How to Turn off Alexa Voice Assistant on Your Amazon Fire Stick
The lady that lives in your Amazon Firestick may start speaking whenever you navigate from one menu to another or instigate an action. Amazon calls the lady VoiceView and it’s designed to make your user experience more convenient.
However, VoiceView navigation is usually more annoying than helpful, so you might want to turn it off right away. Shutting the voice down is not difficult by any means. This write-up provides you with a quick guide on how to silence VoiceView, and also offers some setup tips and tricks along the way.
Some Notes Before You Start
At the time writing, VoiceView comes pre-installed on Fire TV Stick that has Alexa Voice Remote. It is also supported on Fire TV Remote, but not on the Fire TV Remote app. If you own a different or older Fire TV or Firestick model, VoiceView is available after you do a system update.
Did the Lady Turn on by Itself?
The quick answer is no, it didn’t, and Fire TV devices don’t usually have it on by default. But the catch is, you can easily activate VoiceView by accident. This is where the troubles begin.
All you need to do is press and hold the Menu and Back buttons for about two seconds and turn the mode to on. (The lady tells you this; she’ll rant as you navigate!) To make matters worse, many users are unaware of the hotkeys which make the reverse action seemingly impossible.
Turing off VoiceView
There are two ways to get rid of the annoying Firestick voice – the obvious one being the hotkeys method. Just hold down on the Menu and Back buttons until the lady informs you that she’ll stop talking now, and you’re good to go. If that doesn’t work, you can always do it via Settings.
Launch the Settings menu and navigate to Accessibility. Select VoiceView, which should be the second option under Accessibility. Choose VoiceView again and a full-screen window pops up along with a button to turn it off.
Highlight the Turn Off button, click on it, and the lady’s voice will inform you that it has been turned off. You can now go back to the VoiceView menu and check if the option is set to Off.
VoiceView Tips and Tricks
Aside from just reading out loud, VoiceView may enhance your menu-hopping experience by providing on-screen text descriptions. This feature is named Review Mode. It’s activated when you hold down the Menu button for about two seconds.
With the Review Mode on, you can use the directional buttons to select text and, of course, switch between the menus. For example, the Up and Down buttons select pieces of text, like information about the videos, and the Left and Right buttons move you through different menus.
If you want to disengage Review Mode, hold down on the Menu button again and it will turn off.
Note: When you select a piece of text, VoiceView tells you “Item not selectable.” However, Review Mode reads/describes that piece of text for you.
More on the Menu Button
You can get orientation descriptions and navigation tips by pressing the Menu button when VoiceView is active. That said, this time, you just press the button, not hold it down.
For example, a single press tells you the item information, if available. Double-pressing the button reveals additional options for the selected item.
Neat Trick: When you engage Review Mode, pressing the Menu button activates VoiceView to spell out the selected words.
Changing VoiceView Preferences
Amazon Firestick gives you an option to customize certain VoiceView settings. There is still no way to change the voice or accent, but you can tweak the reading speed, sound and speech volume, etc.
To do so, you need to access the VoiceView menu from Firestick Settings. Here is a quick reminder on how to do it before you check out all the VoiceView settings.
Settings > Accessibility > VoiceView
Here are the options you can change:
- Sounds Volume – By default, Sounds Volume is set to 40% of the overall volume level you’ve chosen. This refers to feedback sounds like clicks and chimes and you can reduce it or turn it off completely.
- Speech Volume – The default level is the same as Sounds Volume and you can turn it up or down as you wish. This affects how loud the lady speaks.
- Reading Speed – Why not play around a little and increase the lady’s reading speed to the max?
- Punctuation Level – Yes, VoiceView can read all or none of the punctuation marks from the menus.
- Key Echo – This option echoes text, characters, or both as you type them via the virtual keyboard. Character echoing is turned on by default and you can choose Words, Characters, Characters and Words, or None.
The Voice Button
Some Firestick remotes have a Voice button, it’s the one that features a microphone icon. The button has nothing to do with VoiceView, but it allows you to issue voice commands to your device.
Press it down to wake Alexa and tell it what you want to do. You can use it to search, play videos, jump to a menu, and much more.
Stop Hearing Voices
To recap, press and hold the Menu and Back buttons to turn VoiceView off or on –it’s that simple. Did the voice on your Firestick turn on all of a sudden? Do you maybe find it more useful than annoying? Drop a comment below and share your experiences with the rest of the community.