Tech Guide

Here's how to change Alexa's name on your Amazon Echo so you can wake it up by saying something else

Key Points
  • You don't have to use the Alexa name to wake up your Echo.
  • Amazon also lets you use Computer, Amazon or Echo to activate its smart voice assistant.
  • CNBC's Todd Haselton shows you how to change Alexa's name on your Echo.
Amazon unveils a new version of the Echo Dot at an event on Sept. 20, 2018.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

I read a pretty heartbreaking story this week about a young girl named Alexa who has reportedly been bullied at school. According to NBC San Diego, Alexa's classmates have been treating her just like an Amazon Echo, asking "Alexa" the weather and treating her like a "servant."

Unfortunately, at least for that young girl, the name "Alexa" has become pretty much synonymous with the Amazon Echo and is often used interchangeably with other smart home devices. My guess is that Amazon won't change the name to something else. However, there is a way for you to change the name.

That means when you want to talk to Amazon's smart voice assistant, you can say something besides "Alexa." You can't create a custom name, but there are other options to pick from. Here's how to change Alexa's name on your Echo.

  • Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  • Tap the home page button on the bottom-left. It looks like three rectangles stacked together.
  • Select the menu button on the top-left of the page.
  • Choose settings.
  • Pick "Device Settings."
  • Choose the Echo that you want to modify.
  • Tap "Wake Word."

Now you'll be able to change the name Alexa to either "Amazon," "Echo," or "Computer." Once you've picked one of the wake words, it will respond to that instead of "Alexa," so make sure you remember which one you pick. If you're a fan of the band Radiohead, consider picking "Computer" so you can say "OK computer" to wake up your Amazon Echo.

That's it. Now you've changed the name. Repeat the steps to change the name of other Echo devices around your home.

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