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Does Alexa Need to Be Plugged in All the Time? And Why?

Alexa is a great assistant at any time. Say “Alexa”, and the command you want, and it’ll get your task done in a moment. There are a lot of awesome things it can offer day and night. But to get the best experience, does Alexa need to be plugged in all the time?

In fact, to function, The echo must be constantly connected to a power source. So, it should be plugged in throughout the day to get the best out of it.

Still, plugging it in doesn’t mean it must always be positioned beside the electricity outlet and mustn’t be moved anywhere. Surprisingly, your echo can be portable in some way.

FactorsPlugged InUnplugged
FunctionalityRuns all day long, provides instant replies to voice commands, and automates home devicesLimited functionality (only works as a Bluetooth speaker and controls some Bluetooth devices)
PortabilityNot portable unless positioned next to a power outletCan be portable with battery bases for specific Echo devices
Internet ConnectionRequires a stable internet connection to access most featuresSome features are accessible without an internet connection
Data and SettingsAll data and settings are stored on your Amazon account and not affected by unpluggingSame as Plugged In
Sleep ModeAutomatically switches to sleep mode when not in useN/A
Night-time UsageCan be used for alarms, relaxing music, and more (use Do Not Disturb mode to prevent interruptions)Miss out on helpful features while sleeping

Why Does Alexa Need to Be Plugged in All the Time?

Alexa-enabled devices are designed to run all day long. To get an instant reply to your voice command, Alexa must be running all the time you’re at home.

Likewise, for it to automatically turn the light off at 1 am when you’re asleep as you pre-set it, Alexa must be running at that time. The same applies to many features; they entail the echo to be active at different times. Thus, Alexa should be plugged in all the time.

Luckily, this doesn’t mean you must position the echo right next to the power outlet, without moving it, to keep running. Although echo devices don’t have built-in batteries, there is a simple way to turn them into portable devices.

Recently, manufacturers have produced battery bases compatible with the most recent echo devices. You can purchase a battery base and connect it to the device as an alternative power source for the electrical outlet.

That way, it can work up to 9 hours anywhere without the need to be plugged into a household power outlet.


Which Echo Devices Can Run Without Being Plugged In?

At first, battery bases were available only for a couple of echo dot devices. However, various battery bases have been produced to support more devices recently.

All these battery bases are available on Amazon for prices ranging from $25 to $55.

Here is the list of echo versions that have a battery base available:

  • Echo dot 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations
  • Echo Plus 2nd generation 
  • Echo Show 5 and 8 1st and 2nd generations 
  • Echo 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations 

Can Alexa Work Without Being Connected to the Internet?

Like any online app, the internet is necessary for Alexa to perform most of its functions. Voice commands, music streaming, and other features in the echo are online processes. They require a direct connection to Amazon servers. So, when offline, these primary features aren’t accessible.

Given that, you should consider when moving Alexa that it must be placed within your Wi-Fi coverage. Otherwise, portability with no internet is useless.

Nevertheless, you can still get a few limited benefits out of the echo when not connected to the internet. You can use it as a Bluetooth speaker. Also, it can control some Bluetooth-connected home devices.

What Happens When You Unplug Alexa?

Read more: why does Alexa turn off by itself?

When you unplug Alexa, it turns off, but this doesn’t negatively affect either data or settings anyway. This is because all the echo settings and data are synced in real-time and stored online on your Amazon account, not on the device itself.

So, when you unplug the echo, then plug it in again and connect it to the same Wi-Fi, Alexa will work smoothly with no need for setups. You’ll find everything the same.

However, if you connect the echo to a new Wi-Fi, things go a little differently. All the data and settings are still stored. Yet, you must go through a quick setup process to successfully connect the Alexa system to the new Wi-Fi.

What Is the Right Way to Unplug Alexa?

Unlike most smart devices, Alexa has no shutdown button to press before unplugging it. So, you definitely do it right. To unplug the echo, remove the plug from the power outlet or from the echo itself.

Should You Unplug Alexa While Sleeping?

Read more: Can you connect Chromecast to Alexa

There is no point in doing that. Echo devices switch automatically to sleep mode when not used for a while.

In fact, if unplugged at night, you’ll miss some helpful features you need while sleeping. For instance: alarms or relaxing music, if you like it.

Additionally, to ensure Alexa won’t interrupt your sleep for any reason, you can set it to don’t disturb mode before going to sleep.

The Bottom Line

Does Alexa need to be plugged in all the time? Alexa is designed to be constantly plugged in. Also, it has a minimal effect on your electricity bill. Yet, the actual answer depends on how you use the echo in the first place.

If you use it to automate your home devices or many of your daily tasks, it must be plugged in day and night.

On the other hand, if you use it occasionally for a few functions at certain times, you may unplug it the rest of the time.