Alexa Routines not working: How to troubleshoot

One of the most useful features of Alexa voice assistant is Routines. If you use them well, you can automate many things in your life. For example, you can turn a playlist on or set your thermostat. While the feature is useful, sometimes users encounter an issue where the Alexa Routines app won’t work at all.

When Alexa Routines is not working, it means Alexa is not understanding or responding to your request. That can make it impossible for you to automate tasks or even bundle several actions to only one voice command. In some instances, Routine won’t play music either.

Troubleshooting Alexa Routines app

In that case, you need to go through the necessary Alexa Routine troubleshooting steps to find a solution.

1. Go through the setup again

In many cases, when Alexa Routines app is not working or you have problems creating routines, the best thing is to go through the setup again to see whether you made an error. To start creating a routine for your smart devices:

  • Open the Alexa app on your device.
  • Select More.
  • Choose Routines.
  • Next, select Plus.
  • Select When This Happens.

From here, you need to follow all the steps in the application to see where you went wrong. Ideally, ensure to select what should start your routine. Then:

  • Select Add Action.
  • Follow the steps in the application to select your routine’s action.
  • If you had selected multiple actions, consider experimenting with one, and see whether it works.
  • Select Save.

You can create up to 99 routines. If one of them is not working, go back and check whether you entered them correctly.

Also, Alexa may not be recognizing the voice command you assigned to your routine. That can happen if you named your routine “Staart” instead of “Start” in the app.

If Alexa cannot understand it, you need to change it to something the device can pronounce. Also, consider using short names that are at most five syllables long.

2. Try uninstalling and reinstalling the Alexa app

Uninstalling and reinstalling the application is one of the most obvious fixes for the Alexa Routine not working issue.

The uninstallation steps will be different depending on your device. Once done, consider creating new routines as outlined in step one above and try again.

3. Power-cycle your Echo device

Another simple solution is to power-cycle the Echo device. You can do that by unplugging it from the power source, wait for about ten seconds, and plug it back in.

Next, try to send a voice command to see whether you have solved the issue.

4. Delete or edit the routine

If a specific function in Alexa Routines is not working for you, for example, the timer Routine is not working, consider deleting or editing it. Here is how:

  • Select Routines from the Menu.
  • Go to the specific routine that is not responding.
  • Select When This Happens.
  • Next, change the time a routine launches or the phrase that triggers it.

Consider editing the time settings so that you can run it daily or weekly. Also, try to edit the phrase used to launch the routine. If you change the trigger for the routine from a specific time to a phrase or location, you will have to delete it and recreate it.

To delete the routine, tap on the menu icon and select Delete Routine.

5. How to troubleshoot issues with sensors

Sometimes you find that the Alexa motion sensor Routine won’t work when you try to trigger it. You can try to troubleshoot this issue as follows:

  • Create a routine and call it First Motion Sensor Detects No Motion For One Minute.
  • Select Not Detected
  • Set the duration time for one minute.

Next, add the action as Power On for First Light.

  • Create a second routine called First Motion Sensor Detects Motion.
  • Select Detected.

Add action as Power Off for First Light.

With the above steps, the sensor will turn the First Light on once the device detects any motion. If there is no motion detected for one minute, the sensor will turn the First Light off.

6. Contact customer service from the Alexa app

If you’ve tried all these fixes but Alexa Routines is not working, consider contacting customer support from the Alexa app.

  • Go to Help & Feedback from the Alexa app.
  • Select Call Customer Service.
  • Select your device.
  • Choose a category.
  • Select an issue.
  • Verify your information.

Next, tap on Call Me. A customer service representative will call you for assistance.


If Alexa Routine won’t play music or stops working altogether, try to restart the device by power-cycling it and try again. You can also go through the setup to see whether you missed a step. A better solution is to contact support services using the Alexa app.

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