Your Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show all have to be registered to your Amazon account. This is how you’re able to order things and personalize Alexa to your needs. You’ll have to deregister an Amazon Alexa device before you give it away or sell it so others can register it under their own account.
Why You Should Deregister an Amazon Alexa Device
Yes, someone else could just start using it, but do you want them having access to your Amazon account? Even if they’re adding a new account to the device, all your data is still stored on it, including access to your Amazon account.
Deregistering is just the first step is preparing your Amazon Alexa device to go to a new owner.
Understanding Alexa Privacy
Despite Alexa’s convenience, your device might be listening in and storing data about you even when you don’t say the wake word. In fact, Amazon Alexa not only recorded, but sent one family’s conversation to a random contact. Amazon staff have even said they listen in on conversations, though Amazon representatives state this is completely random and only an exercise to make Alexa better. Still, your data is stored on your Amazon device and even more is stored within your account.
If you’re worried about your privacy, use our security and privacy settings guide for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can also turn off the microphone when not in use, which you can tell from the lit-up red ring around your device.
Deregister Your Amazon Alexa Device
Start by opening the Alexa app and going to Settings. Choose your device and tap “Deregister.” Confirm your choice, and you should be done.
If your device isn’t showing or doesn’t offer the option to deregister it, you’ll need to access your Amazon account via a web browser. Log in to your Amazon account and open the Accounts & Lists menu under your name. Choose Manage Your Content & Devices.
Select Your Devices and click the ellipses next to the device you want to deregister. Select Deregister and confirm your choice.
Deregistering is supposed to remove your account and data, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution and do one final step.
Resetting Your Alexa Device
There’s one more step to take to fully ensure your Amazon Alexa device is ready to sell or give away: you’ll need to reset your device. This is similar to doing a factory reset on your computer or phone. It wipes out everything your Alexa device has stored locally about you. While your data is still on Amazon’s servers, it can only be accessed with your account, which is why you deregistered the device.
Resetting varies based on your device.
For a first-generation Echo and Echo Dot, use a paper clip to press the reset button. The button is in a small hole at the base of the device. Wait for your device to turn orange and then blue again.
For second-generation Echo and Echo Dot devices:
- Press and hold both the Volume-down and Microphone buttons at the same time.
- Wait until the light turns orange (about twenty seconds). It’ll then turn blue briefly. Wait for your device to cycle on and off. Once it turns orange again, it’s reset and ready to set up a new account.
For third-generation devices:
- press and hold the Action button (the button with the dot) for twenty-five seconds.
- Wait for the light to turn orange and then blue again. It’ll cycle off and back on. Once the light turns orange, it’s ready.
If you have an Echo Show:
- Swipe down from the top of the screen to show the quick access control panel.
- Tap the Settings icon (gear).
- Choose Device Options.
- Select Reset To Factory Defaults.
- Press Reset to confirm.
The process takes around five minutes to complete. Don’t disturb your device during this process to make sure it completes successfully.
Congratulations! You’re now ready to either sell or give away your Amazon Alexa device. Even better, you’re probably ready to upgrade to a new Alexa device.
Image credit: Amazon Echo Dot Not Listening Mode