How to Turn Off Voice Assistants

Tech companies might not want you to turn off your device's voice assistants. But you can, and it's easy to do. Here's how.

There are plenty of legitimate reasons to turn off the voice assistants on your smart devices. Maybe you’re tired of accidentally triggering your Alexa, or maybe you don’t want tech company microphones listening to every word you say. Here’s the truth about whether Alexa is really always listening.

Whatever the reason, turning off voice assistants is, for the most part, a simple process regardless of the device you’re on. Here’s a rundown of the steps you need to take to stop your devices from listening in.

Siri

Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, was one of the first widely available voice assistants, so it’s no surprise if you’re tired of the technology.

How to turn off Siri:

  1. Go to your Settings;
  2. Go to Siri & Search;
  3. Turn off all of the options for Listen for “Hey Siri,” Press Side Button For Siri, and Allow Siri When Locked;
  4. Check Turn Off Siri in the popup.

Here’s why you should turn off your smart assistants when you’re working from home.

Google Assistant

If you own a Google phone or an Android, your device probably uses “Google Assistant,” Google’s answer to Siri.

How to turn off Google Assistant:

  1. Open the Google app on your phone;
  2. Go to More at the bottom right of your screen;
  3. Go to Settings;
  4. Go to Google Assistant;
  5. Scroll down to Assistant Devices. Select all devices on which you want to turn off Google Assistant;
  6. Tap the Google Assistant toggle to turn the feature off.

There are quite a few unique settings on your Google Assistant. This is the best cheat sheet for everything your Google Home can do.

Cortana

Cortana, named after a character from the HALO video game series, is Microsoft’s voice assistant. It’s used across the board on any computer running Windows 10.

How to turn off Cortana:

  1. Click the Start button;
  2. Click the Settings icon (this looks like a small gear);
  3. Type “Cortana” into the search bar within Settings;
  4. Click “Change how you talk to Cortana,” which should show up in the search results;
  5. Click the button next to the option “Let Cortana respond to ‘Hey Cortana’ ” to turn it off.

Alexa

If you use any sort of electronic equipment from Amazon, you know all about Alexa, the voice assistant that comes pre-installed on nearly every Amazon-branded device.

How to turn off Alexa:

Amazon’s voice assistant can typically be turned off just by pushing the “mute” button on the Alexa-enabled device. The mute button actually cuts off the supply of electricity to the device’s microphone so that it can’t pick up any noise, regardless of whether the wake word is used. Depending on the model of your device, the mute button will look like a microphone or a circle with a line through it. Here are the things everyone gets wrong about Amazon Alexa.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman