The other names (wake words) of Alexa

Alexa is the most popular and commonly used name for Amazon’s voice assistant but it is not widely known that there are other ways to address her. Technically called the wake word, there are altogether four wake words supported by Amazon at the time of this writing.

The supported wake words are –

  • Alexa
  • Echo
  • Amazon
  • Computer

While most people are happy with the default wake word, it can get annoying if you have someone named Alex, Alyssa etc. in your family. In such cases, the ability to change wake words can come in handy.

Alexa is also a somewhat difficult to pronounce three syllable word, especially for people with speech impairments and kids. Simpler wake words like ‘Echo’ serve them better.

Finally, some people just like to personalize their voice assistant a little but and the wake word ‘computer’ appears to have been created just for such Star Trek geeks.

Why would anyone use the wake word ‘Amazon’ is still a puzzle though? People who purchase Alexa devices are probably pretty invested in the Amazon ecosystem and so using ‘Amazon’ as the wake word is a bad idea because you might end up waking her up when you don’t intend to!

How to change the wake word:

  1. On the Alexa companion app (or at, go to Settings.
  2. Select the device you want to change the wake word for.
  3. Under ‘General’ section, select ‘Wake Word’.
  4. Choose the wake word from the list of options and hit ‘Save’.
  5. The Echo device’s light ring will blink Orange indicating that the wake word has been changed. You will also see a popup on the companion app notifying that the wake word has been changed. 
  6. You can now start using the new wake word to her attention. 

Instructions in images:


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