It’s reader question time again on TechJunkie. This time it’s about the Amazon Echo and multiple users. As part of our coverage of this neat little device, this question fits right in. That question was ‘Does the Amazon Echo work with multiple users?’
Yes it does. As long as each user has their own Amazon account, you can set up another user. It would be selfish indeed to have an Amazon Echo and keep all the techy goodness to yourself. It’s good to share and the Echo makes it easy to do so.
As far as I know, you can only add a maximum of two people to the Amazon Echo. You can add a child as one user but the main account holder has to be an adult.
The nomenclature is a little confusing. The Amazon Echo uses the Alexa Household to manage certain settings. This has a two user limit. Amazon Household is part of Amazon Prime and you can have up to ten users. People, and Amazon themselves, use the two terms interchangeably which presents problems when trying to set up multiple users for the Echo.
To be clear, the Amazon Echo uses Alexa Household and allows a maximum of two users.
Setting up the Amazon Echo for multiple users
Setting up that extra user is very straightforward and can either be done while unboxing or later. As long as they have their own Amazon account and know the login, you should be done in under two minutes.
- Open the Alexa app on your phone if you are the main user.
- Select Settings and Household Profile.
- Log in using your account when prompted and select Continue.
- Select to add an extra account and allow them to enter their own Amazon account details.
- Select Join Household.
Now both users should be able to use Alexa independently. If the second user is an adult and has a payment method on their Amazon account, they will be able to make purchases and use every aspect of the Echo.
If you don’t want to use the app, you can also configure the other user online through this page.
One thing to know if adding multiple users. Once you add them, you are essentially giving them permission to use your content, make purchases on your account and generally do what they like. Even though both users have their own account, you only need to say ‘Alexa switch accounts’ and it does it.
You may like to add a PIN code to your purchases to protect your credit card.
- Open the Alexa app and select Settings.
- Select Voice Purchasing.
- Add a PIN code under Require Confirmation Code.
- Confirm the code and save.
Now every time you make a purchase through Alexa you will need to provide that four digit code before it is authorized.
You can remove extra users too if you need to.
- Open the Alexa app and select Settings.
- Select ‘In Amazon Household with User’.
- Select the other person’s username and select Leave.
This will banish that user from Alexa and they will no longer be able to interact with the Echo.
Adding a child as a user
You can also add a child as a user to your Amazon Echo but that takes a little more configuring. You will need to enable FreeTime, set up filters and all that good stuff. This page at Tom’s Guide is a great source for setting up younger users on an Echo.
Using the Amazon Echo within Household
Through Alexa Household, you can share your music, books, playlists and content with the other user. You can also collaborate on lists, calendars, reminders and all that good stuff too.
There are a couple of Household related commands you can use to make managing multiple users a little easier.
- ‘Alexa switch accounts’ – Switch between accounts.
- ‘Alexa, switch to NAME’s profile’ – Switch to a specific account.
- ‘Alexa which account is this?’ – Identifies the current logged in account.
- ‘Alexa, which profile am I using?’ – Also identifies the current logged in account.
These are useful commands to know when you’re first getting to grips with sharing Alexa.
Amazon Echo will work with multiple users as you can see. There is a little configuration to do, especially if one user is a minor but the Alexa app makes it very straightforward to set up and manage. It would be nice if you could set up more users and perhaps that feature will come at some point. In the meantime, we have what we have.