm for 7 AM“. You can obviously change the time to whenever you want to set the alarm for. Echo uses the local time according to the location you have set in the Alexa app, so make sure it is correctly set.
Another variation of this command is “Alexa, wake me up at 7 AM“.
3. Set Timers
Amazon Echo can also set timers for you. Simply say, “Alexa, set a timer for 5 minutes“ and Echo will start a 5 minute timer.
Another variation for this command is “Alexa, timer 5 minutes“.
4. Check the Time left on Your Timer
If you need to check the amount of time left on your timer, you can ask Alexa by saying, “Alexa, how much time is left on my timer,“ and Echo will tell you the amount of time that is left before your timer is up.
Another variation of this command is “Alexa, time left on my timer?”
5. Cancel Timer
If you need to cancel the timer, you can simply say, “Alexa, cancel my timer“ and Echo will cancel the timer for you.
Another variation of this command is “Alexa, cancel timer“.
6. Check your Next Alarm
If you have set multiple alarms on your Amazon Echo, and you want to know when your next alarm is set for, you can simply say, “Alexa, when is my next alarm set for?“.
Calendars and Reminders
1. Check schedule
One of the first thing that I do whenever I am ready to leave my home for office is to ask Alexa for my schedule. In a few seconds, I have a clear idea of my day looks like and I am ready to roll. To check your schedule, just say, “Alexa, what’s on my schedule?”, and it will show you your schedule.
2. Create events
Of course, to be able to see your schedules, you will need to add events and meetings to your calendar. You can either manually add things to your calendar or just Alexa to do it for you. Just say, “Alexa, add “this event” to my calendar”. You can even dictate specific time and date, and Alexa will make the event at the exact time and date that you dictate. For example, I can say, “Alexa, add dentist appointment on Monday 4 PM to my calendar” and it will create an event called dentist appointment at the exact time and date that I just dictated.
3. Get calendar forecast
I also love the fact that not only I can see my schedule for today but also see the forecast for the following days it I want to. Just say, “Alexa, what am I doing tomorrow?” Or “Alexa, What’s on my calendar for on Tuesday” and it will show you the events for that particular day.
4. Create reminders
Alexa can also create reminders for you. Just say, “Alexa, remind me to buy milk, 4 PM tomorrow.”
To-Do and Shopping Lists
1. Add Tasks to Your To-Do List
Alexa can also create to-do list for you. If you want to add tasks to your to-do list, simply say, “Add create website backup to my to-do list“, and Echo will add it to your to-do list. You can replace “create website backup” with the task that you want to add to your to-do list.
Note: While the Echo can add items to your to-do list, you will have to go into the Alexa app to actually remove the items from your to-do list.
2. Check Your To-Do List
You can also ask Alexa to read out your to-do list, by saying, “Alexa, what’s on my to-do list“. Echo will read out all the tasks that you have added to your to-do list.
Another variation of this command is “Alexa, read my to-do list“.
3. Add Items to Your Shopping List
Another list that Alexa can maintain for you is a shopping list. You can add items that you need to buy by saying, “Alexa, add bread to my shopping list“, and Alexa will add it to your shopping list.
Note: You will have to go into the Alexa app to actually check items off your shopping list.
4. Check Your Shopping List
If you want to know all the items that are on your shopping list, you can say, “Alexa, what’s on my Shopping List?”
Another variation of this command is “Alexa, read my shopping list“.
Alexa Commands for Audiobooks
1. Play Audiobooks from Audible
Audible is an audiobook service from Amazon, and they have a wide collection of audiobooks that you can play through your Alexa enabled devices. If you have purchased an audio book from Audible, you can ask Alexa to read it out to you by saying, “Alexa, Play A Game of Thrones on Audible“. You can replace “A Game of Thrones” with the name of the audio book you want to listen to.
2. Pause and Resume Audiobooks
Audiobooks are usually quite long, and if you need to pause your audiobook, you can simply say, “Alexa, pause“, and Echo will pause the audio book. You can resume the audio book by saying, “Alexa, resume“. The good thing is that Alexa remembers where you stopped playback the last time you were listening to the audio book, and continues playback from there.
