The Amazon Echo series of devices have sold in their millions across the world. Millions of people will be telling Alexa to turn on the lights, asking about the weather in their area or to play a song. For the most part, the Echo is popular because it is easy to live with and to manage. But sometimes a little manual intervention is required which is why I have put this tutorial on how to update firmware on the Amazon Echo Dot together.
Most of the time, your Amazon Echo Dot will update itself in the middle of the night. As long as it is powered on and has an internet connection, it will perform whatever updates it needs out of hours so as to not disturb you or interrupt your enjoyment of the device. Sometimes though, it requires a manual firmware update.
This tutorial was actually prompted by a buddy of mine. He has a couple of Echo Dots and wanted to set up Multiroom Music. His newer Dot was fine but his older one said it needed a firmware update. As he didn’t want to wait until it performed the update itself, he did it himself with me to help.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, here is how to update the firmware on the Amazon Echo Dot.
Manual firmware update for Echo Dot
As Alexa checks every night for an update, it is rare indeed that you would ever need to do this. However, if you’re trying to set something up, you might. First you might want to check whether you’re running the latest software or not.
- Open the Alexa app on your phone.
- Select Settings and the Echo Dot.
- Select About and check the Software Version.
The latest version will always be listed on this page on the Amazon website.  Check your Software Version against this list to see if you are indeed out of date or not. Currently, the Echo Dot 2nd Gen is running 613507720 while the 1st Gen is running 613505820. If you have a Dot Kids, it is running 613507720, (July 2018).
If the version listed in Software Version is different from that on the Amazon website, you need an update. This should happen that evening but if you’re in a hurry you can ‘encourage’ it to update manually.
There are two ways I know of to perform a manual firmware update. The easiest is to mute Alexa so the ring goes red. Then leave it an hour. As long as it is connected to the internet, Alexa should say that an update is needed and then perform that update. Once complete, the Echo Dot should reboot and begin working normally.
The second way is a little more complicated but also seems to work.
- Deregister your Echo Dot from the Alexa App.
- Power off your Echo Dot and leave for 1 minute.
- Turn back on but do nothing for an hour. You should see the blue ring turn green and spin. This is to tell you the Dot is updating.
- Let the Dot update and reboot.
- Perform initial setup with the Alexa app and the Echo Dot.
If this worked as it should, your Dot should have updated itself with the latest firmware. Once you had re-registered it, your old settings should still be there and your Dot should be ready to use.
Problems with firmware updates on the Echo Dot
A few owners have reported problems with their Echo Dot, mainly that it won’t update itself even though it shows an older firmware version with a newer one available. There is a way around that, to manually set your network profile in the Alexa app. This has fixed it for a couple of people I had spoken to about updating the Echo range and it worked for them. Maybe it could work for you too.
You will need to know your router’s IP address, the subnet mask and DNS servers your router uses. You can log into your router’s config screen for that or get it from your computer. I find it easier to get it from the router as you will need to identify a free IP address to provide the Echo. If you know the range, you can find a free IP, otherwise use the router to identify one.
- In Windows, open a CMD window and type ‘ip config /all’ and hit Enter.
- In Mac OS, open Terminal and type ‘ifconfig;’ and hit Enter.
Both methods will show your PC IP address, router address and subnet mask, public IP address and DNS details.
- Deregister your Echo Dot.
- Select the WiFi network in the Alexa app and log it in.
- Select Advanced Settings in the Alexa app.
- Manually enter an available IP address, your router IP and subnet mask and the two DNS server addresses.
- Select Connect to join the network.
- Complete setup in the normal way.
In the majority of cases, the Echo Dot will look after itself. If you do have to manually update the firmware for it, at least you now know how!