I got a Fire TV stick but I heard that Alexa can sometimes record your voice conversations in the background. So, I did some research into whether I can disable it. And based on what I found I put together this helpful article to explain whether it’s possible.
So, can you disable Alexa on a Fire TV stick? There is no setting on the Fire TV stick that will allow you to disable Alexa. But, you can completely remove the microphone in your Fire TV stick. However, this will void your warranty and can be a bit technical to do, if you have no electronics experience.
You can unpair your Fire TV stick from Alexa, which will remove the ability to use Alexa on your Fire TV stick. So, read on to discover exactly how to do that, and also instructions on how to remove the microphone on your Fire TV stick.
How Do You Disable Alexa On Your Fire TV Stick?
To disable Alexa on your Fire TV stick you need to either remove the microphone completely from the Amazon Fire TV stick. Or disable it on your Alexa account which you can access at Alexa.amazon.com. To do that go to the Alexa website, log into your account, and unregister your Fire TV stick.
Although this will disable Alexa, you won’t be able to access the full app store and get Fire TV updates.
Whether you’re having issues with your Alexa, have a personal preference to not use Alexa on your Fire TV stick, or have privacy concerns. I will explain to you exactly how to remove your Fire TV stick from the Alexa App.
Here’s how to do it (step by step instructions):
1. Log into your Alexa account on the Alexa website
Simply go to the official Alexa website by clicking here: Alexa.amazon.com. Once on that website log into your Alexa account.
2. Deregister Your Fire TV stick from your Alexa account
Once you’re logged in you will see a list of the devices registered on your Alexa account, you’ll see a list of the devices that are registered on your Alexa account – you will see your Fire TV stick on that list.
Next to the Fire TV stick, there is an option to deregister it. Click on that to remove your Fire TV stick from your Alexa account. Once this has been done you won’t be able to use Alexa on your Fire TV stick.
If you want the full functionality of your Fire TV stick unfortunately you’ll have to remove the microphone manually to remove the microphone Alexa. And I’ll explain how to do that in the next section.
How To Remove The Microphone From You Fire TV Stick
To remove the microphone from your Fire TV stick, you need to open up the Fire TV stick remote and then pull out the microphone using some pliers. It is technical and requires step by step instructions. So, I’ll include the exact steps below:
lthough, Amazon is a trusted company and provides excellent service, pretty much everyone enjoys their privacy and you don’t want your private conversations stored on your device and potentially on the cloud somewhere.
So, you’ll want to remove the microphone completely from your Fire TV stick remote.
When you remove the microphone unless you’re very experienced you will damage the microphone which means you won’t be able to reinstall it later. So, you’ll be removing it for good.
Also, you will be breaking the glue that holds the cover on your remote together, and then re-gluing it back together so you might do a little bit of visible damage to your remote. But, if you’re careful you won’t notice any minor scratches.
1. Assemble the tools you’ll need
You’ll need a:
- A flathead screwdriver
- A hard guitar pick, or a thin and rigid piece of plastic
- Needle Nose pliers
2. Pry open the remote
The remote is held together at multiple points by glue. And the microphone is located at the top of the remote. So, you want to use your flat head screwdriver and guitar pick to pry it open. And you want to pry it open at the top end. You don’t need to open up the entire remote.
You should start with one side and then the open other. It only needs to open up about half an inch (1 cm), so you can get the needle nose pliers in to pull off the microphone.
3. Pull off the microphone
The microphone is a small square piece of metal that is clipped onto the circuit board. And is very easy to pull off once you have access to it.
So, once you’ve opened up the remote enough to get the needle nose pliers in, pull off the microphone.
4. Glue ‘em back together
Now that you have removed the microphone you can apply small amounts of glue to the sides, before pushing it back together and holding it in place for the super glue to dry. Super glue usually dries very quickly – within a minute.
But, to be sure you can place some heavy books on top of it and leave it for 30 minutes or so to make sure the glue is completely dry.
You’ve now completely removed your microphone from your Fire TV stick. So, there is no way you can use Alexa with it, and there is no way for it to record your conversations.
Can You Use A Fire TV Stick Without Alexa?
You can use a Fire TV stick without Alexa. You can do that by using the remote. When you want to search for an app, TV show, or movie a keyboard will come up on the screen. You then use your Fire TV stick remote to move around the keyboard to and press the letters.
It’s a bit more convenient to use Alexa. But, everyone talks a little bit differently and it won’t work 100% of the time. A cool feature of the Fire TV stick is that Alexa is not ‘always on’.
Which means it won’t start doing stuff when you are just having a conversation next to it. Or calling the dog. You need to press and hold the microphone button on the remote to enable Alexa.
When You Don’t Register Alexa On Your Fire TV Stick
You have the option to register your Fire TV stick with Alexa on your Alexa account, that you access on Amazon.alexa.com. This allows you to purchase paid apps, TV shows, and movies. On the flip side, when it isn’t registered you can only access free content. Such as free apps, TV shows, and movies.
How Do You Remove Alexa Shopping From Your Fire TV Stick?
You remove Alexa shopping by deregistering your Fire TV stick from your Alexa account. To do this you need to go to the website Amazon.alexa.com and log in to your Alexa account.
