I’ve had Spotify for a while now, and most times it works great, but there are times when it seems a bit “glitchy.” This is especially true when you add in Alexa which sometimes makes the device unresponsive, but there are easy fixes. Keep reading as we go over the reasons Alexa has trouble playing Spotify, and how to fix them.
If Alexa won’t play Spotify, there could be issues with the login status of your music app. Possibly, the volume is too low or muted, or your Alexa device has a cache or app issue that needs to be cleared. Another way to get Alexa and Spotify to sync is to power cycle your Alexa device.
How To Fix Alexa Not Playing Spotify
1. Check The Mute And Volume
Your Echo device could have accidentally been muted, or the volume could be too low to hear the music. It’s happened to me a few times. If you see a red light on the top of your device near the microphone button, then it’s muted.
Press and hold the microphone for 2 seconds, release it and the device should be unmuted. Next, just turn up the volume to see if the music starts playing.
2. Turn Off Spotify’s Shuffle
There are some users who state the Shuffle feature on Spotify can cause problems with Alexa. If Shuffle was used the last time you played the music streaming app, turn it off to see if it remedies the issue.
To turn off the Shuffle on Spotify, open the app and scroll down to NOW PLAYING. The shuffle button will be green if this feature is active. Simply tap it—the icon should now turn white—and Shuffle is now disabled.
3. Make Sure Spotify Account Is Linked
When you try to get Alexa to play Spotify, is she saying “Your Spotify account needs to be linked first”? Don’t worry if she is being difficult, just follow the steps below to make sure your Spotify account is linked to your Alexa device.
If you decide to unlink your account at any time, do so carefully. Beware that if your Facebook account is linked to your Spotify and you remove that connection, you could be violating Spotify’s terms of service and have your account deleted.
How To Link Spotify To Alexa
You’ll need to log into your Spotify account using a web browser. Use your laptop, phone, or computer and revoke Alexa’s access to your Spotify account.
- On your phone, open the Alexa app and tap on MORE. You should find it in the bottom right corner.
- Find the SETTINGS menu and tap it.
- Next, tap on MUSIC & PODCASTS.
- You should see LINK NEW SERVICE, from there tap the “+” icon.
- Now, tap SPOTIFY, followed by ENABLE TO USE.
- Finally, enter in your Username and Password, and now Spotify and Alexa should be working in unison.
4. Try Power Cycling Your Echo
You may have to do a soft reboot or power cycle of your Echo device. Most times this works to clear up any issues and your device will work normally. This is different from a factory reset, as a power cycle does not erase all your information.
To perform an easy power cycle, simply unplug your device from the power source for approximately 30 seconds. When enough time has passed, plug the cord back in and wait for the Echo to spin the blue ring and come back on.
Try the Spotify commands and see if this corrects the issue. If that has not worked, the next step is to perform a different type of reboot. Depending on the Echo generation, these steps may be different.
For a first-generation Echo, you will need a paperclip or something similar. Find the tiny reset button, press the paper clip in and hold the RESET button until the light ring cycles off and on again.
For a second-generation Echo, press and hold the MICROPHONE OFF and VOLUME DOWN buttons simultaneously. The light ring should turn orange or amber when it is resetting. Let go of the buttons when you see the color change.
For a third or fourth generation Echo, press and hold down the action button for 25 seconds. You should see an orange/amber pulse, then it will turn off. The device should then flash blue then orange again signaling it’s ready for setup.
5. Make Sure That You Are Logged Into Your Spotify
Many Spotify users have different accounts for different reasons. In your household, there could be several accounts. Especially if you have children, a significant other, parents, or roommates living under the same roof.
This can be tricky when playing Spotify with Alexa because it’s not always easy to switch from one profile to the other. Here’s how to check if you are logged into Alexa and the correct Spotify account.
- Open your Alexa account and navigate to SETTINGS.
- Select PREFERENCES then tap on MUSIC & PODCASTS
- Now choose SPOTIFY
- From here make sure you are logged into the correct account.
There is a way to make it a little easier to switch Spotify accounts, but you’ll have to create different Amazon profiles. If you have an Amazon profile for each member or Spotify account you can switch between them using Alexa.
- To add another profile go to your Alexa Amazon account and tap on SETTINGS.
- Go to ACCOUNT.
- Tap on HOUSEHOLD PROFILE, and enter in information for each user or Spotify account.
- When you want to switch between them say, “Alexa. Switch profile.”
Check Your “Default Music Service” Settings
Alexa will play from Amazon Music if you don’t change the Default Music Settings to Spotify. When you change the default to Spotify, she will then play songs from that app when you tell her to play your favorite song. Here’s how you set Spotify as the Default Music:
- Open your Alexa app and tap on MORE.
- Navigate down to SETTINGS and tap to open.
- Scroll down to MUSIC & PODCASTS.
- From there find and select DEFAULT SERVICES.
- Find the MUSIC option and then select CHANGE.
- All of your downloaded music apps should be here, simply tap on SPOTIFY to make it your default.
- Finally, don’t forget to tap DONE to make it stick.
6. Remove Echo From Your Spotify Account
Is Alexa still not playing Spotify or giving you problems? It may be time to remove the Echo device from your Spotify account and then add it back to see if that works.
