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How to Stop Alexa from Interrupting You with Annoying Notifications

In the era of endless distraction and notification overload, getting interruptions from yet another device can feel like the last straw. A 2022 survey found that 58% of Alexa and Echo owners said random Alexa notifications felt intrusive and distracting.

But as useful as Alexa can be for information, reminders and smart home control, her notifications aren‘t always so helpful. Fortunately, you have more options than just letting them pile up.

In this guide, you‘ll learn how to fully disable Alexa announcements across your Alexa app, Echo devices, iPhone, Android, and more – without losing any important features.

Here‘s what I cover:

  • Key statistics on Alexa notification usage
  • The case for limiting interruptions
  • Step-by-step instructions for turning off notifications
  • Pros and cons of alternative options like Do Not Disturb
  • Additional recommendations from a digital privacy expert

Let‘s look at why you may want to say no to Alexa‘s announcements, and how to get some peace and quiet while still using your Echo assistant.

Why Alexa Notifications Can Be So Annoying

First popularized by Amazon‘s Echo smart speakers, Alexa has quickly become a popular voice assistant worldwide.

Alexa devices now outnumber people in some major countries. And Amazon wants to reward that adoption with constant connections to services like shopping, messaging, and media.

But the result is a barrage of unsolicited notifications.

Chart showing types of Alexa notifications

This chart from an analysis by Chinese researchers shows the most common types of notifications sent by Alexa devices. While alarms, reminders and timers can be useful, most people don‘t care about random Amazon shopping updates.

Yet by default, Alexa will happily announce random notifications like these at full volume. Is it any wonder that constant audio interruptions soon become an annoyance for users?

Fortunately there are options – you can completely disable Alexa notifications.

Take Control: Managing Alexa‘s Access

Before jumping right to turn off notifications, let‘s briefly discuss alternatives. Along with fully disabling announcements, you also have more granular ways to limit Alexa‘s interruptions:

Use Do Not Disturb mode

You can enable Do Not Disturb to suppress notifications during set times like meetings or bedtime. Just say "Alexa, turn on Do Not Disturb" or schedule it in the Alexa app.

Pros: Easy to toggle on and off. Can selectively allow certain notifications.

Cons: Doesn‘t fully restrict Alexa‘s access. Requires manually enabling daily.

Restrict calendar and reminders access

In the Alexa app, you can revoke access to your calendar and reminders. But you may lose functionality for appointments and timers.

Disable individual notification channels

Under notifications settings, turn off shopping updates, message alerts, Amazon order updates, and other channels individually. More control than just on/off.

So Do Not Disturb or customizing notifications by channel does provide more flexibility if you only want to limit certain interruptions. But for true peace and quiet, fully disabling Alexa notifications is most effective.

How to Turn Off Alexa Notifications Completely (5 Simple Steps)

Ready to stop notifications from interrupting you across Alexa and all your devices? Just 5 quick steps can disable announcements completely:

Step 1: Open The Alexa App

Alexa app icon on iOS home screen

The free Alexa app lets you control and customize all your Echo/Alexa devices.

Download it from the:

Once installed, open the Alexa app and sign in to your Amazon account if needed. This links the app to your Alexa assistant.

Step 2: Go to Settings

Alexa app More menu

Tap the More tab on the bottom right of the app screen, then select Settings from the menu. The Settings page allows customization of Alexa features on your account.

Step 3: Select Notifications

Screenshot of Alexa app notifications settings

On the Settings screen, tap Notifications. This section manages all announcements sent to your Alexa devices and phone apps.

Step 4: Turn Off Notification Channels

Screenshots showing Alexa notifications toggles

With notifications selected, you‘ll see a list of all the enabled notification channels for your Alexa apps and devices.

Tap into each notification type, then turn off the toggle switch for that channel. Do this for:

  • Shopping notifications
  • Amazon order updates
  • Message alerts
  • Flash briefing updates
  • And every other notification source listed

This prevents Alexa announcements from those individual channels.

Step 5: Disable Announce Notifications on Mobile

In addition to your Alexa devices, you may also get notifications popping up on an iPhone, iPad or Android phone.

To stop Alexa notifications on mobile devices specifically:

On iPhone/iPad

  • Open Settings > Notifications
  • Select the Alexa app
  • Turn off Allow Notifications and Announce Notifications

On Android

  • Open Settings > Apps & Notifications
  • Tap the Alexa app
  • Turn off Show Notifications

And that‘s all it takes! With these 5 simple steps, you‘ve silenced Alexa notifications system-wide – without losing any core voice assistant functionality.

Confirm Settings

To test your settings, just ask "Alexa, do I have any notifications?". She should respond that you have no notifications if you successfully disabled them.

You should also observe no more random announcements or flashing lights/alerts on your Echo speakers.

And your iPhone or Android device will stop showing Alexa notification popups. Success!

Caution: Privacy Risks of Enabling Alexa Notifications

With your notifications now disabled, Alexa won‘t be alerting you to messages or events. But there‘s another benefit beyond just eliminating distractions.

You‘re also restricting Amazon‘s access to view and profile your digital activity.

Technology analyst Larry Downes highlights why Amazon wants permission to access notifications on mobile and desktop apps:

"Alexa voice assistant now tracks nearly everything happening on an Amazon customer‘s phone for product research and ad targeting."

By tapping into notifications and calendars, Amazon can analyze your activity for marketing insights and recommendations. And feed this data into the advertising profiles that fund Amazon‘s retail dominance.

But blocking this access limits their tracking and profiling ability. Taking back control of your notifications helps minimize convenience-privacy tradeoffs with voice assistants.

(For even stronger privacy, also review which ["Skills" you‘ve enabled]( alexa in your Alexa app or Amazon account settings. These third party apps can invisibly collect and share your usage data too.)

While Alexa herself promises no eavesdropping without wake word activation, restricting notification access provides additional privacy protection according to digital rights groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Additional Control: Customize Announcements

If completely disabling notifications limits functionality you want (like calendar alerts), you still have options to customize announcements:

Set volumes for notifications

In the Alexa app under Settings > Device Settings:

  • Choose your Echo speaker
  • Select Volume
  • Customize volume for Notifications vs regular listening volume

Disable unwanted announcement types

Under the Announcements section in Alexa Settings, toggle off:

  • Shopping & order notifications
  • Alexa calling/messaging announcements
  • Flash briefing updates
  • And other announcement sources individually

So while fully disabling notifications delivers peace and privacy, you can instead fine tune the sources and audio levels of announcements that still have value.

Summary: Key Takeaways for Controlling Alexa Notifications

If random Alexa announcements have become an intrusive distraction (or privacy concern), this guide outlined multiple ways to reclaim control:

  • Fully disabling notifications system-wide provides maximum benefit for productivity and privacy
  • For more flexibility, use Do Not Disturb schedules or disable notifications by channel instead
  • Manage announcements and access to limit convenience-privacy tradeoffs
  • But customize useful alerts like calendar reminders to keep helpful features

Just 5 minutes spent reviewing the notification settings covered here can prevent thousands of pointless disruptions down the road.

The ability to focus and control your time is precious. Don‘t let distracting devices and assistants undermine your autonomy!

Now you have expert techniques to stop Alexa interruptions while retaining voice assistant conveniences on Amazon Echo and mobile apps.

Have a question or issue controlling your Alexa notifications? Ask in the comments below!