If you have more than a few smart home devices, you’ve most likely renamed them, moved some to a different room, or otherwise altered their original configuration. And, if you’re like me, you probably forgot to update Alexa. Unfortunately, trying to control those “ghost” devices with a voice command will serve as a stark reminder — try asking Alexa to turn on a smart light with a name it doesn’t know, and you’ll see what I mean.
“Sorry,” Alexa will say, “I didn’t find a device named [the new name you gave the device in the app].”
If you do this often enough, your smart home will become nearly unusable. Worse, untangling such a tangle may appear to be an impossible task, and you may soon find yourself ignoring Alexa in favour of using your phone’s numerous apps to control your smart home.
Fortunately, there is a simple and fast solution. You’ll have to delete your entire smart home and start over, which may seem dangerous at first. But this is a quick procedure that should only take a few minutes, and once it’s completed, you can resume ordering Alexa around.
This is how you do it.
You’ll have to use Alexa’s web interface
First, put down your phone and pick up your laptop — this has to be done on the web. Next, head over to Alexa’s web interface (yes, this is a thing), then follow these steps:
1. On the menu on the left, click Smart Home.
2. In the primary pane, click Devices.
3. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click the box labeled Remove All.
4. In the popup window, click Remove to confirm.
5. On the next page, click the box labeled Discover.
Now, rejoice. Alexa has pinged all the various services you’ve linked (Philips Hue, Smart Life, etc.) and updated them all with the current names of all your devices.
There is, unfortunately, one downside. Doing this will obliterate any groups and routines you’ve created. But chances are, if you’re having the kinds of problems that require a nuclear option such as this, they both needed to be revamped anyway.
I know mine did.