- First, you need to go into your Spotify account.
- Enter your username and password if needed and then open SETTINGS.
- While in there, remove ECHO.
- Next, shut down the app, and restart your phone. This step syncs everything.
- When your phone has restarted, open the Spotify App again.
- Now re-pair the Echo to your Spotify account again.
From here, go ahead and make Spotify your default music player on your Echo. Follow the steps directly above to accomplish this.
7. Clear The Data On Alexa And Spotify Apps
You may already know how to clear the cache on your phone, but Spotify for some reason has its own cache that needs to be cleared out on occasion. This could be why Alexa and Spotify are not able to communicate. Here is how to clear the cache on both Spotify and Alexa.
To clear the cache on Spotify:
- Open the Spotify app and tap on SETTINGS
- Scroll down until you see STORAGE
- Under STORAGE you should see CLEAR CACHE, now tap it.
- A pop-up will show on your screen asking for you to confirm.
- Tap it to clear out the cache and free up some storage.
To clear Alexa’s cache, do so on your phone.
- Go to SETTINGS on your phone.
- Scroll down to STORAGE and MEMORY
- Tap on MEMORY and then tap on either CLEAN NOW or CLEAR CACHE.
Alternatively, you may have to delete the Alexa app from your phone to clear out the cache storage. Once it’s deleted, install it back onto your phone and restart it. See if that allows Alexa and Spotify to work together now.
8. Check Your Login Status On Echo
If you’re accidentally logged out of Spotify, or maybe the app itself glitched and logged you out, then Alexa won’t be able to play music from the app. To check to see if you’re still logged into Spotify follow these directions.
- Go into your Alexa app and open up SETTINGS.
- Find the PREFERENCES menu and open it.
- From the MUSIC & PODCASTS dropdown tap on SPOTIFY.
- Now make sure you are logged in. You may have to enter your login and password.
If Alexa can’t access Spotify again, check to see if you were accidentally logged out.
9. Reset The Echo
If you’re still getting the same message “Your Spotify account needs to be linked,” and you’ve followed all the instructions above, you may need to reset Alexa or your Echo device. First, unplug the device for 30 seconds and then plug it back in. This should do a quick reset.
If unplugging the device didn’t work you can do a more aggressive reset. To perform a factory reset, find the Action Button on your Echo device. Now press and hold it until the light ring flashes and you hear Alexa say “Setting up your device,” or “Now in setup mode.”
Once the Echo has completed the setup, follow the instructions on your Alexa app. Finally, link your Spotify app to be the default music player.
Alternative Solution: Use Your Laptop
Playing Spotify through your laptop or desktop computer grants you more control than the mobile app. To do this, you need to download the desktop player if you haven’t done so already.
Once it’s downloaded, connect Alexa to the desktop player. Follow the instructions above in the heading “How To Link Spotify To Alexa.”
Once that is completed, open the Spotify app and look in the bottom right corner. Find the icon CONNECT TO A DEVICE.
Open it up and then you can connect your phone or Alexa device, which now has more options since it’s playing through the desktop app.
Possible Alexa Spotify Commands
Once you have linked Alexa to your Spotify account you can start playing music and podcasts by using your voice. Some commands you might want to try are:
- “Play Hot List America on Spotify.”
- “Play rock music on Spotify.”
- “Play (created playlist) on Spotify.”
- “Play (selected podcast) on Spotify.”
When you make Spotify your default music player on Alexa, you shouldn’t have to say “On Spotify,” at the end. Podcasts don’t seem to be a part of this action thought. When getting a podcast to play, you may still have to say “On Spotify.”
Spotify Not Showing Up In Alexa
This problem usually happens when you attempt to use Alexa and Spotify outside the United States. These apps may not work everywhere in the world but there is a fix.
The first fix is to use a Virtual Private Network VPN service to revert your location back to the United States. You can find free apps to download if this is something you’re willing to do.
Another possible fix is to change your phone’s language to US English. This has worked for many users experiencing this issue.
If you haven’t traveled outside of the US, then you’ll have to try something else. Go into your Alexa app, and open the menu. This should be located on the top left side of the screen.
Open SETTINGS, then tap on MUSIC & PODCASTS. From there you should tap on DEFAULT MUSIC SERVICES, and then tap SPOTIFY, and lastly press the DONE button. Spotify should not show up in Alexa.
Do You Need Spotify Premium For Alexa?
A Spotify premium account isn’t necessary in order for Alexa to play your music. A free account works, but there are some features a premium account has that the free account does not.
You will have to listen to commercials periodically on a free account and there’s no way to skip them. On some devices—my phone does this—you’re stuck in shuffle mode when listening to your playlists.
Alexa wants to default to Amazon music because they are both from Amazon. Sometimes you may get accidentally logged out of your Spotify account, then Alexa won’t work. Another reason Alexa may not work with Spotify is that you need to clean the caches or do a power cycle on your Alexa device.
Doing a quick reset, or clearing out the caches should do the trick and get Alexa to start playing music through Spotify. We hope this helped you to get more listening enjoyment out of Alexa and Spotify.