3. Flip Through Chapters
If you want to skip chapters, you can ask Alexa to do just that by saying, “Alexa, next chapter“, or “Alexa, previous chapter“.
4. Go to A Specific Chapter Number
If you want to skip ahead or rewind back to a particular chapter, you can simply say, “Alexa, go to chapter number 5“, or whichever chapter you want to go to.
5. Restart Your Audiobook
If you want Echo to restart your audio book, you can do that as well. All you have to do, is say, “Alexa, restart“, and Amazon Echo will restart your audio book.
Alexa Commands ff on Amazon
1. Add Products to Cart
You can ask your Echo to add products to your Amazon.com cart, by simply saying, “Alexa, add garbage bags to my cart“, and replacing “garbage bags” with the product that you want Alexa to add to your cart.
2. Buy Products from Amazon
If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can actually buy products directly through your Echo devices, without having to go through your cart. Simply say, “Alexa, buy garbage bags“, and Alexa will help you place the order without ever having to go to the Amazon’s website. However, this is only available for products that are eligible for Amazon Prime.
Get Facts and Knowledge
1. Ask About Mountains and Oceans
The Amazon Echo devices can be used to gather information. So, you can ask Alex things like “How tall is Mount Everest“, or “How deep is the Pacific Ocean“, and Alexa will proceed to tell you the height and depth, respectively.
2. Ask About Novels and Books
You can even ask the Alexa about authors of books and novels. Suppose you’ve been living in the woods and wanted to know who wrote Harry Potter. You can say, “Alexa, who wrote Harry Potter“, and it will give you the answer.
3. Ask About Countries and States
Alexa can also get information about countries and states. So, if you forget the capital city of a country, you can say, “Alexa, what’s the capital of Spain?“. You can even ask about population data by saying, “Alexa, what’s the population of Spain?”
4. Ask About TV Shows and Movies
So you’re watching a new TV show, and you want to know the name of the actor portraying a character? You could google it, but you could also simply ask Alexa by saying, “Alexa, who plays Jon Snow in Game of Thrones“, obviously replacing the names with the ones that you want to find out about.
5. Check Wikipedia Entries
If you want, Alexa can even read out Wikipedia entries for topics. You can simply say, “Alexa, Wikipedia Kansas“ and it will read out the Wikipedia entry for Kansas.
Alexa Commands to Check Definitions and Spellings
1. Get Definitions
If you hear a word you don’t know the meaning to, you can ask Alexa to help you out. Simply say, “Alexa, what’s the definition of precarious?“ and it will tell you what the word means.
2. Find Spellings
Often, we forget the spelling for words that we used to know. It happens to us all, and Alexa can help in such situations. Simply say, “Alexa, how do you spell ceiling?“, or whichever word you want to know the spelling of.
1. Simple Math
Alexa can help you with simple mathematical problems, such as addition, multiplication, etc. You can say, “Alexa, what’s 5 plus 3“ or “Alexa, what’s 5 times 3?”
2. Advanced Math
Simple math is not all that Alexa can do. It can also solve advanced math queries. Try saying, “Alexa, 70 factorial.“ and get ready to hear numbers you had never heard before, for almost a minute.
1. Translate from English to Another Language
If you want to translate a sentence from English to another language, you can say, “Alexa, translate good morning to Spanish“ and it will do that.
2. Translate from Other Languages to English
You can even ask your Echo to translate sentences from other languages to English by saying, “Alexa, translate hola to English“. Obviously, you can replace “hola” with the word or sentence you want to translate.
Controlling Smart Home Products via Alexa
1. Find and connect smart home devices
Alexa makes it very easy to connect your smart home devices. If there is a new device that you have just installed and want to connect to Alexa, just say, “Alexa, discover my devices” and it will find all the new compatible smart home devices.
2. Control lights
Considering you have compatible smart lights installed, you can ask Alexa to control their functions. Just say,”Alexa, lights on” or “Alexa, turn the bedroom lights on”. Similarly, you can also say, “Alexa, turn the bathroom lights off” or “Alexa, change the kitchen light to blue” and so on.
3. Control thermostat
You can also control compatible thermostats with your voice. Just say, “Alexa, set the temperature to 21” and it will do that.
