does alexa have to be plugged in to work

If you own an Echo device in your home and you’re asking: does Alexa have to be plugged in to work always, then you’re just on the right page!

In this guide, we will go through all the different things you need to know about Alexa.

From the devices that are enabled with the virtual assistant, the function on how you can use it – to whether it needs to be plugged in or not!

Unfortunately, the answer is yes; Alexa-enabled devices need continuous power to function properly and effectively.

Before we go into detail, let us first discuss the reason why it requires a straight and steady source of power for it to function.

Why Does Alexa Have to Be Plugged in to Work?

reasons why alexa have to be plugged

With all the technological advances in electronic devices, you may wonder, why does my Echo with Alexa have to be plugged in to work?

Simply put, this electronic device needs the power to function. In addition to that, it also requires a stable internet connection.

Why? – Because there is no built-in battery to sustain a power supply.

Alexa-enabled devices are reliant on electricity for power. Therefore, unplugging them would keep them from functioning/working.

Now that we know its requirement with power, let’s uncover the truth about its requirement of having to be connected to an internet source.

Does Alexa Work Without the Internet?

Internet connectivity is necessary for the Echo device to talk to Alexa through Amazon’s cloud when you need it.

Because Alexa is part of the virtual online platform, this device must have a continuous internet signal.

Whether you want to stream music, know the weather, perform voice commands, translate text, and many more, it’ll be fed via the Amazon servers.

Alexa will query your text to receive an answer and relay that text back into voice speech to reply.

Alexa cannot send and receive messages to the cloud servers to fulfill your voice commands without a strong WiFi signal.

For many homeowners, when the power goes out, so does their internet signal.

So even if you had an alternative power source for your Echo product; if there is not an active internet source, it will not have the ability to connect to Amazon and fulfill all your needs as it should.

Are There Portable or Battery Options?

Many people are curious to know whether there are options to attach batteries to Alexa-enabled devices for product improvement.

The answer is yes and no – yes because there is an option to do so, and no because it might not be what you think it is.

Although having to plug in your Alexa unit can be a hassle sometimes, there is one alternative.

The Echo Tap model is the only device with a rechargeable battery that allows it to be away from a power source. But, it’ll only be for short periods of time.

This may seem like the perfect solution, but the Echo Tap does not possess the same Alexa always-listening capabilities that the standard Echo and Echo Dot have.

In addition, when using the Echo Tap, it still requires a stable internet connection. So, although it’s portable, without stable and reliable WiFi, it won’t function as it should.

Plugging Alexa All the Time

So, what can you do to always make your Alexa unit ready for all the commands, inquiries, and entertainment you’re looking for?

Some consumers have found a way to work around this restriction. A straightforward option is to use a USB battery pack to provide continuous power to the unit.

This way, your Echo with Alexa can still have all the listening capabilities without worrying about always being plugged into a power outlet.

Depending on the USB battery pack, your Echo can function for days before you must plug it into an electrical source again. 

If you decide to use multiple USB battery packs, you can use one for your Alexa while the other is charging, making the most out of your unit.

Will You Save Power by Unplugging Alexa?

unplugging alexa

Because this device needs a continuous power source (to be plugged in) to function, you may wonder if you can save power by unplugging it when it is not in use.

These Alexa units are always using power to listen to voice commands. Moreover, they refer to the Amazon cloud for instructions.

But how much energy does it use to operate continuously?

According to a few studies, the Echo units are extremely energy-efficient. They’re efficient to the extent that they have only a slight increase in your power bill overall.

So, when seeing if you’ll be able to save money and power by unplugging it, it’s not recommended. In fact, the total amount may not be worth the hassle you have to go through to set it up over and over again.

There is another consideration, though, that may cause your energy bill to jump exponentially. This increase happens when you sync the Echo units to Smart TVs or other smart devices in your home.

For the most cost-effective way to use these items, homeowners are better off not syncing them to each other and unplugging all their devices when they are not using them.

But what fun would that be when everything is not automatic?

What Happens When You Unplug Alexa?

If you unplug your Echo with Alexa, it will turn off.

Essentially, your unit will become an expensive paperweight. It will not activate with voice commands. Furthermore, it won’t also perform any functions that it has.

The only function it can give you would be the Bluetooth speaker – you can connect to it, play music through it, etc.

You do not have to worry about damaging your unit if you unplug it often. These items will reboot and function as they should after they’re plugged back in.

Unplugging the Echo does not damage the product in any way, though. So, if you have to move it to another room or want to unplug it while you are away on vacation, it is perfectly safe to do.

Alternatively, the unit will enter sleep mode when not in use, or you can program a Do Not Disturb period to help minimize the power it uses or the time it sits on standby mode.

Does Alexa Reset When It Loses Power?

The big question that most users are interested to know the answer to, is will it reset when I unplug it?

The quick, simple, and easy answer is no – it won’t reset.

You do not have to worry about going through the entire setup process again. So long as you are on the same WiFi connection, Alexa will recognize this and resume operations as before.

If you unplug your Alexa to take along to a friend’s house, you will have to go through the setup process again to sync it to a different WiFi connection.

NOTE: If you fail to do this, it wouldn’t work at a new location.

Read Next: Why is Amazon Echo Randomly Talking?

Final Thoughts

So, does Alexa have to be plugged in to work? The Echo with Alexa does need to be plugged in to work always. It can be a hassle, especially if you’re always on the go.

Thankfully, there are alternatives, including the Echo Dot with a built-in battery, or you can purchase portable USB battery packs.

These alternatives can provide a more versatile option to the Echo that needs to remain in one spot always plugged into an outlet.

Suppose you are concerned about moving Alexa from one room to another frequently during the day. In that case, you may want to opt to purchase a second unit so it can remain plugged in.

It might not be able to save you money, but it will definitely save you the hassle of relocating it to another power source as it will require one.

Nicole B