You may want to automate your home using Amazon Echo Show or Dot speakers. As a part of automation, you might have tried to facilitate its ultrasonic motion detection sensor to turn on/off lights based on motion detection.

But it did not work well, and you finally figured out motion detection not working on your Alexa-powered Echo speaker. Therefore, you finally came here for answers. Right?

This guide will explain how to fix motion detection problems on your Amazon Dot/Echo device. Keep reading!

Table of Contents

Why motion detection is not working on your Amazon Echo device

Starting 4th gen, Amazon Echo devices have a built-in ultrasonic motion detector. If you are using an older version of the device, then you won’t be able to use the motion detection feature. Therefore first make sure you are using the 4th gen or newer version of the Amazon Echo device.


There are a couple of reasons why your Echo Show/Dot device is not detecting any motion within its range. In most cases, these are:

  • Have not set up the occupancy routine correctly
  • Temporary glitches
  • The device is placed in a noisy area
  • Other configuration problems

To fix the problem, we have to get rid of each of the reasons above. I will try to give as many solutions as you so you can fix this on your own. Let’s get started

How to Fix the motion detection not working problem on your Echo device

First, you should make sure the Echo device you are using is working properly. And then we can move to the solutions and try to fix the issue. If the hardware is not working then it is almost impossible to make the motion detection work.

We will start by restarting your Echo device.

Fix 01 – Restart the Echo device

plug off

You can fix a lot of problems on your Echo device by giving it a fresh reboot. It is because by restarting the device, all the process gets restarted along with it. If there were temporary glitches, this can help to get rid of them completely.

To restart Amazon Echo, just plug off the device from the outlet and plug it back again.

Fix 02 – Make sure the Echo device is not muted


If you have accidentally muted your Echo device, then you won’t get notified or the motion detection sensor will get turned off automatically.

If you do not know how to unmute your Amazon Echo speaker, all you have to do is just press the mute button on your Echo speaker.

The mute button should be on top of the speaker. Since its placement varies from the device, we cannot tell you an exact place to look for.

Once you unmute, you will receive feedback from the device. Then you can check whether the motion detection is working properly.

Fix 03 – Place the device where the noise level is low

motion detection and noise

As you may know now, the Echo speaker detects motion using an ultrasonic sensor. It works by emitting sound waves continuously.

It is mentioned on the official website that if the sensor gets a lot of noise (sounds) it cannot detect a motion accurately. Therefore, if you want to get better results from the motion detection feature, you should place it anywhere that has very little noise.

Fix 04 – Make sure the occupancy routine is enabled and configured properly

The occupancy routine is responsible for initiating actions when detecting a motion. If the routine is disabled or not configured correctly, then you will not be able to get the most from the motion detection feature on your Amazon Echo device.

If you do not know whether you have set it up correctly, follow the given instructions below.

  1. Open Alexa App
  2. Tap on the menu and select Routines
  3. Find occupancy routine

If you do not see the occupancy routine, that means it either has not yet been turned on or it is turned off accidentally.

To activate it and make it work, do these

  1. Tap on the + icon and select tap on “When this happens”
  2. Tap on Smarthome
  3. Select the device which you want to use for the occupancy routine
  4. Specify how the Echo device should behave when a motion is detected.

Once you have set up the occupancy routine correctly, the device will start detecting motions and execute a routine as you expect.

Fix 05 – Make sure motion detection is turned on

motion detection is turned on

Motion detection feature can be disabled through the device settings which you use. Therefore you should make sure that it is turned on so the occupancy routine can work without any problems.

Here is how you can see if the motion detection is turned on in your Amazon Echo device.

  1. Open the Alexa app
  2. Go to devices
  3. Select the device which has the motion detection feature and you want to use
  4. Go to its settings and see if the motion detection is turned off
  5. If it is turned off, then turn it on and restart the Echo device.

Once you restart the Echo device, you can check whether the motion detection works fine.

Motion detection will not work for minor motions

major motion vs minor motion

There are 2 types of motions according to Amazon;

  1. Major motions
  2. Minor motions

Major motions are simply motions that have a noticeable change in the environment happens because of user interaction, such as walking, dancing, etc.

Minor motions on the other hand are motions that do not change the environment very much. Such as typing, reading a book, blink of an eye, etc.

Amazon Echo devices will not consider minor motions as a motion that triggers the occupancy routine therefore if you expect Alexa to do a minor motion. It may not work.

Alternatively, you can use a third-party motion detection sensor to get the best results for such scenarios.


Hope you have been able to fix the motion-detecting problem on your Amazon Echo device by reading this guide.

If the given solutions did not work for you. You can take your Echo Show or Echo dot device to a repair center. So the experts will take care of the problem for you.

If you have any questions regarding this guide, feel free to raise your hand in the comment section. I will be there to help you.

Have a nice day!