How to Set Up and Get Started Using the Amazon Echo Show

The Echo Show is Amazon’s newest voice assistant gadget. This time around, Alexa comes with a screen so she can play videos, show you your events, and let you see search results rather than having them read aloud to you. It seems a little contradictory for a voice assistant at first, but the Echo Show has a few advantages over its tubular counterpart. Here’s how to set yours up.

To set up your Echo Show, plug in the power cable that came in the box and connect it to the Show. After a moment, it will boot up and ask you to connect to a Wi-Fi network. Pick your network from the list.

Use the split-screen keyboard to enter your Wi-Fi password. The keyboard is designed so you can grab the Show with both hands and type with your thumbs. While it can be a little awkward, depending on the size of your hands, it’s easier than hunting and pecking.

Next, you’ll have to enter your Amazon email address and password using the on screen keyboard.

If you have two-factor authentication enabled (and you should), you’ll need to enter the six digit code generated by your authenticator app.

Next, confirm your time zone.

You’ll have to agree to the Alexa terms and conditions. Tap Continue.

If there are any updates available (and there probably are), you’ll have to download and install them before you continue.

Once the updates are applied, your Echo Show will reboot. A short video will play explaining what you can do with your new device.

Once the video’s over, you’ll see the home screen. You can swipe down from the top of the screen to open a quick settings menu or to go home. The Echo Show can do a lot of what the Echo can, plus a few new tricks thanks to the screen. Here are some of the new commands you can try:

  • “Alexa, show me the trailer for Thor: Ragnarok”: The Echo Show can pull up any movie trailer and play it on the screen.
  • “Alexa, search YouTube for Danbull”: Search YouTube to find videos or channels you want to watch. The Show will display search results, with a number for each listing. If you want to play the second video, for example, follow it up with “Alexa, play number 2” and the Echo Show will play that video.
  • “Alexa, play music by Weird Al”: You can play music with any Echo, but the Show has a neat extra trick. When you play music on the Echo Show, it will display the lyrics for the songs as it plays.
  • “Alexa, show the front door camera”: If you have a supported security camera—including those from Nest, August, Arlo, and Ring—you can pull up a live video feed of your camera from the Echo Show. Open the Alexa app and add the Alexa Skill for your camera to enable this.
  • “Alexa, show me a paella recipe”: Using skills like AllRecipes, Alexa can pull up recipes for a dish and display it on the screen. You can read the ingredients and scroll through the instructions, rather than having each step read aloud to you.
  • Alexa, set a timer for 30 minutes”: When you use this basic command on the Echo Show, the device will display your timer on the screen so you can see how long you have left until the timer is finished. If you want to cancel your timer, you can simply swipe it away on the screen.

The Echo Show brings plenty of new commands to the table, while making older Alexa commands even more useful and convenient. If you want to find even more things to do with your Show, check the card that came with your device or say “Alexa, what can you do?” any time.

Eric Ravenscraft covers smarthome tech for How-To Geek. He's a problem solver who never learned to say no to a project. When he's not fixing things, he's cosplaying at cons, playing video games, and watching too many comic book movies. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram.