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Home » Mastering Alexa Custom Commands: Your Comprehensive Guide

Mastering Alexa Custom Commands: Your Comprehensive Guide

The world of voice assistants can be much more personalized than you might think. Take Alexa, for instance. The popular Amazon voice assistant isn’t just designed to answer your questions, play music, or set reminders. It can also be programmed to respond to unique phrases or “custom commands,” giving a much more individualized experience. If you’ve ever wondered, “Can I add custom commands to Alexa?” – the answer is a resounding yes. This guide will take you through what Alexa custom commands are and how you can create your own, and we’ll even provide a couple of practical examples.

What are Alexa Custom Commands?

Alexa custom commands are specialized instructions you program into your Amazon Alexa device. Amazon doesn’t pre-set these commands. Instead, you create them yourself to add a layer of personalization to your Alexa experience. Whether you want Alexa to provide a specific response to a particular phrase or carry out a sequence of actions in response to a custom command, the possibilities are almost endless.

How to Create Custom Commands for Alexa: A Detailed Guide

Creating custom commands for your Alexa device may seem complex, but it’s a straightforward process thanks to the Routines feature within the Alexa app. The term “routine” might seem formal, but it’s just a series of commands Alexa performs in response to a trigger word or phrase. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you customize your Alexa experience:

Step 1: Access the Alexa App

Launch the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet. You’ll need to be signed into the account associated with your Alexa device. The home screen gives you a snapshot of your recent Alexa interactions.

Step 2: Navigate to ‘Routines’

Tap on the ‘More’ menu at your screen’s bottom right. This will open a list of additional options. Scroll down and select ‘Routines.’ Now the magic of personalization begins.

Step 3: Create a New Routine

In the Routines section, you’ll see any existing routines you have already set up. Tap the ‘+’ symbol at the top right corner to create a new routine.

Step 4: Define the Routine Trigger

The first section of the new routine is titled ‘When this happens.’ Select ‘Voice’ here and enter the phrase you want to act as your custom command. This phrase will be the trigger for the routine you are creating. Try to make it something easy to remember but also unique enough that it won’t be triggered accidentally.

Step 5: Add Actions to Your Routine

Next, under ‘Add action,’ you can choose what you want Alexa to do when the custom command is spoken. Many actions exist, including music playback, smart home controls, sending notifications, and even making Alexa say a custom phrase. You can also add multiple actions and arrange them in the order you want them carried out. Learn more here.

Step 6: Review and Save Your Routine

After setting your desired actions, you can review the details of your routine. If everything looks good, tap ‘Save.’ Alexa will then take a few moments to process the new routine. Once done, your custom command will be active.

Step 7: Test Your New Custom Command

With the routine now saved, it’s time to try it. Speak your custom command to Alexa as you enter it in the app. If everything is set up correctly, Alexa will perform the actions in your defined order.

With these steps, you’ve now personalized Alexa to serve you better. Remember, you can create as many custom commands as you need, tailoring each to perform different actions based on your everyday needs.

Examples of Alexa Custom Commands

Once you understand the basics of creating Alexa custom commands, it’s time to get creative and practical. To help spark your imagination, let’s go through a couple of in-depth examples you can use directly or modify to suit your needs.

Example 1: Custom Morning Routine

Start your day quickly by setting up a morning routine command. Let’s say you choose the phrase, “Alexa, start my day.” This custom command could trigger the following sequence of actions:

  1. Alexa provides a weather update so you know what to expect before you step outside.
  2. Alexa reads out your daily calendar events, keeping you informed of your schedule without checking your calendar manually.
  3. Finally, Alexa plays your favorite morning playlist on Spotify, Amazon Music, or any other streaming service you’ve connected. This can help you wake up and get motivated for the day ahead.

Remember, the actions should be set in the exact order you want them to occur. You can set the order while creating the routine in the Alexa app.

Example 2: Custom Bedtime Phrase

Bedtime can be made slightly smoother with a custom command. Suppose you create a routine for “Alexa, goodnight.” This phrase could then initiate the following actions:

  1. Alexa turns off all smart lights in your house. This is particularly useful if you have a smart home setup. No more wandering around the house, turning off lights!
  2. Alexa sets an alarm for your usual wake-up time. This can be particularly helpful if you have a fixed schedule and want to avoid the nightly routine of setting the alarm manually.
  3. Alexa plays soothing ambient sounds, a sleep story, or your preferred sleep meditation. These sounds can help you relax and drift off to sleep. Learn more about setting up the best bedtime routine.

These examples are just the start of what you can do with Alexa custom commands. Consider the daily tasks and how a custom command could make those tasks more convenient or enjoyable. From reminders to feed your pet to a command for your favorite workout music, the options are endless with Alexa’s custom commands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add custom commands to Alexa?

You can add custom commands to Alexa using the “Routines” feature within the Alexa app.

How do I make Alexa say a custom phrase?

To make Alexa say a custom phrase, create a new routine. Under “Add action,” choose “Customized,” then type in the phrase you want Alexa to say.

How do I add more commands to Alexa?

You can add more commands to Alexa by creating new routines. A unique voice command can trigger each routine and include multiple actions that Alexa will perform.


Creating Alexa custom commands adds a level of personalization to your smart home experience that’s fun and immensely useful. By utilizing Alexa’s “Routines” feature, you can make the voice assistant work in the way that suits you best. So, go ahead and experiment with your custom commands. Remember, the only limit is your imagination!

For more helpful guides, tips, and tricks, check out the Alexa Archives.

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