Alexa Drop In: The Best Feature You’re Not Using [2021]

alexa drop in

Updated: July 29, 2021

You may not have heard of it, but you’ll love the convenience of it once you try it.  “Drop In” is one of Alexa’s more underrated features.

And that’s why we created this guide.  To help Alexa users understand:

  • The Basics: What is “Drop In” and which devices work with it?
  • Set-Up:  How do I set this up on my Echo device and Alexa app?
  • Voice Commands:  What voice commands can I use with “Alexa Drop In”?

Let’s dive in.

The Basics

What Is "Drop In"?

Drop In is a feature that lets you start a real-time conversation with another supported Alexa device.  In other words:

"Drop In" is a two-way intercom for Amazon Echo devices.

The most common way to use Drop In is between two devices with your home.  However, you also have the option of allowing individual Alexa contacts to Drop In on you (more on that below).

Which Alexa Devices Work With Drop In?

Two devices support Drop In:

1.  Amazon Echo smart speakers

All generations of the Amazon Echo Dot, Echo, or Echo Show work with Drop In.

If you have an Echo Show, you also have the option of allowing the “dropper in” to see you by video.

2.  Smartphones (and the Alexa app)

The second device you can use with Drop In is your smartphone, along with the Alexa app for iOS or Android.

However, the app’s drop-in functionality is limited: you can start a Drop In with others, but others cannot Drop In on you.

For now, that’s it for Drop In-compatible devices.  All other Alexa-enabled devices, even those with Alexa built-in (e.g., third-party headphones or smart TVs), do not support Drop In.

Check Out Our Lists Of Best-Selling

Alexa-Compatible Smart Home Devices

Who Can I Drop In On?

You can use Alexa Drop In in three distinct ways, depending on your drop in “destination”: 

1. My favorite and the most common way is to Drop In on an Echo device within your household.

2. The second is to Drop In on an Alexa group within your household. With this option, you're able to Drop In on multiple Echo devices at the same time, as long as they are within a group in the Alexa app. [*]

3. Finally, you can Drop In on an Alexa contacts' Echo device (if they have given you permission within their Echo device's settings).

[*] For details on how to create a smart home group in the Alexa app, see this guide from Amazon’s Help section.

Ways To Drop In With Alexa
You can Drop In on three destinations
from your Echo device or Alexa app

How To Set Up Drop In

In this section, we’ll go through:

1.  How to set up Drop In on your Echo speakers
2.  How to enable an Alexa contact to Drop In on you

1. Set Up Drop In For Your Household

To set up Drop In on a household Echo Dot, Echo, or Echo Show, follow the steps below:
  1. Open the Alexa app on your smartphone
  2. Select “Devices,” then “Echo & Alexa”
  3. Select your device (to enter its settings)
  4. Select “Communications”
  5. Finally, select “Drop In”

At this point, you can choose who can Drop In on that Echo device:

  • Off = nobody can Drop In
  • My Household = only devices registered to your Amazon account can Drop In
  • On = your devices + permitted contacts can Drop In
Alexa Drop In Settings

2. Set Up Drop In For Your Contacts

To allow a contact to Drop In on devices you’ve set to “On,” per part A above, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Alexa app
  2. Select the “Communicate” tab
  3. Select the person-shaped icon in the top right to access your Alexa contacts
  4. Select your chosen contact
  5. In the “Permissions” section, tap the “Allow Drop In” toggle
Screenshot showing how to give Alexa Drop In permission to a contact

Note: Allowing this can be a privacy risk since Drop-Ins begin without acknowledgment by the receiving party. (Like a phone call that begins automatically after a few rings.)

So if you happen not to hear the sounds or see the lights that signal the start of a Drop In, your contact could listen in on you without your knowledge.

Voice Commands

Alexa Commands For "Drop In"

Below several voice commands you can use with Drop In:

Start / Stop A Drop In

  • Alexa, Drop In on [Echo device name]
  • Alexa, Drop In on [group name]
  • Alexa, Drop In on [contact name]
  • Alexa, Drop In everywhere
  • Alexa, Drop In on Home
  • Alexa, stop Drop In

Drop In Settings

  • Alexa, turn on “do not disturb”
  • Alexa, turn off “do not disturb”

Note: Turning on “do not disturb” will prevent Drop Ins to that Echo device, regardless of its settings. 

That's all she wrote...


We hope you enjoyed this guide to communicating with Drop In!

If you’re loving your Alexa superpowers and looking for more ways to exercise them, be sure to check out this guide to Can Alexa Call 911? for a look at how you can use Alexa to keep you and your loved ones safe in an emergency.

Finally, if you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Otherwise, enjoy dropping in on your family, and hopefully, dropping by our site again!

Warm Regards,
The Commands Guru

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