Alexa responds but won’t play music due to an unstable internet connection, unconfigured default music service, expired Amazon Prime subscription (if Amazon Music is the default music service), or outdated Alexa app.
To fix Alexa music not playing problems on Echo or Sonos speakers, you need to try the following solutions:
- Reboot your WiFi router.
- Configure your default music service on the Alexa app.
- Disable and re-link the default music service skill.
- Restart the Echo or Sonos speaker.
- Update the Alexa App.
Note: This summarizes what to do when Alexa responds to your voice commands but won’t play music. If you want a detailed explanation, read the step-by-step guide below.
Alexa is known for various problems, and a common problem is Alexa responds to wake-up word replies to your voice commands but won’t play music. If you say, Alexa, play music, then it responds but doesn’t play anything.
I recently fixed this issue on my Echo Dot, and I’ll explain what was the actual problems. So, read this guide if you also face such problems on your Alexa device.
How To Fix Alexa Responds But Won’t Play Music
If your Alexa responds to voice commands but won’t play music, you need to disable and re-link the music service on the Alexa app. Open the Alexa app on your iPhone or Android, go to More> Music & More> Settings> Select your music service, Disable the skill and enable it again.
1. Reboot the WiFi Router And Alexa Device
Alexa is a cloud-based AI device that requires a stable internet connection. It tries to answer your queries but sometimes fails to fulfill your demands due to a weak internet connection.
If your Alexa responds to voice commands but won’t play anything, it indicates Alexa is failing to stream songs from your library or any other music service.
It is worth mentioning that if Alexa responds to your voice commands, it indicates your internet connection is working, but still, I advise you to start with very basic troubleshooting.
Unplug the WiFi router from the wall outlet and plug it again after 30 seconds. After rebooting your router, restart the Echo or Alexa-enabled Sonos speaker.
Once the Blue light disappears, ask Alexa to play music. Most probably, your issue will be resolved after this troubleshooting.
2. Configure Default Music Service
Alexa is a cloud-based AI device that requires some pre-configurations to perform a task. If you want to play music on Alexa, you must configure the default music service on the Alexa app.
Follow these steps to configure the default music service for Alexa:
- Open the Alexa app on your smartphone.
- Tap on the More option located at the bottom-right corner.
- Go to Music & More.
- Tap on the Settings icon located in the top-right corner.
- Tap on Your Default Services and link your default music services for Alexa.
Note: If Amazon Music is your default music service for Alexa, ensure you have an Amazon Prime subscription. Similarly, you need a Spotify or Apple Music subscription if these are your default music service for Alexa.
3. Re-link Music Service On Alexa App
If you already configured the default music service, but Alexa still won’t play music, then there might be a music service account authorization issue.
This problem occurs when your subscription expires, and you renew it after some time or if you revoke the third-party authorization on your account.
In both cases, you must re-link your music service account with Alexa to play your favorite playlist, songs, podcast, etc., on voice commands.
Follow these steps to re-link your music service for Alexa:
- Open the Alexa app on your smartphone.
- Tap on More.
- Tap on the Music & More option.
- Tap on the Settings icon.
- Select your music service from the list (Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, etc.)
- Tap on DISABLE SKILL and then Disable.
- Now, tap on ENABLE TO USE and re-link your music service account.
After disabling and re-linking a music service on Alexa, restart your Echo or Sonos speaker. Once your device is ready, ask Alexa to play music on Spotify (or any music service).
Disabling and re-linking the music service has helped many fix Alexa’s music-playing issue. I’m sure, now Alexa device will play your favorite song.
4. Mute Nearby Alexa Device
If you’re using multiple Alexa devices in your home, they might be confused with each other. If you ask, “Alexa, play music on Spotify,” they might get confused about whom you give the voice commands.
In this situation, either or none will play the music. So, I advise you to mute nearby Alexa devices or group them properly for a seamless music listening experience.
5. Update Alexa App
You must have installed the Alexa app to set up your Echo or Sonos speaker. If the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone is outdated, it might have some software bug causing music streaming issues.
If it has been a while since you updated your Alexa app, it’s time to update it immediately. You can follow these steps to update the Alexa app on your smartphone:
- Go to the Apps menu.
- Open Google Play Store.
- Search for Amazon Alexa.
- Tap on the Update button.
- Wait for a few seconds until new updates are installed.
- Open the App Store.
- Tap on the Profile Picture in the top-right corner.
- Scroll down until UPCOMING AUTOMATIC UPDATES.
- Tap on the Update button next to the Amazon Alexa app.
- Wait for a few seconds until updates are installed.
6. Deregister and Re-register Your Echo
The above solutions will probably resolve the music playback issue on your Alexa device. However, if the issue persists, you must deregister and re-register your Echo or Sonos speaker to solve the problem.
Follow these steps to deregister your Echo or Sonos speaker:
- Open the Alexa app.
- Tap on Devices and go to Echo & Alexa.
- Select your Echo device.
- Tap on the Settings icon.
- Scroll to the bottom and tap on Deregister.
- Confirm the action by tapping the Deregister popup.
After deregistering your Alexa device from the Amazon account, reboot your Echo and set it up again. I have already published a guide on setting up an Echo Dot correctly.
After re-registering your Echo device with an Amazon account, change the default music service to Amazon Music and ask Alexa to play a song, and it will start playing.
Alexa might be unable to process your requests if you give complicated voice commands. So, try to be specific while asking Alexa to play music. If Alexa can’t access your requested library, it responds: “Sorry, I am having trouble playing the music from your library.”
You can try some simple Alexa’s voice commands to play music:
- “Alexa, play music” and answer if it asks for the song, artist, or playlist name.
- “Alexa, play a rock music station”.
- “Alexa, play today’s top hits on Spotify”.
- “Alexa, play an oral history of the office podcast on Spotify”
- “Alexa, play (song name) on Spotify”.
- “Alexa, play (artist name) songs on Spotify”.