4. Control Locks
Just like lights and thermostats, you can also control smart locks with Alexa. Just say, “Alexa, open/lock the front door” and it will do that.
5. Control Fire TV
By far my favorite smart home device to control with Alexa is Amazon’s Fire TV series of devices. Using Alexa, I can search for titles, open the app, and even start playing my favorite shows. The best part is that Alexa remembers where I left off and start playing the series or the movie from right there. All I need to say is, “Alexa, play ‘insert name here'” and it will do that. I can also say, “Alexa, open Netflix” and it will launch the app.
You can also ask deeper questions. For example, try asking, “Alexa, show me the movies starring Hugh Jackman” and it will show all the movies in its catalog which stars the said actor or actress. You can also switch to next/previous episode by saying, “Alexa, play next/previous episode”.
Apart from the usual commands that we discussed above, Alexa also comes with a set of skills which allows it to do quite complex and amazing things. While you can see a full set of skills here, below are some of my favorite Alexa skills:
1. Play games and quizzes
One of my favorite time pass things to do these days is play games with Alexa. Whenever I just have a few minutes to pass (waiting for the download to finish), I can play a round of trivia or quiz or song quiz or anything else that I want. Some of the commands to play games and quizzes are:
- “Alexa, play Twenty Questions.”
- “Alexa, start Song Quiz.”
- “Alexa, open the Magic Door.”
- “Alexa, ask Question of the Day.”
- “Alexa, play Jeopardy.”
2. Go back to school skills
Go back to school skills are great for learning stuff in the small amount of downtime that you have. You can learn geography, vocabulary, math and more. Here are some commands that you can use:
- “Alexa, play Geo Quiz.”
- “Alexa, ask SAT Word of the Day what is the word of the day.”
- “Alexa, play Word of the Day Quiz.”
- “Alexa, Start Vocabulary Builder.”
- “Alexa, start Amazon Math.”
3. Meditation and focus skills
Another thing that you can do is to ask Alexa to play meditational or focus music. I generally use this skill when I am working on a project and don’t want to be disturbed by noises around me. Here are some of the commands you can use:
- “Alexa, open Meditation Timer for 10 minutes.”
- “Alexa, play Rainforest Sounds.”
- “Alexa, play white noise.”
4. Check your emails with Cortana
If your office uses Microsoft Exchange account, you can check your emails by using a combination of Alexa and Cortana (Microsoft’s voice assistant). To use Cortana, start with, “Alexa, open Cortana” then say, “What new emails do I have?” You can also use this skill to add things to your exchange calendar or to-do lists:
- “Alexa open Cortana” then “What’s on my calendar for tomorrow?”
- “Alexa get me Cortana,” then “Add order flowers to my to-do list.”
5. Get the news
Alexa integrates with various news sources including BBC News, NPR News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and more. You can ask any of these sources to play you the news. Just say any of the following commands:
- “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
- “Alexa, what’s in the news?”
- “Alexa, what’s on BBC?”
6. Learn Greek mythology
This one is my personal favorite. I have always been interested in mythical stories of various cultures and learning little nuggets of information about Greek mythology has been great. If you also want to use this skill, just say, “Alexa, open knowledge of the gods” and it will start asking you questions based on Greek mythology. Answer correctly or wrongly, you will learn something new.
Alexa’s announcement skill is a great way to let everyone in your household know the same fact. When you use this feature, every Echo device in your home announces the message. For example, if you want to announce that dinner is ready, you can say, “Alexa, announce that dinner’s ready”. Some of the alternative commands are:
- “Alexa, broadcast that we are leaving in five minutes.”
- “Alexa, announce that we are ordering Chinese today.”
Using Alexa Skill Blueprints
One of the latest addition to Alexa’s skillset is the ability to create your own Alexa Skill’s using Blueprints. Just head over to the following link and log in with your Amazon account. Here, you will see several examples of Alexa skills that you can create. Below are some of my favorite Blueprint skills:
1. Play a Host
If you always host guests at your home you can create a skill called houseguest and enter generic questions and answers that guests generally ask. For example, you can create questions for your WiFi password, TV remotes, the location of appliances, and more. Once you have set up the skill any house guest can access them by first saying, “Alexa, open My Houseguest Guide,” And then asking the relevant questions.
