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You can finally delete (most of) your Amazon Echo transcripts. Here's how

Amazon stores all the voice commands you say to your Echo until you delete them.

Sharon Profis Vice President of Content, CNET Studios
As the Vice President of CNET Studios, Sharon leads the video, social, editorial design, and branded content teams. Before this role, Sharon led content development and launched new verticals for CNET, including Wellness, Money, and How To. A tech expert herself, she's reviewed and covered countless products, hosted hundreds of videos, and appeared on shows like Good Morning America, CBS Mornings, and the Today Show. An industry expert, Sharon is a recurring Best of Beauty Awards judge for Allure. Sharon is an avid chef and hosts the cooking segment 'Farm to Fork' on PBS nationwide. She's developed and published hundreds of recipes.
  • Webby Award ("How To, Explainer, and DIY Video"); Folio Changemaker Award, 2020
Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Sharon Profis
Rick Broida
3 min read

Alexa is listening.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Your Amazon Echo speaker is listening to you, but it also remembers what you said. CNET discovered that the Alexa digital assistant keeps a record of your voice transcriptions and even shares them, with no expiration date in sight. The text transcripts stay stored on Amazon's servers until you delete the voice recordings. Amazon is still working on removing the data from all parts of its systems when you delete your transcripts. It's unclear when that will happen.


You can delete individual voice recordings from within the Alexa app.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

The company asserts that the data is used to improve Amazon Echo. That's not uncommon. Apple stores anonymized Siri data for up to two years in order to improve the product. Amazon's reason is likely the same, using your data -- and everyone else's -- to improve the way Echo understands you.

However, with past slip-ups that included Alexa sending a private family conversation to a random contact, you may feel a bit uneasy about Amazon keeping your recorded commands.

"When a customer deletes a voice recording, we delete the transcripts associated with the customer's account of both of the customer's request and Alexa's response," Amazon said in a statement. "We already delete those transcripts from all of Alexa's primary storage systems, and we have an ongoing effort to ensure those transcripts do not remain in any of Alexa's other storage systems."

Here's what you can do to make sure they're (almost) completely deleted.

Option 1: Delete recordings via app

To delete your recordings, go to the Amazon Echo app. Open Settings > Alexa Privacy > Review Voice History

You'll see a list of all the requests you've made since setting up your Echo. You can choose the recordings you want to delete or tap Delete All Recordings for Today.

You can also delete all recordings in the Alexa app by customizing a date range, or by choosing "All History" to delete it all.

Option 2: Delete everything via browser

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

If you're using a browser, there's a way to delete all voice data in one fell swoop. Head to www.amazon.com/myx, sign in, and click Your Devices. Find your Echo in the list, then click Delete Voice Recordings.

You'll see a warning message explaining why you might want to keep those recordings; click Delete if you wish to proceed.

Option 3: Ask Alexa to delete your voice transcripts

You can also use your voice to ask Alexa to delete everything you've said that day or entirely. Just say something like "Alexa, delete everything I said today." 

This should take care of both the voice recordings and transcripts, in addition to deleting Alexa's response, according to Amazon. However, those transcripts still exist in other parts of Amazon's servers, so it's not a complete erasure yet.

Contact Amazon

To completely remove your voice recordings and transcriptions, you can also contact Amazon customer service at (888) 280-4331 to make a formal request.

Watch this: Here's what Amazon revealed about Alexa privacy to a US senator

How do I listen to my voice recordings?

In the Amazon Alexa app, go to Settings > Alexa Account > Alexa Privacy > Review Voice History. Tap the arrow on the audio file you want to listen to and tap the play icon. 

You can also visit https://www.amazon.com/alexaprivacy and click Review Voice History.

Originally published Jan. 22, 2015. Updated multiple times with new information.
Update, July 3, 2019: Adds new information about Amazon's policy on storing transcripts.

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