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Alexa and Alexa Device FAQs

Alexa FAQs

1. How do I use Alexa?

Alexa is a cloud service. Activating Alexa works differently based on the type of Alexa-enabled product. For far-field Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, say the wake word to activate Alexa. For devices like Amazon Tap, activate Alexa by pressing the Talk or microphone button. Then ask Alexa a question, such as "what is the weather today in New York?", or tell Alexa to do something, like "add batteries to my shopping list" or "play jazz." Your question or request and related information, like music playlists, calendar entries, connected home devices, and items on your shopping list, will be processed in the Cloud.

2. Will the voice services improve over time?

Yes, Alexa is developed to get better over time. Alexa uses your voice recordings and other information, including from third-party services, to answer your questions, fulfill your requests, and improve your experience and our services. When you set up your Alexa-enabled product or link third-party services with Alexa, Alexa begins processing some information, such as your music playlists. You can also help us improve the voice services by providing feedback within History or by using Voice Training in the Alexa App.

3. Can I review what I have asked Alexa?

Yes, you can review voice interactions with Alexa by visiting History in Settings in the Alexa App. Your interactions are grouped by question or request. Tap an entry to see more detail, provide feedback, or listen to audio sent to the Cloud for that entry by tapping the play icon. Sometimes Alexa may not understand you perfectly, and the translations you see in History may not always reflect exactly what you said (for example, they may be inaccurate or incomplete). You can help us improve your experience by providing feedback on inaccurate translations in History.

4. How do I delete Alexa voice recordings?

You can delete specific voice recordings associated with your account by going to History in Settings in the Alexa App, drilling down for a specific entry, and then tapping the delete button. Or, you can delete all voice recordings associated with your account for each of your Alexa-enabled products, by selecting the applicable product at the Manage Your Content and Devices page at www.amazon.com/mycd or, for the Amazon App for iPhone, by going to Your Account from the Menu icon at the top of any page in the Amazon App and selecting Manage Voice Recordings. You can also contact customer service to request deletion of your voice recordings.

Deleting voice recordings may degrade your Alexa experience. If you delete voice recordings, we will also remove Home Screen Cards related to those voice recordings. However, removing a Home Screen Card from your Alexa App does not delete voice recordings. If you have changed your default marketplace while using an Alexa-enabled product, you will need to perform this step for each marketplace to delete all voice recordings associated with your account.

5. How do Alexa skills work?

Skills are voice-driven Alexa capabilities. You can view available skills and enable or disable certain skills from your Alexa App, and start using enabled skills by saying specific phrase(s), called invocation names, after you activate Alexa. When you use a skill, we may exchange related information with the developer of that skill, such as your answers when you play a trivia skill, your zip code when you ask for the weather, or the content of your requests. The Skills portion of your Alexa App may contain more information about a skill, such as applicable policies or terms of use provided by the skill developer.

6. How does shopping work?

Prime members can ask Alexa to order eligible products ordered before, many Prime products and digital music tracks and albums. We'll use your default payment and shipping settings to place your order. You can require a speakable confirmation code, turn purchasing off, and see product and order details in your Alexa App. Just like orders placed through Amazon.com, orders placed through Alexa are subject to Amazon's Conditions of Use and Privacy Notice.

7. Can I turn off purchasing?

Yes, Alexa has voice purchasing settings. Visit Settings/Voice Purchasing in your Alexa App to turn off purchasing by voice from Amazon. You can also require an optional confirmation code that Alexa will ask you to say out loud when you want to place an order from Amazon.

8. What are the return policies for products I order using Alexa?

For information on return policies applicable to products purchased using Alexa, see About Our Returns Policies. In addition, non-digital products purchased using Alexa are eligible for free returns. To return a product purchased using Alexa, process your returns as normal in the Returns Center. We’ll automatically refund you any shipping charges applied to the return. You should see the shipping refund within 7 days of receiving your product refund.

In addition, if you accidentally purchase a song or album from our Digital Music Store using Alexa, that purchase is eligible for return and refund if we receive your request within seven days of the date of purchase. To request a refund, contact customer service.

Amazon Echo and Echo Dot FAQs

Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are far-field Alexa-enabled devices.

1. How do Amazon Echo and Echo Dot recognize the wake word?

Amazon Echo and Echo Dot use on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word. When these devices detect the wake word, they stream audio to the Cloud, including a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word.

2. How do I know when Amazon Echo or Echo Dot are streaming my voice to the Cloud?

When Amazon Echo or Echo Dot detect the wake word, when you press the action button on top of the devices, or when you press and hold your remote's microphone button, the light ring around the top of your Amazon Echo turns blue, to indicate that Amazon Echo is streaming audio to the Cloud. When you use the wake word, the audio stream includes a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word, and closes once your question or request has been processed. Within Sounds settings in the Alexa App (Settings > [Your Device Name] > Sounds), you can enable a 'wake up sound,' a short audible tone that plays after the wake word is recognized to indicate that the device is streaming audio. You can also enable an 'end of request sound' that will play a short audible tone at the end of your request, to indicate that the connection has closed and the device is no longer streaming audio.

3. Can I turn off the microphone on Amazon Echo and Echo Dot?

Yes, you can turn Amazon Echo or Echo Dot's microphone off by pushing the microphone on/off button on the top of your device. When the microphone on/off button turns red, the microphone is off. The device will not respond to the wake word, nor respond to the action button, until you reactivate the microphone by pushing the microphone on/off button again. Even when the device’s microphone is off, Amazon Echo or Echo Dot will still respond to requests you make through your remote.

Amazon Tap FAQs

Amazon Tap is an Alexa-enabled portable speaker that includes an optional hands-free mode.

1. How do I activate hands-free mode on my Amazon Tap?

You can turn hands-free mode on or off in the device settings within your Alexa App (Settings > [Your Device Name]).

2. How does Amazon Tap recognize the wake word while in hands-free mode?

Amazon Tap uses on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word. When the wake word is detected, Amazon Tap streams audio to the Cloud, including a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word.

3. How do I know when Amazon Tap is streaming my voice to the Cloud?

When Amazon Tap detects the wake word in hands-free mode or when you tap the microphone (talk) button, the lights on the front of your Amazon Tap turn blue to indicate that Amazon Tap is streaming audio to the Cloud. When you use the wake word while in hands-free mode, the audio stream includes a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word, and closes once your question or request has been processed. You will also hear a short audible tone that plays after the wake word is recognized, to indicate that the device is streaming audio, and at the end of your request, to indicate that the connection has closed and the device is no longer streaming audio.

4. Can I turn off the microphone on Amazon Tap while in hands-free mode?

Yes, you can turn Amazon Tap's microphone off by pushing the play/pause button on the top of your device for three seconds. When the lights on the front of your Amazon Tap turn red, the microphone is off. The device will not respond to the wake word until you reactivate the microphone by pushing the play/pause button again for three seconds. When the microphone is off, Amazon Tap will still respond to requests you make by tapping the microphone (talk) button. After five minutes of inactivity with the microphone off, your device will enter sleep mode to conserve power.

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