Search our Help pages...

Alexa, Echo Devices and Your Privacy

Amazon knows that you care how information about you is used and shared and we appreciate your trust in us to do that carefully and sensibly.

Alexa is a cloud service that you control with your voice and is always getting smarter—the more you use Alexa, the more Alexa adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. 

We handle any personal information we receive through Alexa in accordance with Amazon’s Privacy Notice. This page provides additional detail about how we use your personal information to provide and improve your experience and our services. 

What happens when I speak to Alexa?

When you speak to Alexa, a recording of what you asked is sent to Amazon’s servers so our systems for speech recognition and natural language understanding can process and respond to your request. We associate your requests with your Amazon account to allow you to access other Amazon services (e.g., so you can ask Alexa to read your Kindle books and play audiobooks from Audible) and to provide you with a more personalised experience. For example, keeping track of the songs you have listened to helps Alexa choose what songs to play when you say, “Alexa, play music.”  

At times, Alexa may make recommendations to you based on your requests.  For example, if you are a Prime Music user and you request a song that is not available through Prime Music, Alexa may offer you the ability to subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited.  Alexa may also recommend Alexa skills you might like based on the Alexa skills you use.

How does Alexa minimise the amount of data sent to the Cloud?

Alexa and Echo devices are designed to record as little audio as possible and minimise the amount of background noise streamed to the Cloud. By default, Alexa-enabled devices only stream audio to the Cloud if the wake word is detected (or Alexa is activated by pressing a button). When an Alexa-enabled device detects the wake word and begins streaming audio to the Cloud, Alexa performs a “cloud verification” of the wake word using the more powerful processing capabilities of the Cloud to double-check the audio to confirm detection of the wake word. If the Cloud verification does not also detect the wake word, Alexa stops processing the audio and ends the audio stream to the Cloud. If Alexa confirms that the wake word was spoken, Alexa will continually attempt to determine when your request has ended and then immediately end the audio stream.

What about "false wakes"?

In some cases, your Alexa-enabled device might interpret another word or sound as the wake word (for instance, the name “Alex” or someone saying “Alexa” on the radio or television). When this happens, we call that a “false wake”. We have a team of world-class scientists and engineers dedicated to continually improving our wake word detection technology and preventing false wakes from happening, including through the Cloud verification mechanism described in the FAQ “How does Alexa minimise the amount of data sent to the Cloud?”

Anytime your Echo device detects the wake word, a visual or audible indicator will signal it is recording audio to stream to the Cloud, and you can review and delete the voice recordings associated with your account (including any audio resulting from a false wake) in your Voice History available in the Alexa app at Settings > Alexa Privacy or

How do my voice recordings improve Alexa?

Alexa is a continuously improving service that is designed to get smarter every day. For example, we use your requests to Alexa to train our speech recognition and natural language understanding systems using machine learning. Training Alexa with real world requests from a diverse range of customers is necessary for Alexa to respond properly to the variation in our customers’ speech patterns, dialects, accents, and vocabulary and the acoustic environments where customers use Alexa. This training relies in part on supervised machine learning, an industry-standard practice where humans review an extremely small sample of requests to help Alexa understand the correct interpretation of a request and provide the appropriate response in the future. For example, a human reviewing a customer’s request for the weather in Austin can identify that Alexa misinterpreted it as a request for the weather in Boston. Our supervised learning process includes multiple safeguards to protect customer privacy. You can manage the use of your voice recordings to improve our services and develop new features by visiting Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa in the Alexa app.

Is Alexa recording all my conversations?

No. Echo devices are designed to detect only your chosen wake word (Alexa, Amazon, Computer or Echo). The device detects the wake word by identifying acoustic patterns that match the wake word. No audio is stored or sent to the cloud unless the device detects the wake word (or Alexa is activated by pressing a button).

How do I know when audio is being sent to the cloud?

For Echo devices, any time audio is sent to the cloud, a visual indicator appears on your device. For instance, the light ring on Amazon Echo will turn blue or a blue bar will appear on Echo Show. You can also configure certain Echo devices to play a short audible tone any time audio is sent to the cloud.

Can I “mute” my Echo device?

Yes. Our Echo devices are equipped with a microphone off button. When the button is pressed, the power to the microphones is disconnected and a dedicated red light is illuminated. When the microphones are turned off, your device cannot stream audio to the cloud.

