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Alexa won’t play music: Quick Fix

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  • 5 min read

Amazon’s in-house virtual assistant, Alexa, is quickly catching up to the likes of Google Assistant and Siri. With Alexa based smart speakers out now, Alexa has become a more accessible and usable virtual assistant. 

Apart from the tons of use cases, there are for Amazon’s Alexa and its smart speaker; probably the most used is playing music. But if Alexa isn’t dancing to your tunes, here are a few solutions to get the virtual assistant in line. 

Restart the device

This should be the first step to diagnosing just about any problem with just about any device. Whether it’s a PC, phone or smart speaker, restarting your device can fix seemingly random issues out of nowhere. Just unplug the speaker, wait 20-30 seconds, and plug it in again.

Also read: Amazon Fire Stick black screen: 13 Fixes

Check streaming devices

Prime music only allows streaming on one device at a time, so if you’re using the Prime music app to stream music on your Echo device and at the same time using it elsewhere, the device that started streaming first will get preference. 

Check linked accounts

Check to see if you’ve got the correct account linked with Alexa. Prime music only works on Amazon Prime accounts. So if you’ve got the wrong account linked, your music experience can be hindered. 

Check your subscription

Building on to the previous point, Prime music is only available to Prime members. If you’re using it to stream music from Alexa, and you’re sure you’re using the right account, check to see whether your subscription is still active.

Step 1: Open Amazon, log in and click on your account name, followed by Your Prime Membership.

Alexa won't play music: 11 Fixes

Step 2: Check to see if your Prime subscription is still active. If it isn’t, renew the subscription to resume functionality. 

Check song availability

Another big thing to check off your troubleshooting list is song availability. Often, several songs get restricted in different parts of the world due to either copyright issues or some censorship. If the music you’re trying to play isn’t available in your region, there’s not a lot you can do about the situation. 

Check if Alexa can play any other tracks apart from the one you requested. If it can, chances are there’s an issue with the track itself and not with Alexa.

Set Prime as the default music provider

Your Alexa based devices can play music from several different sources. If you’ve got multiple sources set up, you’re going to have to specify which service you want to use. To avoid this, select Prime as the default music provider. 

  • Open the Alexa app and head over to the Home tab. Tap Link Music Services.
  • Tap Default Services.
  • Make sure Amazon Music is selected as the default music provider. 

Disable the explicit filter

The explicit filter can hide some songs depending upon the track’s rating. Disable it to get access to any such hidden tracks. 

  • Open the Alexa app and head over to the Home tab. Tap Link Music Services.
  • Tap Profanity filter.
  • Make sure the filter is disabled. 

Also read: Why is my Amazon account locked? 4 ways to get it unlocked

Update your account’s location

If there’s a mismatch between your Amazon account’s location and your actual location, you can run into these issues.

Step 1: Head over to your Amazon content and devices page, sign in, head over to preferences and select Country/Region Settings.

Step 2: Click the Change button to switch to your desired country. 

Alexa should now start playing music just fine. 

Change your Amazon Music location

Changing your Amazon Music location can, at times, resolve this error.

Step 1: Head over to Amazon Music on a web browser, log in, click on your avatar in the top right, and click Your Amazon Music Settings. 

Step 2: Scroll down, and under Amazon Music Account Country/Region, click the Move your Music account link. 

Check your Echo’s settings

If you’ve misconfigured your Amazon Echo device, the chances are that music playback can take a hit. 

  • Open the Alexa app and head over to Devices.
  • Tap on Echo & Alexa.
  • Select your Echo device here.
  • Check all settings to ensure they’re set correctly. Pay special attention to time zone, device location and language.

Remove your Echo device

Removing your Echo device and adding it again can also help avoid such errors. 

  • Open the Alexa app and head over to Devices.
  • Tap on Echo & Alexa.
  • Select your Echo device here.
  • Scroll down and tap Deregister.

Once deregistered, add the device again, and it should play music just fine. 

Also read: Roku vs Firestick vs Chromecast: Which one’s the best pick?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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