Nuke your Alexa smart home to expel all your ‘ghost devices’ CNET


Alexa will lose the overview of devices if you rename them, but you can set up your smart home with just one stroke.

Ry Crist / CNET

If you have a habit of changing the names and location of your Alexa board smart home appliances – smart lights, smart piece and so on – without updating Alexa, you do not need me to tell you what a mess things can be. Try telling your Amazon Echo to turn on a smart light using a device name that Alexa does not recognize and you will see what I mean. “Sorry,” Alexa says, “I did not find a device with the name [its new name]. “

Do this often enough and your smart home will be almost useless. Worse: It can be a big order to disconnect such a mess, and before long you will find yourself ignoring Alexa completely and controlling your smart home with countless apps on your phone instead.


Smart home control only works when Alexa knows what your devices are all called.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Well, you’m lucky, like that. There is a solution, but it is fast and dirty. If that sounds risky, it’s because, well, it’s: You need to delete all of yours smart home and start over and you will lose all rooms or routines you have configured. But otherwise the process is simple and should only take a few minutes. When done (and you have rebuilt your rooms and routines in the app) you can go back to ordering Alexa around.

Here’s how to do it.

Want more from Alexa? Amazon released another round of smart home products during the fall product launch event on September 28, 2021. We got a first look at new Ring and Echo devices such as. Always home camera and Echo Show 15.

You will need to use Alexa’s desktop portal

Put down your phone first and download your laptop – this should be done on the desktop version of the Alexa website. Then go over to Alexa’s web interface (yes, that’s one thing), and then follow these steps:

1. Click in the menu on the left Smart home.

2. Click in the main pane Devices.

3. Scroll all the way down to the bottom and click on the box marked Remove everything.

4. Click in the popup window Remove to confirm.

5. Click on the box on the next page Discover.

Rejoice now: Alexa has pinged all the different services you have linked (Philips Hue, Smart Life, etc.) and updated them all with the current names of all your devices.

As mentioned, there is one drawback. Doing so will erase all groups – including rooms and speaker groups – as well as routines you have created. That said, chances are good that if you have the kind of issues that require a nuclear option like this, they should both be upgraded anyway.

You may also need to nuke one more thing

I recently discovered a little quirk about Amazon Echos – they remember. As in, if you remove an echo device and throw it in a drawer, only to download it later and reconnect it to your smart home, it remembers the names of devices on your network when it was last connected. This can cause its own kind of chaos on your smart home. The only way I have found to repair it is by nuke the device itself – reset it to the factory settings (follow the link for detailed instructions on older devices).

On third and fourth generation Echo and Echo Dot devices, press and hold Action button for 25 seconds (the light ring pulsates orange and then goes out). The light turns on again, this time blue. Wait until it turns orange to indicate that it has returned to setup mode.

To reset Echo Show devices to factory settings, press and hold Dumb and Turn down buttons for 15 seconds, or until an Amazon logo appears.

More cool things you can do with your Alexa device

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