Alexa App Thinks I’m Driving: How To Get Rid Of Auto Mode

Isn’t it frustrating when Alexa thinks you’re driving even though you’re sitting at home? It’s happened to me, and after some trial and error, I’ve learned how to get rid of auto mode. 

Alexa’s Auto Mode is designed to make driving easier, but can sometimes be activated accidentally. In this guide, I’ll walk you through deactivating this feature, ensuring your Alexa app behaves exactly as you intend.

Key Points

  • Alexa mistakes driving due to Bluetooth connections and Auto Mode settings.
  • You can disable Auto Mode through app settings.
  • Address false driving assumptions by checking device connections and updating software.
  • Prevent issues by managing Bluetooth connections and keeping the app updated.

Why does the Alexa App think I’m Driving?

Why does the Alexa App think Im Driving

The Alexa app may think you’re driving even if you’re not when its Auto Mode is mistakenly inactive. The Auto Mode may perceive this if it detects movement that simulates driving conditions or is due to nearby Bluetooth signals. 

The Auto Mode feature is designed to sense movement or a connection to your car’s Bluetooth, which triggers the driving interface. However, this intelligent feature can mistakenly activate due to certain factors. 

Let’s explore how you can switch off this mode for a better, more accurate Alexa interaction.

How to Get Rid of the Auto Mode on the Alexa App?

To get rid of the Auto Mode on the Alexa app, launch the app on your phone and tap More > Settings > Auto Mode (under Alexa Preferences) > toggle OFF the ‘Start when you open the app’ option.

In this section, I’ll explain why Alexa might misinterpret your activities for driving and guide you step-by-step to turn off the Auto Mode:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the More icon at the bottom right.
Tap the More icon at the bottom right
  1.  Select Settings.
Select Settings
  1. Scroll down and tap Auto Mode under Alexa Preferences.
Scroll down and tap Auto Mode under Alexa Preferences
  1. Toggle OFF the switch next to Start when you open the app.
Start when you open the app

Can’t Turn OFF the Auto Mode – Troubleshooting Tips

Can’t seem to turn off the Auto Mode on the Alexa app? Here are some reasons why:

1. Outdated Alexa App

If your Alexa app is not up to date, it may not work properly. This may cause issues with the Auto Mode feature, among other things. It also affects how the app interacts with your smart vehicle devices.

To make sure your Alexa app is up to date, do the following:

On Android

  1. Open the Google Play Store app on your phone.
  2. Tap your Profile icon on the top right.
image 40
  1. Select the Manage apps and device option.
image
  1. Tap Update all in the Updates available section.
  2. Alternatively, tap See details to find the Alexa app and update it.
image 41

On iOS

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Tap the Profile icon on the top right.
  3. Find the list of installed apps on your iPhone by scrolling down.
  4. Tap the Update button next to the Alexa app.

Note: Your Alexa app is already up to date if you see the Open option instead of Update.

2. Accumulating App Cache

The Alexa app collects cache to improve your experience on the app. However, this cache can quickly become old and outdated, which ends up interfering with the performance of the Alexa app. Here’s how to clear the Alexa App cache:

On Android

  1. Open Settings > Apps.
Apps
  1. Select App Management.
Select App Management
  1. Tap the Amazon Alexa.
Tap the Amazon Alexa
  1. Select the Storage usage option.
Select the Storage usage option
  1. Finally, tap Clear Cache to get rid of the outdated cache.
tap Clear Cache

If you’re encountering persistent issues with the Alexa app constantly crashing on your Android device, explore our guide for helpful solutions and assistance.

On iOS

There is no direct way to clear the cache from the Alexa app on iPhone. However, you can uninstall the app and reinstall it. This will get rid of all the old app cache and data and give your Alexa app a fresh start– hopefully fixing the Auto Mode issue.

3. Interference from Other Apps

If you have too many apps open on your phone, it could interfere with your Alexa app– thus preventing it from turning off Auto Mode. To prevent interference from other apps glitching your Alexa app:

  • Identify the Interfering Apps: Check for apps that could affect Alexa’s performance.
  • Limit Background App Activity: Adjust settings to limit the background activity of these apps or temporarily disable them to test if they are causing the issue.

Auto Mode is OFF, but Alexa Still Thinks I’m Driving – What to Do?

Does Alexa still think you’re driving after disabling Auto Mode on the app? There could be a few reasons behind that, as listed below: 

1. Delayed Disconnection After Driving

Your phone maintains a connection to Alexa devices in your car even after you’ve finished driving. Many times, all you have to do is just wait it out a little, and it goes away. In other cases, you could try to:

  • Manually Disconnect from Car’s Bluetooth: Access your phone’s Bluetooth settings and disconnect it from the car’s system.
  • Power Off the Car’s Infotainment System: If the issue persists, consider turning off your car’s infotainment system entirely to break the connection.

2. Accidental Activation at Home:

The Alexa app may switch to Auto Mode due to certain triggers– even when you are at home. It could be due to some devices or settings mimicking a car environment. Some simple solutions are to:

  • Inspect Home Alexa Settings and Devices: Review the settings of your home-based Alexa devices.
  • Adjust Settings: Make necessary adjustments to your Alexa app and the smart devices (via their native apps) to ensure they don’t inadvertently activate Auto Mode or something similar that makes Alexa think you’re driving.

