How do I turn off voice commands?

Voice commands allow you to control your device hands-free using just your voice. Popular voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant can perform tasks like setting alarms, playing music, or looking up information simply by speaking to them.

You may want to turn off voice commands for privacy reasons, to avoid accidental activations, or if you find them frustrating or ineffective. With voice assistants becoming more prevalent – statistics show over 50% of Americans use them regularly [1] – understanding how to disable them is important.

Check Your Device Settings

To access settings on different devices:

On Android phones, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the gear icon to open Settings (1). You can also swipe up on the home screen to access the app drawer, then tap the Settings app icon.

On iPhones, swipe down from the top right corner to access Control Center. Tap the settings icon to open the Settings app (2).

On Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices, say “Alexa, open Settings” or open the Alexa app and tap Settings.

In Android Auto or Apple CarPlay equipped vehicles, tap the Settings icon on the main screen.

On Windows PCs, click the Start menu and select Settings. On Macs, click the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.

On smart TVs, look for a Settings option in the menu or input list. This opens options like turning off voice control.

Familiarize yourself with the settings menu on your device to easily find options like voice control.



Disable Default Voice Assistant

Most smartphones and smart devices come pre-installed with a default voice assistant like Siri on iPhones, Alexa on some Android devices and Amazon Echo speakers, Google Assistant on many Android phones, and Bixby on Samsung devices. You can disable these default assistants by going into your device’s settings.

On an iPhone, open Settings and go to Siri & Search. Here you can turn off Listen for “Hey Siri”, as well as disable Siri suggestions and dictation features. For Android devices, open Settings and go to Apps or Application Manager. Find the app for your device’s default assistant like Bixby or Google Assistant, open it, and select Disable. On Amazon Echo smart speakers, use the Alexa app to go to Settings > Alexa Preferences > Wake Word to disable the wake word.

Keep in mind this will disable the voice assistant features globally on your device. For more granular control, see the sections below on uninstalling specific voice assistant apps, disabling microphone access, and changing permissions.

Disable Accessibility Features

Many devices include accessibility features that allow you to activate voice commands by saying trigger phrases like “Hey Siri” or “Ok Google.” To turn these off:

  • On an iPhone, go to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control and turn off “Listen for Hey Siri.”
  • On an Android device, open the Google app, go to Settings > Voice > Voice Match and turn off access for each device.
  • You can also disable Google Assistant completely by going to Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Default apps > Assist app and changing to “None.”

Turning off these quick voice activation features ensures your device won’t initiate voice commands without you meaning to. However, keep in mind this may reduce accessibility for some users.

Uninstall Voice Assistant Apps

One way to disable voice commands is by uninstalling any voice assistant applications you don’t use. Both iPhone and Android devices come with built-in voice assistants – Siri for iPhones and Google Assistant for most Android phones. If you find you never use these assistants, you can fully uninstall them.

On an iPhone, Siri cannot be completely removed but you can turn off “Listen for ‘Hey Siri'” in Settings > Siri & Search to disable invoking Siri by voice. On Android, open the Settings app and go to Apps > See all apps. Find the Google app, tap it, and select Uninstall. This will completely remove Google Assistant from your device (source).

You may also have third-party voice assistant apps installed, like Alexa or Cortana. Check your app list and uninstall any voice assistants you don’t need. By removing unused voice assistants, you’ll prevent them from listening for voice commands and responding.

Mute Microphones

One of the most direct ways to turn off voice commands is to simply mute or disable your microphone(s). This prevents your device from picking up any audio input that could trigger voice commands.

On Windows 10 and 11 devices, you can mute your microphone by clicking the microphone icon in the system tray and selecting Mute. Alternatively, you can go to Start > Settings > Privacy & security > Microphone and toggle Let apps use my microphone to Off. For a keyboard shortcut, Windows + A will open the Action center where you can click the microphone icon to mute it.

On Mac devices, click the Apple menu, choose System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Microphone, and uncheck the box for an app to mute access. You can also press Option + Shift + Mute to quickly mute your Mac’s mic.

