echo dot playback restricted

Wondering why Echo Dot playback restricted and the speaker is grayed out?

There are numerous reports that various music applications can’t connect to our Amazon Echo Dot speaker, saying “playback restricted”.

However, there are quite a few different methods that you can straightforwardly attempt to resume the normal playback on your Echo Dot!

When you can’t connect to Echo Dot because “playback is restricted” begin with power cycling the speaker and updating the Alexa App and Echo Firmware.

The next step is to inspect our internet connection and if nothing is wrong, Factory Reset the Amazon Echo!

Let’s next unwrap the reason why the playback becomes “restricted” on Amazon Echo Dot!

Why is Playback Restricted Echo Dot?

When your Echo Dot won’t start to play out from a connected device or any musical application we can easily assume that something went wrong.

why is playback restricted echo dot

In order to troubleshoot the issue efficiently, we first need to dig deeper and start recognizing the causes behind the restricted playback. 

Here are the most common reasons behind the “restricted playback” issue on Echo Dot:

  • Musical App or Alexa App Software Issue
  • Outdated Firmware on Devices, Apps, or Echo
  • Bad WiFi Connection or No Internet At All
  • Corrupted Application Files & Cache Data

In summary, this is everything that can impact the playout on your Amazon Echo devices so let’s proceed further and make sure to leave no trail of this error message.

How To Fix When Echo Dot Playback Restricted?

To solve the Echo Dot playback problem we’re going to follow a well-designed troubleshooting guide that will address all possibilities at once.

It’s only important not to skip any of the solutions since they don’t require any technical knowledge or complicated tasks.

Let’s begin!

Solution #1 Power Cycle Echo & Playout Device!

power cycle echo & playout device

The very first step is to perform a power circulation on the setup that we’re trying to establish since all this fuss could be caused by a minor glitch.

The power circulation targets to fully discharge the device so you’ll need to do this method on your Amazon Echo and playout device!

  • Power cycle your Amazon Echo by unplugging the speaker from the power!
  • Also, restart your mobile (playout) device by holding the Power button!

Whenever you’re ready with the power circulation, it’s going to be easy to test whether the playback will still be restricted.

In case it is, keep your Amazon Echo speaker unplugged for a longer or test plugging the device into another electrical outlet.

In case this doesn’t help, jump to the next solution!

Solution #2 Check Your Internet Connection!

The playback will remain restricted if your Amazon Echo Dot is disconnected from the home WiFi or the network that you’re mainly using.

We’re not speaking of the Bluetooth playback since when connected via Bluetooth you don’t need internet on the Echo dot for a playout.

check your internet connection

However, if you’re using a third-party application such as YouTube or Spotify, you’ll definitely need your Echo connected to the internet at all times.

In that set of thoughts if you’re seeing “playback restricted” and your speaker remains grayed out, it is most certainly disconnected.

Connect Amazon Echo Dot to the WiFi:

  1. Open the Alexa App on your mobile device.
  2. Go to Settings > Set up New Device.
  3. From there select the Echo Dot.
  4. Choose WiFi Network and insert the Password.
  5. Name your Echo Dot, and select a room.
  6. Finalize the process and test the playback.

In addition, test your WiFi and internet by trying to surf online from the device that you’re using for the Alexa application.

You can also perform a free internet speed test online to determine whether your connection is dropping, hence making your speakers with restricted playouts.

Tip: Call your ISP if you’ve identified any issues with your internet or WiFi.

Solution #3 Clear Application Data & Cache

clear application data & cache

If you’ve followed the recommendations from the previous solutions, it’s clear by now that the Echo Dot can’t playback due to an internal problem.

The fastest and easiest thing is to remove the Application Cache Data, which can impact the performance of your devices.

  • You need to clear the cache for both your Alexa app and Musical App!

Here’s how to clear the cache data of any app on the most popular operating systems:

Clear App Cache on iOS:

Open the Settings app > Scroll Down to find the App > Offload App!

Clear App Cache on Android:

Open Settings > App Manager (Storage) > Find the App > Clear Cache!

When you’re ready with deleting the cache data, you’ll notice that you’ve signed off your accounts on the apps you’ve cleaned.

You’ll need to sign in using your credentials in order to test whether the Amazon Echo will now resume the proper playback!

Solution #4 Update Alexa & Echo Firmware

update alexa & echo firmware

The next step that we can’t skip is to perform an update and upgrade the firmware of the application we’ve used for the setup.

Here we’ll show you how to update the Alexa app firmware, hence also update your Amazon Echo firmware.

  • You’ll need to do the same for the Music App (output) that you’re using!

Here’s how to update our Amazon Alexa App and Echo Firmware:

  1. On your mobile, close the Alexa App.
  2. Open the Google Play or App Store.
  3. Find the Alexa Application.
  4. Tap on the Update button to start the upgrade.

To update your Amazon Echo Dot, simply say “Alexa, can you check for updates?”.

Assuming that you were able to upgrade any of your devices, it’s now time to check whether the playback is still restricted.

In case you still can’t output music through your Amazon Echo or the device remains grayed out upon selection, we’ll need more serious solutions!

Solution #5 Reinstall Alexa & Music App!

reinstall alexa & music app

In case none of the previous solutions helped, we need to ultimately reinstall the Amazon Alexa app as well as the playout application that we’re using.

We target to remove the app completely and not only close and re-open the software.

  • On Android you need to reach into Settings > Storage > Apps > Find & Delete App!
  • On iOS, you can achieve this by holding the app’s icon, and then selecting the “” sign!

Only after the application has been completely removed from your device open the respective App Store or Google Play to download them again.

Well, you’ll have to sign into your account once more time, then connect the Amazon Echo to the WiFi and test to play out something.

Tip: Reinstalling an application doesn’t delete the device’s saved settings!

Solution #6 Factory Reset Amazon Echo!

factory reset amazon echo

Whenever the Alexa playback is restricted, we’ll need to factory reset the Echo Dot to solve the problem once and for all.

In case you’re receiving the “playback restricted” error for only one of your Echo speakers, then all odds show that there is a specific bug with this specific device.

The Factory Reset will disconnect the Amazon Echo from the Alexa app so after the process, you’ll have to reconnect the speaker.

However, the reset will refresh ALL settings and services as well as will reinstall the operating system, allowing the user a fresh start.

Here’s how to factory reset your Amazon Echo speaker:

  1. Plug your Amazon Echo into the Power Outlet.
  2. Press & hold the Volume (Down) + Mic buttons!
  3. After 20 seconds the Echo Dot will reset.

When the reset is over you’ll hear “ready to pair” so you’ll need to open the Alexa app go to Settings and tap on Set up New Device.

While you’re at it, it’s important to verify that your Echo Dot is functional by asking Alexa something simple like “What’s the time”. 

If your Echo Dot is functional, then test whether the playback is still restricted!

Quick Recap:

When the Echo Dot playback restricted we first need to check for internet issues and then power cycle our equipment.

The next step is to clear the Amazon Alexa app cache and, if necessary, perform a clean reinstallation before factory resetting the speaker!

Nicole B