How do I enable an Alexa skill?

Ask Alexa or find your favourite skill via the app.

If you’re purchased an Amazon smart speaker or smart display, you’ll know there’s a host of features available to you, including the firm’s Alexa voice assistant. You can add ‘skills’ to the assistant, and as we reveal below it’s easy to do.

If you’re wondering what’s available, we’ve created a rundown of the best Alexa skills we’ve tested, which will give you a great start point for your skills adventure.

Amazon Echo 2qb Speaker shot in the test centre sound roomCredit: Saga Exceptional

Enable Alexa skills on your Echo device

To use a skill, you first need to enable it. If you know what the skill is you’d like to use, just say, “Alexa, enable [skill name].”

If you’re unsure about what kind of skill you’d like, you can browse and enable skills via the Alexa app. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Alexa app: Launch the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet. Make sure you are signed in with the same Amazon account that is linked to your Alexa device.
  1. Navigate to Skills & Games: Tap on the More button at the bottom right corner of the screen. Then, select Skills & Games from the menu that appears.
  1. Search for the skill: In the Skills & Games section, you can browse through featured skills or use the search bar to find a specific skill. Enter the name or keyword related to the skill you want to enable.
  1. Select the skill: Once you find the desired skill in the search results, tap on it to view more details.
  1. Enable the skill: On the skills page, you’ll see a Launch button. Tap on it to enable the skill for your Alexa device.
  1. Follow any additional setup instructions: Depending on the skill, you might need to go through some additional setup steps. Some skills may require you to link or sign in with an external account, such as a music streaming service or a smart home device. Other information could include granting permissions or providing device-specific information.
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NOTE: Some skills may require you to activate or subscribe to a premium or paid version for full access to all features. Additionally, certain skills might be region-specific and may not be available in all countries, so  check that out before you enable it on your smart speaker or display.

Have an Echo Show smart display?

If you have an Echo Show, you can also enable skills directly from the device by using the Alexa voice commands or navigating through the device’s on-screen interface.

Once the skill is enabled, you can start using it with your Alexa device. Simply say the wake word (“Alexa” by default) followed by a command or question related to the skill.

For example, if you enabled a weather skill, you could say “Alexa, ask [skill name] for the weather forecast.” 

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Jayne Cherrington-Cook

Written by Jayne Cherrington-Cook she/her

Updated:

Jayne is the Senior Editor at Saga Exceptional. She cut her online journalism teeth 24 years ago in an era when a dialling tone and slow page load were standard. During this time, she’s written about a variety of subjects and is just at home road-testing TVs as she is interviewing TV stars. A diverse career has seen Jayne launch websites for popular magazines, collaborate with top brands, write regularly for major publications including Woman&Home, Yahoo! and The Daily Telegraph, create a podcast, and also write a tech column for Women’s Own.

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