2. Create your personal sidekick
With Alexa Blueprints, you can create your personal sidekick which will tell you the answers which you have already fed into the system. To access your sidekick, just say, “Alexa, open My Bestie.”
3. Create adventure stories for your children
This is one of the best skills for parents. With this skill, you can basically create adventure stories for your children where they are the heroes. Just invoke the skill by saying, Alexa, open My Adventure Story”. Now, Alexa will ask you the names of heroes and villains. Just answer the name of your child as a hero and whatever villain name your fancy. Then say, “Alexa, tell me the story” and it will recite a short story with your children as hero characters. Now, how cool is that.
4. Create flashcards
Alexa can also help you prepare for tests. Just create your audio flashcards by entering the questions and answers and whenever you are ready to be tested, say, “Alexa, open My Flashcards.”
5. Curate a list of your favorite quotes
You can use Alexa blueprints to create a curated list of your favorite quotes. Just add your favorite quotes and give the skill a name. Whenever you want to listen to your favorite quotes, just say, “Alexa, open “your skill name” and it will start reading your favorite quotes.
Special Skills for Echo Show
Amazon launched an Amazon Echo device with a built-in screen. The device, aptly named as Echo Show is one of the best Alexa enabled smart device you can own. Since it has a screen, it can do much more than your normal Alexa speakers. Here are some of the unique commands you can use with Echo Show:
1. Get showtimes with Fandango
While you can ask Alexa for movie titles and shows even on any Alexa-enabled device, using this feature on Amazon Echo Show is a million times better as it shows a list of all the theaters and movies being played in your area. You can just swipe through different movies to see what is playing and can even buy tickets directly from the Echo Show provided you have a Fandango VIP account. To invoke this skill, just say any of the following commands;
- “Alexa, Ask Fandango what’s playing at a nearby theater.”
- “Alexa, Open Fandango.”
- “Alexa, Ask Fandango to search for “movie name”.”
2. Watch gameplay with Twitch
Since Twitch is also owned by Amazon, you can easily stream your favorite gameplays directly on your Amazon Echo Show. Just use any of the following commands;
- “Alexa, open Twitch.”
- “Alexa, ask Twitch for followed channels.”
- “Alexa, ask Twitch to play Ninja.”
3. Get recipes with Allrecipes
One of my favorite Amazon Echo Show based skill is the ability to see recipes from Allrecipes website. The website hosts more than 60,000 recipes for home-cooked meals and you can use any recipe that you want to right on your Amazon Echo Show. You can even tell it the name of the ingredients you have and it will suggest the recipes for you. Just use the following commands;
- “Alexa, open Allrecipes.”
- “Alexa, ask Allrecipes for a “dish name” recipe.”
- “Alexa, ask Allrecipes for a recipe with chicken, bacon, and broccoli.”
4. Check smart camera feeds
If you are using smart cameras such as Nest cameras or Ring Doorbell, you can use Alexa to see its feed directly on your Amazon Echo Show. Just say, Alexa, show my backyard camera” or “Alexa, who is at the front door” and it will stream the camera feeds.
5. Make Video Calls
Amazon Echo Show also allows users to make video calls to other Echo Show devices. Just sync your contacts in the Alexa app and ask Alexa to call any of your contacts by name. If that contact has an Amazon Echo Show the call will automatically default to video call.
6. Use Drop In
Drop In is an optional feature that helps you connect instantly, hands free. While Drop In works with all the Alexa enabled speakers, I find it mostly useful for making video calls. Just say, “Alexa, Drop in on the kitchen” or “Alexa, Drop in on the Echo Show” and it will automatically connect to that device. You can even give Drop In permission to your family members or close friends so they can contact you any time they want to.
Get the Most Out of Amazon Echo Devices With These Alexa Commands
With these Alexa commands up your sleeve, we think you will be able to use your Amazon Echo devices in a better and more efficient way. Do use these commands and let us know which is your favorite by writing in the comments section below. As always, feel free to share your thoughts about these commands, any other useful commands that you think deserves to be on this list. We would like to know your thoughts on what we consider is a really nice device to have.