Playing YouTube videos on your Alexa speaker is possible, but isn’t as easy as many users expect. That isn’t too surprising because Google and Amazon are rivals, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
Playing YouTube videos is much easier if you have an Alexa device with a screen, such as an Echo Show. But even if you only have an Echo or Echo Dot, you can still play videos through it.
Play YouTube Videos on Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Studio
As mentioned, you can play YouTube videos through any standard Alexa speaker. You obviously won’t be able to watch the footage, but you can listen to the audio. That makes it great for playing YouTube music, or even one of those 10-hour sleep sounds videos.
Note: To play YouTube videos through an Echo device with no screen, such as the Echo Dot, you will also need a Bluetooth-enabled device like a phone, tablet, or laptop.
- The first thing to do is pair your Alexa speaker to your Bluetooth-enabled device. On your phone, tablet, or laptop, enable Bluetooth. If your device automatically pairs with another Bluetooth device (earbuds, etc,) disconnect it before continuing.
- Now use the voice command “Alexa, pair Bluetooth” to put the speaker into pairing mode. Alexa should give you some feedback, telling you it is searching.
- Your Echo speaker should appear in the list of Available devices in the Bluetooth settings on your phone/tablet. Tap the name of the speaker to pair the devices. Alexa should tell you that the devices are connected.
- Open the YouTube app on your phone/tablet or the YouTube website on your laptop, choose a video to play, and hit the play button. The audio of the video should now play through your Alexa speaker.
Tip: After you have paired your Echo speaker and Bluetooth device once, you won’t need to do it again. Instead, you can say “Alexa, connect Phone (or tablet, or computer)” to reconnect the Bluetooth.
Problems With Playing YouTube on Alexa Speakers
As a workaround for playing YouTube music on your Echo speaker, the above method works fine. But there are some limitations.
You are making your Alexa speaker a standard Bluetooth speaker. That is, not a smart speaker. It means that many of the normal Alexa functions are temporarily disabled. You can still use voice commands to play, stop, pause, etc., but you can’t do things like ask Alexa questions.
The second problem is the old one with playing YouTube on your phone, laptop, or tablet. If the screen of your Bluetooth-enabled device turns off, YouTube will stop playing on your Alexa speaker. The only way around this is to sign up for a YouTube Premium account.
Playing YouTube Videos on an Echo Show
If you have an Alexa device with a screen, such as the Echo Show 10, you can use the method above to play YouTube videos through the speaker. But you can also use a different method, a method that allows you to see the video along with the audio.
- To watch YouTube Videos on your Echo Show, you will need to use the built-in Amazon Silk browser. Silk is a Chromium-based browser, also available on Fire Tablets and Fire TVs.
- To open the browser, say: “Alexa, open Silk.” YouTube should be automatically bookmarked on the Silk homepage. If not, use the touchscreen controls to navigate to YouTube.
- You can then choose the video you want to watch or listen to and use the onscreen controls to play, pause, stop, or skip the video. You can’t use voice commands to navigate in the Silk browser.
Troubleshoot Playing YouTube Videos on Alexa Speakers
– Pairing a Bluetooth-enabled device with your Echo speaker using the “Pair Bluetooth” command can sometimes be hit and miss. Having the Bluetooth device list open on your phone screen as you speak the command can sometimes help Alexa find your phone more easily.
– If Bluetooth is still giving you problems, check that the Echo software is up to date. To do that, say: “Alexa, check for updates.” Install any available updates, and then try the Bluetooth connection again.
– Bluetooth connection problems can also sometimes be fixed by unpairing and then pairing again. You can unpair a device in the Bluetooth device list on your phone, tablet, or laptop. You can also do it through the Alexa app > Devices > [Device Name] > Bluetooth Connections. Just select the device and tap the Forget Device option.
– If you are having problems playing YouTube videos in the Silk browser on your Echo Show, check that the smart display is updated and using the latest version of the browser.
Playing YouTube on Any Echo Device
Although there are limitations to playing YouTube videos on some Alexa speakers, it is possible even if you only have an Echo Dot. There is an alternative method that doesn’t require a connected Bluetooth device but involves creating your own Alexa skill and explaining how to do it would be a completely separate guide.