How To Fix Alexa Follow Up Mode Greyed Out – An Actionable Guide

How To Fix Alexa Follow Up Mode Greyed Out

Alexa’s follow-up feature keeps the virtual assistant active and on standby for follow-up commands or questions.

That means you don’t have to say “Alexa” (or whatever your wake word is) over and over again every time you want to ask back-to-back questions or give consecutive commands.

Unfortunately, the follow-up mode can grey out sometimes, leaving you confused as to what it means and how to fix it.

Here are 5 simple steps to fix the issue of Alexa follow-up mode greyed out:

  1. Enable the follow-up mode on the Alexa app.
  2. Restart your phone and Echo device.
  3. Unlink the Virtual Assistant from your Bluetooth speaker.
  4. Make sure the environment is quiet enough for Alexa.
  5. Stop any audio playing on your Alexa-enabled device.

These steps are pretty straightforward, and you can fix the error in no time, even if it’s your first time operating an Amazon Alexa-enabled device.

Keep reading to learn how to correct this problem. 

1. Enable the Follow-Up Mode on the Alexa App 

If the follow-up mode is greyed-out, you or someone else may have mistakenly disabled it from the Alexa app.

After all, considering the app’s multitude of features, it’s inevitable to hit the wrong button every once in a while.

Thankfully, it’s easy to enable the follow-up mode using the steps below. 

  1. Open the Alexa app on your smartphone and log into the Amazon account from where you set up your Alexa-enabled device.
  2. Locate the 3-lined button at the top-left corner of the app screen and tap it.
  3. Tap the settings option and select your Echo device. 
  4. Turn on the “Follow-Up Mode” option. It’s a toggle button, so tapping it more than once will switch between enabled (blue) and disabled (grey).

Note that if you have multiple Echo devices, you’ll have to turn on the follow-up mode for each of your devices at step 3 above.

Usually, enabling the follow-up mode from the Alexa app on your phone should fix the problem.

But if the problem persists, use any of the other methods below. 

2. Restart Your Phone and Echo Device

When it comes to electronic devices in general, restarting usually solves the problem.

Alexa is no different: The solution to fixing the greyed-out follow-up mode problem may be to restart all the devices connected to the virtual assistant. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Log out of your Amazon Alexa account.
  2. Turn off your phone and the Echo device.
  3. Turn both devices back on.
  4. Start the Alexa app, enter your login details, and enable the Follow-Up mode.

If the Echo device is unresponsive, unplug it before turning it off. 

If these steps don’t fix the issue, you may have to reset your Echo device.

The steps to reset your Echo device will depend on its generation.

To reset a second-generation Echo Dot:

  1. Press the volume down and microphone off buttons simultaneously.
  2. Hold the buttons down for about 20 seconds.
  3. The device will reset to the factory setting when the light ring turns orange.

To reset a third-generation Echo:

  1. Press the action button. 
  2. Hold it down for about 25 seconds.
  3. The light ring will turn orange, blink a few times, and turn off.
  4. The light ring will automatically turn back on, but it’ll be blue this time.
  5. The device will reset to the factory setting when the ring light turns orange again.

Note that resetting your Echo device will erase your device settings and restore the original factory setting.

That means you’ll have to set up the device anew and follow the steps to enable the follow-up mode.

3. Unlink the Virtual Assistant From Your Bluetooth Speaker

It’s common to encounter issues with the follow-up mode when you connect Alexa to a Bluetooth speaker.

The speaker may not be compatible with Alexa, or there is a conflict in the settings.

The problem could also be a Wi-Fi or internet connectivity issue.

Remember that a Bluetooth speaker differs from a smart speaker, such as the Amazon Echo.

The former is a portable, battery-powered wireless speaker, while the latter works with Wi-Fi and usually features a power cord.

Fortunately, correcting a Bluetooth speaker problem is easy.

Here’s how to correct the Alexa follow-up mode issue, particularly with a Bluetooth speaker:

  1. Disconnect Alexa from your Bluetooth speaker.
  2. Restart your phone.
  3. Try to use the follow-up mode without the Bluetooth speaker.

4. Make Sure the Environment Is Quiet Enough for Alexa

Alexa might be a powerful AI with the ability to learn from humans, note and correct errors, and do many useful things to ease our daily lives.

However, the virtual assistant has its limitations.

For example, Alexa can’t respond to a follow-up command or question if there’s too much background noise in the environment.

In these cases, Alexa isn’t sure you are speaking to her, so the follow-up mode won’t be active.  

To fix this:

  1. Reduce any noise in the environment.
  2. Alternatively, move the device to a quieter room or location.
  3. Speak loudly and make your speech as clear as possible.

5. Stop Any Audio Playing on Your Alexa-Enabled Device

This last fix doesn’t only apply when the follow-up mode greys out.

It also corrects the common mistake many first-time users make with their Alexa-enabled devices.

As I said, the follow-up mode allows Alexa to respond to back-to-back commands and questions without repeating the wake word.

But the virtual assistant will remain inactive under certain conditions.

A prime example is when your Echo device is playing music or any other type of audio.

Alexa won’t respond to continuous commands because the follow-up mode will be inactive.

Your best bet, in this case, is to stop the audio or music, and then activate Alexa using the wake phrase before giving a series of commands or asking multiple questions.

Another situation where the follow-up mode won’t stay active is when you end the conversation (even if you do it unintentionally).

For example, saying “Go to sleep,” “Stop,” “Thank you,” or “Cancel” will make Alexa end the conversation. That means you’ll have to wake the virtual assistant up again to activate the follow-up mode.

How To Fix Alexa Follow Up Mode Greyed Out: Key Takeaways

There you have it – five easy ways to fix the Alexa follow-up mode greyed out the issue. 

In many cases, all you have to do is restart all connected devices to correct the problem.

In other, you may have to re-enable the follow-up mode from the Alexa app on your phone. 

If all else fails, consider restoring the factory setting on your Echo device.

Nelson Barbosa

I'm an engineer in love with smart home tech. On my website, I share useful tips and tricks to help my readers get the most of their devices and make their lives simpler by adding just a drop of technology in everyday routines!

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