Browse all articles

How to Set Parental Controls on the Amazon Echo

Follow these step-by-step tips to set limits and add "skills" to make Alexa a little kid-friendlier.

It doesn't take long for kids to become BFFs with Alexa. But unless you set some limits, your kids can order products, listen to explicit music, and use the device when they should be sleeping or doing homework. You can solve these problems, plus get some fun extras, by enabling the Amazon Kids Settings (formerly called FreeTime) included in your Alexa app. (If you subscribe to Amazon Kids+, you get premium Alexa skills, podcasts, and audiobooks, as well as unlimited kids' content on other Amazon devices.) To set up Amazon Kids Settings on your Echo, you have to enable it through your Alexa app. Once you've added it, you can manage the settings either through the app or by logging in to your Amazon account and going to your Parent Dashboard. When you're ready to add skills, check out some of our faves.

Remember, the Echo and other smart home devices have privacy issues. While you can make your Echo kid-friendlier, you're providing consent for Amazon to collect some of your kid's data, including their name, birth date, contact information, and voice recordings. It's a trade-off that only you can decide is right for your family. (Learn more about kids' privacy.)

The steps below apply to the free, built-in parental controls available for all Echo devices. How to enable Amazon Kids for Alexa:

  • Launch your Alexa app.
  • Tap the Devices icon at the bottom of the screen and then tap All Devices.
  • Tap the name of the device for which you want to enable Kids Settings.
  • Scroll down and tap Amazon Kids and then toggle it on.
  • Tap Setup Amazon Kids (if you've set up your kids on other devices, your child's name will appear here).
  • Tap Add Child, type their first name in the box, select gender, add their birth date, and choose an avatar (or let them choose one). Tap Save.
  • You can add another child on the next screen. Otherwise, tap Continue.
  • The app will take you through a privacy consent and adult-verification process.
  • On the "Getting started with Amazon Kids" screen, you can learn more about your available content, features, and settings for your kid-enabled Echo. Tap Amazon Kids Settings at the bottom of the page.
  • You can also add content and fine-tune your kid's settings at any time by going to your Parent Dashboard either in the Alexa app or in your Amazon account. In the app, tap the Device icon and then All Devices; select the device you've added your kid to.
  • Tap Amazon Kids and then tap Amazon Kids Settings.
  • Tap your kid's name and then follow the prompts to add content, set daily time limits, pause or resume devices, and so on.
Caroline Knorr
Caroline is Common Sense Media's former parenting editor. She has many years of editorial and creative marketing writing experience and has held senior-level positions at Walmart.com, Walmart stores, Cnet, and Bay Area Parent magazine. She specializes in translating complex information into bite-sized chunks to help families make informed choices about what their kids watch, play, read, and do.