Alexa has become famous over the years due to its convenience. However, many users complained that they were startled by Alexa’s sudden noise with a blue light at 3 a.m. We are here to shed light on this mystery.
Alexa can make a sound early at 3 a.m. due to routine settings, reminders or alarms, alert messages and notifications, misinterpretation of the wake word, low battery issues, or auto-updates. If these aren’t the issues, some general errors have occurred.
Are you facing the same issue? Then this article is for you. We will provide you with a clear understanding of the reasons behind this mystery and solutions to troubleshoot and manage your Alexa when it acts like this.
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Introduction to Alexa and Unusual Noises
Alexa is a voice-controlled virtual assistant by Amazon.
Alexa will listen to your commands and perform tasks without you having to lift your finger.
I have been using Alexa for several years, and I cannot tell you how easy my life has been since then.
She answers all my questions, controls my smart home, reminds me about my meetings and works through the reminders, sets the alarm to wake up early, connects to my favorite services, and helps me stay organized.
Now, why does Alexa suddenly make unusual noises at 3 a.m.? It can be frustrating, especially for the light sleepers.
There could be several reasons behind it.
It could be an alarm or reminder you set, a weather report, an auto-update, or your Amazon parcel shipped.
It could be because Alexa might have mistakenly heard a word close to her wake word.
Alexa making a sound at 3 a.m. could be due to the routine volume adjustment settings.
There are several other reasons besides these.
Please keep reading to learn about them and ways to solve the issues.
Understanding Alexa’s Capabilities
Alexa is a voice assistant by Amazon.
You can make her do tasks by commanding and without lifting your phones.
Alexa is like software that can power your smartphone, but she uses Skills instead of Apps.
To control Alexa, buy an Alexa-enabled Amazon device, like the Echo or Echo Dot.
Configure, manage and personalize Alexa with the Alexa app available in the Google Play Store or Apple Store.
Download the app, connect the device, control Alexa, and make her yours.
Alexa has several capacities, and below are some of the common ones:
- Report news and weather forecast
- Provide sports updates
- Control your smart home, cell phones, and other Alexa-enabled devices
- Play music and podcasts
- Answer your questions about anything you ask her
- Help you with recipes
- Manage your lists and calendars
- Set up alarms and reminders for your daily routine and remind you about them in time
- Tell stories and jokes
- Do math
- Administer games
- Find local and small business information
- Find recipes
- Order dinner, call a cab, and shop online
- Provide you essential notifications regarding any order
Alexa is all you need to make your life easier.
Why does Alexa make noises?
As I said earlier, there could be several reasons why Alexa is making a sound at 3 a.m.
I have faced this a few times before. Upon research, I found several things are responsible.
I had problems like past set alarms and reminders, unstable Wi-Fi connections, auto-updates, and notifications and alert messages.
In this section, I will share all the possible reasons, including mine, with the solutions. So, let’s begin.
Scheduled Events and Alarms
One common reason Alexa makes a sound at 3 a.m. is undeleted event reminders and alarms.
Echo devices allow you to set alarms and reminders for some scheduled events for various needs.
For example, you might have set an alarm to wake up at 3 a.m. to catch a flight early morning, or you have set a reminder for an early Zoom meeting.
You might have previously set reminders and alarms but forgot to delete them after the purpose was served.
The device won’t forget the alarms and reminders if you don’t turn off or delete them.
These alarms and reminders can pop up and disturb you daily at the set time.
You need to delete the old alarms and reminders of events if you do not need them.
- Go to the Alexa app.
- Go to ALARMS AND REMINDERS.
- Find the alarm and reminder set for 3 a.m.
- Hold it for 5 seconds and delete the alarm and reminder.
- Once deleted, your device will no longer make a sound at 3 a.m.
Volume adjustment routine
Alexa can make a sound in the early morning because of the voice adjustment routine.
This routine allows you to change the alarm sound and regulate the settings.
Usually, the volume adjustment routines are set at 3 a.m.
That is why Alexa will chime daily at 3 a.m., which can interrupt your sleep.
You can change the volume adjustment settings and prevent your device from making the noise every day.
Follow the following to adjust the volume settings:
- Open the Alexa app on your smartphone.
- Select the Alexa icon from the right corner.
- You will find the ROUTINE tab when you click on it.
- Search for the routine set for 3 a.m.
- Find the option WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN by scrolling.
- Find the routine set to 3 a.m.
- Please change it to your desired time, for example, 10 a.m. or 4 p.m.
- After this, Alexa will only chime at your desired time, not 3 a.m.
Misinterpretation of the wake word or Environmental noises
Sometimes, Alexa will hear the background noise and misinterpret it as her wake word.
A wake word is a phrase or a name for Alexa that wakes her up from sleep, for example, Alexa (default), Echo, Disney, Computer, etc.
If your Alexa gets activated at 3 a.m. without any reason, it might be because she has misunderstood any background noise as her wake word.
That is why choosing a unique wake word at a quiet place with no background noises is recommended.
To resolve the issue, you need to change the wake word for Alexa and keep a unique name.
Alexa is the default wake word.
There are five more wake words to choose from for Alexa:
For a unique name, you can keep two words, for example, “Echo, Echo.”
To change the wake word:
- Open the Alexa app.
- Go to DEVICES.
- Choose ECHO & ALEXA.
- Select your device from the list.
- Click on the gear icon on the upper right side and open the DEVICE SETTINGS.
- Scroll down and select WAKE WORD.
- Select the new wake word and click OK to confirm.
Automatic Updates and Maintenance
A reason that makes Alexa devices convenient is their auto-update feature.
The device can auto-update applications and operating systems whenever the developer releases one.
These updates can often make your device make a sound, even at 3 a.m. There is no fixed time for this.
Though auto-updates are reasonable, it can be annoying if it happens early in the morning or at midnight.
The beep for auto-updates happens briefly, then turns off after the update is complete.
There is no troubleshooting step for this because updates are routine.
You can keep the volume low or mute your device to stay undisturbed.
Noise from Notifications and Messages
Alexa devices can be connected to your phone via the Alexa app.
So, the phone’s text messages, alerts, and notifications received will make your Alexa device make a sound at 3 a.m.
The user enables Alexa’s notifications.
If you turn it on, the notifications will be received on the device and beep.
Unlike your phones, Alexa devices do not vibrate.
It produces a sound similar to alarms and reminders.
Alexa will make noises when you receive texts, emails, and calls, notifications about your parcels, offer notifications from apps, and many more.
It is normal but annoying for people sleeping at 3 a.m.
As long as your smartphone is paired with the Alexa device, it will make noises every time you receive any notification.
To resolve the problem, turn off the notifications from Alexa or mute the device.
It will keep your device, the Alexa notifications, the weird noises, and random chiming off.
If you have lowered Alexa’s volume or muted the device, increase the volume and unmute the button again the following day.
The best option is to turn off the notifications from Alexa:
- Open the Alexa app.
- Select the MORE tab.
- Find the NOTIFICATION bar.
- Select DISABLE and turn off the settings.
Alexa can give and receive communications through calls, messages, announcements, and drop-ins.
These can make Alexa respond with a loud sound at 3 a.m.
If your Alexa device is making a sound at 3 a.m., there is a chance that someone is trying to contact you.
Another situation might be that your Alexa is hacked, and someone is trying to use her without your concern.
You can keep Alexa mute or set the setting DO NOT DISTURB to stop this.
A more permanent solution would be to cut off the unwanted interactions:
- Open the Alexa app and go to DEVICES.
- Go to ECHO & ALEXA and choose your device name.
- Click on the icon in the upper right corner for DEVICE SETTINGS.
- Under the GENERAL category, select COMMUNICATION.
- Turn off the unwanted communication settings for the device.
Disabling the notifications will only apply to the specific device you change the settings for.
The other units of your Alexa households will still be open for communication.
Drop-ins are restricted for users within the same Amazon household.
You can keep your device off for safety concerns or set specific voice profiles so that Alexa replies to only those profiles.
Interaction with other devices
Suppose you have more than one Echo device nearby.
In that case, the Alexa devices can make noises at the wrong times, for example, at 3 a.m.
When multiple Alexa devices are nearby, they could be trying to communicate with each other, responding to each other’s commands or notifications.
Try checking the settings on all the devices.
Turn down the volume, mute, or unplug them at night.
It will stop the devices from responding to each other’s notifications and commands.
Low battery problems
Some Alexa devices operate on batteries, while others need a power source. You have to connect them to the electrical outlet.
These battery-powered devices will need to be charged from time to time. Alexa will start making noises if you do not charge them in time.
Alexa operates 24*7, and the battery level will keep getting low with time.
It can happen at any time of the day, be it 7 p.m. or 3 a.m. So, if your device is making noises, check the battery and put it on charge.
If you hear the sound, you must immediately charge your Alexa device.
Or, you can keep the volume off, mute the device, and put it on charge later in the day.
To prevent this, you must put the device on charge before going to bed for an undisturbed sleep.
User Error and Unintentional Activation
Some general errors can cause your Alexa device to make noises early at 3 a.m.
A glitch might occur for which the device is chiming.
The reason could be that the device is damaged, some changes are needed in the Alexa app, or clear the cache and data.
Another problem is the Bluetooth error.
It occurs when you try linking your smartphone with your Alexa device via Bluetooth.
There is a chance that your Alexa device is trying to pair with other Bluetooth electronics because you might have left the Bluetooth option active earlier.
The device will try to pair up, and if there is a problem, it will make a sound to notify you.
It can happen anytime, be it midnight or 3 a.m.
Refresh your Alexa app or delete and reinstall it to solve the glitch issue.
