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Unlocking Alexa: Exploring the Four Key Wake Words

The advent of smart home technology brought along voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa. One key aspect of this AI-powered voice assistant is the “wake word.” If you’ve wondered, “What are the four wake words for Alexa?” you’re not alone. This guide will cover the four Alexa wake words and guide you on changing them to your preference.

Understanding Wake Words

Wake words are unique commands that make your voice assistant alert and ready to take instructions. Think of them as the key that unlocks Alexa’s capabilities.

The Four Wake Words for Alexa

Let’s delve into the four available wake words for Alexa and shed some light on their origin or inspiration:


The default wake word is “Alexa.” The ancient Library of Alexandria inspires it. Amazon wanted its voice assistant to be like this renowned library, a hub of vast knowledge and information. Learn more.


The second wake word is “Echo.” This is drawn from the Amazon Echo line of products, which were among the first to incorporate Alexa.


“Amazon” is another wake word option, representing the name of the company that developed Alexa.


Finally, “Computer” is a nod towards the classic Star Trek series, in which characters interact with their ship’s computer using this wake word.

Imagery Idea: A cartoon image of Alexa in ‘sleep’ and ‘awake’ modes, differentiated by the utterance of a wake word.

Ziggy (new)

Lastly, Alexa supports a new wake word! What does it refer to? Well, Ziggy refers to Ziggy Stardust.

How to Change Alexa’s Wake Words

Tired of the usual “Alexa” command? Here’s a step-by-step guide to changing Alexa’s wake word:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your smartphone.
  2. Click on the Devices icon at the bottom.
  3. Choose your device from the list shown.
  4. Tap on ‘Wake Word.’
  5. A list of the available wake words will be displayed. Select your preferred wake word.
  6. Finally, click on ‘Save’ to apply your changes.

You can also change the wake word using only voice commands.

Why Change Alexa’s Wake Word?

Though seemingly trivial, changing Alexa’s wake word can offer practical benefits. Different wake words can prevent unintended activations if you have more than one Alexa-enabled device in your home. If your name or a frequently used word in your home sounds like “Alexa,” a different wake word might save you from occasional confusion or unwanted responses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a Custom Wake Word for Alexa?

Currently, Amazon does not allow users to customize Alexa’s wake word. You are limited to the four provided options: “Alexa,” “Echo,” “Amazon,” “Computer,” and now “Ziggy.”

Do I Need to Change the Wake Word on Each Device?

Yes, the wake word changes are device-specific. If you have multiple devices, you must manually change the wake word on each one.

What Happens If I Forget the Wake Word I Set?

You can always check the wake word for any Alexa device through the Alexa app. Go to the device settings and find the set wake word there.


Voice assistants like Alexa have made our lives easier and more fun. The wake words “Alexa,” “Echo,” “Amazon,” and “Computer” are the keys to unlocking these exciting features. Changing these words can make your experience more personalized and avoid unintended activations. Remember, while the process is easy, the changes are device-specific, so you’ll need to adjust the wake word on each device separately.

Get more tips and tricks in the Alexa Archives.

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