Why Is My Echo Dot Flashing Yellow?

Posted by Robert Hayes on June 30, 2019

The Echo Dot has become the cornerstone of Amazon’s home and office automation system. The Dot is a cool little device shaped like a hockey puck, with a few controls (which I almost never use), a remarkably good speaker in its 3.0 incarnation, and a flashing light ring that is the main way the Dot communicates with users, in conjunction with the Alexa app’s voice interface. One question that often comes up, however, is why the Echo Dot is flashing yellow – or any of a number of other color and flash pattern combinations. So why is your Echo Dot flashing yellow?

Echo Dot light ring color meanings

The Echo Dot communicates verbally via Alexa, but it has color and pattern combinations as a shortcut. Your Dot can produce a steady light, flashes or pulses, a circular rotating light, and can even light up just one part of the ring. Each color and pattern combination has its own meaning.

No Lights

Solid Blue Ring, Spinning Cyan Ring

The Echo Dot is booting up.

Solid Blue Ring, Cyan Arc

The Echo Dot is listening to someone’s instructions; the cyan arc indicate which way the Dot thinks the person is speaking from.

Pulsating Blue and Cyan Ring

The Echo Dot is actively responding to commands.

Orange Arc Rotating Clockwise

Solid Red Ring

You have turned the microphone off and the Echo Dot is not responding to commands.

Pulsing Yellow Ring

Your Dot has notifications waiting for you. This is the 21st century equivalent of a blinking light on the answering machine.

Pulsing Green Ring

You are receiving a call.

Green Arc Rotating Counter-clockwise

You are in an active call.

White Arc

You are adjusting the volume on your Echo Dot.

Pulsing Purple Ring

An error occurred during your Dot’s setup and you need to set it up again.


Single Purple Flash

Alexa is in Do Not Disturb mode, and you have just finished an interaction with your Dot.

Spinning White Arc

Alexa is in Away Mode.


Echo Dot flashing yellow

So in this article, I’m going to explain the flashing yellow light on your Echo Dot. When your Echo Dot flashes yellow, it just means you have a message waiting. If you want to know what it is, just ask. You can say “Alexa, play message” or “Alexa, read my notifications”.

Setting up messaging on the Echo Dot

Messaging on the Echo Dot is kind of frustrating, because it could be incredibly convenient, but instead it’s just kind of convenient. The big block: you can’t use your Dot with people who don’t have either a Dot of their own, or at least the Alexa app. (And very few people have the Alexa app without a Dot to use it on.) Aside from that, the system is very straightforward. To set up messaging, you will need to use the Alexa app or your Echo Dot.

Using the app:

  1. Select Contacts and select the person you want to message.
  2. Select the Message icon.
  3. Select the microphone to record a voice message or the keyboard to type one.
  4. Select Send message.

Message using your Echo Dot:

  1. Say, “Alexa, message NAME.”
  2. Record your message.

Receiving messages

Once the recipient receives the message, they will either be notified by their Alexa app or see the flashing yellow ring on their Echo Dot. They can then read and reply to their message as they need to. You can listen to the message using the app or the Dot. If it’s a voice message, then it will simply be played back to you. If a typed message was sent, Alexa will transcribe it for you and read it out loud for you.

Transcription seems fairly accurate, and its obvious a lot of work has gone into the Alexa natural speech recognition functions. The voice is almost conversational and very easy to live with, rather than sounding as if you suddenly have an old school text-to-speech program as a roommate. As far as I can tell, the message system cannot break out of the Amazon ecosystem and it can only be used by Alexa app or Echo Dot users. Aside from that, messaging is fast, free, and very simple to use.

We’ve got more Echo Dot resources for you!

Here’s our guide to playing free music on your Echo Dot!

We’ve got a walkthrough on how to factory reset your Echo Dot.

We can show you how to listen to Apple Music on your Echo Dot.

Want to use a Bluetooth speaker? Here’s how to pair a Bluetooth speaker to your Echo Dot.

Podcast fan? Here’s our guide to using your Dot to listen to podcasts.

3 thoughts on “Why Is My Echo Dot Flashing Yellow?”

Jane Shelswell says:
I just figured it out, Alexa told me the flashing yellow light ring means you have a notification. In my case it was from Amazon to tell me my order is in my mailbox. Don’t know why the so called experts couldn’t explain this to us!
MONICA says:
Pulsating g green here, but no incoming g call and not responding to command. Suggestions?
jessie goodall says:
Thank you! Solved my initial concern, have had it only a week, but love the ease of use.

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