It will reset Alexa to the original settings and solve the issue.
You can also clear the cache and data for the Alexa app from the App Management option.
If you suspect the Alexa device is the culprit of the glitches, restart the device.
As for the Bluetooth error, the best way to resolve it is to command Alexa to turn off the Bluetooth pairing.
You can also clean Alexa’s saved Bluetooth devices.
The Bluetooth feature can automatically reconnect to devices that are previously paired.
If the Bluetooth of both devices is active, Alexa will remind you about the pair by making noises.
So, the FORGET DEVICE option can prevent the connections in the future.
Here are the steps to remove the pairing:
- Open your Alexa app and select DEVICES.
- Choose ECHO & ALEXA, and pick the device you want to disconnect.
- Select BLUETOOTH DEVICES and tap on FORGET DEVICE.
- Confirm your decision, and you are done.
Instead, the best way is to check the settings regularly and keep the Bluetooth off.
Failed internet connection
Alexa will require a good and stable Wi-Fi or internet connection to function, play videos, music, and podcasts online, and reply via voice commands.
Without a stable connection, these won’t be possible.
If the Wi-Fi goes stable or down, your Alexa device will make a sound to notify you about the issue.
It will happen anytime, even at 3 a.m.
There is very little you can do at a time like 3 a.m.
The device beeping during a low internet connection is the device’s way of informing you about the issue.
You can turn off the volume or mute the device to remain undisturbed.
Or, you can keep your device off at night and turn it on in the morning.
Brief mode is on
Besides the wake word that wakes the device by misinterpretation, another mode makes the device respond to some sounds.
The model is called the Brief Mode.
Your Alexa device will respond to random noises and ambient sounds here.
For this mode, your Alexa device will try to tell you that it is activated and up for any task.
When you are sleeping, and the device beeps at 3 a.m., it can be frustrating.
Any random noise can trigger the device and make a loud noise.
To troubleshoot this, you need to turn off the mode:
- Go to MORE and then SETTINGS.
- Select VOICE RESPONSES.
- Toggle the BRIEF MODE to off in the menu.
- The Amazon device will now stop making chiming at random noises.
Defective unit with hardware or software issues
Sometimes, you won’t have any of the above issues.
The problem might be with your device, a defective device.
The hardware won’t work in a defective device, or the software will constantly glitch.
As a result, you constantly receive unwanted sounds at random times, for example, at 3 a.m.
If you have exhausted all the above troubleshooting steps, a defective product is the only thing left.
In this case, there is no troubleshooting except to replace the device and buy a new one or repair it by consulting the Amazon service center.
Privacy Concerns and Security Measures
- If you suspect that your Alexa is hacked or someone is trying to use Alexa for which it is making noises at 3 a.m., follow the following security measures:
- Check the device activity logs and browsing history to understand the reason behind the sudden sound at 3 a.m.
- Keep your microphone disabled at night. No one, even the owner, can access the device through voice commands.
- Set specific profiles. Alexa will reply only to those voices.
- Keep a unique wake word so no one can guess and use your device.
- Check the permissions you have provided for any third-party skills. If you feel any suspicious, turn off the permission.
- Keep Alexa updated. Sometimes, developers provide new updates and firmware with extra security features.
- Enable two-factor authentication.
- Keep your device in a location where no one can tamper with it.
Seeking Customer Support
If you cannot determine why Alexa is making noise at 3 a.m., you can directly ask Alexa.
If you get a response from her, you are lucky to find the exact reason and solve it.
If you do not get any response or a wrong reply, contact Amazon Echo device customer support.
You can contact them through phone calls, live chat, or emails.
Explain your problem and see what suggestions they provide you.
Follow their instructions and solve the issue.
Or, you can take the device from where you have bought it.
The staff can help you.
If the problem is hardware-related, the staff will repair it or give you a new one.
You can get it for free if you still have a warranty period.
It can be very annoying when you are sleeping peacefully, but Alexa suddenly makes noises at 3 a.m. If your Alexa makes noises at 3 a.m., common reasons could be past-set alarms and reminders, volume adjustment routine, misinterpretation of the wake word, Bluetooth errors, notifications, auto-updates, low battery, or failed internet connections.
Any of the above reasons can cause the Alexa device to make noise at 3 a.m. Most of them can be easily troubleshooted. Inspect the problems, troubleshoot them, and rule them out individually.
Problems related to hardware will require repair and replacement. You can also seek help from the Amazon support team.
How can I resolve a systematic error?
Refresh the Alexa device or the Alexa app to solve it. If that doesn’t work, contact the Amazon Help Center and seek professional assistance.
Can I switch off the Alexa device without deleting the Alexa app?
You can turn it off without uninstalling the app. Additionally, by turning off the device, your Alexa will not disturb your sleep at 3 a.m.
Reference: Amazon Alexa Device Wikipedia