3. Proximity to Vehicle’s Bluetooth Range

Being within the Bluetooth range of your vehicle can cause your phone to connect to the car’s Alexa device without your knowledge. If you’ve left your car’s Bluetooth system on, you could try:

  • Checking Your Phone’s Bluetooth Status: Regularly check your phone’s Bluetooth connections, especially when near your vehicle, to ensure you’re not connected to your car’s Bluetooth or any smart vehicle devices.
  • Disabling Bluetooth When Not in Use: If you’re not planning to drive, consider disabling Bluetooth on your phone to prevent automatic connections.

4. Persistent Software Glitches

Software bugs within the Alexa app or your smartphone’s operating system can cause Auto Mode to activate incorrectly. Or it may cause some other glitches – making the Alexa app wrongly detect your driving. The fixes are simple:

  • Update the Alexa App: Make sure that you are using the latest version of the Alexa app. (I’ve detailed how to do so earlier in this post.)
  • Restart Your Phone: Sometimes, a simple reboot of your smartphone can resolve underlying software glitches.

5. GPS or Network Confusion

Inaccurate GPS signals or network errors might send wrong location data, leading Alexa to believe you’re moving. It’s possible that you may be experiencing something like that. Some easy ways around it are to:

  • Recalibrate GPS Settings: Check your phone’s GPS accuracy and recalibrate if necessary.
  • Check Network Connections: Ensure stable network connectivity to avoid erroneous location data.

How to Prevent the Alexa App from Wrongly Detecting Driving

To make sure that your Alexa app doesn’t mistakenly switch to Auto Mode in the future or wrongly detect that you are driving, you need to be a little proactive. Here’s what you can do:

1. Regular Bluetooth Connection Management:

Frequently check and manage your Bluetooth connections to prevent your phone from automatically connecting to in-car Alexa devices. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Monitor Bluetooth Pairings: Regularly review the list of devices paired with your phone’s Bluetooth and remove any that are no longer needed.
  • Disable Bluetooth When Not Needed: Turn off Bluetooth on your phone when you’re not using it, especially if you’re near your vehicle but not planning to drive.

2. Consistent Alexa App Updates

Keeping the Alexa app updated ensures you have the latest features and bug fixes, reducing the likelihood of Auto Mode activating incorrectly. If you have disabled automatic updates for the Alexa app, you’ll have to update it manually again and again– making your Alexa app more prone to such glitches as incorrect driving detection, and more.

So, enable automatic updates. Set your phone to automatically update apps or regularly check the App Store/Play Store for new versions of the Alexa app.

3. Routine Review of Alexa App Settings

If you are managing various smart home and vehicle devices through your Alexa app, it can sometimes become hard to keep up with different settings: Regularly revisiting your Alexa app settings can help make sure they align with your current usage patterns and preferences, reducing unintended activations. When performing these routine reviews:

  • Check Auto Mode Configurations: Review the Auto Mode settings occasionally to ensure they are configured to your liking.
  • Customize According to Usage: Adjust settings based on whether you frequently use Alexa in your car or primarily at home.

4. Awareness of Device Location:

Being mindful of where your phone is in relation to your vehicle helps prevent accidental triggers of Auto Mode. I suggest following these simple steps:

  • Mind Proximity to Your Car: Be aware of whether you are within Bluetooth range of your car, as this can unintentionally connect your phone to in-car Alexa devices.
  • Physically Disconnect After Use: If you’ve used Alexa in your car, make it a habit to physically disconnect your phone from the vehicle’s system once you’re done.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I customize Auto Mode in the Alexa app for specific driving scenarios?

Yes, you can customize the Auto Mode in the Alexa app. Simply navigate to the Alexa app > More > Settings > Auto Mode. Here, you can tailor how Alexa interacts with your vehicle’s Bluetooth, allowing you to specify which features you want activated during your drives.

Will turning off Auto Mode limit Alexa’s capabilities while I’m driving?

No, turning off Auto Mode doesn’t affect Alexa’s capabilities while driving. Disabling Auto Mode stops the app from automatically switching to its driving interface. Alexa’s full range of features remains accessible, just not in Auto Mode.

How can I reactivate Auto Mode later?

To reactivate the Auto Mode in the Alexa app, open the app and navigate to More > Settings > Auto Mode > toggle ON Start when you open the app. Notice how it’s similar to disabling the Auto Mode? The only difference is that you turn the switch ON instead of OFF. This reactivates its automatic driving features.

Conclusion

The Auto Mode is designed to ensure that your phone automatically connects to your smart vehicle devices via the Alexa app over Bluetooth. However, this can often lead Alexa to think that you are driving when you’re not. So, turning off the Auto Mode is one solution. Managing your phone’s and car’s Bluetooth, turning off the car infotainment system and smart car devices, and keeping your Alexa app updated and free of unnecessary cache are some practices that can help you avoid this issue altogether.

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

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