Smart Home

Prevent Amazon Echo from ruining your shopping surprise. Here’s how

Make sure your Echo’s light never turns yellow again.

Ian Knighton/CNET

You probably shopped Amazon’s Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday deals this year, and some of your purchases were probably holiday gifts that you don’t want others in your house to know about. Unfortunately, your Amazon Echo ($120 at Amazon) will blab that information if you don’t turn that setting off in the Alexa app.

When you have a house full of people who talk to the same Amazon Echo, it can be tough to keep what you’ve bought a secret. When there’s a notification, a yellow pulsing light will appear on your Echo (and everyone in the house knows what that means). When someone asks Alexa about the notification, the Echo will read off what’s on the way or what’s been delivered. 

For example, she might say, “Your package of Roomba vacuum has been delivered.” Turning that setting off will stop the yellow pulsing light on your Echo that comes on when you’ve made an Amazon purchase, so your family will never know when you’ve bought something.

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When you turn off the yellow light, you’re turning off all notifications, so make sure to tell everyone who relies on the notifications that you’re switching them off, even temporarily. 


Turn “Where’s my stuff?” requests off.

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Here’s how to turn that tattling setting off now.

1. In the Amazon Alexa app, tap the three stacked lines. 

2. Select Settings.

3. Tap Notifications.

4. Select Amazon Shopping.

5. Under the Give Ordered Items’ Titles section, you can turn off the titles for items you’ve bought. Toggle the switch off for Within delivery notifications and Within “Where’s my stuff?” requests.

6. Take it a step further by toggling the switch off for Out for delivery and Delivered. This will be helpful if you don’t want anyone to know you’ve bought something. That’s it! Now you can shop in peace without nosy relatives trying to figure out what you’ve bought.

Want to know more about how Amazon Echo can ease your mind? See how you can use Amazon Echo to get the best sleep of your life and learn more about what the light ring colors on Amazon Echo mean.

Originally published earlier this year.

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