How to add skills to your Amazon Echo or Alexa device

Make the speaker your own with third-party apps

How to add new skills to Alexa

Your new Amazon Echo speaker and Alexa may be packed with potential, but you'll need to know how to add skills if you're to truly unlock it.

These skills – essentially apps made just for Alexa devices – allow you to customise your speaker and flesh it out with new abilities in music playback, smart home control, news reading and plenty more. Think of it as a way to make Alexa even smarter than it already is out of the box.

Download: The best Alexa skills for your Echo speaker

If you're just getting started, though, you might want some guidance on how to download skills to Alexa. Follow the steps below to find out.

How to add skills to Amazon Echo and Alexa

How to add skills to Alexa

There's actually three ways to add skills to your Alexa device, and it doesn't change if you have a speaker from the Echo family or one from a third-party maker, such as Sonos or Bose.

Solution #1: Ask Alexa

The easiest way to add skills to your Alexa profile is to simply say, "Alexa, enable [skill name]". And, if you later want to remove said skill, just say, "Alexa, disable [skill name]".

If you're not sure which skills to add, you can ask, "Alexa, recommend me some skills". You can also do this for different categories of skills, such as news, smart home and games, by saying something like, "Alexa, what are the best skills for kids?".

Solution #2: Use the Alexa app

The best way to go through the library of skills available to you and then add them manually is through the Alexa app on your iOS or Android device.

  • Open the Alexa app.
  • Tap the icon in the top-left corner.
  • Tap Skills and Games.
  • Find a skill you want to add to your collection.
  • On the skill's description page, you'll see the Enable to use tab – tap it.

Solution #3: Use the Amazon website

If you don't want to use the Alexa app to download skills, but you still want to trawl through the library available, another way to download Alexa skills is through the Amazon site itself.

  • Open Amazon in your web browser.
  • Go to Shop by Department > Echo & Alexa > Alexa Skills.
  • On the right-hand side, there's an option to Enable – tap it.

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