Once you’re logged in you can see a list of your registered devices. Go to your Fire TV stick and hit deregister.
This will unregister your Fire TV stick from your Alexa account. And you won’t be able to access Alexa shopping from your Fire TV stick.
Is A Fire TV Stick Always Listening?
The microphone on your Fire TV stick is not always listening. You need to press a button on your Fire TV stick remote to begin using voice commands. If you begin giving commands using ‘Alexa this…’ or ‘Alexa that…’ it won’t do anything, even though this works with other devices that have Alexa.
It was a feature that customers found was a bit annoying because it would begin doing stuff in the background when you are having a conversation in the same room as Alexa enabled devices. And you had to interrupt your conversation to say ‘no’, when it confirmed whether you wanted Alexa to do something.
For these reasons, Amazon removed the always-listening feature from the Fire TV stick.
Does The Fire TV Stick Listen To Conversations?
The Fire TV stick is powered by only 2X AA batteries. If the Fire TV stick was recording your conversations 100% of the time, the batteries would run out in two to three days.
The Fire TV stick will only take voice commands when you press and hold the microphone button on the Fire TV stick remote.
Otherwise, it isn’t doing anything. So, you don’t need to be worried that it is listening and recording your conversations.
What’s The Advantage Of Having Alexa Enabled On Your Fire TV Stick?
When you have Alexa enabled on your Fire TV stick you can download paid Apps, TV shows, and movies. You can also use Alexa’s voice feature. Where you can say what you want Alexa to do. Which saves a lot of time.
Instead of typing in each letter one by one using the remote, you can simply say “search for ‘The Terminator 2 movie’, and your Fire TV stick menu will open up the movie and you can just hit purchase or watch. Also, a lot of the free content is quite limited, and you can’t purchase new movies, or TV shows even if you want to.
But, it’s very easy to register your Fire TV stick onto Alexa. You just need to log into your Alexa account on your smartphone or computer and add your Fire TV stick to your account.
So, the main advantage of having Alexa enabled on your Fire TV stick is that you have access to more content, and it saves you a lot of time when you are using your Fire TV stick.
Can You Use A Fire TV Stick Without An Internet Connection?
You can absolutely use a Fire TV stick without a Wi-Fi connection. As you may be aware you need an internet connection to stream TV shows, movies, and to play some games.
But, with Wi-Fi only on your modem and no internet connection you can mirror other devices to your TV using your Fire TV stick. Most mobile data plans are quite expensive to use for streaming movies and TV shows. But, there are some unlimited data plans that last for an hour, 4 hours or 12 hours provided by some cell phone carriers.
So, if your internet has gone down, and you are waiting for it to get repaired, mirroring your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to your Fire TV stick to watch TV shows is a very good idea.
I recently wrote a whole article with step by step instructions on [link: can you mirror fire tv stick to iPhone: how to mirror your iPhone to your Fire TV stick].
This allows you to play whatever is on your iPhone on your TV. So you can play Netflix or Youtube videos on your smartphone or tablet and then mirror them to your TV.
In the article, I also include instructions for how to get it to work for other devices, not just iOS devices. Give it a read by clicking here: How to mirror your iPhone to your Fire TV stick.
But, you can access any apps on your Fire TV stick without an internet connection. On the menu go to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications. From there you will see a list of installed applications. Highlight the game you want to launch and then click on it.
Watching Recorded TV Shows and Movies On Your Fire TV Stick Without An Internet Connection
You can also watch any recordings you have on your Fire TV stick without an internet connection. But, how much you can store on your Fire TV stick is quite limited and most people use a Fire TV Recast. Which you can use to record a tonne of TV shows and movies from your Fire TV stick.
I recently wrote an entire article about how to record on your Fire TV stick, which includes lots of really helpful information about how a Fire TV Recast works. You can read that article by clicking here: Can You Record on a Fire TV Stick?.
What Commands Does Alexa Have On A Fire TV Stick?
The voice commands you can use with Alexa on your Fire TV stick are:
Pause, play, rewind, stop and rewind – say: “Alexa, [pause, play, resume, stop, fast-forward, rewind] on Fire TV.”
Search for a movie or TV show – say: “Alexa, search for [movie to TV show name] on Fire TV” or “Alexa, find [movie or TV show name] on Fire TV.”
Find a movie or TV show with a certain actor – say: “Alexa, show me titles with [actor] on Fire TV.”
Open a specific app – say: “Alexa, open [app name] on Fire TV” or “Alexa, launch [app name] on Fire TV.”
Go back to the home screen – say: “Alexa, return home.”
You can disable Alexa on your Fire TV stick but it will limit some of the functionality. For example, you can’t access any paid apps, TV shows, or movies. To do this you need to deregister your Fire TV stick from your Alexa account. You can do that by logging into your Alexa account on a smartphone or computer and then hitting the deregister button next to the device.
You can also pull out the microphone by opening up the remote. But, this is permanent unless you are experienced with electronics. Using Alexa on your Fire TV stick saves a lot of time. And Amazon has made it better by not having it ‘always on’.