How to delete Amazon Alexa recordings for privacy


Amazon gadgets like the Echo save a copy of everything you ask Alexa. That means there’s a whole collection of voice recordings logged for every request or command you’ve given Amazon’s voice assistant.

Amazon says that Alexa only begins recording when it thinks you’ve said the wake word (the default is “Alexa”), so it’s not listening all the time. But it sometimes uses a small sample of voice recordings to train the voice assistant to work better, which means in rare cases that humans might review those recordings to understand if Alexa misinterpreted a request.

If you use Amazon Alexa a lot, it’s worth knowing how to stop it from saving those recordings or using them for training. Here’s what you do.

How to view your Amazon Alexa voice history

There are several ways to view your Amazon Alexa voice history. I prefer using the Alexa app on my phone, since it’s always in my pocket, but you can also visit Amazon’s website. Here’s what to do on your phone:

  • Download the Alexa app for iPhone or Android.
  • Open the Alexa app.
  • Tap “More” on the bottom right.
  • Tap “Activity.”
  • Choose the “Voice History” tab on top.
  • Next to “Displaying” choose “All History” and “All devices.”

Now you’ll see a list of everything Alexa has recorded. Move through these to play a snippet of the audio Alexa has recorded.

How to delete your Amazon Alexa voice history

How to make sure Amazon doesn’t use your Alexa voice recordings for training

Finally, you can prevent your recordings from being used by Amazon to train Alexa. Amazon says that “only an extremely small fraction of voice recordings are manually reviewed” and that if you turn it off “voice recognition and new features may not work well for you.”

I have this off and it works fine. You may want it off, too. To do that:

  • Download the Alexa app for iPhone or Android.
  • Open the Alexa app.
  • Tap “More” on the bottom right.
  • Tap “Settings”
  • Choose “Alexa Privacy”
  • Tap “Manage your Alexa Data”
  • Scroll down and turn off the toggle button under “Help improve Alexa.”
  • Make sure the toggle buttons on the bottom for family members (if you have them attached to your account) are also off.

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