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This Amazon Echo Tip Is Great for Families and Roommates

3 minute read

Ideally suited for common spaces like the kitchen or the living room, the Amazon Echo smart speaker (and its little cousin, the Amazon Echo Dot) is an ideal device for sharing with family, friends, and roommates, because all you need to use it is a voice. But you may want to keep some of the Echo’s features to yourself. Thankfully, Amazon offers the ability to associate Alexa, the Echo’s voice assistant, with multiple user accounts.

One big benefit to using multiple accounts on your Echo is getting access to the content, like music and audiobooks, owned by all of its users. For instance, if your roommate bought the new Ed Sheeran album via Amazon’s digital music store and both of your Amazon accounts were linked on the same Echo or other Alexa-enabled device, you can pre-game to “Shape of You” too. (This benefit works with other Amazon devices too.)

Read more: The ultimate Amazon Echo user’s guide

Linking multiple accounts on an Echo isn’t just a smart move for roommates. Spouses and significant others can also benefit from getting together. Linked accounts share their to-do lists and calendars, making sure that everyone’s on the same page — even on a device that doesn’t have a screen.

To add accounts to your Echo or other Alexa-powered device, open the Amazon app and tap on the menu button in the top-left corner. Next, tap on Settings, and then select Manage your Amazon Household under the Account heading. Following the directions from there should let you add a new user to your Alexa device — provided they already have an Amazon account. (If they don’t, it’s simple to sign up for one.)

There is one important detail to take note of: all the accounts added to an Echo will be able to order items from Amazon using the original user’s credit card. So, word to the wise: Set your Echo to require a password to confirm purchases. (This is a good idea in general.)

To set up the confirmation code, navigate back to the settings and tap on Voice Purchasing, which is right above Household Profile. On the screen that appears, you can select a four-digit PIN, or disable voice purchasing entirely.

To switch between user profiles, simply say “Alexa, switch to [your first name]’s account.” Or, if you don’t know whose account the Echo is associated with, you can always say, “Alexa, identify account.”

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