Amazon Alexa is designed to make life easier. You say it and it happens. This includes ordering things from Amazon. No pesky computer necessary. But what happens if Alexa orders things you didn’t mean to order? For instance, what if a child or guest accidentally orders something? The great thing is you can avoid accidental voice purchasing without losing any of the convenience.
Turning Voice Purchasing Off
The best way to avoid accidental voice purchasing is to simply turn the feature off completely. Don’t worry – you can easily toggle it back on whenever you want.
All you have to do is open your Alexa app. Open Settings and tap “Account Settings.”
Choose “Voice Purchasing.” Toggle the option to Off. It takes less than five seconds to go through the entire process.
Set a Purchasing Pin
If you don’t mind having a short extra step, set a pin number to avoid accidental voice purchasing. You’ll still be able to shop with just your voice, but you’ll need to say your pin number, too. As a side note, try not to order anything when others are around, especially kids. Otherwise, they’ll use your pin number to make their own purchases.
In your Alexa app, go to “Settings -> Account Settings -> Voice Purchasing.” Select “Purchase Confirmation” and choose “Manage.” Toggle “Voice Code” on and select a four-digital pin number.
Only Allow Recognized Voice Profiles
If you’ve set up voice profiles for each user in your home, you can limit purchases to just those profiles. If a guest tries to order something, Alexa won’t recognize them, limiting accidental voice purchasing.
However, this isn’t a foolproof method. Anyone can still make digital purchases, even if their voice isn’t recognized. This means anyone could still buy Kindle books, digital music, Prime videos, and other digital content.
To set this option up, open the Alexa app and open Settings. Go to “Account Settings -> Voice Purchasing.” Tap “Purchase Confirmation” and choose Manage. Select “Voice Profile” and turn on the profiles you want to use to make purchases. If you toggle a profile to off, that profile won’t be able to make any purchases except digital items.
Remove Stored Payments
A final option is to remove any payment options from your Amazon account. If you don’t have any credit cards or other payment options, you can’t buy anything. This is kind of a nuclear option, but still effective. It’s also a good idea if you’re afraid your account may get hacked.
Log in to your Amazon account. You can do this via the Amazon Shopping app or on the Amazon website. Click your name at the top right of the website or open the menu on the app.
Choose “Your Account -> Your Payments.” Under Wallet, select each payment type one by one and select “Remove.” Confirm you want to remove it. If you have any outstanding orders, these will still be charged to the card on file at the time of purchase.
If you have subscriptions, you’ll need to enter an alternative way to pay for them. You can keep an Amazon gift card balance to use to better control purchases if any accidental purchases are made.
Why Limit Voice Purchasing
It’s easy to accidentally order something with Alexa. You may even be talking to yourself, saying something like “I need to tell Alexa to order new curtains,” and suddenly you’re getting curtains delivered. While that’s a simplistic example, many parents have learned the hard way that kids know how to use Alexa better than they do.
The good news is you can still add items to your shopping list and only make a purchase when you’re ready. At the same time, when you are checking out Alexa’s Setting page, find out those surprising uses for Alexa you may not know.