January 27, 2023

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New Alexa Device? Adjust These Configurations ASAP

This tale is part of Property Ideas, CNET’s selection of sensible tips for having the most out of your dwelling, within and out.

No matter if you just purchased a new Amazon Echo machine during Cyber Week sales or you’ve experienced your trusty Echo Dot for years, you could have presently figured out the basic principles of employing Alexa, like how to use your Echo to get in touch with another person, how to connect Alexa to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and additional, and even how Alexa can enable you in the kitchen. But have you actually thought of all the options Alexa provides? 

No subject which Alexa device you have — an Amazon Echo Dot, an Echo Dot with Clock, a compact Echo Flex, a chunky Echo Studio or a wise show such as the Echo Clearly show 15 — there are a ton of customizations to make Alexa behave precisely how you like. And these several little improvements could make a major distinction. 

For case in point, you’ll be happy you produced updates to your privacy options, which includes instantly deleting recordings and turning off the environment that lets Amazon employees hear to the exact same recordings. Browse on for the 6 Amazon Echo configurations I’ve uncovered to be most beneficial. 

1. Update your Amazon Echo privacy settings

One particular of the first worries with possessing an Echo speaker is privacy. Thankfully, Amazon is unwrapping additional privateness options heading forward, together with updates to both equally Ring and Echo merchandise that make incremental innovations on user privacy. 

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Your Echo can immediately delete your recordings. To turn that environment on in the Alexa application Additional menu and go to Configurations > Alexa Privateness > Deal with Your Alexa Details > and toggle the Automatically delete recordings swap on.

You can delete your complete voice recordings history, too. To do this, open up the Alexa app and go to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Evaluation Voice History. Up coming, faucet the downward-dealing with arrow following to Exhibiting and then the arrow following to Filter By Date. Then you will tap All History > Delete All My Recordings. 

And you can also keep Amazon staff members out of your conversations and from listening to your voice recordings. In the Alexa app, go to Settings > Alexa Privateness > Take care of Your Alexa Facts. From below, select Select How Extended to Help save Recordings > Do not Help you save Recordings Verify. Future, scroll down to Enable Increase Alexa, and switch the Use of Voice Recordings to off. 

For more basic safety tips on any of your smart residence devices browse our privateness manual on how to hold Amazon, Google and Apple out of your conversations


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2. Enable Brief Mode on your Amazon Echo

When you ask Alexa to do something, like play a song or turn on the lights, Alexa will say something like “OK, turning on the lights.” This is to help you determine why Alexa did something if it didn’t perform what you asked. However, if you don’t want Alexa repeating what you just said, you can change that setting so that it only plays a short sound instead of a voice response.

To do so, open the Alexa app More menu and select Settings. Under the Alexa Preferences section, tap Voice Responses, then toggle the switch on for Brief Mode.

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Turn on Brief Mode so your Echo will play a short sound instead of a voice response.


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3. Set up your preferred music streaming service

When you set up your Amazon Echo, the music service automatically defaults to Amazon Music. However, if you’re a Spotify, Apple Music or another music service subscriber, you may want to link your Echo to that streaming service instead. 

Go to Settings > Music & Podcasts > and link to a service. On the same page, tap Default Services and switch to your preferred music provider. Now the Echo will play from the music streaming service of your choice when you say “Alexa, play music.”

Read also: Music on Your Alexa Speaker Can Sound Better. Here’s How

4. Change the wake word from Alexa

If TV commercials keep triggering your Amazon Echo when they say “Alexa,” you can change the wake word to something that’s less likely to wake the speaker. The other traditional options to call the voice assistant are Computer, Echo and Amazon, but there are several newer wake word additions you can use like Ziggy and Hey, Disney

If you want to change the name, just say “Alexa, change the wake word” and make your selection. You can also open the Alexa app, go to Settings > Device Settings > select your device > tap Wake Word and make a choice. Unfortunately, you can’t come up with your own name for the speaker, like Tallulah or Digital Overlord.

5. Enable voice purchasing on your Amazon Echo

You don’t always have time to perform an Amazon search and buy something you’re out of, like toilet paper. That’s why it can be helpful to set up voice purchasing on your Amazon Echo so Alexa can order products for you.

To get started, you’ll need to turn on voice ordering and 1-Click ordering. Open the Alexa app and navigate to Settings > Account Settings > Voice Purchasing and toggle Voice Purchasing on. Next, on the same screen, you should set up a voice code or profile so that only you can make purchases. Where it says Purchase Confirmation, tap Enable and select either Voice Profile (only your voice will activate purchasing) or Voice Code (a four-digit code).

6. Set up household profiles on your Amazon Echo

If you have multiple people in your house, you’ll want to set up voice profiles for each member who uses the Echo speaker. This will help Alexa learn your voice and distinguish you from others in the house. To create voice profiles, go to Settings > Account Settings > Recognized Voices > Create a voice profile and follow the onscreen prompts to set it up.

You can make sure your voice profile has been correctly set up by asking “Alexa, who am I?” The voice assistant will say “I’m talking to [your name].”

If you have your favorite customizations and settings, share them in the comments. Now that you’ve updated these six Echo settings, here are five creative uses for your Amazon Echo device, five essential tips for your new Echo device and CNET’s roundup of every Alexa command you can give right now