Call Captioning with Alexa and Echo Show

By:  Frank Engelman   |  Posted: March 19, 2021   |  Updated: April 19, 2023

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The Problem to be Solved

Need Help Making Alexa Useful

Need Help Making Alexa Useful

I am setting up Alexa for my parent who lives at a distance. I am unsure what features to include, or how to set it up so it is as useful as possible.

Solution Details


Says one of the Longevity Explorers:

“My Mom is enjoying video calls on her Echo Show, but she doesn’t hear everything I say.”


Call Captioning for Echo Show

Amazon released a “Call Captioning” feature for the Echo Show in December 2020 that allows your loved one who is hard of hearing to see your voice transcribed to text on her screen.

I have been waiting a long time for video call captions as I have relatives needing this feature. Like me, if you have tried this before and it didn’t work for you, be sure to perform the critical step mentioned in the “first call” below, as just completing the four steps listed in the Amazon Alexa article on Amazon’s website (Ref 1) is not sufficient.


Sounds great. Will that work on Mom’s Echo Show?

I have tested this and found it works on Echo Show 5, 8, and Echo Show 10 (gen 1,2,3).


See Call Captioning in Action in this Video

Here is a YouTube video with some examples of seniors using this feature.



Ok, how do I set this up?

Unfortunately, if your Mom already has the Echo Show, she will have to make a couple of settings changes on the device.

I suggest talking her through this step-by-step on the phone as you perform the changes on your own Echo Show:

  • Swipe down from the top of the screen
  • Tap Settings
  • Scroll down to Accessibility and Tap it
  • Scroll down to Call Captioning and enable it
  • Optional- if she wants to adjust text size and color:
    • Tap Call Captioning Preferences


There is one additional setting that you and your Mom must perform during the first Alexa video call. After that, this setting will remain on.


During the Alexa video call:

You should see and hear an announcement that the “screen is being transcribed for another party.”


  • If you don’t see that, or you get an error, drop the call and connect back up
    • If that still fails, power cycle the Echo Show
      • If that fails, update the software under:
        • Settings- Device Options- Check Software Updates


During the FIRST Alexa Video call, tap the screen:


  • Tap “Captions On”
    • If it says “Captions Off” it has already been enabled




There is no control over the caption display location, and the transcription delay is currently rather large.

Note, you will only see the other person’s captions on your screen, not your own.






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