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How to Set Routines on Alexa

Did you know you can set off a series of tasks in your smart home with an Alexa routine? An Alexa routine is a series of operations condensed into a single command or set on a timed schedule. For example, if you wake up in the morning and say, “Alexa, start my day,” she can switch on a smart plug to start the coffee machine and start playing your workout music. Or you can simply set an Alexa routine to turn on your lights every day when you come home. Here’s how to set up Alexa routines: 

How to Set Routines on Alexa

  1. Launch the Alexa app on your mobile device. If you don’t have the app yet, you can download it from the App Store or the Google Play Store.
  2. Tap the menu icon. This is the hamburger icon that looks like three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner of your app screen.
  3. Then, select Routines.
  4. Next, tap the plus sign icon by the upper right corner. 
  5. Select the “When This Happens” option.
  6. Choose how to trigger the routine.

    You can set your routine to start when you:

    • Say a phrase to Alexa
    • At a scheduled time
    • When another connected device is used
    • When you leave or arrive at a certain location
    • When you press an Echo button
    • Or you can set an alarm
  7. After you finish setting up the routine trigger, select Add Action. This is where you set the actions that the trigger will start.

    Note: You can add as many actions to a routine as you want. You can also rearrange their order by holding down the dots next to each command and dragging them up or down.

  8. After setting up the action, tap Save. 

In the example below, we have set an Alexa routine to trigger whenever a smartphone leaves a certain location.

smart plug set up

Then we set a smart plug to turn off when the routine starts.

how to add an action

So, whenever this phone with the Alexa app leaves the office, the smart plug will turn off.

Scheduled routine

Note: You can only add a smart device to your routine if your device is already recognized by Alexa. If you want to know how to connect a smart plug to your Alexa, check out our previous guide by clicking the link.

Updated on January 29, 2020

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