Jn this piece, we show how to delete Alexa voice recordings for those who do not want a lot of voice history hanging around in their Amazon accounts. Clearing this Amazon Echo history is fairly straight forward. Erasing these recordings though, does present some problems, as discussed below.
How to Delete Alexa Voice Recordings: Introduction
When Does Alexa Record Your Voice
Each time you speak a request or command to your Alexa speaker, the virtual assistant records your voice. It then sends that data up to Amazon servers in the cloud. These recordings help the assistant “learn” your ways of talking. They detail your accent and how you say specific words. With these, Alexa grows better able to understand you over time. Plus, the more saved voice recordings, the more accurately Alexa gets what you ask of her. So, the quality of her answers improves over time as well. These recordings thus, help create a more pleasant experience with your speaker. But saved voice snippits might create privacy concerns for some. They worry that some unauthorized person could listen to them.
The Problem with Saved Voice Recordings
But the drawback to this is that Alexa currently saves this audio history for months, or years even. So these audio snippits could be subpoenaed by a court if you’re ever accused of a crime, and possibly incriminate you, fairly or not.
Also, consider that more than just your requests are recorded and saved. Indeed, any time the Echo speakers think that they hears someone say, “Alexa…,” “Amazon,…” ‘Computer,…” or “Echo…,” it “wakes up,” and starts recording, and in some cases, saving the audio. While we ind that these false wake ups occur rarely. they do indeed make saved recordings in your Alexa history. These do not contain any questions / commands per se. But they can have private conversations. So, be careful of what you say while Alexa is listening.
Since the microphones in the Alexa speakers are quite sensitive with that far field technology behind them, they can pick up and record what your television is playing, what you’re saying on the phone, distant conversations, and any other sounds occurring within several seconds of when the speaker wakes up. So, for these reasons, you may wish to periodically erase some or all of these Echo recordings.
The Drawback of Deleting These Voice Recordings
Remember though, as discussed above, that removing them also erases what the Alexa virtual Assistant has learned about how you speak since the last time the recordings were deleted. Fortunately, keeping or deleting them is your choice; definitely pros and cons for each choice. But if you’ve decide to erase the voice history or parts of it, then read on for instruction on how.
How to Delete Alexa Voice Recordings, Step by Step
To delete your Alexa Echo voice recording history, follow the procedure below.
1. Bring Up a Web Browser
Use a web browser in either a phone, tablet, or desktop computer. No matter, so long as the device can access your Amazon account.
2. Visit the Amazon Manage My Content and Devices Page
Amazon then prompts for your Amazon user Id and password if you’re not already logged in with your current browser.
Once logged in, you get the Manage Your Content and Devices page with several tabs for your devices and content, as shown in the next picture.
3, Tap or Click the Devices Tab to Continue with How to Delete Alexa Voice Recordings
Find this tab on the upper center of the page, as shown in the last picture.
You then see something like the page displayed next.
A separate voice history for each Alexa device is kept. So to delete it all, you must repeat the following steps for each device you wish to purge.
We found no way to run a global device voice recordings delete. E.g. We found no way to remove the voice requests from all speakers at once. So, rather than purging all the voice history, we delete here the Alexa history from our Living Room device only.
4. Tap the Device from which you Want to Delete the Recordings
In this demo, we tap our Living Room Echo Dot. This is the button with the ellipses in it, to the left of the highlighted device in the last picture.
Then, a pop-up window appears. It shows a picture of our device and its name, as seen in the next screen shot.
5. Tap the Manage Voice Recordings Link
6. Tap the Delete Button to Continue with How to Delete Alexa Voice Recordings
Do this if you’re sure you wish to go ahead with the device history purge. If not, tap the close (X) button in the top right hand corner of the Manage Voice Recordings window to cancel out.
But if you chose to proceed, a message appears. It tells that voice recordings history delete is in progress.
Then, when that’s done, a Deletion Completed Successfully message appears briefly.
The system then returns you to the Manage Your Content and Devices page, as shown next.
Check that Alexa Voice Recordings have been Deleted
One way to do this is via the Alexa app on your tablet. We did not find a way to look at your device voice history entries on the Amazon website itself. But we could also check the history in the Alexa app, as follows.
7. Find the Alexa pp on your Tablet or Phone
Our copy of the app is found on the third page of the Home screen on our iOS based iPad tablet, as shown next.
8. Then, Run the Alexa App
You should then get the Alexa app Home screen, like to the picture next.
9. Tap the Settings Option to Continue with How to Delete Alexa Voice Recordings
This brings up the Settings screen, as shown next.
10. Tap the History-View Requests to Alexa Option
This is the item pointed at by the pink arrow in the picture just above.
The Alexa Request History screen then displays, as shown next.
If you only have one Alexa device on your Amazon account, this screen shows no entries.
But if, like us, you have more than one Alexa Echo speaker, you’ll still see the request history for your other devices, as the picture above shows. Note that we deleted the history for our Living Room device, so that those requests no longer display in this list. We had to scroll all the way through this list to check that all Living Room entries are gone. But our Bedroom device entries remain.
Again, if we wanted to delete ALL the Alexa history, we’d have had to also run the above steps on our Bedroom device. A complete deletion of the voice recordings on all your Alexa smart devices would be the best way to protect your privacy in the ‘brave new world’ of tech. Be secure. Just keep in mind though that deleting the voice recordings also makes Alexa forget how you speak. So without a rich voice history, she may not hear your requests as well.
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- 2019-04-12: Added subheadings, tags, and key phrase targeting. Removed ad code also.
- 2017-01-19: Originally published.