Amazon’s biggest problem with Alexa, since the very beginning, has been discoverability. When you have a device that primarily has no interface, it becomes extremely difficult to inform its users of all the new features the device has been receiving. Amazon’s solution has been to have Alexa make usage suggestions after it finishes responding to you by saying “by the way…” followed by a suggestion. These suggestions walk a very fine line between being useful and annoying, with many people considering them the latter. Amazon has now made it possible to stop “by the way” suggestions but there’s a catch.
To stop Alexa from suggesting things after it responds, simply say “Alexa, stop By The Way,” as discovered by Reddit user BuddhaRockstar. The catch is that Alexa will respond “Okay, I will snooze my suggestions for now” and resume making suggestions in the future. This solution will give you a temporary break from “by the way” suggestions but there is no official way to make it permanent.
However, there is a slightly hacky workaround to make disabling “by the way” suggestions last indefinitely. The workaround is to create an Alexa Routine that automatically issues the “Alexa, stop By The Way” command every day, as suggested by Reddit user hegsandbacon. Theoretically, doing so should renew your request to stop the suggestions daily and keep them disabled.
To create this routine, open the Alexa app and select “Routines” from the “more” menu in the lower right. Create a new routine by pressing the “+” button in the top right. Enter anything into the routine name and select “Schedule” from the “When this happens” menu. Pick a time for the routine to run every day and press next to return to the main routine screen. From there, tap “Add action” and select the “Custom” option at the top. Now enter “stop by the way” into the text field, select “Next” in the upper right and lastly select “Save” in the upper right to finish creating your new routine.
The ability to disable suggestions by saying “Alexa, stop by the way” isn’t available across all Alexa devices yet. When you say it to your Alexa device, you may be told that it’s not supported on your device yet. There’s no harm in creating the routine anyway so that your Alexa devices will automatically start disabling “by the way” suggestions if/when the ability is available to you.
If this works I owe you a drink!
Oh thank you, this is awesome!
I was just yelling at Alexa a couple days ago in vain “Alexa stop saying by the way!”
Seems like whenever I’m talking to it, it’s always a noisy time with several people talking in the background. I just want to issue the command and go back to what I was doing. Ideally I’d like to hear whatever suggestion, but just not right then.
Dumb question Do you need the quotes in stop by the way ?
No, don’t enter quotes.
If you don’t select a device, will it cover all over them?
Yes, when you speak the phrase it’s supposed to affect all of your Alexa devices, so it shouldn’t matter how the routine is configured when it comes to the device you select.
I get maybe 2 BTWs a month…maybe my monthly spend meets the quota? lol
You’re very lucky. I get several a day
I get several per week…definitely annoying with a kid who wants to say yes to everything.
Amazing! I hope it will work for a hike (before Amazon figures this out. Now, if you can figure out a way to stop news stories from “here’s more from *news station*” after I hear the story I clicked on…
For a *while*…. Ugh.
Any ideas on making this silent, or less talky?
OMG THANK YOU!!!! I was close to just throwing out my alexa devices. I get so frustrated with the random “By the way” suggestions. For months I have answered them with … words I do not usually use. Seems like Amazon MUST know this is really annoying to at least some of their users! Thanks for providing the magic incantation to make it stop, at least transiently.
Thank you so much for this! My wife and I were about to take a hammer to it!
I’ll add a refinement. When the automated routine runs, Alexa responds by saying, “Okay, I will snooze my suggestions for now”, but I don’t really want to hear that. I have the routine set to first set Alexa’s volume to 0, then I issue the “Stop by the way” command. I then have a second routine that runs one minute later to set the volume back to 7, where I normally want it. This makes it entirely silent. Of course, this mutes Alexa for that minute every day, so I have it scheduled for 4:00 a.m., when I wouldn’t be using Alexa anyway.
Weird, it’s not “entirely silent” on mine, I still hear a whisper, on my Echo Flex in the kitchen where I set up the routine. Because when she wants to speak, Alexa sets the volume to 1, even if you have set it to 0. And the whisper confirmation is annoying in its own way. Still less annoying than all the “by the way” and “did you know” crap, though!
Well, yes it’s not really “entirely” silent. If the house is quiet and I’m sitting right next to it, I can barely hear it. But at 4:00 a.m. when I’m down the hall, behind a closed door, without my hearing aids, it may as well be entirely silent.
This routine is way kool!!! Thanx bunches.
It is obvious Amazon does NOT care about users.
There are so many annoying things – and I’m sure different users have different lists of most annoying Alexa things.
The problem is – lack of flexibility and lack of imagination of what USERS of the product want.