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Alexa won't delete all your Amazon Echo data. Here's the best you can do

Amazon stores all the voice commands you say to your Echo and you can't entirely delete the data on your own.

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Alexa is listening.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Your Amazon Echo speaker isn't just a good listener; its Alexa assistant also keeps a record of your voice transcriptions, even after you delete them. The text transcripts stay stored on Amazon's servers and the only way to completely remove your data is to contact Amazon. This is especially concerning for people who say Amazon is storing data from children for longer than necessary.

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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 prerogative is likely the same, using your data -- and everyone else's -- to improve the way Echo understands you.

However, with the recent news that Alexa sent a private family conversation to a random contact, you may feel a bit uneasy about Amazon keeping your recorded commands.

Right now, Amazon will let you delete app data, but you can't remove written transcriptions completely. Here's what you can do.

Option 1: Delete recordings via app

To delete your recordings, go to the Amazon Echo app > Settings > Alexa Account > 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.

Option 2: Delete everything via browser

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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, 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.

Contact Amazon

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

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 on Jan. 22, 2015, and has been updated with new information.

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