Control privacy for an Amazon Echo

I told you about my new Amazon Echo smart speaker. The speaker is voice activated and so far I’ve used it for making calls, sending texts, getting news updates, and listening to music. A reader wanted to know if it’s possible to turn the echo off.

I’m not sure if she meant the unit or just the microphone for voice activation. But the answer to both is yes. The Echo needs to be plugged into an outlet at all times, but you can turn it off by pushing down on the power button.

Since the device is voice activated, the microphones are always on, listening for the wake word. The default wake word is ‘Alexa.’   To turn off the microphone, just press the microphone button on the top of the device. A red LED light will indicate that the device is no longer listening. Once you’ve pushed that you can’t wake it up by speaking to it. You need to press the mic button again.


Echo does store your voice to better learn what you’re saying. There’s an easy way to listen to what’s been recorded and to delete it.

Open the Alexa app on your smartphone or open the Alexa web app in a browser by clicking here.


Click the three-line menu bar at the top -left if using the app. Look to the left pane if using a browser.



Choose Settings.


Scroll down to General and choose History.


You’ll be able to see text of the commands Alexa has stored and also play them back.


Tap on the command to play it. You can delete any of the recordings with a touch or click.


One thought on “Control privacy for an Amazon Echo

  1. Thanks. The instructions state that the power button you described is an action button.
    Didn’t know what that meant. I have unplugged everything and the last step was to stop
    the microphone. Thanks again.

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