On an iPhone or iPad, open Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner, then tap the microphone icon to mute it. On Android devices, swipe down from the top and long-press the microphone icon to mute it.

For other devices, consult your manual for steps to disable hardware microphones or simply unplug any external mics when not in use. Physically preventing audio input is the most surefire way to stop voice commands of any kind.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

One way to avoid using voice commands is to use keyboard shortcuts instead. Most mobile devices allow you to perform common actions using key combinations. For example, on an iPhone with a Magic Keyboard, you can press Command+Space to open Search instead of saying “Hey Siri.”

Android devices also support many handy keyboard shortcuts. You can press Alt+Del to delete an entire line of text without speaking. Shift+Del deletes the character to the right of your cursor. Refer to this guide for a full list of Android keyboard shortcuts.

Screen readers like TalkBack on Android devices have special key combinations to navigate without speech. For example, Alt+Ctrl+N opens notifications, and Alt+Shift+Space plays or pauses media. See Google’s support page for TalkBack’s full set of keyboard shortcuts.

With some practice, keyboard shortcuts can allow you to use your device efficiently without having to rely on voice commands.

Disable Permissions

You can disable microphone access for specific apps on your device. This prevents those apps from listening and recording without your permission.

On iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone. Here you can see which apps have requested microphone access. Toggle off access for any apps you want to disable.

On Mac, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Microphone. Click the lock icon to make changes. Then uncheck any apps you want to restrict microphone access for. Apple Support provides instructions.

On Windows 10, go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone. Toggle off microphone access for any apps you want to disable. You can also disable access for specific programs through the Control Panel. See this Microsoft forum post for more details.

Adjust Privacy Settings

Most voice assistants collect and store various types of personal data in order to function properly and provide personalized results. However, you can opt out of certain types of data collection and storage if you wish to maximize your privacy.

For Google Assistant, open the Google Assistant app and go to Settings > Assistant > Assistant tab > Google Assistant Activity Controls. Here you can see and manage activity data collected by Google Assistant, including voice and audio recordings, and choose whether to have this data saved to your Google Account or immediately deleted (

For Amazon Alexa, open the Alexa app and go to Settings > Alexa Privacy > Manage Your Alexa Data. You can choose to auto-delete recordings and other types of Alexa data after 3 or 18 months. You can also manually delete specific recordings or all your Alexa data (

For Siri, open Settings > Siri & Search and turn off Listen for “Hey Siri”, which prevents Siri from passively listening for its wake word. You can also disable Allow Siri When Locked to prevent Siri access when your phone is locked. Under Data & Privacy you can see data linked to your requests and choose to disable sharing audio recordings (

Adjusting these settings can help opt out of certain data collection practices and maximize privacy with your chosen voice assistant.

Consider Alternatives

If you want to limit or avoid using voice commands, there are other input methods you can use instead. Here are some alternatives to consider:

Typing on a keyboard remains one of the most common ways to input commands and search queries on devices. For mobile devices, you can use the on-screen keyboard to type out requests rather than speaking them. On desktop and laptop computers, physical keyboards are readily available for typing. While not as hands-free as voice input, keyboards allow you to enter precise queries and avoid any misinterpretations by voice assistants.

Touchscreens and trackpads also allow manual input without relying on your voice. Smartphones, tablets, laptops and even some desktop monitors now come with touch-sensitive screens that you can use your fingers or a stylus to select options, scroll, type, drag items, and more. This tactile approach gives you control without the need for speech.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts on most devices as a way to rapidly execute commands without using voice input. Keyboard shortcuts allow you to press a combination of keys to trigger an action rather than having to manually navigate through menus and options. If you take the time to memorize shortcuts for common actions, this can be faster than voice in many cases.

Hand gestures detected by cameras on devices offer another alternative to voice commands. Some smartphones and game consoles allow you to navigate menus, select items, scroll, zoom, and more using just your hands and finger movements. Sensors track your gestures to control the device.

While voice input provides hands-free convenience, taking the time to learn these alternative input methods can give you more options to avoid over-reliance on voice assistants.

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