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.