Can I review, manage and delete my voice recordings?

Yes.? You can review your voice recordings associated with your account, manage the use of your voice recordings in the development of new features, and delete those voice recordings one by one, by date range or all at once by visiting Settings > Alexa Privacy in the Alexa app or at And you can delete all the voice recordings associated with your account all at once for each of your Alexa-enabled devices and apps by visiting Manage Your Content and Devices.

You can also enable the ability to delete your recordings by voice. Once enabled, you can delete the voice recording of your last request by saying “Alexa, delete what I just said” or you can delete all the voice recordings from your account for the day by saying "Alexa, delete everything I said today." To enable deletion by voice go to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Review Voice History in the Alexa app or When enabled, anyone with access to your Alexa-enabled devices can ask Alexa to delete voice recordings from your account.

Deleting voice recordings may degrade your Alexa experience. If you have changed your default marketplace while using an Alexa-enabled product, you will need to perform this step for each marketplace to delete all voice recordings associated with your account.

What happens when I delete my voice recordings?

When you delete voice recordings associated with your account, we will delete the voice recordings and the text transcripts of your request that you selected from Amazon’s Cloud. We may still retain other records of your Alexa interactions, including records of actions Alexa took in response to your request. This allows us, for instance, to continue to provide your reminders, timers, and alarms, process your orders, and show your shopping and to-do lists and messages sent through Alexa Communications. If your request was processed by an Alexa skill, deleting your voice recordings does not delete any information retained by the developer of that skill (skill developers do not receive voice recordings).

Does Alexa use other information?

Depending on how you use Alexa, we may also collect other types of information and use that information to provide and improve your experience and our services.

Here are some examples:

  • Smart Home – If you interact with or operate a smart home product with Alexa, such as a light, thermostat or outlet, we will receive information about that smart home product’s device type, features, and status, which allows you to see information about and control that product from your Alexa app.

  • Alexa Calling and Messaging - If you use Alexa Calling and Messaging and grant Alexa access to your contacts, we will periodically import and store your contacts, which allows us to connect you with your contacts and identify the most likely contact you intend to call or message (e.g., which Bill you want to call when you ask Alexa to “call Bill”). If you use Alexa Calling and Messaging to send voice or text messages to another Alexa Calling and Messaging user (e.g., on Echo, "Alexa, send a message to Mom" or, in the Alexa App, tapping on the message icon on Mom's contact card), we will process your messages in the cloud to convert voice messages to text, and vice versa. You can turn off Alexa’s use of your messages to improve message transcription accuracy from Alexa Privacy in the Settings menu of your Alexa App or in the Manage Your Content and Devices section of Your Account.

  • Item or barcode scanning feature - If you use Echo Show’s item or barcode scanning feature, we will process the scanned image in the cloud to return search results from for the scanned item or barcode.  You can delete the scanned images associated with your account by visiting the Manage Your Content and Devices page at

  • Voice profile – If you consent to create a voice profile, we will use recordings of your voice to create an acoustic model of your voice characteristics and store it in the cloud so Alexa can recognise your voice, call you by name, and do more to personalise your experience. Creation of a voice profile is an optional feature and you can withdraw your consent and delete any voice profile you've created by selecting “Delete my voice” in the Alexa App. If your voice is not recognised for three years, we will automatically delete your voice profile.

Third party services

If you use a third party service through Alexa, we will exchange related information with that third party so they may provide the service. For example, if you interact with a third party Alexa skill, we provide the content of your requests (but not the voice recordings) to the skill so the skill can respond accordingly. If you use a third party Alexa skill that requires your location (such as a car service) and grant the skill access to your location, we will share that information with the skill. Information you provide to an Alexa skill will be subject to the skill developer’s privacy practices.  You can find the privacy notices provided to us by the developers of Alexa skills that collect personal information on the detail page for those skills in your Alexa App.

Some Alexa skills are directed to children, as identified by the developers of those skills. Kid skills are turned off by default. If you want to use kid skills, please turn all kid skills on in the Settings menu of your Alexa app. You can turn all kid skills off at any time by changing that setting.

You can learn more about Alexa in our Alexa Terms of Use. For more commonly asked questions, including how other Amazon Alexa-enabled devices and features work, please visit Alexa and Alexa Device FAQs.

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback.

Please select what best describes the information:

Thanks! While we're unable to respond directly to your feedback, we'll use this information to improve our online Help.